Bishop of Chalcedon; b. Warwickshire, England, c. 1554; d. on the English mission, April 13, 1624. Brought up a Catholic, he apparently went to Oxford, but did not take a degree. He trained for the priesthood at Reims and Rome, was ordained in 1583, and came back to England. He spent part of the next few years on mission and part in Paris where he received his doctorate in divinity.
Bishop was a prominent member of the Appellant party among the English secular clergy and one of the 13 priests who, in 1603, signed a declaration of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth repudiating the pope's power to depose her. However, after 1606 he refused to sign the oath of allegiance that Paul V had condemned. He was imprisoned but was released in 1611 and joined the little community of controversial Catholic writers at Arras College, Paris.
When Gregory XV decided to restore a measure of local episcopal rule to the Catholics in England in 1623, he appointed William Bishop as bishop for the whole country, with the titular See of Chalcedon in Asia Minor. Bishop proceeded to act on the assumption that he possessed the full rights and privileges of an ordinary. He created a dean and chapter (see old chapter), along with other canonical offices, and embarked on a major reorganization of the Roman Church in England. He died before the full effects of his radical changes were felt. His successor was Richard smith.
Bibliography: t. cooper, The Dictionay of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 1885–1900) 2:558–559. Publications of the Catholic Record Society (London 1910–) v. 10. j. gillow, A Literary and Biographical History or Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from 1534 to the Present Time (London and New York, 1855–1902) 1:218–223. p. hughes, Rome and the Counter-Reformation in England (London 1942). a. f. allison, "Richard Smith, Richelieu and the French Marriage," Recusant History 7.4 (1963–64). a. f. allison and d. m. rogers, A Catalogue of Catholic Books in English … 1558–1640, 2 v. (London 1956).
[a. f. allison]