Luke Challoner, D. D

N. J. D. White
1909 The Irish Church Quarterly  
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more » ... Sirach which begins, " Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us," the name of Zerubbabel has an honourable place. All that we know about him is that he was a prince of David's line who, in response to the decree of Cyrus, " went up " as leader of those who returned from captivity in Babylon; and, in spite of many discouragements, carried through the rebuilding of God's temple in Jerusalem; an ordinary man, probably, who succeeded where a genius might have failed; who rose to the demand made upon his patriotism by the circumstances of his time; who was great only because he did not shirk an unattractive duty; one who did not make history, but brought an epoch to the birth; felix opportunitate nativitatis ejus. Such, though of course in a lower degree, was Luke Challoner. He was never a " famous man "; but he is one of " our fathers that begat us "; and it is altogether fitting that in the series of memorial discourses which are spoken here year by year he should not be forgotten by whose unflagging zeal and constancy this institution, Trinity College, Dublin, was nurtured in infancy and preserved to vigorous youth. Luke Challoner was probably born in Dublin; the date is given as 1550.2 Of his father, Francis Challoner, little is known, except that he had a " right in certayne howses in St. Thomastret nere the Hospytall of St. Johns."3 But the Challoners were not an old Dublin family like the Usshers or Balls: Luke's grandfather, Roger (d. I521), was a citizen and mercer of London ;4 and it is significant, as indicating the connexion of the 'A memorial discourse delivered in the Chapel family with England, that a sister of Luke's was a bookseller in Oxford in the beginning of the seventeenth century-she is mentioned more than once in Bodley's correspondence'-and Sir Thomas Challoner, of Guisborough, Yorkshire, who has a considerable space devoted to him in the Dictionary of National Biography, is said to have been an uncle,2 the elder of two. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that John Challoner, of Lambay, Chief Secretary of State in Ireland from May, I56o, till his death in 1581, was an uncle of Luke Challoner, whom we commemorate to-day.3 John Challoner, in addition to his political importance, seems to have been a proficient in the business of demanding and acquiring other people's property by which fortunes were made and families founded in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. If one may hazard a conjecture, Francis Challoner followed to Ireland his more prominent and prosperous brother John.4 The first dates in Luke Challoner's history of which we can speak with absolute certainty are those of his life as a student at the University of Cambridge. He matriculated as a pensioner of Trinity College on 13th October, 1582 [Chalenor]; was admitted a scholar of that college 15th May, 1584 [Lucas Challenerus]; graduated B.A. in 1585 [Chaloner]; and M.A. in 1589 [Chaloner]; but he was never a Fellow of Trinity, Cambridge, as Fuller says.5 We learn therefore to our astonishment that he did not enter college until the mature age of thirty-two. At a period when thirteen or fourteen was the usual age of 1 Reliquiae Bodleianae, ed. T. Hearn, letters 33, 38, 60, 68, 69. SW. Ball Wright, op. cit., p. 105. Cal. of Carew MSS., 1515-1574, P. 293; Cal. of State Papers, Ireland, 1509-1573, pp. 218, 225 ; 1574-1585, PP-30!, 304-" John Challoner, the Chief Secretary, is not to be identified with a John Challyner, or Challoner, who figures in the Cal. of Dublin Records (i., pp. 417, 422, 423, 426, 431, 445, 455, 471, 48X; ii., p. 43) as Auditor from 1547; Alderman, 1555; Mayor, x556; died towards the close of 1565, or very early in 1566. It was to him, and not to Luke's uncle, that the Dublin Corporation, in 1555, granted a lease of " all the possessions of Alhalous for terme of xxxi. yeares." 5 Church History of Britain, ix., p. 21,.
doi:10.2307/30066936 fatcat:tz47okkntvahzgumkrvloeyeni