Anthony Dopping was born in 1643 the son of Anthony Dopping, clerk of the pleas and the exchequer and MP for Bandon in the 1640 parliament. Anthony Dopping, senior, purchased an estate in Co. Meath in 1636.
Anthony Dopping was educated at Trinity College and became vicar of St. Andrew’s, Dublin in 1670. He became chaplain to the Dulke of Ormond, who was the lord lieutenant at the time.
Ormond had him appointed bishop of Kildare in 1679 and translated to Meath in 1682. While Bishop of Kildare Dopping married Jane Molyneaux. As bishop of Meath Dopping sat in the Irish House of Lords and also sat on the privy council. As bishop of Meath Dopping was also rector of Trim. Dopping took issue with Mr. Tate, a Presbyterian minister, preaching in Summerhill under the protection of Sir Arthur Langford. Dopping seems to have resided principally at Bride Street in Dublin.
Dopping supported the divine right of kings and so accepted the coronation of Catholic James as king in 1685. Dopping preached a sermon condemning the Catholic religion and was reprimanded by the king for doing so. There were meetings of Catholic priests in Meath which disturbed Dopping and an exodus of Protestants to England began. Dopping supported the Protestant cause and ensured that none of the local churches fell into Catholic hands. Dopping went to James in Dublin in March 1689, recognising him as king as his religion obliged him to do. The bishop presented the king with a number of grievances. Dopping acted as spokeman for the Irish Protestants as two of the four archbishops fled to England, one was infirm and old and the fourth archbishopric was vacant. Dopping was appointed administrator of the diocese of Dublin. Dopping continued to sit in the Dublin parliament of James but his work in protecting Protestant welfare was later recognised by William. Dopping seems to have prevented the execution of Protestants before the walls of Derry. After the battle of the Boyne Dopping led a deputation of clergy to William’s camp at Finglas to declare their allegiance. After the war was over Dopping preached a sermon attacking the treachery of the Irish and thereby attacked the Treaty of Limerick. For this direct attack on government policy he was suspended from the privy council. As a result of his support for James and attack on the treaty of Limerick Dopping’s promotional prospects were seriously damaged.
As a churchman Dopping attacked the local Protestant clergy for not residing in their parishes and for holding more than one parish. As bishop of Meath Dopping carried out a number of visitations of his parishes. Over 92% of the churches in the diocese were in a ruinous state. The sixty clergy were not of sufficient number to cater to the large diocese. In his 1693 visitation he mentions a Mass house at Navan but other than that rarely mentions Catholics. Canon Ellison transcribed the visitations of 1682-5 and these were published in Riocht na Midhe in the early 1970s.
Dopping wanted to evangalise among the Catholics and supported a project to make the bible available in Irish. Dopping was vice chancellor of Trinity College. He contributed a preface to a translation of the New Testament. Dopping would have been regarded as anti-Catholic seeking to expel Catholic clergy and prevent Irish students going abroad to study for the priesthood. He suggested that sufficient Protestant planters and tenants should be encouraged to settle in Ireland. He warned of the dependence of the poor on the potato crop.
Dopping died in 1697 and was buried in St Andrew’s, Dublin. His son Samuel was elected MP for Armagh in 1695, 1703, and 1714, and for Trinity College in 1715. Another son, Anthony, was bishop of Ossory from 1740 until his death in 1743.