Jeremy Collier

1650-1726. English nonjuring divine. Born at Stow-by-Quy, Cambridgeshire, he was educated at Ipswich and Caius College, Cambridge, and in 1679 became rector of Ampton, near Bury St. Edmunds, and lecturer of Gray's Inn in 1685. He was imprisoned for provocative political writing supporting James II. Released without trial, he was again imprisoned briefly in 1692 on suspicion of treasonable correspondence with James. In 1696 he publicly absolved on the scaffold two would-be assassins of William III. He was outlawed, but returned to London later. He wrote a controversial pamphlet, A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (1698), which led to a furious literary debate. In 1713 he was consecrated as a “bishop of the Nonjurors”* and became primus in 1716. He was in favor of union with the Eastern Church. He preferred the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, and his romanizing views on certain “usages” in the Communion service led to the fatal split in the nonjuring community. Collier wrote voluminously. His most important work is An Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain (2 vols., 1708-14).