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Collier Jeremy

Collier, Jeremy (1650-1726), a famous non-juring clergyman, who was born in Cambridgeshire and educated at Caius College, Cambridge. He took orders, and became rector of Ampton, near Bury St. Edmunds. He then came to London, and was lecturer at Gray's Inn in 1685. After the Revolution he could not reconcile himself to the new powers, and was twice committed to Newgate, once for writing in defence of the Stuart claim, and once for an alleged treasonable correspondence. But his great offence against Government was the giving absolution to Sir John Friend and William Perkins, who were executed for an attempt to assassinate William III. For this he was forced to fly the country, and he remained under sentence of outlawry for the remainder of his life, though after a time he returned to London and devoted himself to literature. In 1697 he published Essays on Several Moral Subjects, and in 1698 his famous Short View of the Immorality and Profanity of the Stage, a work which brought him into collision with Congreve, Vanbrugh, and others, who turned him into ridicule. Macaulay has praised to some extent what he wrote, and it certainly had the effect of purifying the stage. He also translated into English a Dictionnaire Historique, and wrote an Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain, and in 1725 he published some Practical Discourses.