Jeremy Collier, an English nonjuring clergyman, born at Stow Qui, Cambridgeshire, Sept. 23, 1650, died in London, April 26, 1726. He was educated at Caius college, Cambridge, and became successively chaplain to the countess dowager of Dorset, rector of Ampton in Suffolk, and in 1685 lecturer of Gray's Inn, London. Upon the revolution he engaged in controversy with Bishop Burnet and others, and opposed the new organization of church and state during many years in numerous pamphlets, which were written with great ability. He was imprisoned for a short time in 1688 for a publication in favor of the dethroned monarch. He was again arrested in 1692 on the Kentish coast, on the supposition that he was in communication with the Jacobites across the channel, and refusing to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court by putting in bail, he was again imprisoned, but was finally released without trial. In 1696, when Friend and Par-kyns were condemned for plotting to assassinate King William, Collier attended the prisoners in Newgate, accompanied them to the gallows at Tyburn, and there gave them absolution. The result was that a warrant was issued for his arrest, but he made his escape, and it could not be executed.
From his hiding place he published a defence of his conduct, which immediately received many answers, one of which was signed by the two archbishops and all the bishops then in London, 12 in number. He again refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court by putting in bail, and suffered sentence of outlawry, which was not reversed during the remainder of his life. He published in 1697 the first volume of his "Essays upon several Moral Subjects," and in the next year his "Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage." The latter engaged him in a lively controversy with Con-greve and Yanbrugh, and the wits of the time. The discussion lasted ten years, and contributed decidedly to the improvement of the English stage. Among his later publications were a translation of Moreri's "Historical Dictionary " (1701-'21), an "Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain" (1708-'14), two additional volumes of "Essays upon Moral Subjects," and a volume of "Practical Discourses" (1725).