Jeremy Taylor, an English theologian, born in Cambridge in 1613, died at Lisburn, Ireland, Aug. 13, 1667. His father was a barber and surgeon, and he was educated as a sizar at Cambridge, but obtained a fellowship at Oxford in 1636, and in 1638 the rectory of Uppingham in Rutland. In the civil wars he adhered to Charles I., who made him his chaplain, and for a defence of episcopacy written at the king's request commanded his admission to the degree of D. D. in 1642. The same year his rectory was sequestered by the parliament, but he continued to write for the royal cause till 1645, when he was obliged to retire into Wales, where he maintained himself by teaching school, and wrote some of his most important works. His " Liberty of Prophesying " (1647), in behalf of toleration, was published at the very crisis of the civil struggle. This was followed by his " Holy Living and Dying" (1650-51), now perhaps the best known of his works, and " The Great Exemplar, or the Life and Death of the Holy Jesus " (1653). He subsequently preached occasionally in London, and suffered several short imprisonments on account of his royalist sympathies.
He was also censured by his own party for some expressions thought to indicate Romanist views, and in 1658 was imprisoned in the tower in consequence of his publisher having prefixed to his collection of offices a print of Christ in the attitude of prayer. He was released through the efforts of Evelyn, and on the invitation of the earl of Conway removed to the north of Ireland. In 1660 he went to London to publish his "Doctor Dubitantium," the most extensive work on casuistry in the English language. While there he signed the royalist declaration of April 24, and Charles II. on his restoration nominated him bishop of Down and Connor, to which the bishopric of Dro-more was soon added. He was shortly afterward made a member of the Irish privy council, and elected vice chancellor of the university of Dublin. His second wife was a natural daughter of Charles I. As a writer of sermons Bishop Taylor stands preeminent. His complete works were published by Bishop Heber with a memoir (15 vols., London, 1820-'22), and his life by R. A. Wilmott (London, 1847).