nonjurors

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nonjurors [Lat.,=not swearing], those English and Scottish clergymen who refused to break their oath of allegiance to James II and take the oath to William III after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. They upheld the principles of hereditary succession and the divine right of kings, and their refusal to recognize William as king led to their removal from office. In England, the original nonjurors included William Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury, some bishops, and about 400 other members of the clergy; their ranks were later augmented by those who refused (1714) to take the oath of allegiance to George I. In Scotland, most of the Episcopal clergy became nonjurors when their church was disestablished (1690) in favor of Presbyterianism. Many nonjurors were active in the rising of the Jacobites in 1715, despite their doctrine of nonresistance to established authority. Later their numbers dwindled, however, and their attention turned to theology. Their high standard of thought was notable and influential in its day. The Bangorian Controversy, in which nonjuror William Law was prominent, precipitated the prorogation of the convocation of the Church of England in 1717. The exiled Stuart pretenders continued to appoint nonjuring bishops, including Jeremy Collier, preserving the nonjuring episcopal succession until 1805.

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non-jurors were the high churchmen of the late 17th-cent. Church of England, who refused the oath of allegiance to William and Mary after their accession in 1688. They held to the doctrine of the divine right of kings and believed, therefore, that the Stuarts remained the legitimate monarchs. Eight bishops (including Sancroft of Canterbury), 400 priests, and a few laymen refused the oath. They were dispossessed and tried to keep an alternative church in existence with illegal services in their churches, but were divided among themselves over the correctness of this. Their links with the Stuarts and the fears of restoration made them unpopular in early Hanoverian England. They were linked in belief and religious principles to the Caroline divines of the 17th cent. and the Oxford movement of the 19th cent.

Judith Champ

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Nonjurors Clergy in England and Scotland who refused to take the oath of allegiance to William III and Mary II in 1689. Anglo-Catholic in sympathy, they included bishops and about 400 priests in England and most of the Scottish episcopal clergy.

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Non-Jurors: see DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS.

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Nonjuror a member of the clergy who refused to take the oath of allegiance to William and Mary in 1689.