Home >> New International Encyclopedia, Volume 14 >> New Years Day to Nordau >> Nonjurors

Nonjurors

bishop and church

NONJURORS (from non-, not + juror, from Lat. jurator, swearer, from jurare, to swear, from /us, law, right). The name given to those clergy of the Church of England who refused to take the oath of allegiance to William and Alary, believing themselves still bound by their allegiance to James II. They had been avowed champions of the doctrine of passive obedience on the part of subjects toward kings; indeed, Lake, Bishop of Chichester, said on his deathbed that he looked on the doctrine as the distinguish ing character of the Church of England. for which Ile would lay down his life. The Douse of Commons allowed the clergy six months longer than the laity to take the oath. Saneroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, with seven bishops and about 400 other clergy, refused it, and were deprived of their sees and benefices. The most distinguished of the Nonjnrors was the saintly Bishop Ken; the scholars Ilh-kes and Dodwell were also Nonjurors. They treated all who took

the oath as schismatics, and themselves and their adherents as the only true members of the Church of England, and even went so far as to draw up a new liturgy of their own. Their organiza tion, unsubstantial as it lingered for over a century, its last bishop (lying in 1805. Two of the en rly missionaries in America, Welton and Talbot, were said to have received episcopal consecration from them, and there is evidence that the latter occasionally exercised episcopal functions in the States half a century before Bishop Seabury's consecration. Consult Lathbury, History of thr Nonjurors (London, 1845), a careful work, as far as it goes, supple mented rather than superseded by the most recent authority, Overton, The Nonjurors lib., 1902).