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The nonjuring schism was a split in the Anglican churches of England, Scotland and Ireland in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, over whether William of Orange and his wife Mary could legally be recognised as King and Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland.
The word "nonjuring" means "not swearing [an oath]", from the Latin word iuro or juro meaning "to swear an oath".
Many of the Anglican clergy felt legally bound by their previous oaths of allegiance to James II and, though they could accept William as regent, they could not accept him as king. It was not necessarily a split on matters of religious doctrine, but more of a political issue and a matter of conscience, though most of the nonjurors were high church Anglicans. Thus, latitudinarian Anglicans were handed control of the Church of England. The nonjurors thus supported Jacobitism, although they generally did not actively support the Jacobite rebellions in 1715 or 1745.
- William Sancroft* (Archbishop of Canterbury)
- Thomas Ken* (Bishop of Bath and Wells)
- John Lake* (Bishop of Chichester)
- Francis Turner* (Bishop of Ely)
- Thomas White* (Bishop of Peterborough)
- Thomas Cartwright (Bishop of Chester)
- Robert Frampton (Bishop of Gloucester)
- William Lloyd (Bishop of Norwich)
- William Thomas (Bishop of Worcester)
* Among the Seven Bishops.
These nine nonjuring bishops were joined by about 400 other Anglican clerics, a substantial majority of the bishops in Scotland and one bishop in Ireland. In February 1690, the six surviving nonjuring English bishops were deprived of their sees and deposed (Thomas, Cartwright and Lake had already died). In Scotland the Episcopal Church was disestablished and Presbyterianism reintroduced. When the vacant sees were filled, some refused to recognise the new bishops and the nonjurors appointed their own bishops. In 1694, George Hickes (Dean of Worcester) was consecrated nonjuring bishop of Thetford and Thomas Wagstaffe was consecrated nonjuring bishop of Ipswich.
Wagstaffe died in 1712 and Hickes remained the only surviving nonjuring bishop; however he himself consecrated several successors. The nonjurors themselves split about 1717 over the issue of whether to introduce modifications in the Book of Common Prayer. One party, the usagers, led by Jeremy Collier and Thomas Brett, supported the restoration of four allegedly apostolic usages to the communion service. These included the mixed chalice, the prayers of epiklesis and invocation and prayers for the dead. The non-usagers, led by Charles Leslie and Nathaniel Spinckes, opposed any change to the established liturgy. The dispute was agitated in several dozen pamphlets. The rift was repaired in 1732.
Some of the more prominent nonjurors included:
- Thomas Baker, antiquarian and author of Reflections on Learning
- Hilkiah Bedford
- John Blackburne
- Thomas Bowdler
- Thomas Brett, liturgical scholar
- Francis Brokesby of Shottesbrooke
- Archibald Campbell, author of The Middle State
- Thomas Carte, historian
- William Cartwright of Manchester
- Francis Cherry of Shottesbrooke
- Jeremy Collier, ecclesiastical historian and critic of the English stage
- John Creyk
- Thomas Deacon, liturgust
- Henry Dodwell, patristic scholar and author of The Case in View
- Henry Doughty
- Matthias Earberry
- Francis Lee
- Henry Gandy
- John Griffin
- Henry Hall
- Edward Hart
- Thomas Hearne, Oxford antiquarian and diarist
- George Hickes, Anglo-Saxon scholar and Anglo-Catholic Theologian
- Laurence Howell
- Samuel Jebb
- John Kettlewell, author of Of Christian Communion
- Roger Laurence, author of Lay Baptism Invalid
- William Law, author of A Serious Call
- John Leake
- Charles Leslie, author of The Rehearsal
- Timothy Mawman
- Robert Nelson, author of Festivals and Fasts
- Samuel Parker, author of the Bibliotheca Biblica
- Francis Peck
- Richard Rawlinson, antiquarian
- Richard Russell
- George Smith
- William Snatt
- Nathaniel Spinckes, author of The Church of England Man's Companion
- Thomas Wagstaffe the Elder, vindicator of Charles I
- Thomas Wagstaffe the Younger
The nonjuring clergy and congregations gradually declined throughout the 18th century, as Jacobitism itself largely disappeared after the Second Jacobite rebellion of 1745. The schism was largely ended in 1788, when Charles Edward Stuart died in exile. Unwilling to recognise his heir, his brother Henry Benedict Stuart, who was a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, the Scottish Episcopal Church elected to recognise the House of Hanover and offer allegiance to George III. Still, some lines of succession of nonjuring bishops were maintained until the end of the century. The nonjurors would have an influence on John Henry Newman and other Tractarians in the early and mid nineteenth century.
- Ashley, Maurice. Glorious Revolution of 1688. page 255.
- "Non-Jurors". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Broxap, Henry, "'The Later Non-jurors," Cambridge University Press, 1924.
- Cornwall, Robert, "Visible and Apostolic," 1993
- Ollard, S. L., "The Nonjurors," 1912
- Overton, John, "The Nonjurors," 1902