A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Collier, Jeremy

Collier, Jeremy (1650-1726).—Church historian and controversialist, b. at Stow, Cambridgeshire, ed. at Ipswich and Camb., entered the Church, and became Rector of Ampton, Suffolk, lecturer of Gray's Inn, London, and ultimately a nonjuring bishop. He was a man of war from his youth, and was engaged in controversies almost until his death. His first important one was with Gilbert Burnet, and led to his being imprisoned in Newgate. He was, however, a man of real learning. His chief writings are his Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain (1708-1714), and especially his Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage {1699), on account of which he was attacked by Congreve and Farquhar, for whom, however, he showed himself more than a match. The work materially helped towards the subsequent purification of the stage.