Open main menu

Sclater, William (d.1717?) (DNB00)


SCLATER, WILLIAM (d. 1717?), nonjuring divine, the only son of William Sclater, rector of St. Peter-le-Poer, and grandson of William Sclater (1576–1626) [q. v.], the rector of Pitminster, was born at Exeter on 22 Nov. 1638. He was admitted at Merchant Taylors' School in 1650, matriculated from Pembroke College on 28 April 1659, and, taking holy orders, was appointed vicar of Bramford Speke in Devonshire in 1663. He refused to take the oath of allegiance after the revolution, and was ejected. When Peter King (afterwards first Lord King, baron of Ockham in Surrey) [q. v.], in his ‘Enquiry into the Constitution and Discipline … of the Primitive Church’ (revised edition, 1713), set forth the view that the primitive church was organised upon congregational principles, Sclater set to work upon an elaborate reply. According to a story recorded in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ (1792, ii. 910), Sclater's reply was read in manuscript by King; it had been seized among other papers in the house of Nathaniel Spinckes [q. v.], the nonjuring bishop, and submitted to King, who politely returned it, confessing that it was a very sufficient confutation of those parts of his own work which it attempted to answer, and desiring that it might be published (cf. Charles Daubeny, On Schism, 1818, p. 236; Hind, Hist. of the Rise of Christianity, vol. xv.) Modesty, unaffected piety, and uncommon learning characterise Sclater's book, which appeared in 1717 (London, 8vo), as ‘The Original Draught of the Primitive Church, by a presbyter of the church of England.’ New editions were called for in 1723 (Dublin), 1727, and 1840, while an abridgment was appended by way of antidote to the 1839 and 1843 editions of King's ‘Enquiry.’ He probably died soon after 1717. In 1726 appeared, as by the author of the ‘Original Draught,’ ‘The Conditions of the Covenant of Grace … and the proper use of Natural Conscience in the Work of our Salvation’ (London, 12mo). This is addressed to the inhabitants of Chatteris in the Isle of Ely, but it is signed ‘J. S.,’ and, though by a nonjuror, cannot be confidently attributed to Sclater.

[Lathbury's Nonjurors; Daubeny's Eight Discourses, 1802, p. 91; Darling's Cyclop. Bibl. p. 2663; McClintock and Strong's Cyclop. s.v. ‘King;’ Notes and Queries, 1st ser. v. 457; Gent. Mag. 1792, ii. 910, s.v. ‘Slaughter;’ Brit. Mus. Cat.]

T. S.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.242
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
448 ii 21 Sclater, William (d. 1717?) for St. Peter-le-Poor read St. Peter-le-Poer