Home  »  Volume IX: English FROM STEELE AND ADDISON TO POPE AND SWIFT  »  § 16. His Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.

VII. Historical and Political Writers

§ 16. His Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain

This was followed by his chief work, The Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain, of which the first volume, reaching to the close of the reign of Henry VII, appeared in 1708, and the second, which deals very fully with the reformation and might almost be said to form a running comment, generally the reverse of friendly, on Burnet’s narrative, in 1714. While even Collier’s Historical Dictionary is held to be of value to closer students of ecclesiastical history, his work which is confined to that subject long maintained its position as a leading authority, though as a matter of course it involved its author, with whom to hold principles was to proclaim them, in a series of controversies with the champions of adverse views. On these it is unnecessary to dwell here; still less can we enter into the subsequent esoteric dissensions between Collier and other non-jurors. His Ecclesiastical History itself, massive in conception, and covering a large body of more or less unassimilated materials, does not disdain occasional resort to modern issues, and, while it remains on the whole a trustworthy book of reference, is by no means devoid of interesting and even stimulating passages. Collier lived till 1726, being after the death of Hickes regarded as the leader of the non-jurors.