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Clergy of England and Scotland who refused to take the oath of allegiance to William of Orange and his wife, Mary Stuart, when they succeeded to the English throne in 1688. After the abdication of James II, Archbishop Sancroft and five other bishops, along with several hundred clergy, refused to take the oath of allegiance to the new monarchs on the ground that their oath to James was irrevocable. They were joined in this action by the entire bench of Scottish bishops and a few Scottish clergy. The episcopate was imposed on the Scottish church by James I and Charles I, and the bishops were intensely loyal to the Stuart line. They would not acknowledge William and Mary as legitimate rulers of Scotland. The Church of Scotland was re-established in 1690 as Presbyterian. Both the English and Scottish groups who refused to take the oath were called nonjurors. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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