Sarjeant, John

, a secular priest, who was sometimes called Smith, and sometimes Holland, was born at Barrow in Lincolnshire, about 1621, and admitted of St. John’s college in Cambridge April 12, 1639, by the masters and seniors of which he was recommended to be secretary to Dr. Thomas Morton, bishop of Durham. While in this employment he entered on a course of reading, which ended in his embracing the popish religion. He then went over to the English college of secular priests at Lisbon in 1642; and, after studying there some time, he returned to England in 1652, and was elected secretary of the secular clergy, and employed in propagating his religion, and writing books in defence of it, particularly against Dr. Hammond, Dr. Bramhall, Dr. Thomas Pierce, Dr. Tillotson, Casaubon, Taylor, Tenison, Stillingfleet, Whitby, &c. In the course of his controversies he wrote about forty volumes or pamphlets, the titles of which may be seen in Dodd. He had also a controversy with the superiors of his own communion, of which Dodd gives a long, but now very uninteresting account. He died, as his biographer says, with the pen in his hand, in 1707, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. 2


Dodd’s Ch. Hist. Birch’s Tillotson. —Ath. Ox. vol. II.