Sunday, March 23, 2014

Henry VIII Passes an Act of Succession in Favor of Elizabeth

Another significant legal document passed around this time was the Oath of Allegiance,  shown above,  which English subjects were required to sign, thus declaring that they believed in the validity of King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn's marriage. People were executed for refusing to swear the oath. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

On this day in 1533 (sometimes written as 1534), Henry VIII passed the Act of Succession, which would be revised several times before his death in 1547. The Act declared that only Henry VIII's children by his second wife, Anne Boleyn, could inherit the throne of England. The Act also stated that, were he to die before his wife, Queen Anne would become regent. Also significant, "slander or derogation of the lawful matrimony [with] his most dear and entirely loving wife, Queen Anne," would be considered treason.