The English monarchy moves to assert authority over the Church of England.
The Act of Supremacy
BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR
The name "Act of Supremacy" is given to two separate acts of the English Parliament, one passed in 1534 and the other in 1559. Both acts had the same purpose; to firmly establish the English monarch as the official head of the Church of England, supplanting the power of the Catholic pope in Rome.
1534 Act of Supremacy
One important point to note is that the Act effectively made it treasonable to support the authority of the Pope over the Church of England. By tying the church and monarch so closely together, support for Catholicism became not simply a statement of personal religious conviction, but a repudiation of the authority of the monarch, and as such, an act of treason punishable by death.
1559 Act of Supremacy
There were three levels of penalties for refusal to take the Oath of Supremacy. A first refusal to resulted in loss of all movable goods. A second offence could mean life in prison and a loss of all real estate Possessions. A third offence would result in a charge of High Treason and death. A few years later the Oath was extended to include M.P.s and anyone taking a university degree.
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This Day in British History
29 March, 1461
Battle of Towton
In the bloodiest battle on English soil, Edward of York defeats a Lancastrian army, forcing Henry VI to flee to Scotland