Public Act, 26 Henry VIII, c. 1
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- Held At: Parliamentary Archives: GB-061
- Catalogue Reference: HL/PO/PU/1/1534/26H8n1
- Date: 1534
- Level: File
- Extent: 1 folio with cover
- Category: Acts of Parliament/Laws/Legislation
- Description: An Act concerning the King's Highness to be Supreme Head of the Church of England, and to have Authority to reform and redress all Errors, Heresies and Abuses in the same ["Act of Supremacy 1534"].
The purpose of the 1534 Act of Supremacy was to establish the English monarch as the official head of the Church of England, supplanting the power of the Catholic pope in Rome. When the Pope refused to grant him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII took matters into his own hands. The Act confirmed him as Supreme Head of the Church of England. In granting him "full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, reform, order, correct, restrain, and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities, whatsoever they be", it paved the way for the Dissolution of the Monasteries and English Reformation.
In creating such close bonds between the monarch and the church, the Act made support for the papacy or Catholicism a challenge to royal authority, and therefore an act of treason punishable by death.
- Related Material: HL/PO/PU/1/1558/1Eliz1n1 contains the Elizabethan Act of Supremacy.
- Related Record:
- Access Status: Open
- Access Conditions: This record contains information of outstanding constitutional or historical importance and access to the original document is restricted. Requests to view will be dealt with by providing access to a copy.
- Reproduction Conditions: Copies should be made from the digital surrogate of this record.
- Physical Description: Manuscript on parchment, sewn to parchment cover.
- Copies Exist: A digital copy of this record is available. For information about how to view it, which may include online access, please follow the link below.
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