Statute in Restraint of Appeals

Statute in Restraint of Appeals

The Statute in Restraint of Appealsshort title Ecclesiastical Appeals Act 1532 – (citation "24 Henry VIII. c. 12") was an English parliamentary Act of 1533, considered by many historians to be the key legal foundation of the English Reformation.

The act, drafted by Thomas Cromwell on behalf of King Henry VIII of England, forbade all appeals to the Pope in Rome on religious or other matters, making the King the final legal authority in all such matters in England, Wales, and other English possessions. This was achieved by claiming that England was an Empire and the English crown was an Imperial Crown — Henry's historians claimed that they could trace the linage back to Brutus and the fall of Troy.

This far-reaching measure made accepting papal authority, or following papal rulings in church, faith or other matters illegal. It was followed a year later by the First Act of Supremacy (1534) which made Henry "the only supreme head in earth of the Church of England called Anglicana Ecclesia, and shall have and enjoy annexed and united to the imperial crown of this realm". [ [ Henry VIII] ] Those in his realms had to acknowledge this as they were by Acts of Parliament that automatically changed any previous constitutional arrangements. Not to do so was high treason which could lead to trial and execution as happened to Thomas More. The acts enabled Thomas Cranmer to finally grant King Henry his long-desired divorce from Queen Catherine of Aragon, so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. [ [ A letter written on 22 June 1536 by Princess Mary to King Henry VIII acknowledging the annulment of her parents' marriage] ]


cquote|Where by divers sundry old authentic histories and chronicles, it is manifestly declared and expressed that this realm of England is an Empire, and so hath been accepted in the world, governed by one Supreme Head and King having the dignity and royal estate of the imperial Crown of the same, unto whom a body politic compact of all sorts and degrees of people divided in terms and by names of Spirituality and Temporalty, be bounden and owe to bear next to God a natural and humble obedience: he being also institute and furnished, by the goodness and sufferance of Almighty God, with plenary, whole, and entire power, pre-eminence, authority, ...
And if any person or persons, at any time after the said Feast of Easter, provoke or sue any manner of appeals, of what nature or condition soever they be of, to the said Bishop of Rome, or to the see of Rome, or do procure or execute any manner of process from the see of Rome, or by authority thereof, to the derogation or let of the due execution of this Act, or contrary to the same, that then every such person or persons so doing, their aiders, counsellors, and abettors, shall incur and run into the dangers, pains, and penalties contained and limited in the Act of Provision and Praemunire made in the sixteenth year of the king's most noble progenitor, King Richard II against such as sue to the Court of Rome against the king's crown and prerogative royal.... [ [ Full text of Act] ]

ee also

*Religion in the United Kingdom
*British Emperor (Imperium maius)


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