78. MARY: STATUTES

(A) First Statute of Repeal (1553)

An act for the repeal of certain statutes made in the time of the reign of King Edward VI. Forasmuch as, by divers and several acts hereafter mentioned, as well the divine service and good administration of the sacraments as divers other matters of religion which we and our forefathers found in this Church of England, to us left by the authority of the Catholic Church, be partly altered and in some part taken from us; and in place thereof new things imagined and set forth by the said acts, such as a few of singularity have of themselves devised; whereof hath ensued amongst us in very short time numbers of divers and strange opinions and diversities of sects, and thereby grown great unquietness and much discord, to the great disturbance of the commonwealth of this realm, and in very short time like to grow to extreme peril and utter confusion of the same, unless some remedy be in that behalf provided, which thing all true, loving, and obedient subjects ought and are bounden to foresee and provide to the uttermost of their power ...: [nine ecclesiastical statutes of Edward VI's reign are totally repealed].

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that all such divine service and administration of sacraments as were most commonly used in the realm of England in the last year of the reign of our late sovereign lord, King Henry VIII, shall be ... used and frequented through the whole realm of England and all other the queen's majesty's dominions; and that no other kind nor order of divine service nor administration of sacraments be after the said 20th day of December used or ministered in any other manner, form, or degree within the said realm of England or other the queen's dominions than was most commonly used, ministered, and frequented in the said last year of the reign of the said late King Henry VIII....

Ibid., IV, 202: 1 Mary, st. 2, c. 2.

(B) Act Concerning the Regal Power (1554)

An act declaring that the regal power of this realm is in the queen's majesty as fully and absolutely as ever it was in any of her most noble progenitors, kings of this realm. Forasmuch as the imperial crown of this realm, with all dignities, honours, prerogatives, authorities, jurisdictions, and pre-eminences thereunto annexed, united, and belonging, by the divine providence of Almighty God is most lawfully, justly, and rightfully descended and come unto the queen's highness that now is, being the very true and undoubted heir and inheritrix thereof, and invested in her most royal person, according unto the laws of this realm ...: be it declared and enacted by the authority of this present parliament that the law of this realm is and ever hath been, and ought to be understood, that the kingly or regal office of the realm, and all dignities [etc.] ... thereunto annexed, united, or belonging, being invested either in male or female, are and be and ought to be as fully, wholly, absolutely, and entirely deemed, judged, accepted, invested, and taken in the one as in the other; so that what or whensoever statute or law doth limit and appoint that the king of this realm may or shall have, execute, and do anything as king, or doth give any profit or commodity to the king, or doth limit or appoint any pains or punishment for the correction of offenders or transgressors against the regality and dignity of the king or of the crown, the same the queen ... may by the same authority and power likewise have, exercise, execute, punish, correct, and do, to all intents, constructions, and purposes, without doubt, ambiguity, scruple, or question — any custom, use, or scruple, or any other thing whatsoever to be made to the contrary notwithstanding.

Ibid., IV, 222: I Mary, st. 3, c. I.

(C) Second Statute of Repeal (1555)

An act repealing all statutes, articles, and provisions made against the see apostolic of Rome since the twentieth year of King Henry VIII, and also for the establishment of all spiritual and ecclesiastical possessions and hereditaments conveyed to the laity. Whereas, since the twentieth year of King Henry VIII of famous memory, father unto your majesty, our most natural sovereign and gracious lady and queen, much false and erroneous doctrine hath been taught, preached, and written ... , by reason whereof as well the spiritualty as the temporalty of your highness's realms and dominions have swerved from the obedience of the see apostolic and declined from the unity of Christ's Church, and so have continued until such time as, your majesty being first raised up by God and set in the seat royal over us and then by His divine and gracious providence knit in marriage with the most noble and virtuous prince, the king our sovereign lord your husband, the pope's holiness and the see apostolic sent hither unto your majesties ... and to the whole realm the most reverend father in God, the lord cardinal Pole, legate de latere, to call us home again into the right way ...; and we ... , seeing by the goodness of God our own errors, have acknowledged the same unto the said most reverend father, and by him have been ... received and embraced into the unity and bosom of Christ's Church ... , upon our humble submission and promise ... to repeal and abrogate such acts and statutes as had been made in parliament since the said twentieth year of the said King Henry VIII against the supremacy of the see apostolic ...: [therefore, all such statutes are hereby repealed] .

And finally, where certain acts and statutes have been made in the time of the late schism concerning the lands and hereditaments of archbishoprics and bishoprics, the suppression and dissolution of monasteries, abbeys, priories, chantries, colleges, and all other the goods and chattels of religious houses; since the which time the right and dominion of certain lands and hereditaments, goods and chattels, belonging to the same be dispersed abroad and corne to the hands and possessions of divers and sundry persons who by gift, purchase, exchange, and other means, according to the order of the laws and statutes of this realm for the time being, have the same: for the avoiding of all scruples that might grow by any the occasions aforesaid or by any other ways or means whatsoever, it may please your majesties to be intercessors and mediators to the said most reverend father, Cardinal Pole, that all such causes and quarrels as by pretence of the said schism or by any other occasion or mean whatsoever might be moved, by the pope's holiness or see apostolic or by any other jurisdiction ecclesiastical, may be utterly removed and taken away; so as all persons having sufficient conveyance of the said lands and hereditaments, goods and chattels, as is aforesaid by the common laws, acts, or statutes of this realm, may without scruple of conscience enjoy them, without impeachment or trouble by pretence of any general council, canons, or ecclesiastical laws, and clear from all dangers of the censures of the Church....

Ibid., IV, 246 f.: 1-2 Philip & Mary, c. 8.

(D) Highways Act (1555)

An act for the amending of highways. For amending of highways, being now both very noisome and tedious to travel in and dangerous to all passengers and carriages, be it enacted ... that the constables and churchwardens of every parish within this realm shall yearly, upon the Tuesday or Wednesday in Easter Week, call together a number of the parochians[1] and shall then elect and choose two honest persons of the parish to be surveyors and orderers for one year of the works for amendment of the highways in their parish leading to any market town, the which persons shall have authority by virtue hereof to order and direct the persons and carriages that shall be appointed for those works by their discretions; and the said persons so named shall take upon them the execution of their said offices upon pain of every of them making default to forfeit 20s. And the said constables and churchwardens shall then also name and appoint four days for the amending of the said ways before the feast of the Nativity of St. John Baptist then next following, and shall openly in the church, the next Sunday after Easter, give knowledge of the same four days; and upon the said days the parochians shall endeavour themselves to the amending of the said ways, and shall be chargeable thereunto as followeth: that is to say, every person, for every ploughland in tillage or pasture that he or she shall occupy in the same parish, and every other person keeping there a draught or plough, shall find and send, at every day and place to be appointed for the amending of the ways in that parish as is aforesaid, one wain or cart furnished after the custom of the country with oxen, horses, or other cattle, and all other necessaries meet to carry things convenient for that purpose, and also two able men with the same, upon pain of every draught making default 10s.; and every other householder, and also every cottager and labourer of that parish able to labour and being no hired servant by the year, shall by themselves, or one sufficient labourer for every of them, upon every of the said four days work and travail in the amendment of the said highways, upon pain of every person making default to lose for every day 12d. And if the carriages of the parish, or any of them, shall not be. thought needful by the supervisors to be occupied upon any of the said days ... , then every such person that should have sent any such carriage shall send to the said work for every carriage so spared two able men there to labour for that day, upon pain to lose for every man not so sent to the said work 12d. And every person and carriage abovesaid shall have and bring with them such shovels, spades, picks, mattocks, and other tools and instruments as they do make their own ditches and fences withal, and such as be necessary for their said work; and all the said persons and carriages shall do and keep their work, as they shall be appointed by the said supervisors or one of them, eight hours of every of the said days, unless they shall be otherways licensed by the said supervisors or one of them....

Ibid., IV, 284 f.: 2-3 Philip & Mary, c. 8.


[1] Parishioners.


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