Act of Uniformity 1558

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The Act of Uniformity 1558[1]

Long title An Acte for the Uniformitie of Common Prayoure and Dyvyne Service in the Churche, and the Administration of the Sacramentes.[2]
Chapter 1 Eliz 1 c 2
Status: Repealed

The Act of Uniformity 1558 (1 Eliz 1 c 2) was an Act of the Parliament of England. It was actually passed in 1559.[3] It set the order of prayer to be used in the English Book of Common Prayer. All persons had to go to church once a week or be fined 12 pence (equivalent to just over £11 in 2007 [4]), a considerable sum for the poor. By this Act Elizabeth I made it a legal obligation to go to church every Sunday. The Act of Uniformity reinforced the Book of Common Prayer.

After passage, fourteen bishops were dismissed from their sees, leaving all but one see, Llandaff, vacant.[5] A new Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker, was appointed, and the question arose of how he could be consecrated while preserving the Apostolic Succession. The bishop of Llandaff, Anthony Kitchin, refused to officiate at Parker's consecration; thus instead bishops deposed and exiled by Mary assisted: William Barlow, former Bishop of Bath and Wells, John Scory, former Bishop of Chichester, Miles Coverdale, former Bishop of Exeter, and John Hodgkins, former Bishop of Bedford. Barlow and Hodgkins had been consecrated in 1536 and 1537 using the Pontifical, the Latin Rite. Barlow was chief consecrator of Parker. The other two had been consecrated using the First Book of Common Prayer. The solution would give rise many years later to the Nag's Head Fable.

The Act was part of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement in England instituted by Elizabeth I, who wanted to unify the Anglican Church. Other Acts concerned with this settlement were the Act of Supremacy 1559 and the Thirty-Nine Articles (1563). Elizabeth was trying to achieve a settlement after thirty years of turmoil during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I, during which England had swung from Catholicism to Protestantism and back to Catholicism. The outcome of the Elizabethan Settlement was a sometimes tense and often fragile union of High Church and Low Church elements within the Church of England and Anglicanism worldwide. The event was featured, albeit only briefly, in the movie Elizabeth.

General repeals and saving[edit]

In 1650 the Rump Parliament of Commonwealth of England repealed the Act on 27 September 1650 with the "Act for the Repeal of several Clauses in Statutes imposing Penalties for not coming to Church",[6] but this Act was rendered null and void with the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660.

So much of this Act as related to a person's resorting to his parish church or chapel accustomed, or, upon reasonable let thereof, to some usual place where common prayer and such service of God as in this Act was mentioned was used in such time of let, upon Sundays and other days ordained and used to be kept as holy days, and to his then and there abiding orderly and soberly during the time of the common prayer, preaching or other service of God there used and ministered was repealed by section 1 of the Religious Disabilities Act 1846 (9 & 10 Vict c 59).

Section 6 of the Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860 provided that nothing contained thereinbefore in that Act was to be taken to repeal or alter the Act of Uniformity 1558.

The whole Act, so far as it extended to Northern Ireland, was repealed by section 1(1) of, and Schedule 1 to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1950.

The whole Act, so far as unrepealed, except section 13, was repealed by section 1 of, and Part II of the Schedule to, the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1969.

The whole Act, so far as unrepealed, was repealed by section 6(3) of, and Schedule 2 to, the Church of England (Worship and Doctrine) Measure 1974 (No 3).

Provisions[edit]

Section 3[edit]

This section, from "it is" to first "abovesayd" was repealed by section 1(1) of, and Part I of the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1888.

Section 6[edit]

This section, from "and be yt (or it)" to first "aforesaid" was repealed by section 1(1) of, and Part I of the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1888.

This section was repealed by section 87 of, and Schedule 5 to, the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963.

Section 7[edit]

This section was repealed by section 1 of, and the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1863.

Section 8[edit]

This section, from "be it (or yt)" to "aforesaid that" was repealed by section 1(1) of, and Part I of the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1888.

Section 9[edit]

This section, from "and be yt (or it)" to first "aforesaid" was repealed by section 1(1) of, and Part I of the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1888.

This section was repealed by section 83(3) of, and Part III of Schedule 10 to, the Criminal Justice Act 1948.

Section 10[edit]

This section, from "and be yt (or it)" to first "aforesaid" was repealed by section 1(1) of, and Part I of the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1888.

This section was repealed by section 10(2) of, and Part I of Schedule 3 to, the Criminal Law Act 1967.

Section 11[edit]

This section, from "and be yt (or it)" to first "aforesaid" was repealed by section 1(1) of, and Part I of the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1888.

This section was repealed by section 87 of, and Schedule 5 to, the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963.

Section 12[edit]

In this section, the words "and bee it enacted" repealed by section 1(1) of, and Part I of the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1888.

This section was repealed by section 87 of, and Schedule 5 to, the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963.

Section 13[edit]

In this section, the words "and bee it enacted" repealed by section 1(1) of, and Part I of the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1888.

Section 14[edit]

This section, from "be it (or yt)" to "aforesaid that" was repealed by section 1(1) of, and Part I of the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1888.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title was authorised by section 5 of, and Schedule 2 to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1948. Due to the repeal of those provisions, it is now authorised by section 19(2) of the Interpretation Act 1978.
  2. ^ These words are printed against this Act in the second column of Schedule 2 to the Statute Law Revision Act 1948, which is headed "Title".
  3. ^ Acts of Parliament were dated by regnal years, but this date refers to the year in which the session of Parliament began, not from when the Act received royal assent.
  4. ^ Measuring Worth - Purchasing Power of British Pound
  5. ^ Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
  6. ^ Firth, C.H.; Rait, R.S., eds. (1911), "September 1650: Act for the Repeal of several Clauses in Statutes imposing Penalties for not coming to Church", Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660, pp. 423–425 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]