Court of High Commission

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The Court of High Commission was the supreme ecclesiastic court in England. It was instituted by the crown in the 16th century. John Whitgift, the Archbishop of Canterbury, obtained increased powers for the Court by the 1580s. One of its powers was to license plays for publication.[1] He had the Act against Seditious Sectaries passed in 1593, making Puritanism an offence.[2] The Court reached the height of its powers during the Reformation and was finally dissolved by Parliament in 1641. The court was convened at will by the sovereign, and had near unlimited power over civil as well as church matters.

One such court was created by King James II on 27 July 1686, which lasted until 26 August 1688.

Dissolution by the Triennial Act[edit]

The Court of High Commission was dissolved by the Triennial Act, passed by Parliament. The Triennial Act held that the Crown summon Parliament every three years. It also impeached archbishop William Laud, who had been supported by Charles I. Laud's new ideas and prayers had upset the Scots, and when Charles was refused an army from Parliament, which did not trust him, he created his own. This led in part to the English Civil War.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dutton, p. 149
  2. ^ "The Act Against Puritans (1593)". History.hanover.edu. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 

Sources[edit]

  • 'High Commission, Court of' [1], retrieved 4 August 2005
  • The Glorious Revolution of 1688 [2], retrieved 4 August 2005
  • ' A History of the Woodforde Family from 1300' [3], retrieved 4 August 2005
  • Dutton, Richard (1991). Mastering the Revels: The Regulation and Censorship of English Renaissance Drama, London: Palgrave Macmillan ISBN 0-87745-335-7