Second Succession Act
|Citation||28 Henry VIII c.7|
|Territorial extent||Kingdom of England|
|Royal Assent||June 1536|
|Repealed by||Third Succession Act|
The Second Succession Act was formally titled An Act concerning the Succession of the Crown, and was also known as the Succession to the Crown: Marriage Act 1536. The Act followed the conviction and execution of Anne Boleyn, and removed both her daughter, Elizabeth, and Mary, Henry's daughter by his first wife, from the line of succession. It superseded the First Succession Act, which had declared Mary to be illegitimate and Elizabeth to be his true legitimate heir. This new act declared that Elizabeth was also a bastard. As a result, Henry was left without any legitimate child to inherit the throne after his death, which lasted until his son, Edward, was born in October 1537.
Because Henry had no legitimate offspring at the time of the passage of the Act, the Act gave Henry "full and plenary power and authority" to choose who would succeed him if he died without an heir of his body, by naming his successor in letters patent or in his last Will.
The Act also created several offences of high treason connected with interrupting the succession to the throne of any person so chosen,  or with saying that Henry's first two marriages to Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn had been valid, or that his third marriage to Jane Seymour was invalid, or with saying either of his daughters were legitimate and any son of his third marriage was not.
The Act also required some of Henry's subjects to take an oath to uphold the Act, and made it treason to refuse to take said oath. Sanctuary was not available for people accused of treason under the Act, and - in addition to the death penalty - anyone convicted of treason by interrupting the succession to the throne was to forfeit their own claim to the throne, if any existed.
Finally, the Act made it treason to attempt to repeal the Act. This did not prevent Henry himself from obtaining the repeal of the Act seven years later, by way of the Third Succession Act of 1543, which returned his two daughters into the line of succession to the throne, but did not restore them to legitimate status.
- First Succession Act (Succession to the Crown Act 1533)
- Act Respecting the Oath to the Succession (Succession to the Crown Act 1534)
- Third Succession Act (Succession to the Crown Act 1543)
- Line of succession to the British throne
- Alternative successions of the English crown
- 28 Henry VIII c.7
- Section 18
- Section 20
- Sections 24 and 25
- Section 22
- Section 21