Act of Uniformity 1558

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The Act of Uniformity 1558[1]
Long titleAn Acte for the Uniformitie of Common Prayoure and Dyvyne Service in the Churche, and the Administration of the Sacramentes.[2]
Citation1 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Status: Repealed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.

The Act was part of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement in England instituted by Elizabeth I, who wanted to unify the 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.


In 1650 the Rump Parliament of Commonwealth of England repealed the Act on 27 September 1650 with the "Act for the Repeal of several Clauses in Statutes imposing Penalties for not coming to Church",[5] but this Act was rendered null and void with the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660.

Most of the Act was repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1888.


  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, by legal convention (prior to the passage of the Acts of Parliament (Commencement) Act 1793), an Act was deemed to have come into force on the first day of the session of Parliament in which it was passed.
  4. ^ "Measuring Worth - Purchasing Power of British Pound". Archived from the original on 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2008-03-30.
  5. ^ 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

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