Five Mile Act 1665

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Nonconformists Act 1665
Long titleAn Act for restraining Non-Conformists from inhabiting in Corporations
Citation17 Charles II c. 2
Other legislation
Repealed bySacramental Test Act 1828
Status: Repealed

The Five Mile Act, or Oxford Act, or Nonconformists Act 1665, was an Act of the Parliament of England (17 Charles II c. 2), passed in 1665 with the long title "An Act for restraining Non-Conformists from inhabiting in Corporations". It was one of the English penal laws that sought to enforce conformity to the established Church of England, and to expel any who did not conform. It forbade clergymen from living within five miles (8 km) of a parish from which they had been expelled, unless they swore an oath never to resist the king, or attempt to alter the government of Church or State. The latter involved swearing to obey the 1662 prayer book. Thousands of ministers were deprived of a living under this act.

As an example, Theodosia Alleine and her husband Joseph Alleine were obliged to move to Taunton after her husband's conviction as a non-conformist. They moved, but they were still harassed and had to move and live with friends to escape their critics.[1]

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  1. ^ "Alleine, Theodosia (fl. 1654–1677), nonconformist writer". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/67079. Retrieved 2020-09-30.