Statute of Praemunire

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The Statute of Praemunire[1]
Long titleRecital that the remedy to recover presentations is in the King's court ... Praemunire for purchasing translations bulls or any other instrument from Rome or elsewhere[2]
Citation16 Ric. 2 c. 5
Other legislation
Repealed by
Status: Repealed
Text of statute as originally enacted

The Statute of Praemunire (16 Ric 2 c 5) was an Act of the Parliament of England enacted in 1392, during the reign of Richard II. Its intention was to limit the powers of the papacy in England, by making it illegal to appeal an English court case to the pope if the king objected, or for anyone to act in a way that recognized papal authority over the authority of the king. This was later reaffirmed by the Statute in Restraint of Appeals (Ecclesiastical Appeals Act 1532) in the reign of Henry VIII and was used to remove Thomas Wolsey from power. The word praemunire originally referred to the writ of summons issued against a person accused under this and similar statutes, and later came to mean offences against the statutes.

The whole Chapter was repealed by section 13 of, and Part I of Schedule 4 to, the Criminal Law Act 1967 for Great Britain and section 16 of, and Schedule 4 to, the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 for Northern Ireland).

The whole of 16 Ric 2, of which this chapter was part, was repealed for the Republic of Ireland by section 1 of, and Part 2 of the Schedule to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1983.

See also[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".

Further reading[edit]

  • Dahmus, J.H (1953). "Richard II and the church". Catholic Historical Review. 39: 408–33.
  • Waugh, W.T. (1922). "The great Statute of Praemunire" (PDF). English Historical Review. 37: 173–205. doi:10.1093/ehr/xxxvii.cxlvi.173.