Treasons Act 1534

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Treasons Act 1534
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act whereby divers Offenses be made High Treason; and taking away all Sanctuaries for all manner of High Treason.
Citation26 Hen. VIII. c.13
Territorial extent 
Other legislation
Repealed byTreason Act 1547
Relates to
Text of statute as originally enacted

The Treasons Act 1534 (26 Hen. 8. c. 13) was an Act passed by the Parliament of England in 1534, during the reign of King Henry VIII.

This Act was passed after the Act of Supremacy 1534, which made the king the "Only Head of the Church of England on Earth so far as the Law of God allows." The 1534 Act made it treason, punishable by death, to disavow the Act of Supremacy. Sir Thomas More was executed under this Act.

It was introduced as a blanket law in order to deal with the minority of cases who would refuse to accept Cromwell's and Henry's changes in policies, instead of using the more traditional method of attainders.

The Act specified that all those were guilty of high treason who:

do maliciously wish, will or desire by words or writing, or by craft imagine, invent, practise, or attempt any bodily harm to be done or committed to the king's most royal person, the queen's or the heirs apparent [Elizabeth], or to deprive them of any of their dignity, title or name of their royal estates, or slanderously and maliciously publish and pronounce, by express writing or words, that the king should be heretic, schismatic, tyrant, infidel or usurper of the crown...

The word 'maliciously' was added in several cases to require evil intent, and the Act meant that it was very dangerous to say anything against what the King had done.

The Act also made it treason to rebelliously keep or withhold from the King his castles, forts, ships, or artillery, and to fail to surrender any of them within six days of being commanded to do so. It also abolished sanctuary for those accused of high treason.

The Treasons Act 1534 was repealed by the Treason Act 1547.

See also[edit]