The Tudor Society

April 20 – The Oath of the Act of Succession

On this day in Tudor history, 20th April 1534, in the reign of King Henry VIII, prominent citizens of London were required to swear the Oath of the Act of Succession.

Chronicler Charles Wriothesley explained that all the guilds were called to their halls to swear:

  1. To be true to Queen Anne (Anne Boleyn) and to recognise her as Henry VIII’s lawful wife and the rightful Queen of England.
  2. To think of the king’s eldest daughter Mary as illegitimate.

The clergy in London and throughout England had to swear before the Archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops, and officers of shires and towns were also called to swear.

The oath was part of the Act of Succession which vested the succession in the children of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. To refuse the oath was treason.

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April 20 – The Oath of the Act of Succession