The Tudor Society

July 1 – The 1536 Act of Succession

On this day in Tudor history, 1st July 1536, Parliament gave the Second Act of Succession its first reading.

This act superseded the 1534 Act of Succession, which had made Mary, Henry VIII’s daughter by Catherine of Aragon, illegitimate and had appointed Elizabeth, his daughter by Anne Boleyn, as heir to the throne.

The new act declared the illegitimacy of both of Henry’s daughters. Both girls were now barred from the line of succession and, Elizabeth, like Mary, now lost her title of “princess”.

What’s interesting about this legislation is that it left Henry VIII with no legitimate heir, just three illegitimate children: Mary, Elizabeth and Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset, his son by his mistress Elizabeth Blount. The pressure was on Jane Seymour now to produce a son.

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July 1 – The 1536 Act of Succession