Thursday, April 5, 2007

Graduation Trivia: Oath of Supremacy

In 1599 Queen Elizabeth declared herself Supreme Governor of the Church of England through the Act of Supremacy – almost a family tradition that was started by her father henry VIII. This act forced anyone holding public or church office to swear allegiance to the monarch.

This included people who were graduating from universities. Graduates or anyone refusing to swear by the Oath of Supremacy were committing treason and were subject to death or exile. Famous of being Thomas More. Here's the text of the Oath from wiki --

I, A. B., do utterly testify and declare in my conscience that the Queen's Highness is the only supreme governor of this realm, and of all other her Highness's dominions and countries, as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes, as temporal, and that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority ecclesiastical or spiritual within this realm; and therefore I do utterly renounce and forsake all foreign jurisdictions, powers, superiorities and authorities, and do promise that from henceforth I shall bear faith and true allegiance to the Queen's Highness, her heirs and lawful successors, and to my power shall assist and defend all jurisdictions, pre-eminences, privileges and authorities granted or belonging to the Queen's Highness, her heirs or successors, or united or annexed to the imperial crown of this realm. So help me God, and by the contents of this Book.

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Incidentally, this oath inspired the Oath of Citizenship of the US.

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