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    [King Henry VIII of England]. Period Fair Copy of the Oath of Succession and Other Documents, circa 1534, Relative to the Act of Succession. Three and a half pages on three leaves, 10" x 14.5". Documents within are written in both Latin and Early Modern English. When Anne Boleyn, the new queen of England, became pregnant, Parliament passed the First Succession Act in March 1534. This Act legitimized the as-yet unborn Elizabeth and declared Princess Mary, Henry's eldest daughter through his first wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, a bastard, making Elizabeth Henry's true successor. To ensure the obedience of the people, Parliament passed a secondary Act in November 1534, The Act Respecting the Oath to the Succession, whereby the people would swear to uphold the Act of Succession.

    Included in these pages is the entirety of the 1534 Oath of Succession, which reads, in part: "Ye shall swear to bear faith, truth, and obedience alonely to the king's majesty, and to his heirs of his body of his most dear and entirely beloved lawful wife Queen Anne, begotten and to be begotten, and further to the heirs of our said sovereign lord according to the limitation in the statute made for surety of his succession in the crown of this realm, mentioned and contained, and not to any other within this realm, for foreign authority or potentate." The refusal to take the oath was treason and led to the death of the famed humanist and Utopia author, Sir Thomas More, who had served as chancellor from 1529 until 1532. More took issue with the line "and not to any other within this realm, for foreign authority or potentate." More was an avowed Roman Catholic who held firm to the belief in papal supremacy. His refusal led to his arrest and trial for high treason. He was found guilty and was beheaded in 1535.

    All three leaves are beautifully bound in brown leather and marbled boards with titles in gilt on the spine. The pages themselves show some areas of paper loss, which are archivally repaired, ink splotching, minor dampstaining, and small insect holes.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th Thursday
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