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Tudor Minute March 23, 1534: First Act of Succession

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for March 23.

Today in 1534 Parliament passed the First Act of Succession. It made official that Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon was void (thereby delegitimizing their daughter Mary), that Henry’s marriage to Anne was legitimate, and that the Pope hadn’t had the authority to make a dispensation in the first place. It also declared that the crown would pass to the children of Henry and Anne – first to sons, and if no sons came, to daughters – of course Elizabeth had been born by this time.

The Act became law in May, and all the nobles had to take an oath saying they accepted it. The penalty was to be declared a traitor – something that Bishop John Fisher and Thomas More both found out, unfortunately.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.


A Watching the Tudors Season 2 Episode 4 centered on the Act of Succession