The Trial and Execution of Sir THOMAS MORE:
Oath of Succession (1534) and Treason Act (1535)
Arrest of Thomas More
Source: Documents Illustrative of English Church History, edited by Henry Gee and William John Hardy (London: Macmillan, 1914).
1. THE OATH
MORE WAS ARRESTED FOR REFUSING TO TAKE THIS OATH IN APRIL 1534.
....And at the day of the last prorogation of this present
Parliament, as well the nobles spiritual and temporal as other the
Commons of this present Parliament, most lovingly accepted and took
such oath as then was devised in writing for maintenance and defence of
the said Act, and meant and intended at that time that every other the
king's subjects should be bound to accept and take the same, upon the
pains contained in the said Act, the tenor of which oath hereafter
And forasmuch as it is convenient for the sure maintenance and
defence of the same Act that the said oath should not only be
authorized by authority of Parliament, but also be interpreted and
expounded by the whole assent of this present Parliament, that is was
meant and intended by the king's majesty, the Lords and Commons of the
Parliament, at the said day of the said last prorogation, that every
subject should be bounden to take the same oath, according to the tenor
and effect thereof, upon the pains and penalties contained in the said
2. THE TREASON ACT
Be it therefore enacted by the assent and consent of our sovereign lord the king, and the Lords spiritual and temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that if any person or persons, after the first day of February next coming, do maliciously wish, will or desire, by words or writing, or by craft imagine, invent, practise, or attempt any bodily harm to be done or committed to the king's most royal person, the queen's, or their heirs apparent, or to deprive them or any of them of their dignity, title, or name of their royal estates, or slanderously and maliciously publish and pronounce, by express writing or words, that the king our sovereign lord should be heretic, schismatic, tyrant, infidel or usurper of the crown, or rebelliously do detain, keep, or withhold from our said sovereign lord, his heirs or successors, any of his or their castles, fortresses, fortalices, or holds within this realm, or in any other the king's dominions or marches, or rebelliously detain, keep, or withhold from the king's said highness, his heirs or successors, any of his or their ships, ordnances, artillery, or other munitions or fortifications of war, and do not humbly render and give up to our said sovereign lord, his heirs or successors, or to such persons as shall be deputed by them, such castles, fortresses, fortalices, holds, ships, ordnances, artillery, and other munitions and fortifications of war, rebelliously kept or detained, within six days next after they shall be commanded by our said sovereign lord, his heirs or successors, by open proclamation under the great seal:
That then every such person and persons so offending in any the premises, after the said first day of February, their aiders, counsellors, consenters, and abettors, being thereof lawfully convicted according to the laws and customs of this realm, shall be adjudged traitors, and that every such offence in any the premises, that shall be committed or done after the said first day of February, shall be reputed, accepted, and adjudged high treason, and the offenders therein and their aiders, consenters, counsellors, and abettors, being lawfully convicted of any such offence as is aforesaid, shall have and suffer such pains of death and other penalties, as is limited and accustomed in cases of high treason.