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The Statute of Proclamations 1534

An act that proclamations made by the king shall be obeyed. Forasmuch as the king's most royal majesty, for divers considerations, by the advice of his council hath heretofore set forth divers and sundry his grace's proclamations, as well for and concerning divers and sundry articles of Christ's religion as for an unity and concord to be had amongst the loving and obedient subjects of this his realm and other his dominions, and also concerning the advancement of his commonwealth and good quiet of his people (which nevertheless divers and many froward, wilful, and obstinate persons have wilfully contemned and broken, not considering what a king by his royal power may do, and for lack of a direct statute and law to coerce offenders to obey the said proclamations ...);

considering also that sudden causes and occasions fortune many times which do require speedy remedies, and that by abiding for a parliament in the meantime might happen great prejudice to ensue to the realm; and weighing also that his majesty, which by the kingly and regal power given him by God may do many things in such cases, should not be driven to extend the liberty and supremacy of his regal power and dignity by wilfulness of froward subjects:

it is therefore thought in manner more than necessary that the king's highness of this realm for the time being, with the advice of his honourable council, should make and set forth proclamations for the good and politic order and governance of this his realm of England, Wales, and other his dominions, from time to time for the defence of his regal dignity and the advancement of his commonwealth and good quiet of his people, as the cases of necessity shall require;

and that an ordinary law should be provided, by the assent of his majesty and parliament, for the due punishment, correction, and reformation of such offences and disobediences.

Be it therefore enacted ... that always the king for the time being, with the advice of his honourable council, whose names hereafter followeth, or with the advice of the more part of them, may set forth at all times by authority of this act his proclamations, under such penalties and pains and of such sort as to his highness and his said honourable council or the more part of them shall see[m] necessary and requisite; and that those same shall be obeyed, observed, and kept as though they were made by act of parliament for the time in them limited, unless the king's highness dispense with them or any of them under his great seal.

Provided always that the words, meaning, and intent of this act be not understood, interpretate, construed, or extended that by virtue of it any of the king's liege people ... should have any of his or their inheritances, lawful possessions, offices, liberties, privileges, franchises, goods, or chattels taken from them ... ,

nor by virtue of the said act suffer any pains of death, other than shall be hereafter in this act declared;

nor that, by any proclamation to be made by virtue of this act, any acts, common laws, standing at this present time in strength and force, nor yet any lawful or laudable customs of this realm ... shall be infringed, broken, or subverted; and specially all those acts standing this hour in force which have been made in the king's highness's time; but that every such person ... shall stand and be in the same state and condition, to every respect and purpose, as if this act or proviso had never been had or made ... , except such persons which shall offend any proclamation to be made by the king's highness, his heirs, or successors, for and concerning any kind of heresies against Christian religion....

And be it further enacted ... that, if any person or persons ... at any time hereafter do wilfully offend and break, or obstinately not observe and keep, any such proclamation ... , then all and every such offender or offenders being thereof convicted by confession or lawful witness and proofs before the archbishop of Canterbury, metropolitan, the chancellor of England, the lord treasurer of England, the president of the king's most honourable council, the lord privy seal, the great chamberlain of England, [the] lord admiral, [the] lord steward or grand master, [the] lord chamberlain of the king's most honourable household, two other bishops being of the king's council (such as his grace shall appoint for the same), the secretary, the treasurer, and [the] controller of the king's most honourable household, the master of the horse, the two chief judges, and the master of the rolls for the time being, the chancellor of the augmentations, the chancellor of the duchy, the chief baron of the exchequer, the two general surveyors, the chancellor of the exchequer, the under-treasurer of the same, the treasurer of the king's chamber for the time being, in the star chamber at Westminster or elsewhere, or at least before the half of the number afore rehearsed, of which number the lord chancellor, the lord treasurer, the lord president of the king's most honourable council, the lord privy seal, the chamberlain of England, the lord admiral, the two chief judges for the time being, or two of them, shall be two -

shall lose and pay such penalties, forfeitures of sums of money ... , and also suffer such imprisonment of his body, as shall be expressed, mentioned, and declared in any such proclamation....