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Henry Viii’s Succession Acts

Furthermore, the Act contained a clause hat subjects must swear an oath recognising the terms of the Act, any refusal would be held as a treasonable offence. A predominant pre-occupation of Henry during his reign was to establish a clear line of succession for the Tudor dynasty. When his marriage to Catherine of Aragon failed to produce a male heir, Henry became convinced this was punishment under devine law for marrying his dead brother’s wife (Lotherington, p. 71). He petitioned the Pope for an annulment of the marriage, however the Pope was under the influence of Charles V of Spain, Katherine of

Aragon’s nephew, and ultimately refused Henry an annulment (Robinson, 2010). Henry also had ambitions to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. There followed numerous Acts of Parliament instigated by Henry and his close advisors; beginning with the Act in Restraint of Appeals, which stated that ‘no appeals were to be made from England to Rome in any matters concerning wills, marriages, or payments to the Church; cases were to go no further than the Archbishop’ (Lotherington, p. 84), that paved the way for a break from the papacy enabling Henry to fulfil his personal ambitions.

The main claim in relation to grounds for annulment of Henrys marriage to Katherine was that it was incestuous, therefore illegal, as Katherine had previously been married to Henrys brother Arthur, despite Katherine’s solemn claim that her marriage to Arthur had never been consummated

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