Crown of Ireland Act 1542

Crown of Ireland Act 1542
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The Crown of Ireland Act 1542 is an Act of the Parliament of Ireland (33 Hen 8 c. 1), declaring that King Henry VIII of England and his successors would also be Kings of Ireland. Since 1171 the monarch of England had held the title Lord of Ireland. The long title of the Act read An Act that the King of England, his Heirs and Successors, be Kings of Ireland.

The Act was introduced in 1541 and was read out to parliament in English and Irish. A key provision was the status of the new Kingdom of Ireland "depending and belonging to the imperial crown of England".[1]

As the Act was passed after Henry VIII had been excommunicated twice by the Papacy, the title "King of Ireland" was not recognised initially by Europe's Catholic monarchs. To rectify this, Pope Paul IV issued a papal bull in 1555 declaring Philip II of Spain and Queen Mary as King and Queen of Ireland.[2] After Mary died in 1558, Philip made no claim to the crown, but the principle was established that the Crown of Ireland, and its personal link to the English monarchy, was recognized from 1555 by the Holy See.[citation needed]

This Act has been repealed in the Republic of Ireland[3] by the Statute Law Revision (Pre-Union Irish Statutes) Act, 1962,[4] but is still in force in Northern Ireland,[5] where its short title was conferred by the Short Titles Act (Northern Ireland) 1951.[5]

In Northern Ireland the Act makes it treason to endanger the Sovereign or her possession of the Crown. This was still a capital offence until capital punishment in the United Kingdom was formally abolished in 1998.




  • The Rights of Persons, According to the Text of Blackstone: Incorporating the Alterations Down to the Present Time, Sir William Blackstone and James Stewart, 1839, p. 92.

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