- Act of Uniformity 1559
The Act of Uniformity in 1559 set the order of
prayerto be used in the English Book of Common Prayer. Every man had to go to church once a week or be fined 12 pence (equivalent to just over £11 in 2007 [ [http://www.measuringworth.com/calculators/ppoweruk/result.php?use%5B%5D=CPI&year_early=1559£71=&shilling71=&pence71=12&amount=0.05&year_source=1559&year_result=2007 Measuring Worth - Purchasing Power of British Pound ] ] ), a considerable sum for the poor. With this act Elizabeth I made it a legal obligation to go to church every Sunday. The 'Act of Uniformity' reinforced the Book of Common Prayer. After passage, fourteen bishopswere dismissed from their sees, and all the other sees, except Llandaff, were at the time vacant.Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894] As it was time to appoint a new Archbishop of Canterbury, the question of how to obtain consecration and preserve the Apostolic Successionunbroken arose. Llandaff refused to officiate at Matthew Parker's consecration and the solution would give rise many years later to the Nag's Head Fable.
The act made up part of the
Elizabethan Religious Settlementin England instituted by Elizabeth I who wanted to unify the Anglican Church. Other acts concerned with this settlement were the Act of Supremacy 1559and the Thirty-Nine Articles( 1563). Elizabeth was trying to achieve a settlement after thirty years of turmoil during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I, in which England had swung from Catholicismto Protestantismand back to Catholicism again. The outcome of the Elizabethan Settlement has been a sometimes tense and often fragile union of both Catholic and Protestant wings of the Church of England and Anglicanism world wide. The event was featured, albeit only briefly, in the movie "Elizabeth".
* [http://history.hanover.edu/texts/engref/er80.html The Act of Uniformity (Full Text)]
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