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Appeals, Act in Restraint of

Appeals, Act in Restraint of (1533). The Act (24 Hen. VIII c. 12), largely the work of Thomas Cromwell, was a crucial step in Henry VIII's assertion of royal supremacy against the papacy. He had already moved against the clergy with accusations of praemunire and in 1532 forbade the payment of Annates or first fruits to Rome. The Act, passed in the first week of April, forbade appeals to Rome and had two objectives—to allow Cranmer to give a ruling on Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon which could not be appealed, and to intimidate the pope generally. The preamble declared majestically that ‘this realm of England is an empire … governed by one supreme head and king … furnished with plenary, whole and entire power … without restraint or provocation to any foreign princes or potentates of the world’. A week later Anne Boleyn appeared as queen and six weeks later Cranmer declared that Henry's marriage to Catherine had been invalid.

J. A. Cannon

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