William III, 1697-8: An Act for the more effectual suppressing of Blasphemy and Profaneness. [Chapter XXXV. Rot. Parl. 9 Gul. III. p.6.n.4.]

Page 409

Statutes of the Realm: Volume 7, 1695-1701. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1820.

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In this section

(fn. 1) Denying the Holy Trinity, &c; on Conviction by Two Witnesses,

Disability or Deprivation of Office; Second Offence,; Disability to sue or to be Guardian, &c; and Imprisonment for Three Years.

Whereas many Persons have of late Years openly avowed and published many blasphemous and impious Opinions contrary to the Doctrines, and Principles of the Christian Religion greatly tending to the Dishonour of Almighty God and may prove distructive to the Peace and Welfare of this Kingdom Wherefore for the more effectual suppressing of the said detestable Crimes Be it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That if any Person or Persons having been educated in or at any time having made Profession of the Christian Religion within this Realm shal by writing printing teaching or advised speaking deny any one of the Persons in the Holy Trinity to be God or shal assert or maintain there are more Gods than One or shal deny the Christian Religion to be true or the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be of Divine Authority and shal upon Indictment or Information in any of His Majesties Courts at Westminster or at the Assizes be thereof lawfully convicted by the Oath of Two or more credible Witnesses such Person or Persons for the First Offence shal be adjudged incapable and disabled in Law to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever to have or enjoy any Office or Offices Imployment or Imploym[en]ts. Ecclesiastical Civil or Military or any Part in them or any Profit or Advantage appertaining to them or any of them And if any Person or Persons so convicted as aforesaid shal at the Time of his or their Conviction enjoy or possess any Office Place or Imployment such Office Place or Imployment shal be voyd and is hereby declared void And if such Person or Persons shall be a Second Time lawfully convicted as aforesaid of all or any the aforesaid Crime or Crimes that then he or they shal from thenceforth be disabled to sue prosecute plead or use any Action or Information in any Court of Law or Equity or to be Guardian of any Child or Executor or Administrator of any Person or capable of any Legacie or Deed of Gift or to bear any Office Civil or Military or Benefice Ecclesiastical for ever within this Realm and shall also suffer Imprisonment for the Space of Three Years without Bail or Mainprize from the Time of such Conviction.

II. No Prosecution except on Information before Justice upon Oath within Four Days.

Provided always and be it enacted by the Authority aforsaid That no Person shall be prosecuted by virtue of this Act for any Words spoken unless the Information of such Words shal be given upon Oath before One or more Justice or Justices of the Peace within Four Days after such Words spoken and the Prosecution of such Offence be within Three Months after such Information.

III. On Renunciation of First Offence discharged of Penalties.

Provided also and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That any Person or Persons convicted of all or any of the aforesaid Crime or Crimes in Manner aforesaid shal for the First Offence (upon his her or their Acknowledgement and Renunciation of such Offence or erronious Opinions in the same Court where such Person or Persons was or were convicted as aforesaid within the Space of Four Months after his her or their Conviction) be discharged from all Penalties and Disabilities incurred by such Conviction Any Thing in this Act contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.


  • 1. This is Chapter XXXII. in the Common printed Editions.