Oaths and declarations

Scope and Content

The Test Act, 25 Chas.II, c.2 (1673) required every person holding civil office to take the oath of allegiance and supremacy, make a declaration denying the doctrine of transubstantiation and to deliver a certificate to the court to the effect that the sacrament of the Lord's Supper had been received. This Act, which operated equally against Roman Catholics and Protestant non-conformists, was not repealed until 1828, and was several times re-enacted with various amendments in connection with the taking of oaths of allegiance, abjuration and supremacy from 1701 onwards.

Declarations of Christian faith were ordered by the Act 52 Geo.Ill, c.155 (1812) and declarations by magistrates being Protestants were made under the Act 9 Geo.IV, c.17 (1829). Promissory oaths, oaths of allegiance to Queen Victoria and her successors, were ordered by the Act 31 and 32 Vict., c.72 (1868).