April Julia Ang and Alvin Wee of the University Scholars' Programme created the electronic text using OmniPage Pro OCR software, and produced the HTML version of this document. Added by Marjie Bloy Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, National University of Singapore.

9 Geo. IV cap. 17: An Act for repealing so much of several Acts as imposes the Necessity of receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper as a Qualification for certain Offices and Employments.

The Test Acts, which are here repealed, were passed in 1661 and 1673. The dates given — the Thirteenth and Twenty-fifth Years of the Reign of King Charles the Second — take the reign of Charles II from 1649, the year in which his father, Charles I, was executed and not when he returned from exile and actually ascended to the throne.

WHEREAS ... it is expedient that so much of the said several Acts of Parliament as imposes the Necessity of taking the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the Rites or Usage of the Church of England, for the Purposes therein respectively mentioned, should be repealed; be it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That so much and such Parts of the said several Acts passed in the Thirteenth and Twenty-fifth Years of the Reign of King Charles the Second [1], and of the said Act passed in the Sixteenth Year of the Reign of King George the Second…[1743] shall, from and immediately after the passing of this Act, be and the same are hereby repealed.

And whereas the Protestant Episcopal Church of England and Ireland, and the Doctrine, Discipline, and Government thereof, and the Protestant Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and the Doctrine, Discipline, and Government thereof, are by the Laws of this Realm severally established, permanently and inviolably: And whereas it is just and fitting, that on the Repeal of such Parts of the said Acts as impose the Necessity of taking the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the Rites or Usage of the Church of England, as a Qualification for Office, a Declaration to the following Effect should be substituted in lieu thereof; be it therefore enacted, That every Person who shall hereafter be placed, elected, or chosen in or to the Office of Mayor, Alderman, Recorder, Bailiff, Town Clerk, or Common Councilman, or in or to any Office of Magistracy, or Place, Trust or Employment relating to the Government of any City, Corporation, Borough, or Cinque Port within England and Wales or the Town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, shall, within One Calendar Month next before or upon his Admission into any of the aforesaid Offices or Trusts, make and subscribe the Declaration following:

I A.B. do solemnly and sincerely, in the Presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, upon the true Faith of a Christian, That I will never exercise any Power, Authority, or Influence which I may possess by virtue of the Office of to injure or weaken the Protestant Church as it is by Law established in England, or to disturb the said Church, or the Bishops and Clergy of the said Church, in the Possession of any Rights or Privileges to which such Church, or the said Bishops and Clergy, are or may be by Law entitled.

[The law then provides for the declaration to be made before the usual persons charged with administering the oaths of office or in default of such before two justices of the peace and to be officially recorded.]

And be it further enacted, That every Person who shall hereafter be admitted into any Office or Employment, or who shall accept from His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, any Patent, Grant, or Commission, and who by his Admittance into such Office or Employment or Place of Trust, or by his Acceptance of such Patent, Grant or Commission, or by the Receipt of any Pay, Salary, Fee, or Wages by reason thereof, would by the Laws in force immediately before the passing of this Act have been required to take the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the Rites and Usage of the Church of England, shall within Six Calendar Months after his Admission to such Office, Employment, or Place of Trust, or his Acceptance of such Patent, Grant, or Commission, make and subscribe the aforesaid Declaration, or in Default thereof his Appointment to such Office, Employment, or Place of Trust, and such Patent, Grant, or Commission, shall be wholly void.

[The law then sayd that the declaration had to be made and registered in the Court of Chancery, King's Bench or Quarter Sessions. It went on to say that naval officers below the rank of Rear Admiral, military officers below the rank of Major-General in the army or Colonel in the militia, and customs, excise, tax and revenue officers were exempted from taking the declaration.]


Victorian History

Last modified 3 January 2007