Ratification of divorce and declaration on the succession.
Extract from Foxes Monuments. Ed Rev Geo. Townsend (1846) vol 5 p 67-8.
A Table of Degrees, prohibited by God’s Law to marry
The son not to marry the mothernor stepmother.
The brother not to marry the sister.
The father not to marry his son’s daughter, nor his daughter`s daughter.
The son not to many his fathers daughter, gotten by his step-mother.
The son not to marry his aunt, being either his father’s or his mother`s sister.
The son not to many his uncle’s wife.
The father not to marry his son’s wife.
The brother not to many his brother’, wife,
No man to marry his wife’, daughter.
No man to many his wife’s son’s daughter.
No man to marry his wife’, daughters daughter.
No man to marry his wife`s sister.
All these degrees be prohibited by the Scripture.
All these things thus being defined and determined in this aforesaid parliament, and it also being in the same parliament concluded, that no man, of what estate, degree, or condition soever, hath any power to dispense with God’s laws, it was therefore by the authority aforesaid, agreeing with the authority of God’s word, assented that the marriage aforetime solemnized between the king and the lady Katharine, being before wife to prince Arthur the king’s brother, and carnally known by him (as is above proved), should be absolutely deemed and adjudged to be unlawful and against the law of God, and also reputed and taken to be of no value nor effect ; and that the separation thereof by Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, should stand good and effectual to all intents; and also that the lawful matrimony between the king and the lady Anne his wife, should be established, approved, and ratified for good and consonant to the laws of Almighty God. And further also, for the establishing of this king’s lawful succession, it was fully by the said parliament adjudged, that the inheritance of the crown should remain to the heirs of their two bodies, that is, of the king and queen Anne his wife. Whereupon was made an Act of succession, for the more surety of the crown, to the which every person being of lawful age should be sworn. During this parliament time every Sunday preached at Paul’s cross a bishop, who declared the pope not to be head of the church.
• After this, commissions were sent over all England, to take the oath of all men and women to the act of succession; at which few repined, except Dr. John Fisher, bishop of Rochester; air Thomas More, late lord chancellor; and Dr. Nicholas Wilson, parson of St. Thomas Apostles in London. Wherefore these three persons. after long exhortation to them made by the bishop of Canterbury at Lambeth refusing to be sworn, were sent to the Tower, where they remained, and were oftentimes motioned to be sworn. But the bishop and
Sir Thomas More excused them by their writings, in which they said that they had written before the said lady Katharine to be queen, and therefore could not well go from that which they had written. Likewise the doctor excused, that he in preaching had called her queen, and therefore now could not withsay it again. Howbeit, at length, he was well contented to dissemble the matter, and so escaped: but the other two stood against all the realm in their opinion.