Succession to the Crown Act 1603

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Succession to the Crown Act  (1603) 
the Parliament of England

Text taken from Halsbury's Statutes of England, second edition, London: Butterworth (1948), volume 4, pages 126-127.

1 JAC. 1 C. 1

A moste joyfull and juste Recognition of the imediate lawfull and undoubted Succession Descent and Righte of the Crowne

Greate and manifolde were the benefits (most dread and moste gracious Soveraigne) wherewith Almightie God blessed this kingdome and nation by the happie union and conjunction of the two noble houses of Yorke and Lancaster, therebie pservinge this noble realme, formerlie torne and almost wasted with longe and miserable dissention and bloudie civill warre, but more inestimable and unspeakable blessings are therebie powred upon us, because there is derived and growen from and out of that unyon of those two princelie families a more famous and greater union (or rather a re-unitinge) of two mightie famous and ancient kingdomes (yet ancientlie but one) of England and Scotland under one imperiall crowne, in your moste royall pson, whoe is lineallie rightfullie and lawfullie descended of the bodie of the moste excellent Ladie Margaret, eldest daughter of the most renowned Kinge Henrie the Seaventh and the highe and noble Princesse Queene Elizabeth his wife, eldest daughter of Kinge Edwarde the Fourthe ; the saide Ladie Margaret being eldest sister of Kinge Henrie the Eight, father of the highe and mightie Princesse of famous memorie, Elizabeth late Queene of England ; In consideration whereof albeit wee your Majesties loyall and faithfull subjects, of all estates and degrees, with all possible and publike joye and acclamation, by open procalamations within fewe howers after the decease of our late Sovaigne Queene, acknowledginge therebie with one full voice of tongue and hearte, that your Majestie was our onelie lawfull and rightfull liege Lorde and Sovaigne, by our unspeakable and general rejoysinge and applause at your Majesties moste happie inauguration and coronation, by the affectionate desire of infinite numbers of us, of all degrees, to see your royall pson, and by all possible outwarde meanes have endeavoured to make demonstration of our inwarde love zeale and devotion to your moste excellent Majestie, our undoubted lawfull liege Sovaigne Lorde and Kinge ; yet as wee cannot doe it too often or enough, so can there be no meanes or waye so fitt, both to sacrifice our unfeined and heartie thanks to Almightie God, for blessinge us with a Sovaigne adorned with the rarest giftes of mynde and bodie, in such admirable peace and quietnesse, and upon the knees of our hartes to agnize our most constant faithe, obedience and loyaltie to your Majestie, and your royall progenie, as in this Highe Courte of Parliament, where all the whole bodie of the realme, and everie pticular member thereof, either in pson or by repsentation (upon their owne free elections) are by the lawes of this realme deemed to be psonallie psente. To the acknowledgement whereof to your Majestie, wee are the more deeplie bounden and obliged, aswell in regarde of the extraordinarie care and paines which with so greate wisdome knowledge experience and dexteritie your Majestie (sithens the imperiall crowne of this realme descended to you) have taken for the continuance and establishment of the blessed peace, bothe of the Churche of England in the true and sincere religion, and of the comonwealthe, by due and speedie administration of justice, as in respecte of the gracious care and inwarde affection which it pleased you on the firste day of this Parliament soe livelie to expresse by your owne wordes, soe full of high wisdome leanringe and vertue, and so repleate with royall and thankeful acceptation of all our faithful and constant endeavours, which is and ever will bee to our inestimable consolation and comforte. Wee therefore your most humble and loyall subjects the lordes sprituall and temporall and the cōmons in this psent Parliament assembled, doe, from the bottome of our heartes, yeeld to the Divine Majestie all humble thankes and praises, not onelie for the saide unspeakable and inestimable benefites and blessings above mencioned, but also that he hathe further enriched your Highnesse with a moste royall progenie, of moste rare and excellent giftes and forwardenes, and in his goodnesse is likelie to encrease the happie number of them : And in moste humble and lowlie manner doe beseeche youre moste excellent Majestie that (as a memoriall to all posterities, amongste the recordes of your Highe Courte of Paliamente for ever to endure, of our loyaltie obedience and heartie and humble affection) it may be published and declared in this Highe Courte of Parliament, and enacted by authoritie of the same, that wee (beinge bounden thereunto bothe by the lawes of God and man) doe recognize and acknowledge (and therebie expresse our unspeakable joyes) that imediatlie upon the dissolution and decease of Elizabeth late Queene of England, the imperiall crowne of the realme of England, and of all the kingdomes unions and rights belonging to the same, did by inherent birthright and lawfull and undoubted succession, descend and come to your moste excellent Majestie, as being lineallie justly and lawfullie next and sole heir of the blood royall of this realme as is aforesaid, and that by the goodnesse of God Almightie, and lawfull right of descent, under one imperiall crowne, your Majestie is of the realmes and kingdomes of England Scotland France and Ireland the moste potent and mightie Kinge, and by Gods goodnesse more able to protect and governe us your lovinge subjects in all peace and plentie then any of your noble progenitors ; And thereunto wee most humble and faithfullie doe submit and oblige our selves, our heires and posterities for ever untill the last dropp of our bloodes be spente, and doe beseech your Majestie to accepte the same as the firste fruites in this Highe Courte of Parliament of our loyaltie and faithe to your Majestie, and your royall progenie and posteritie for ever : Which if your Majestie shall be pleased (as an argument of your gracious acceptation) to adorne with your Majesties royall assent, without which it can neither be complete and pfect, nor remaine to all posteritie accordinge to our most humble desire, (as a memoriall of your princelie and tender affection towardes us), wee shall adde this also to the reste of your Majesties unspeakable and inestimable benefites.

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