Suppression of Heresy Act 1414

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The Suppression of Heresy Act 1414 (2 Hen. V St. 1, c. 7) was an Act of the Parliament of England. The Act made heresy an offence against the common law and temporal officers were to swear to help the spiritual officers in the suppression of heresy. Justices of the Peace were given the power of inquiry; to issue an order to arrest; and to hand over the suspected heretic to the ecclesiastical court for trial.[1] It also enacted that

that whoever should read the Scriptures in English (which was then called Wicliffe's Learning) should forfeit land, cattle, goods, and life, and be condemned as heretics to God, enemies to the crown, and traitors to the kingdom; that they should not have the benefit of any sanctuary, though this was a privilege then granted to the most notorious malefactors; and that, if they continued obstinate, or relapsed after pardon, they should first be hanged for treason against the king, and then burned for heresy against God.


  1. ^ Dudley Julius Medley, A Student's Manual of English Constitutional History. Sixth Edition (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1925), pp. 601-02.