Henry VIII's Coronation

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  • Intro

    Traditionally, on coming to the throne, monarchs were crowned in magnificent and elaborate ceremonies, in which they swore an oath to defend the Church. King Henry VIII made several significant changes to the oath he swore, as shown in this document.

     

    The changes, handwritten by Henry, bring the oath in line with his new role as Supreme Head of the Church of England. Instead of swearing to preserve the rights and liberties of the ‘holie churche’, the king would now swear to preserve those of the ‘holy churche off ingland’ (holy Church of England), but with the crucial condition, ‘nott prejudyciall to hys Iurysdyction and dignite ryall’ (not prejudicial to his royal dignity and jurisdiction). In fact, there is no evidence that this version of the oath was used at Henry’s coronation, nor at that of his son, Edward VI, in 1547. It is most likely the revisions were made in the 1530s when England broke with Rome, and that they were taken no further. Nevertheless, they remain highly revealing about how Henry saw his Royal Supremacy over the Church.

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    Shelfmark: Cotton Ms. Tiberius D viii, f.89

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