Settlement, Act of


Settlement, Act of
(June 12, 1701) Act of Parliament that thereafter regulated the succession to the English throne.

It decreed that if King William III or Princess (later Queen) Anne died without issue, the crown was to pass to James I's granddaughter Sophie of Hanover (1630–1714) and her Protestant heirs. The act resulted in the accession of the house of Hanover in 1714. It also decreed that future monarchs must belong to the Church of England, that judges were to hold office on the basis of good behaviour rather than at the sovereign's pleasure, and that impeachment by the House of Commons was not subject to pardon by the sovereign.

* * *

Great Britain [1701]
      (June 12, 1701), act of Parliament that, since 1701, has regulated the succession to the throne of Great Britain.

      Toward the end of 1700 William III was ill and childless; his sister-in-law, the prospective queen, Anne, had just lost her only surviving child; and abroad the supporters of the exiled king, James II, were numerous and active. The need for the act was obvious. It decreed that, in default of issue to either William or Anne, the crown was to pass to Sophia, electress of Hanover and granddaughter of James I, and to “the heirs of her body being Protestants.” The act was thus responsible for the accession of Sophia's son George I in 1714—notwithstanding the claims of 57 persons closer by the rules of inheritance than Sophia and George.

      In addition to settling the crown, the act contained some important constitutional provisions: (1) all future monarchs must join in communion with the Church of England; (2) if a future monarch is not a native of England, England is not obliged to engage in any war for the defense of territories (e.g., Hanover) not belonging to the crown of England; (3) judges were to hold office during good behaviour rather than at the sovereign's pleasure, though they are subject to impeachment by both houses of Parliament; (4) impeachments by the House of Commons are not subject to pardon under the Great Seal of England (i.e., by the sovereign).

      The act as originally passed contained four other clauses. One of these provided that “all matters properly cognizable in the Privy Council . . . shall be transacted there” and that all resolutions “shall be signed by such of the Privy Council as shall advise and consent to the same.” Another declared that all officeholders and pensioners under the Crown shall be incapable of sitting in the House of Commons. The first of these clauses, which was an attempt to destroy the growing power of the Cabinet, was repealed; and the second was seriously modified in 1706. Another clause, repealed in the reign of George I, forbade the sovereign to leave England, Scotland, or Ireland without the consent of Parliament. Finally a clause said that “no person born out of the kingdoms of England, Scotland, or Ireland, or the dominions thereunto belonging (although he be naturalized or made a denizen), except such as are born of English parents, shall be capable to be of the Privy Council, or a member of either House of Parliament, or enjoy any office or place of trust, either civil or military, or to have any grant of lands, tenements, or hereditaments from the Crown to himself, or to any other or others in trust for him.” By the Naturalization Act of 1870 this clause was virtually repealed for all persons who obtain a certificate of naturalization.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Settlement Act — Act of Settlement Mit dem Act of Settlement (dt. Grundordnung) schuf das englische Parlament 1701 die neue Grundlage der Thronfolge im Königreich England. Als Thronfolgeregelung ist der Act of Settlement bis heute im Vereinigten Königreich gültig …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Settlement, Act of (Irish) — • 1662 act passed by the Irish Parliament to bring in Protestant settlers in Munster, Leinster, and Ulster Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act — The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, commonly abbreviated ANCSA, was signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon on December 18, 1971, the largest land claims settlement in United States history. ANCSA was intended to resolve the long… …   Wikipedia

  • Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act — Vom ANCSA geschaffene Gebietskörperschaften (regional corporations) Der Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, abgekürzt ANCSA, ist die umfangreichste Regulierung von Gebietsansprüchen in der Geschichte der Vereinigten Staaten und wurde am 18.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Act of settlement — may refer to: *Statute of Legal Settlement 1547, legislation regarding the settlement of the poor *Act for the Settlement of Ireland 1652, in response to the Irish Rebellion of 1641 *Act of Settlement 1657, ratifying previous decrees from the Act …   Wikipedia

  • Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601 — Old Poor Law redirects here. For the Old Poor Law which existed in Scotland between 1574 1845, see Old Scottish Poor Law. The Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601, popularly known as the Elizabethan Poor Law , 43rd Elizabeth [1] or the Old Poor… …   Wikipedia

  • settlement — /set l meuhnt/, n. 1. the act or state of settling or the state of being settled. 2. the act of making stable or putting on a permanent basis. 3. a state of stability or permanence. 4. an arrangement or adjustment, as of business affairs or a… …   Universalium

  • Act of Supremacy 1559 — The Act of Supremacy 1559 (1 Eliz, c. 1) was an Act of the Parliament of England, passed under the auspices of Queen Elizabeth I of England. It replaced the original Act of Supremacy 1534 issued by Elizabeth s father, Henry VIII, which arrogated… …   Wikipedia

  • act — /akt/, n. 1. anything done, being done, or to be done; deed; performance: a heroic act. 2. the process of doing: caught in the act. 3. a formal decision, law, or the like, by a legislature, ruler, court, or other authority; decree or edict;… …   Universalium

  • ACT — 1. American College Test. 2. Association of Classroom Teachers. 3. Australian Capital Territory. * * * (as used in expressions) sacramental act Ballot Act British North America Act Canada Act Constitution Act Civil Rights Act of 1964… …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.