Tag Archives: ecclesiastical law

The Curious Legal Legacy Of The First Duke Of Sussex

On April 4, 1793, Prince Augustus Frederick (later the first Duke of Sussex) secretly married Lady Augusta Murray at a hotel in Rome. Although it was a love match, their nuptials would ignite a legal firestorm that gave rise to … Continue reading

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When The Queen Appoints Your Parish Priest

In addition to appointing the Church of England’s senior ecclesiastics, the Queen appoints several hundred parish clergy scattered throughout England. As with many things in the United Kingdom, the rules governing the Crown’s parochial patronage are complicated to say the … Continue reading

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Illegitimacy And Anglican Canon Law

It’s not every day that Anglican canon law makes the headlines, but the revelation that the Archbishop of Canterbury was the product of his mother’s affair with Sir Winston Churchill’s private secretary has reminded the world that illegitimacy used to be an … Continue reading

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A Labyrinth of Words

In honor of the Queen giving her Royal Assent and License to Amending Canon No. 33, I thought I’d post this delightfully arcane example of similar instrument from Queen Victoria’s reign. It is, without a doubt, one of the most grandiloquent documents … Continue reading

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How Long Will It Take To Appoint The First Woman Bishop?

Tomorrow, the Church of England’s General Synod will formally ‘make, enact, and promulge’ Amending Canon No. 33, thereby allowing women to enter the episcopate. Naturally, there has been a great deal of speculation as to when the first woman bishop … Continue reading

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Cracking a Nut With a Sledgehammer: The Public Worship Regulation Act 1874

On August 7, 1874, one of the most ill-conceived pieces of legislation in history received Royal Assent. The Public Worship Regulation Act 1874 (37 & 38 Vict. c. 85) was a surprisingly un-Anglican attempt to stamp out liturgical pluralism, and it … Continue reading

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The Melancholy Case of Archbishop Abbot

On July 24, 1621, the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Abbot, killed a gamekeeper named Peter Hawkins while hunting in Bramshill Park. That unfortunate accident was the first scene in a protracted legal drama that would become a cause célèbre in … Continue reading

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What’s The Difference Between A Canon And A Measure?

Today I received the following question via the contact form: Hi, can you explain the difference between a canon and a church measure? Why does the C of E need both to have women bishops? As I mentioned last week, there … Continue reading

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Parliament And The Church Of England

The Guardian has reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is thinking of alternative ways to legislate for women bishops if the Church of England’s General Synod refuses to vote for them on Monday. One of the options under consideration is for the Lords … Continue reading

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HS2 and the Church of England

The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England made headlines when it petitioned the House of Commons against the High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill. The bill in question is pretty much what it says on the tin: it will facilitate the … Continue reading

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