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Act of Uniformity 1559

Liturgical conformity in the Church was not established until 1549, when Parliament in a constitutionally significant move passed an Act of Uniformity, which enforced the use of a book of common prayer. The Prayer Book, which had been drafted by Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury and protestant reformer, was replaced by a second and more radical version in 1552. 

The reign of Mary I saw the execution of Cranmer and the brief restoration of Catholicism, together with a  return to earlier orders of service. Following the accession of Elizabeth I a third Act of Uniformity (pictured) was passed in 1559, authorising a book of common prayer which was similar to the 1552 version but which retained some Catholic elements.


Act of Uniformity, Public Act, 1 Elizabeth I, c. 2



Catalogue number

Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1558/1Eliz1n2