Under which British monarch or monarchs were the 'Penal Laws' first established, and what was their purpose?
#40838. Asked by Doug1230. (Nov 07 03 7:45 AM)
The purpose of the Penal Laws was to establish approved forms of Protestantism as the sole forms of Christian worship in the British Isles and especially to prohibit the practice of Roman Catholicism (Protestant Dissenters later suffered from them as well).
The first such laws in England were the Act of Supremacy and the Act of Uniformity passed in 1559 in the first year of the reign of Elizabeth I. The Irish Parliament passed similar laws in the same year. In Scotland the first Acts were passed in 1560 in the reign of Mary Queen of Scots.
The following work is written from a Roman Catholic viewpoint but gives a fair summary of the laws:
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