Act for the Dissolution

of the

Greater Monasteries


During the years 1537, 1538, and the early part of 1539, numerous further suppression or surrenders had taken place; these were covered, at the close of the session in 1539, by the following Act, which vested all monastic property in the King.
[Transc. Statutes of the Realm, III, 753.]

Where divers and sundry abbots, priors, abbesses, prioresses, and other ecclesiastical governors and governesses of divers monasteries, abbacies, priories, nunneries, colleges, hospitals, houses of friars, and other religious and ecclesiastical houses and places within this our sovereign lord the King's realm of England and Wales, of their own free and voluntary minds, good wills and assents, without constraint, coaction, or compulsion of any manner of person or persons, since the fourth day of Feb, the twenty-seventh year of the reign of our now most dread sovereign lord, by the due order and course of the common law of this his realm of England, and by their sufficient writings of record, under their convent and common seals, have severally given, granted, and by the same their writings severally confirmed all their said monasteries, abbacies, priories, nunneries, colleges, hospitals, houses or friars, and other religious and ecclesiastical houses and places, and all their sites, circuits, and precincts of the same, and all and singular their manors, lordships, granges, meases, lands, tenements, meadows, pastures, rents, reversions, services, woods, tithes, pensions, portions, churches, chapels, advowsons, patronages, annuities, rights, entries, conditions, commons, leets, courts, liberties, privileges, and franchises appertaining or in wise belonging to any such monastery, abbacy, priory, nunnery, college, hospital, house of friars, and other religious and ecclesiastical houses and places, or to any of them, by whatsoever name or corporation they or any of them, were then called, and of what order, habit, religion, or other kind or quality soever they or any of them were reputed, known, or taken; to, have and to hold all the said. . .voluntarily, as is aforesaid, have renounced, left, and forsaken, and every of them has renounced, left, and forsaken.
That the King our sovereign lord shall have, hold, possess, and enjoy to him, his heirs and successors for ever, all and singular such late monasteries, etc. . . .  And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that not only all the said late monasteries. . .but also other etc. . .which hereafter shall happen to be dissolved, suppressed, renounced, relinquished, forfeited, given up, or by any other means come unto the King's highness. . .
All monastic lands shall be within the survey of the court of augmentation except such as come by attainder.


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