Act of Settlement 1701wikipedia

The Act of Settlement is an Act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the succession to the English and Irish crowns on Protestants only.
Act of SettlementHanoverian succession1701 Act of SettlementProtestant SuccessionAct of Settlement, 1701Act of Settlement of 1701forbidden to be Catholic or to marry a CatholicAct of Settlement (1701)Act of ParliamentBritish Act of Settlement
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Succession to the British throne

line of succession to the British throneline of successionline of succession to the throne
Along with the Bill of Rights 1689, the Act of Settlement remains today one of the main constitutional laws governing the succession not only to the throne of the United Kingdom, but to those of the other Commonwealth realms, whether by assumption or by patriation.
The Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701 restrict succession to the throne to the legitimate Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover that are in "communion with the Church of England".

Sophia of Hanover

Sophia, Electress of HanoverSophiaSophia of the Palatinate
The next Protestant in line to the throne was the Electress Sophia of Hanover, a granddaughter of James VI of Scotland and I of England.
As a granddaughter of James I, she became heir presumptive to the crowns of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Ireland under the Act of Settlement 1701.

George I of Great Britain

George IKing George IKing George
On Queen Anne's death, Sophia's son duly became King George I and started the Hanoverian dynasty in Britain. No monarch may leave "the dominions of England, Scotland, or Ireland", without the consent of Parliament. This provision was repealed in 1716, at the request of George I who was also the Elector of Hanover and Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg within the Holy Roman Empire; because of this, and also for personal reasons, he wished to visit Hanover from time to time.
Although over 50 Roman Catholics were closer to Anne by primogeniture, the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibited Catholics from inheriting the British throne; George was Anne's closest living Protestant relative.

House of Stuart

StuartStuartsStewart
The act was prompted by the failure of King William III and Queen Mary II, as well as of Mary's sister Queen Anne, to produce any surviving children, and the Roman Catholic religion of all other members of the House of Stuart.
But neither had any children who survived to adulthood, so under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Act of Security 1704, the crown passed to the House of Hanover on the death of Queen Anne in 1714.

Anne, Queen of Great Britain

Queen AnneAnnePrincess Anne
The act was prompted by the failure of King William III and Queen Mary II, as well as of Mary's sister Queen Anne, to produce any surviving children, and the Roman Catholic religion of all other members of the House of Stuart. The Parliament of Scotland was not happy with the Act of Settlement and, in response, passed the Act of Security in 1704, through which Scotland reserved the right to choose its own successor to Queen Anne.
Under the Act of Settlement 1701, which excluded all Catholics, she was succeeded by her second cousin George I of the House of Hanover.

Monarchy of the United Kingdom

MonarchBritish monarchQueen
Along with the Bill of Rights 1689, the Act of Settlement remains today one of the main constitutional laws governing the succession not only to the throne of the United Kingdom, but to those of the other Commonwealth realms, whether by assumption or by patriation.
The Act of Settlement 1701 excluded Roman Catholics, or those who married Catholics, from succession to the English throne.

Glorious Revolution

Revolution of 1688Revolution1688
Following the Glorious Revolution, the line of succession to the English throne was governed by the Bill of Rights 1689, which declared that the flight of James II from England to France during the revolution amounted to an abdication of the throne and that James' daughter Mary II and her husband, William III (who was also James' nephew), were James' successors.
For British Catholics its effects were disastrous both socially and politically: For over a century Catholics were denied the right to vote and sit in the Westminster Parliament; they were also denied commissions in the army, and the monarch was forbidden to be Catholic or to marry a Catholic, this latter prohibition remaining in force until 2015.

Prince William, Duke of Gloucester

Duke of GloucesterPrince WilliamWilliam
In 1700, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, who was Anne's only child to survive infancy, died of a fever at the age of 11. Thus, Anne was left as the only person in line to the throne.
The English Parliament did not want the throne to revert to a Catholic, and so passed the Act of Settlement 1701, which settled the throne of England on Electress Sophia of Hanover, a cousin of King James II, and her Protestant heirs.

House of Hanover

HanoverianHanoverHanoverians
On Queen Anne's death, Sophia's son duly became King George I and started the Hanoverian dynasty in Britain.
Ernest Augustus, 4th son of Duke George, Prince of Calenberg (1679–1698). He became Prince of Calenberg on the death of his brother John Frederick. He was elevated to prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692. Ernest Augustus's wife, Sophia of the Palatinate, was declared heiress of the throne of England by the Act of Settlement of 1701, which decreed Roman Catholics could not accede to the throne. Sophia was at that time the senior eligible Protestant descendant of James I of England.

Resignation from the British House of Commons

resignedresignationresigned his seat
No person who has an office under the monarch, or receives a pension from the Crown, was to be a Member of Parliament. This provision was inserted to avoid unwelcome royal influence over the House of Commons. It remains in force, but with several exceptions. (As a side effect, this provision means that members of the Commons seeking to resign from parliament can get round the age-old prohibition on resignation by obtaining a sinecure in the control of the Crown; while several offices have historically been used for this purpose, two are currently in use: appointments generally alternate between the stewardships of the Chiltern Hundreds and of the Manor of Northstead. )
However, by a provision in the Act of Settlement 1701, repealed in 1705 and re-enacted in modified form by the Succession to the Crown Act 1707 (also called the Place Act), an MP who accepted an office of profit under the Crown was obliged to leave his post, it being feared that his independence would be compromised if he were in the King's pay.

Judicial independence

independent judiciaryindependence of the judiciaryindependent
Judges' commissions are valid quamdiu se bene gesserint (during good behaviour) and if they do not behave themselves, they can be removed only by both Houses of Parliament (or in other Commonwealth realms the one House of Parliament, depending on the legislature's structure.) This provision was the result of various monarchs influencing judges' decisions, and its purpose was to assure judicial independence. This patent was used prior the 1701 but did not prevent Charles I from removing Sir John Walter as Chief Baron of the Exchequer.
The first phase occurred in England with the original conception of judicial independence in the Act of Settlement 1701.

Katharine, Duchess of Kent

Duchess of KentThe Duchess of KentKatharine Worsley
Excluding those princesses who have married into Roman Catholic royal families, such as Marie of Edinburgh, Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg and Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, one member of the Royal Family (that is, with the style of Royal Highness) has converted to Roman Catholicism since the passage of the Act: the Duchess of Kent, wife of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent who converted on 14 January 1994, but her husband did not lose his place in the succession because she was an Anglican at the time of their marriage.
The Duchess of Kent gained attention for her conversion to Catholicism in 1994, the first member of the Royal Family to convert publicly since the passing of the Act of Settlement 1701.

Bill of Rights 1689

Bill of Rights1689 Bill of RightsEnglish Bill of Rights
Along with the Bill of Rights 1689, the Act of Settlement remains today one of the main constitutional laws governing the succession not only to the throne of the United Kingdom, but to those of the other Commonwealth realms, whether by assumption or by patriation. Following the Glorious Revolution, the line of succession to the English throne was governed by the Bill of Rights 1689, which declared that the flight of James II from England to France during the revolution amounted to an abdication of the throne and that James' daughter Mary II and her husband, William III (who was also James' nephew), were James' successors.
Along with the Act of Settlement 1701, the Bill of Rights is still in effect in all Commonwealth realms.

Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg

BrunswickBrunswick-LüneburgDuke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
No monarch may leave "the dominions of England, Scotland, or Ireland", without the consent of Parliament. This provision was repealed in 1716, at the request of George I who was also the Elector of Hanover and Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg within the Holy Roman Empire; because of this, and also for personal reasons, he wished to visit Hanover from time to time.
It was not just happenstance but similar religious driven politics that brought about the circumstance that he was also put into the line of succession for the British crown by the Act of Settlement— which was written to ensure a Protestant succession to the thrones of Scotland and England at a time when anti-Catholic sentiment ran high in much of Northern Europe and much of Great Britain.

James Francis Edward Stuart

James StuartOld PretenderJames III
In addition to James II (who died a few months after the act received royal assent) and his Roman Catholic children, Prince James and the Princess Royal, the act also excluded the descendants of King James's sister, Henrietta, the youngest daughter of Charles I.
James II's Protestant elder daughter, Mary II, and her husband, William III, became co-monarchs and the Bill of Rights 1689 and Act of Settlement 1701 excluded Catholics from the British throne.

Act of Security 1704

Act of Security1704 Act of Security
The Parliament of Scotland was not happy with the Act of Settlement and, in response, passed the Act of Security in 1704, through which Scotland reserved the right to choose its own successor to Queen Anne.
The Act of Security 1704 (also referred to as the Act for the Security of the Kingdom) was a response by the Parliament of Scotland to the Parliament of England's Act of Settlement 1701.

Perth Agreement

proposals to change the rules of royal successionagreement by the prime ministers of the sixteen Commonwealth Realmswere proposed in 2011
Following the Perth Agreement in 2011, legislation amending the act came into effect across the Commonwealth realms on 26 March 2015, and removed the disqualification arising from marriage to a Roman Catholic.
Succession is also governed by the Acts of Union 1707, which restates the provisions of the Act of Settlement 1701, and the Bill of Rights 1689.

Kingdom of Great Britain

Great BritainBritishBritain
The act played a key role in the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain.
The Union of 1707 provided for a Protestant-only succession to the throne in accordance with the English Act of Settlement of 1701; rather than Scotland's Act of Security of 1704, which ceased to have effect.

Succession to the Crown Act 2013

Succession to the Crown BillSuccession to the Crown ActSuccession to the Crown Bill 2013
He was restored to the line of succession in 2015 when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 came into force, and became 34th in line.
Under the Act of Settlement 1701 the throne of the Kingdom of England was settled on the Electress Sophia of Hanover and the "heirs of her body", this phrase being understood under English common law to imply male-preference primogeniture, meaning that brothers would precede sisters in the line of succession.

Alien Act 1705

Alien ActAlien Act of 1705
It used a combination of exclusionary legislation (the Alien Act 1705), politics, and bribery to achieve this within three years under the Act of Union 1707.
The Alien Act was a law passed by the Parliament of England in 1705, as a response to the Parliament of Scotland's Act of Security of 1704, which in turn was partially a response to the English Act of Settlement 1701.

Acts of Union 1707

Act of UnionActs of UnionUnion
It used a combination of exclusionary legislation (the Alien Act 1705), politics, and bribery to achieve this within three years under the Act of Union 1707. English pressure on Scotland to accept the Act of Settlement was one factor leading to the parliamentary union of the two countries in 1707.
The English succession was provided for by the English Act of Settlement 1701, which ensured that the monarch of England would be a Protestant member of the House of Hanover.

O'Donohue v Canada

a court action2003O'Donohue v. Her Majesty The Queen
In 2002, O'Donohue launched a court action that argued the Act of Settlement violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but, the case was dismissed by the court.
The applicant sought a declaratory judgment that certain provisions of the Act of Settlement 1701 violate the equality-rights section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Treaty of Union

Unionthe UnionCommissioner for the Union
By virtue of Article II of the Treaty of Union, which defined the succession to the throne of Great Britain, the Act of Settlement became part of Scots Law as well.
Article 2 provided for the succession of the House of Hanover, and for Protestant succession as set out in the English Act of Settlement of 1701.

Royal Succession Bills and Acts

Succession to the Crown Bill
In 1998, during debate on a Succession to the Crown Bill, Junior Home Office Minister Lord Williams of Mostyn informed the House of Lords that the Queen had "no objection to the Government's view that in determining the line of succession to the throne, daughters and sons should be treated in the same way".
The Bill of Rights 1688 and the Coronation Oath Act 1688, the Act of Settlement 1700, the Union with Scotland Act 1706, the Sophia Naturalization Act 1705 and Princess Sophia's Precedence Act 1711, the Royal Marriages Act 1772, the Union with Ireland Act 1800, the Accession Declaration Act 1910 and the Regency Act 1937.

Manor of Northstead

Stewardship of the Manor of NorthsteadSteward and Bailiff of the Manor of NorthsteadNorthstead
No person who has an office under the monarch, or receives a pension from the Crown, was to be a Member of Parliament. This provision was inserted to avoid unwelcome royal influence over the House of Commons. It remains in force, but with several exceptions. (As a side effect, this provision means that members of the Commons seeking to resign from parliament can get round the age-old prohibition on resignation by obtaining a sinecure in the control of the Crown; while several offices have historically been used for this purpose, two are currently in use: appointments generally alternate between the stewardships of the Chiltern Hundreds and of the Manor of Northstead. )
(This principle goes back to the Act of Settlement 1701, and is now regulated by the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975.