Monday, August 24, 2009

Sodomy Laws: Henry VIII

Found this article about how Sodomy laws originated from Henry VIII's reign:

Henry VIII (1491-1547), the most handsome man in all of Christendom, tried for some years to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn. A spectacular and violent struggle between the English monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church thus ensued, culminating in Henry VIII being excommunicated by the Pope in 1530. In 1531, Henry VIII became the supreme head of the Church of England. And in 1533, he married Anne Boleyn — never mind that he would have her beheaded three years later.

1533 was an interesting year, though, because it was then also that Henry saw to the passing of England's Buggery Act, amid all the political and religious intrigue. Up to 1533, there were no parliamentary laws outlawing homosexuality, except for what was contained in a few medieval commentaries on English common law, such as this one: "Those who have dealings with Jews or Jewesses, those who commit bestiality, and sodomists, are to be buried alive after legal proof that they were taken in the act, and public conviction."

Under Henry VIII, what was once the domain of ecclesiastical punishment became a parliamentary matter. Sodomy, or buggery as it was referred to then, became a capital offence. In fact, Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford of Heytesbury, became the first person to be executed under the law in 1540, although it is interesting to note that Sir Walter was in fact implicated in an insurrection against the king.

To read more

1 comment:

  1. Henry took the nation back under the Law of Moses and it became accursed, as it is written Cursed are they that are justified by the Law for they must do ALL that is written in the book of the law ( and this was impossible hence the need for its abolition and the establishment of Grace.see the book of Hebrews in the New testament