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Abjuration

oath, geo, roman and house

ABJURATION (Oath y). This is an oath asserting the title of the present royal family to the crown of England. It is imposed by 13 Will. III. c. 6; 1 Geo. I. e. 13 ; and 6 Geo. III. c. 53. By thip oath the juror recognises the right of the king under the Act of Settlement, engages to support him to the utmost of the juror's power, promises to disclose all traitorous conspiracies against him, and expressly disclaims any right to the crown of Eng land by the descendants of the Pretender. The juror next declares that he rejects the opinion that princes excommuni cated by the Pope may be deposed or murdered ; that he does not believe that the Pope of Rome or any other foreign prince, prelate, or person has or ought to have jurisdiction directly or indirectly within the realm. The form of oath taken by Roman Catholics who sit in either House of Parliament is given in 10 Geo. IV. c. 7 (the Roman Catholic Relief Act). The first part of the oath is similar in substance to the form required under 6 Geo. III. c. 53. The following part of the oath is new :" I do hereby dis claim, disavow, and solemnly abjure any intention to subvert the present Church Establishment as settled by law within this realm; and I do solemnly swear that I will never exercise any privilege to which I am or may become entitled to disturb or weaken the Protestant religion or Pro testant government in the United King dom ; and I do solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify and declare that I do make this declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words of this oath, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reserva tion whatsoever." Before the passing of

this Act (10 Geo. IV. c. 7), the oath and declaration required to be taken and made as qualification for sitting and voting in Parliament were the oaths of allegiance, supremacy, and abjuration, and the de clarations commonly called the decla rations against transubstantiation, the in vocation of saints, and the sacrifice of the mass.

The case of a member of the House of Commons becoming converted to the Ro man Catholic faith after he had taken his seat, occurred for the first time since the passing of 10 Geo. IV. c. 7, in the session of 1844, and is thus noticed in the Votes and Proceedings of the House, dated May 13 : Charles Robert Scott Murray, esquire, member for the county of Buck ' ingham, having embraced the Roman Catholic religion, took and subscribed the oath required to be taken and subscribed by Roman Catholics." The word Abjuratio does not occur in classical Latin writers, and the verb Ab jurare, which often occurs, signifies to deny a thing falsely upon oath.