Court of King's Bench: Crown Side: Sacrament Certificates Files
Files of certificates of having taken the sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the Anglican rite to comply with the Corporations Act of 1661 and the Test Act of 1672 for the purpose of holding office in a municipal corporation or under the crown. The latter required the delivery of a certificate attesting the fact into a court, King's Bench being one of those specified.
Apart from one file of 1676-1677, the series begins only in 1728, and ends in 1828 when, as a result of 9 Geo IV c 17, receipt of the sacrament ceased to be a requirement for holding office.
The certificates give the name of the church at which the sacrament was received, the date, and the names of the recipient, the minister, churchwarden and two witnesses.
Following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, statutes were passed to exclude Roman Catholics and dissenters from office. The principal acts were the Corporation Act of 1661 and the Test Act of 1672. The first required any person elected to an office in the government of a city or corporation to have received the sacrament of the Lord's supper according to Anglican rites. The Test Act required all office holders to receive the sacrament and to deliver a certificate thereof into the Court of Chancery, Court of King's Bench, the local quarter sessions, or, after 1702, the courts of Common Pleas or Exchequer. Office holders were also required to take certain oaths, principally those of allegiance, supremacy and abjuration.
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