The First Statute of Repeal was passed in the same year that Mary I succeeded to the throne. The Statute of Repeal had one simple purpose – to undo all the religious legislation brought in during the reign of Edward VI that had led to a Protestant Church of England. The statute restored the Church to what it had been in 1547 under the Act of Six Articles. It was passed by Parliament after lively but not angry debate. The statute was also discussed after the arrest and imprisonment of a number of leading Protestant clergy – men such as Cranmer, Hooper and Ridley. Mary had made it very clear the direction that she wanted the Church to take in her reign – back to Catholicism with deference to Papal authority. The arrest of Protestant leaders served as a warning to those who might have wanted to dispute the Queen’s wishes.


The First Statute of Appeal stated:


“And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all such divine service and administration of Sacraments as were most commonly used in the realm of England in the last year of the reign of our late Sovereign Lord King Henry VIII shall be, from and after the twentieth day of December in the present year of our Lord God 1553, used and frequented throughout the whole realm of England and all other the Queen’s majesty dominions; and that no other kind nor order of divine service nor administration of the sacraments be, after the said twentieth day of December, used or ministered in any other manner, form or degree, within the said realm of England, or other the Queen’s dominions, that was most commonly used, ministered and frequented in the said last year of the reign of the said late King Henry VIII.”