Court of Faculties, secular and ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the English monarch during the Reformation

Anastasia Andreevna Palamarchuk, PhD in history, senior lecturer, Institute of History, Saint-Petersburg State University (Mendeleevskaya linia, dom 5, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 199034)

Palamarchuk A. A. Court of Faculties, secular and ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the English monarch during the Reformation, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2015, vol. 4, pp. 282–297.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2015-00014

Language: Russian

Royal Reformation in England opened the way to a high-scale discussion on the substance of the supreme power and its practical implementation. As the English crown usurped the very jurisdiction considered as the proper to the See of Rome, all the concepts of jurisdictions and functions attached to both secular and ecclesiastical institutes had to be revised, as well as devices of their activities. The Court of Faculties (or the Office of faculties) was created due to this process. This institute regulated two jurisdictional domains that traditionally belonged to the See of Rome or its deputies, i.e. granting of dispensations and licensing of public notaries. Its jurisdiction was based on the new status of the English monarch as the head of the Church of England. In practice the whole work of the Court of Faculties was carried by the lawyers (civilians) and clerks representing accordingly the King, the archbishop of Canterbury and the Chancery. It demonstrated the unique position of the Court of Faculties on the edge of the secular and ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The rise of the Court of faculties, its activities and regulating documents demonstrate the complexity of the process when ideas and practices of medieval canon lawyers were adapted and transformed in accordance with post-Reformation conditions.
Creative Commons License

Key words: Court of faculties, dispensation, jurisdiction, Reformation, Tudors, England


download PDF