Correspondence with James the Pretender (High Treason) Act 1701

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Correspondence with James the Pretender (High Treason) Act 1701
Act of Parliament
Coat of Arms of England (1694-1702).svg
Long title An Act for the Attainder of the pretended Prince of Wales of High Treason
Citation 13 & 14 Will. III, c. 3
Territorial extent Kingdom of England
Royal assent 7 March 1701
[N.S.: 17 March 1701 (1701-03-17)] [lower-alpha 1]
Repealed30 July 1948
Other legislation
Repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1948
Status: Repealed

The Correspondence with James the Pretender (High Treason) Act 1701 (13 & 14 Will. III, c. 3) was an Act of Parliament of the Parliament of England passed in 1701. The long title of the Act is "An Act for the Attainder of the pretended Prince of Wales of High Treason". [1] After the death of the exiled James II of England in September 1701, his son, James Francis Edward Stuart (the Old Pretender), declared himself to be King James III of England and Ireland and VIII of Scotland, in order to assert the Jacobite claim to the English and Scottish thrones.

An act of parliament, also called primary legislation, are statutes passed by a parliament (legislature). Act of the Oireachtas is an equivalent term used in the Republic of Ireland where the legislature is commonly known by its Irish name, Oireachtas. The United States Act of Congress is based on it.

Parliament of England historic legislature of the Kingdom of England

The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it united with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain.

James II of England 17th-century King of England and Ireland, and of Scotland (as James VII)

James II and VII was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The last Roman Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland, his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over religious tolerance. However, it also involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown.


The Act was a response to this "manifest violation", expressing the "utmost Resentment of so great an Indignity" to William III of England. It enacted that the "pretended Prince of Wales" was convicted and attainted of high treason and that he was "to suffer Pains of Death and incurr all Forfeitures as a Traitor". It further enacted that if any English subject was to knowingly hold any correspondence with James Stuart, or with any person in his employ, or to knowingly spend or transmit any sum of money for the use of James, then on conviction they would be deemed guilty of high treason. If these offences were committed outside the realm, then they could be brought to trial in any English county.

William III of England 17th-century Stadtholder, Prince of Orange and King of England, Scotland and Ireland

William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1672 and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy".

In English criminal law, attainder or attinctura was the metaphorical "stain" or "corruption of blood" which arose from being condemned for a serious capital crime. It entailed losing not only one's life, property and hereditary titles, but typically also the right to pass them on to one's heirs. Both men and women condemned of capital crimes could be attainted.

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is killed by the state as a punishment for a crime. The sentence that someone be punished in such a manner is referred to as a death sentence, whereas the act of carrying out the sentence is known as an execution. Crimes that are punishable by death are known as capital crimes or capital offences, and they commonly include extreme offenses such as murder, mass murder, terrorism, treason, espionage, offenses against the State, such as attempting to overthrow government, piracy, drug trafficking, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, but may include a wide range of offences depending on a country. Etymologically, the term capital in this context alluded to execution by beheading.

This Act was repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1948.

Statute Law Revision Act 1948

The Statute Law Revision Act 1948 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.


  1. During the lifetime of William III, two calendars were in use in Europe: the Old Style Julian calendar in Britain and parts of Northern and Eastern Europe, and the New Style Gregorian calendar elsewhere. In this article, dates up to 1752 follow the Julian calendar with New Year falling on 1 January. Dates thereafter, including the repeal date, are given according to the Gregorian calendar.

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See also

The Correspondence with Enemies Act 1691 was an Act of the Parliament of England which made it high treason to correspond with the deposed King James II. It was repealed and replaced by the Correspondence with the Pretender Act 1697. After James's death, the Correspondence with James the Pretender Act 1701 and the Correspondence with Enemies Act 1704 made it treason to correspond with his son, and the Treason Act 1743 made it treason to correspond with his son's sons.

The Correspondence with the Pretender Act 1697 was an Act of the Parliament of England which made it high treason to correspond with the deposed King James II. When James II died and his son "James III" asserted his own claim to the throne, the Correspondence with James the Pretender Act 1701 was passed to replace this provision.

Jacobitism political ideology

Jacobitism was the name of the political movement in Great Britain and Ireland that aimed to restore the House of Stuart to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The movement was named after Jacobus, the Latin form of James.