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"Where by divers sundry old authentic histories and chronicles, it is manifestly declared and expressed that this realm of England is an Empire, and so hath been accepted in the world, governed by one Supreme Head and King having the dignity and royal estate of the imperial Crown of the same, unto whom a body politic compact of all sorts and degrees of people divided in terms and by names of Spirituality and Temporalty, be bounden and owe to bear next to God a natural and humble obedience. He being also institute and furnished, by the goodness and sufferance of Almighty God, with plenary, whole and entire power, pre-eminence authority."

When Henry VII of England sought to end his marriage without recourse to the church at Rome, he at first found no satisfaction in his Parliament.

Thomas CromwellThat changed in 1533 when Thomas Cromwell became his prime minister and wrote, introduced and had passed An Act In Restraint of Appeals (24 Henry VIII Chapter 12), which prevented the church in Rome from having a final say on any legal matter, including marriage annulment.

The quote, above, is from the preamble and in that statute, England declared itself adrift from the jurisdiction of the Pope. The devise was to declare England an empire that answers to none; with plenay, whole and entire power.

Things worked out well for the royal tyrant, Henry VIII, who went on to remarry several times.

But not so for Cromwell.

He was the subject of a rare statute, a bill of attainder, and he was executed on July 28, 1540. Then, his corpse was beheaded and the head, boiled and spiked onto London Bridge.