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The Benefit of Clergy Act 1575 (18 Eliz. I c.7), long title An Act to take away clergy from the offenders in rape and burglary, and an order for the delivery of clerks convict without purgation, removed the right of those charged with rape or burglary to claim benefit of clergy Benefit of clergy was the legally enshrined right of any clergyman facing prosecution for a felony in a royal court to have the case heard instead in an ecclesiastical court. , and thus to be tried in a rather more lenient ecclesiastical court instead of a secular one. Anyone found guilty of either of those offences would henceforth be subject to the death penalty.[1]

The Act also made it illegal for anyone to have carnal knowledge of a female under the age of ten, again without benefit of clergy.[1]

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Bibliography


Elton, G. R. (1989). The Parliament of England, 1559–1581. Cambridge University Press.