Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Indemnity and Oblivion Act (1660)

The Indemnity and Oblivion Act (1660)

Between the execution of Charles I in 1649 and the restoration of Charles II in 1660, England didn’t have a King. In retrospect, this period is referred to as the Interregnum – a Latin word meaning “between the reigns”. After Parliament restored Charles II to the throne, one of the first laws he was asked to pass was the Indemnity and Oblivion Act of 1660. The main purpose of the Act was to grant immunity from prosecution to anyone who had held office during the Interregnum, with the exception of those who had actively been involved in the execution of Charles I. That was the “indemnity” part.

The “oblivion” part of the Act was a rather more bizarre piece of legislature. It made it a criminal offence, for a period of three years from the date of the Act, for anyone to refer to the fact that the Interregnum had taken place. The penalty for violating this injunction was a fine of ten pounds for the gentry, or two pounds for the working classes. Although many politicians over the years have tried to suppress historical facts, the Indemnity and Oblivion Act may be the only time it was enshrined in law!

Conspiracy History: A History of the World for Conspiracy Theorists
by Andrew May 

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