Simony Act 1588

The Simony Act 1588 (31 Eliz 1 c 6) is an Act of the Parliament of England.

The Simony Act 1588[1]
Long titleAn Acte against Abuses in Election of Scollers and presentacions to Benefices.[2]
Citation31 Eliz 1 c 6
Introduced by
Territorial extent England
Royal assent
Other legislation
Amended byStatute Law Revision Act 1948
Common Informers Act 1951
Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986
Repealed by
Relates toSimony Act 1688
Status: Amended
Revised text of statute as amended

The Act stipulates penalties for simony (the act of selling church offices and roles or sacred things), an offence under the ecclesiastical law of the Church of England.

As of 2008, it remains largely in force in England and Wales.

This Act was partly in force in Great Britain at the end of 2010.[3]

Under section 4, an unlawfully bestowed office can be declared void by the Crown, and the offender can be disabled from making future appointments and fined up to £1,000.[4] Clergy are no longer required to make a declaration as to simony on ordination but offences are now likely to be dealt with as "misconduct" under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003,[5] r.8.[6]


  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title was authorised by section 5 of, and Schedule 2 to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1948. Due to the repeal of those provisions, it is now authorised by section 19(2) of the Interpretation Act 1978.
  2. ^ These words are printed against this Act in the second column of Schedule 2 to the Statute Law Revision Act 1948, which is headed "Title".
  3. ^ The Chronological Table of the Statutes, 1235 - 2010. The Stationery Office. 2011. ISBN 978-0-11-840509-6. Part I. Page 57, read with pages viii and x.
  4. ^ Halsbury 832
  5. ^ 2003 No. 3
  6. ^ Halsbury 1359


  • Lord Mackay of Clashfern (ed.) (2002) Halsbury's Laws of England, 4th ed., Vol.14, "Ecclesiastical Law", 832 'Penalties and disability on simony'
  • 1359 'Simony' (see also current updates)