The Divine Right of Kings: 8

Virtual classroom
Source 3

The Judgment and Decree of the University of Oxford (1683)

The University of Oxford defended the royal absolute authority of King Charles II after the discovery of a Whig plot against him. It condemned wicked doctrines and staged the last official book burning in English history.

Certain propositions contained in divers books and writings [are] repugnant to the Holy Scriptures, the faith of the church, and destructive of the kingly government, the safety of His Majesty's person, the public peace, the laws of nature and the bonds of human society:
All civil authority is derived originally from the people.
- There is a mutual compact between a prince and his subjects, and that if he perform not his duty, they are discharged from theirs.
- That if lawful governors become tyrants they forfeit their right to government.
- The sovereignty of England is in the three estates, viz. king, lords and commons. The king has but a coordinate power, and may be overruled by the other two.
- Birthright and proximity of blood give no title to rule or government, and it is lawful to preclude the next heir from his right of succession to the crown.


1. What do you imagine the University intended to be the practical purpose of this decree?