In 1604 Parliament passed an act requiring all clergy of the Church of England to take an Oath of Allegiance at their ordination to the diaconate or priesthood in which they acknowledged the King (or Queen) of England as supreme governor of the church in all spiritual and temporal matters. Those who refused to take this oath at the accession of William and Mary, or later George I, were known as "Nonjurors." This oath was a conscientious stumbling block for some clergy who felt obliged to remain loyal to the crown at the time of the American Revolution. The requirement for this oath also caused Samuel Seabury to seek consecration from Scottish nonjuring bishops when he was bishop-elect of Connecticut. In 1787 Parliament passed legislation permitting the Archbishop of Canterbury to consecrate bishops for the Episcopal Church without their taking the required oath of loyalty to the English crown.
Oath of Allegiance
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.