Front Page Titles (by Subject) 65: An Act for Swearing Allegeance - Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History
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65: An Act for Swearing Allegeance - Donald S. Lutz, Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History 
Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History, ed. Donald S. Lutz (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund 1998).
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An Act for Swearing Allegeance
The complete text, with original spelling, is from Browne, Archives of Maryland: Vol. i, 40–41.
The problem of political obligation was handily solved in this era not by some formal theory of consent but rather by the expedient of having all inhabitants take an oath if they wished to remain inhabitants. Colonists were supposedly required to take an oath of fidelity to the king of England, a requirement that engendered some controversy among the colonists. The source of the controversy lay not in swearing allegiance to the king but in the genesis of such oaths, which were instituted originally to recognize the monarch as head of the Church. The Catholics in Maryland were no less hesitant about such matters than the radical Protestant dissenters in New England, who had left England primarily to escape the established Church. This oath should be compared with those contained in documents 4, 9, 15, and 47. Comparison with oaths internal to longer documents, such as the Pilgrim Code of Law , should also prove instructive.
Be it Enacted and ordeined by the Lord Proprietarie of this Province by and with the Consent and approbation of the ffreemen of the same that all and every person or persons of the age of eighteen years and upwards Inhabitants or that Shall come hereafter to Inhabite within this Province shall within one month next after this present Assembly shall be dissolved or within one month after such person or persons shall land or come into this Province take an oath to our Soveraigne Lord King Charles his heirs and Successors in these words following (I: A B doe truly acknowledge professe testifie and declare in my concience before God and the World that our Soveraigne Lord King Charles is lawfull and rightfull King of England and of all other his Majesties Dominions and Countries and I will bear true faith and allegeance to his Majestie his heirs and lawfull Successors and him and them will defend to the uttermost of my power against all conspiracies and such attempts whatsoever which shall be made against his or their Crowne or dignity and shall and will doe my best endeavour to disclose and make known to his Majestie his heirs and lawfull Successors all Treasons and traiterous consperacies which I shall know or heare to be intended against his Majestie his heirs and lawfull Successors And I doe make this recognition and acknowledgement heartily willingly and truely upon the faith of a Christian So help me God) And Be it further Enacted By the authority aforesaid that if any person or persons to whom the Said oaths Shall be tendred by Virtue of this present act Shall willfully refuse to take the same that then Upon such tender and refusall the said person or persons so refuseing to take the said Oath shall be imprisoned till the next County Court or hundred Court of Kent and if at such Court such partie shall upon the Second tender refuse again to take the said oath the partie or parties so refuseing shall forfeit and lose all his Lands goods and Chattells within this Province to the Lord Proprietarie and his heirs and Shall be banished the said Province for ever (except women covert who Shall be committed only to prison untill such time as they will take the same oath).
To which end Be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid that the Lieutent Generall or other officer Governour or Governours (for the time being) of this Province or two of the Councill or the Secretary of the Province for the time being or any Judge sitting in Court or the Commander of the Isle of Kent for persons being or that Shall be in the Ile of Kent Shall have full power to administer the said oath in manner aforesaid according to the intention of this present act This Act to continue till the end of the next assembly