Life in Elizabethan England Next

Lord Burghley

The Oath of a Privy Councillor, 1570

Here is the text of the oath given to every Privy Councillor on his appointment to that office. He swears, his hand upon the Bible.

You shall swear to be a true and faithful councillor to the Queen's Majesty as one of her Highness's Privy Council.

You shall not know or understand any manner of thing to be attempted, done, or spoken against her Majesty's person, honour, crown, or dignity royal but you shall let and withstand the same to the utmost of your power, and either do or cause it to be forthwith revealed either to her Majesty's self or to the rest of her Privy Council.

You shall keep secret all matters committed and revealed to you as her Majesty's councillor, or that shall be treated of secretly in council.

And if any of the same treaties or counsels shall touch any of the other councillors, you shall not reveal the same to him, but shall keep the same until such time as by consent of her Majesty, or the rest of the Council, publication shall be made thereof.

You shall not let to give true, plain, and faithful counsel at all times, without respect either of the cause or of the person, laying apart all favor, meed [reward], affection, and partiality.

And you shall to your uttermost bear faith and true allegiance to the Queen's Majesty, her heirs and lawful successors, and shalll assist and defend all jurisdictions, preeminences, and authorities granted to her Majesty and annexed to her Crown against all foreign princes, persons, prelates, or potentates, whether by act of Parliament or otherwise.

And generally in all things you shall do as a faithful and true councillor ought to do to her Majesty.

So help you God and the holy contents of this book.

Previous Top Home Notes Next

26 June 2005 pkm