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Foreign Protestants Naturalization Act 1708

The Foreign Protestants Naturalization Act 1708[1]
Long title An Act for naturalizing Foreign Protestants.[2]
Citation 7 Ann c 5
Status: Repealed

The Foreign Protestants Naturalization Act 1708 (7 Anne c. 5), sometimes referred to as the Foreign and Protestants Naturalization Act 1708,[3] was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. It was passed to allow the naturalisation of French Protestants (Huguenots) who had fled to Britain after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. It was one of the British Subjects Acts 1708 to 1772.[4]

The Whig majority in Parliament passed the Act with the support of both Houses of Parliament despite some opposition that a "conflux of aliens that would be invited over". The counter-argument is presented in the preamble of the bill "that the increase of people is a means of advancing the wealth and strength of a nation."

The effect of the Act was that all foreign Protestants could be naturalised provided they swore allegiance to the government and received sacrament in any Protestant church. Between May and June 1709, up to 12,000 Palatines, Suabians, and other German Lutherans had arrived in Britain due to war in those places. Some German Catholics who arrived were sent back, and some immigrants were sent on to Ireland, New York and Carolina.

The Act was repealed by the Tories in 1711 by the Naturalization Act 1711 (10 Anne c. 9).[5]


  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title was authorised by section 1 of, and Schedule 1 to, the Short Titles Act 1896. 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 1 to the Short Titles Act 1896, which is headed "Title".
  3. ^ The Laws of Scotland: The Stair Memorial Encyclopedia. The Law Society of Scotland. Butterworhs. Edinburgh. 1990. Volume 19. Page 9.
  4. ^ The Short Titles Act 1896, section 2(1) and Schedule 2
  5. ^ Index: N, O, Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 27, 1713. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1955.

External links

  • Text as originally passed
  • 'Book 1, Ch. 18: Queen Anne', A New History of London: Including Westminster and Southwark (1773), pp. 288–306. Date Retrieved 16 November 2006.
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