ⓘ Treason Act 1743. The Treason Act 1743 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which made it high treason to correspond with any of the sons of James Fran ..


ⓘ Treason Act 1743

The Treason Act 1743 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which made it high treason to correspond with any of the sons of James Francis Edward Stuart, who claimed to be king of Great Britain and of Ireland. His sons were Charles Edward Stuart and Henry Benedict Stuart.


1. Provisions

Section 1 enacted that after 1 May 1744 it was treason for anyone to "hold, entertain, or keep any intelligence or correspondence in person, or by letters, messages or otherwise" with any son of the Old Pretender, or any of his employees, "knowing such person to be so employed," or to give them money, whether in Great Britain or elsewhere.

Section 2 provided that from the same date, any son of the Old Pretender who landed or attempted to land in Great Britain or Ireland, "or any of the dominions or territories belonging to the crown of Great Britain," or who was found there or in any ship with intent to land there, would be guilty of treason.

Section 3 amended section X of the Treason Act 1708. This section had originally provided that after the death of the Old Pretender, "no attainder for treason shall extend to the disinheriting of any heir, nor to the prejudice of the right or title of any person or persons, other than the right or title of the offender or offenders, during his, her, or their natural lives, only." See corruption of blood. The 1743 Act postponed the operation of this clause until after the death of all of the Old Pretenders sons which occurred in 1807, instead of his own death in 1766. The 1708 and 1743 Acts were amended in turn by the 1799 Act 39 Geo.3 c.93, which repealed these provisions.

Section 4 stated that offences committed out of Great Britain could be tried anywhere in Great Britain.


2. Previous legislation

Four previous statutes had made similar provision in respect of the Old Pretender and his father, the late King James:

  • Correspondence with James the Pretender High Treason Act 1701
  • Correspondence with Enemies Act 1691
  • Correspondence with Enemies Act 1704
  • Correspondence with the Pretender Act 1697
  • with Enemies Act 1704 3 Anne c. 14 made it treason to correspond with his son, and the Treason Act 1743 17 Geo.II c.39 made it treason to correspond
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