1537 Act for the English Order, Habit and Language

This act was passed by the Irish Parliament in 1537, during the reign of King Henry VIII of England.

[There is] nothing which doth more contain and keep many of the [king’s] subjects of this his said land in a savage and wild kind and manner of living than the diversity that is betwixt them in tongue, language, order and habit, which by the eye deceiveth the multitude and persuadeth unto them that be as it were of sundry sorts, or rather sundry countries, where indeed they should be wholly together one body whereof his Highness is the only head under God […] his Highness hath and beareth to the advancement of the state of this his land, for a certain direction and order to be had, that all we his said subjects thereof, might the better know God, and do that thing that might in time be and redound to our own wealth, quiet, and commodity, doth not only desire that all such good laws, as by wise, godly and prudent princes, his most noble progenitors, have been heretofore made for the use of the English tongue, habit and order, within this his said land, may be put in due execution, but also that the same may be so established, and in this present Parliament brought to such a perfection, that the said English tongue, habit and order, may from henceforth continually (and without ceasing or returning at any time to Irish habit, or language) be used by all men that will acknowledge themselves according to their duties of allegiance, to be his Highness’s true and faithful subjects […]