corner graphic

Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


Resource Toolbox
Additional Links

ABDICATION (Lat. abdicatio, disowning, renouncing, from ab, from, and dicare, to declare, to proclaim as not belonging to one), the act whereby a person in office renounces and gives up the same before the expiry of the time for which it is held. In Roman law, the term is especially applied to the disowning of a member of a family, as the disinheriting of a son, but the word is seldom used except in the sense of surrendering the supreme power in a state. Despotic sovereigns are at liberty to divest themselves of their powers at any time, but it is otherwise with a limited monarchy. The throne of Great Britain cannot be lawfully abdicated unless with the consent of the two Houses of Parliament. When James II., after throwing the great seal into the Thames, fled to France in 1688, he did not formally resign the crown, and the question was discussed in parliament whether he had forfeited the throne or had abdicated. The latter designation was agreed on, for in a full assembly of the Lords and Commons, met in convention, it was resolved, in spite of James's protest, "that King James II. having endeavoured to subvert the constitution of the kingdom, by breaking the original contract between king and people, and, by the advice of Jesuits and other wicked persons, having violated the fundamental laws, and having withdrawn himself out of this kingdom, has abdicated the government, and that the throne is thereby vacant." The Scottish parliament pronounced a decree of forfeiture and deposition. Among the most memorable abdications of antiquity may be mentioned that of Sulla the dictator, 79 B.C., and that of the Emperor Diocletian, A.D.

305. The following is a list of the more important abdications of later times: - Benedict IX., pope. .

Stephen II. of Hungary. Albert (the Bear) of Brandenburg .

Ladislaus III. of Poland. .

Celestine V., pope .

John Baliol of Scotland.. John Cantacuzene, emperor of the East [[Richard II. of ]]. .

John XXIII., pope.. Eric VII. of Denmark and XIII. of Sweden Murad II., Ottoman Sultan .

Charles V., emperor. .

Christina of Sweden.. John Casimir of Poland .

James II. of England Frederick Augustus of Poland Philip V. of Spain Victor Amadeus II. of Sardinia Ahmed III., Sultan of Turkey Charles of Naples (on accession to throne of Spain) Stanislaus II. of Poland.. Charles Emanuel IV. of Sardinia Charles IV. of Spain.. Joseph Bonaparte of Naples .

Gustavus IV. of Sweden.. Louis Bonaparte of Holland .

Napoleon I., French Emperor. April 4, 1814, Victor Emanuel of Sardinia Charles X. of France Pedro of Brazil 1 .

Miguel of Portgual .

William I. of Holland Louis Philippe, king of the French Louis Charles of Bavaria. Ferdinand of Austria. Charles Albert of Sardinia Leopold II. of Tuscany Isabella II. of Spain .

Amadeus I. of Spain .

Alexander of Bulgaria Milan of Servia. .

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Abdication'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

Search for…
Enter query in the box:
Choose a letter to browse:
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M 
N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  Y  Z 

Prev Entry
Abdias Maurel
Next Entry
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology