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A renunciation or Abandonment by or upon oath. The renunciation under oath of one's citizenship or some other right or privilege.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


renunciation by an OATH.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

ABJURATION. 1. A renunciation of allegiance to a country by oath.
     2.-1. The act of Congress of the 14th of April, 1802, 2 Story's Laws, U.S. 850, requires that when an alien shall apply to be admitted a citizen of the United States, he shall declare on oath or affirmation before the court where the application shall be made, inter alia, that he doth absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity which he owes to any foreign prince, &c., and particularly, by name, the prince, &c., whereof he was before a citizen or subject. Rawle on the Const. 98.
     3.-2. In England the oath of abjuration is an oath by which an Englishman binds himself not to acknowledge any right in the Pretender to the throne of England.
     4.-3 It signifies also, according to 25 Car. H., an oath abjuring to certain doctrines of the church of Rome.
     5.-4. In the ancient English law it was a renunciation of one's country and taking an oath of perpetual banishment. A man who had committed a felony, and for safety flea to a sanctuary might within forty days' confess the fact, and take the oath of abjuration and perpetual banishment; he was then transported. This was abolished by Stat. 1 Jac. 1, c. 25. Ayl. Parerg. 14.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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Chapter three looks at the actual journeys made by the abjurers, and here Jordan advances one of the more controversial arguments of the book: that the movement of abjurers through the country was carefully co-ordinated and managed by the authorities.
Chapter four looks at the abjurers' lives once they reached France, an intriguing question that English historians have not pursued.
Finally, the procedure known as abjuration of the realm was one familiar to all in the late Middle Ages.(22) The consequences of abjuration, that is, the perpetual banishment of the abjurer on pain of execution, meant that few suspects chose to avoid prosecution in this manner.
One of the obligations of abjurers was to 'carry crosses and dress penitentially'.
In six chapters, he discusses abjuration in its heyday, from the late twelfth century to the early fourteenth, as well as who the abjurers were, what crimes they committed, how they left England and where they arrived, their lives in exile, and how a few of them were able to return to life in England.
It goes on to show how figural ideas of eucharistic theology enriched the poetry of John Lydgate and how the ambiguous status of Lollard abjurers in the Church offered Margery Kempe a means of exploring and expressing through ideas of 'Lollard shame' her own alternative spiritual experience.