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a solemn Renunciation, or Recantation of an Error, Heresy, or false Doctrine. See RECANTATION.

The Word is form'd of the Latin Abjurare ; which in Cicero, and other Roman Writers, signifies the denying a thing upon Oath. Thus, Abjurare creditum, was to forswear a Debt, or to deny the owing it upon Oath, &c.

So, in our own Laws, To abjure a Person, is to renounce all Authority or Dominion of such a Person. Thus, by the Oath of Abjuration, a Person binds himself not to own any Regal Authority in the Person call'd the Pretender, nor ever to pay him the Obedience of a Subject. See OATH, ALLEGIANCE, &c.

Abjuration is also us'd in our antient Customs, for a sworn Banishment for Life ; or an Oath taken, to sorsake the Realm for ever. See BANISHMENT.

This, in some Cases, was admitted from Criminals in lieu of Death. The Devotion for the Church was so warm, from the Time of Edward the Confessor to the Reformation, that is a Man having committed Felony, could recover a Church or Church-yard before he were apprehended, it was an Asylum from which he could, not be brought to take his Trial at Law ; but confessing his Crime to the Justices, or Coroner, and abjuring the Kingdom, he was at liberty. See ASYLUM.

After Abjuration, a Cross was given him, which he was to carry in his Hand thro' the Highways, till he was got out of the King's Dominion ; which was call'd the Banner of Mother-Church. Plac. Hil. 26. Edw. III.

In time, Abjuration dwindled into a perpetual Confinement of the Prisoner to the Sanctuary ; wherein, after abjuring his Liberty and free Habitation, he was allow'd to spend his Life. By Stat. 21 Jac. I. all use of Sanctuaries, and consequently of Abjuration is taken away. See SANCTUARY