These Acts were passed by Henry VIII to facilitate and legalise his complex series of marriages and divorces. The Acts decided the legitimacy of Henry’s heirs, declaring illegitimate those children he had had by his divorced wives, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. The later Mary I and Elizabeth I were both declared illegitimate at this time, and Henry eventually fathered a legitimate heir with Lady Jane Seymour, the later Edward VI. When Henry died in 1547, Edward inherited the throne, and upon his death (1553) bequeathed the crown to his cousin and sometime fiancÚe Lady Jane Grey. However, the illegitimate Mary seized the title only nine days into Jane’s rule.
Editors. "Acts of Succession". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 June 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1565, accessed 23 April 2014.]