Sacramental Test Act passed on 9 May 1828. Image: John Jabez Edwin Mayall, Portrait of Lord John Russell. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.
Introduced by Lord John Russell and passed in 1828, the Sacramental Test Act repealed the Corporation Act of 1661 and the Test Act of 1673. Those Acts had required individuals who held municipal, civil, or military office to take communion in the Church of England and to declare that they did not believe in transubstantiation. Initially aimed at keeping Catholics out of public office, these Acts ended up restricting Protestants who were not Anglicans. However, in the century and a half following the passage of the Test and Corporation Acts, the growing social power of Dissenting religions in England gradually eased those strictures.