First attested around 1439. From Middle English abjuracioun, from LatinabiÅ«rÄtiÅ (“forswearing, abjuration"), from ab (“from, away from") + iÅ«rÅ (“swear or take an oath"), from iÅ«s (“law, right, duty"). Compare French abjuration.
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The direct result of this investigation is not known, but it is impossible to disconnect from it the promulgation by Pope Alexander V., on the 20th of December 1409, of a bull which ordered the abjuration of all Wycliffite heresies and the surrender of all his books, while at the same time - a measure specially levelled at the pulpit of Bethlehem chapel - all preaching was prohibited except in localities which had been by long usage set apart for that use.
The oath of abjuration of James was another cause of division, at least till it was watered down in 1719; and by 1726 a revival of the charges of heresy against Simson, with the increase of agitation against the majority of the Assembly who supported patrons, lighted a flame which burned the slight bonds that kept the extremists in union with the kirk.
What had been a slow movement between I585 and 1592 was quickened by Henry IV.s abjuration of Protestantism at Saint-Denis on the 23rd of July 1593.
He brought with him, for the refutation of calumnious reports circulated by his enemies, a written certificate from Cardinal Bellarmin, to the effect that no abjuration had been required of or penance imposed upon him.
The legend according to which Galileo, rising from his knees after repeating the formula of abjuration, stamped on the ground, and exclaimed, "Eppur si muovel" is, as may readily be supposed, entirely apocryphal.