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The Cover
February 21, 2007

Parson Weems' Fable

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(7):675. doi:10.1001/jama.297.7.675

It took an act of Parliament, but the 25-year-old Mason Locke Weems, a native of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, made history when he became the first person ordained to the priesthood by the Church of England after the American Revolution. Heretofore ordination in the Anglican Church had required that the candidate swear an oath of loyalty to the English sovereign before he could receive Holy Orders. However, just weeks earlier, on August 13, 1784, the British Parliament lifted the restriction, allowing Weems' ordination to go forward.

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