‘Attainder’, A. F. Pollard once wrote, was ‘the characteristic instrument of Tudor policy’, and ‘acts of attainder [the’ favourite weapon’ of Henry VIII. Unfortunately Pollard did little more than throw out these striking phrases; he never made a systematic study of parliamentary attainder under die second Tudor. The use of attainder in die fifteenth century has been subjected to recent scholarly scrutiny, and certain bills from die period of Thomas Cromwell's ascendancy have been discussed by Professor Elton. But a careful examination of attainder under Henry VIII is still lacking. Since his reign marks die heyday of attainder by statute, such an inquiry is clearly important.