The Act of Uniformity was an Act of the Parliament of England, 14 Charles II c. 4 (1662), which required the use of all the rites and ceremonies in the Book of Common Prayer in Church of England services. It also required episcopal ordination for all ministers. As a result, nearly 2,000 clergymen left the established church in what became known as the Great Ejection.
The Test and Corporation Acts, which lasted until 1828, excluded all nonconformists from holding civil or military office. They were also prevented from being awarded degrees by the universities of Cambridge and Oxford.
The Act of Uniformity was an act of Parliament, prescribing the form of public prayers, administration of sacraments, and other rites of the Established Church of England. Its provisions were modified by the Act of Uniformity Amendment Act, of 1872.
It was enacted by Charles II, and reintroduced episcopal rule back into the Church of England after the Puritans had abolished many features of the Church during the Civil War. The Act of Uniformity itself is only one of four crucial pieces of legislation, known as the Clarendon Code, after Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, Charles' Lord Chancellor. They were:
The Book of Common Prayer introduced by Charles was substantially the same as Elizabeth's version of 1559, itself based on Cranmer's earlier versions, and except for minor changes remains the official and permanent legal version of prayer authorised by Parliament and Church.
(The '16 Charles II c. 2' nomenclature is reference to the statute book of the numbered year of the reign of the named King in the stated chapter. This is the method used for Acts of Parliament from before 1962.)