1526 to 1562

1530. The first law expelling Gypsies from England is introduced. Henry VIII forbids the transportation of Gypsies into England. The fine is forty pounds for ship's owner or captain. The Gypsy passengers are punished by hanging.

1531. The Augsburg Reichstag forbids the issuing of passports to Roma.

1536. The first anti-Gypsy laws are passed in Denmark.

1538. Deportation of Roma in Portugal to colonies begins.

1539. Roma are prohibited by Frances I from residence in France. The punishment is banishment. A second offence results in corporal punishment.

1540. Gypsies are allowed to live under their own laws in Scotland.

1541. Roma are blamed for outbreak of fires in Prague. This sets the stage for future anti-Gypsy legislation.

The first anti-Gypsy laws are passed in Scotland.

1547. Edward VI of England institutes law requiring that Gypsies be seized and "branded with a 'V' on their breast, and then enslaved for two years." If escapees are caught they will be branded with an "S" and made slaves for life.

Andrew Boorde authors an encyclopedia in England entitled The Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge. It has a chapter on Romani, which includes some of the earliest specimens of the language.

1549. The first anti-Gypsy laws are passed in Bohemia.


1554. In the reign of Philip and Mary, an Act is passed which decrees that that the death penalty shall be imposed for being a Gypsy, or anyone who "shall become of the fellowship or company of Egyptians."

1557. The first anti-Gypsy laws are passed in Lithuania.

In the reign of Sigismund Augustus, the first law ordering Roma to be expelled is passed by the Warsaw Seym (parliament).

1559. Roma are recorded on the Finnish island of Åland.

1560. The Archbishop of the Swedish Lutheran Church forbids priests to have any dealings with Roma. Their children are not to be christened and their dead not to be buried.

1560 and others. Spanish legislation forbids Gitanos of travelling in groups of more than two. Gitano "dress and clothing" is banned. Punishment for wearing Gitano clothing and travelling in groups of more than two is up to eighteen years in the galleys for those over fourteen years of age. This legislation is later altered to change the punishment to death for all nomads, and the galleys reserved for settled Gitanos.

1561. Roma are prohibited by Charles IX of France from residence. The punishment is banishment. A second offence results in the galleys and corporal punishment. Men, women and children have their heads shaved.

1562. An Act is passed in England "for further punishment of Vagabonds, calling themselves Egyptians." Any Gypsy born in England and Wales is not compelled to leave the country if they quit their idle and ungodly life and company. All others should suffer death and loss of lands and goods.