ABDICATION, the Act whereby a Magistrate, or Person in Office renounces and gives up the same, for himself and his Heirs. See RENUNCIATION.

Abdication is frequently confounded with Resignation ; but, strictly speaking, there is a difference : Abdication being done purely and simply ; whereas Resignation is done in favour of some third Person. See RESIGNATION.

In this Sense, Diocletian, and Charles V. are said to have abdicated the Crown; Philip IV. of Spain resign'd it. The Parliament voted King James's Violation of the Laws, and his quitting the Kingdom, without providing for the due Administration of Affairs in his absence, to import an Abdication of the Crown.

Among the Romans, Abdication was also us'd in opposition to Adoption : Thus, a Father was said to abdicate his disobedient Son. See ADOPTION.

It disser 'd from Exheredation, Disinheriting, in this Circumstance, that the abdicated Son was banisti'd his Father's Family, and cut off from the Succession by a solemn Act, during the Father's Life: whereas Exheredation only took place in virtue of his Testament. See EXHEREDATION.