What do you know about the C15th Parliament?

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Chris, yclept John Barber
Posts: 337
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:23 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

What do you know about the C15th Parliament?

Postby Chris, yclept John Barber » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:41 pm

Doing a bit of reading about the background to our household, I note that John Howard was an MP in 1449, 1455, 1463, and 1467. My understanding of the workings of Parliament back then is a little sketchy, and I’d appreciate it if someone more knowledgeable could give me a brief overview.

My impression at the moment is that Parliament was only called when the King wanted to raise new taxes or bring in new laws. They would sit for however long those specific tasks took, then break up till the next time they were called. So an MP’s duties might only take two or three weeks, for just one session in most years. I have no idea how many years they served.

Right? Wrong? Completely befuddled by the wrangling between Charles I and his Parliament?


Of course he has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives - it's 1183 and we're barbarians.

User avatar
Colin Middleton
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2037
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Re: What do you know about the C15th Parliament?

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:14 pm

I'm not even sure it the King needed to call parliament to bring in new laws. I think that you're right about taxation and the King had to ask parliament if he needed money. It seems that one of the measures of a successful King in the MA was how often he needed to summon parliament to give him money.


Colin

"May 'Blood, blood, blood' be your motto!"

Image

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Re: What do you know about the C15th Parliament?

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:15 pm

I know this would be a task but everything I have gleened about the workings of medieval parliaments (in the 15th century) came by reading the biographies of each reighning monarch from Richard II to Henry VIII (I know that overlaps the 14th and 16th centuries but it needed to be done.)
I find it hard to imagine that there isn't abook speciffically about parliament though so I'll have a look.)


OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

the real lord duvet

Re: What do you know about the C15th Parliament?

Postby the real lord duvet » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:55 pm

from the uk parliament website. suggest you read about "the good parliament" and "the bad parliament" although late 14th C might give basis of parliamentary procedure. either that or biographies of the speakers?


Simon de Montfort and the origins of Parliament
By the 1250s King Henry III (1216-72) was running into difficulties with his nobility. They were angry at the cost of some of his schemes, such as the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey and a proposed campaign to make one of his younger sons King of Sicily.

The Provisions of Oxford (1258), imposed on Henry by his barons, established a permanent baronial council which took control of certain key appointments. The leader of the baronial movement was Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester. In 1259 the Provisions of Westminster reformed the common law.

Henry eventually renounced both sets of provisions and challenged the barons. Civil war broke out in 1264, initially going well for Simon de Montfort. During the conflict he sought to boost his baronial support by summoning knights of the shires and burgesses to attend his parliament. This was the first time that commoners had been represented.

De Montfort was killed at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, but his innovation of summoning the commons to attend parliaments was repeated in later years and soon became standard. Thus it is from him that the modern idea of a representative parliament derives.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Parliamentary Developments: 14th-20th Centuries
In the 14th Century, under King Edward III (1327-77) it was accepted that there should be no taxation without parliamentary consent, still a fundamental principle today. Two distinct Houses of Parliament were emerging for the first time, with the 'Commons' sitting apart from the 'Upper House' from 1341. The 'Good Parliament' of 1376 saw the election of the first Speaker, Thomas Hungerford, to represent the Commons. It also saw the use of 'impeachment', whereby the House of Commons as a body could accuse officials who had abused their authority and put them on trial before the Lords.

In the 15th Century, the Commons gained equal law-making powers with the Lords, under King Henry V.

The 16th Century saw the legal union of Wales - which had long been subject to the English crown - with England under King Henry VIII (1509-47). Henry's reign also saw the Church of England break away from the Roman Catholic church. The 'Gunpowder Plot' of 1605 may have been hatched when it became clear that the new King, James 1, intended to do nothing to ease the plight of Catholics in the country. The Queen today remains the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and, as the sovereign, must by law be a member of that Church.

In the 17th Century, tensions increased between parliament and monarch, such that in 1641 the King and Parliament could not agree on the control of troops for reppression of the Irish Rebellion. Civil War broke out the following year, leading to the execution of King Charles 1 in January 1649. Following the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, the role of parliament was enhanced by the events of 1688-89 (the 'Glorious Revolution') and the passage of the Bill of Rights which established the authority of Parliament over the King, and enshrined in law the principle of freedom of speech in parliamentary debates.

1707 brought the Union with Scotland and the first Parliament of Great Britain. Growing pressure for reform of parliament in the 18th and 19th Centuries led to a series of Reform Acts which extended the electoral franchise to most men (over 21) in 1867 and, finally, to women over 21 in 1928.



User avatar
Ghost
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:11 pm
Location: York

Re: What do you know about the C15th Parliament?

Postby Ghost » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:30 pm

From BBC history page with useful book list

The 15th century was a period of steady consolidation rather than great innovation in the history of parliament.

The assembly was becoming more and more embedded into the fabric of political life in late medieval England.

The assembly itself was no longer seen as the superior court of the king, but as the high court of the realm.
Moreover, there was a growing awareness of the distinctive qualities it lent to the English political system. The great political writer of the 15th century, Sir John Fortescue, was able to muse on the differences between the English and French monarchies, stating that whereas the king of France could rule his people by such laws as he made himself and set upon them taxes without their assent, the king of England by contrast could not rule his people 'by laws other than those the people had assented to'.

Parliamentary legislation was no longer enacted in the name of the king and council, but by 'authority of parliament', and the assembly itself was no longer seen as the superior court of the king, but as the 'high court of the realm'.

The development of this terminology highlighted that the great legacy of the later Middle Ages, besides the emergence of parliament itself, was the deeply ingrained belief that the assembly existed as much to serve the interests of the king's subjects as it did the king himself.


Books

The King's Parliament of England by G O Sayles (London, 1975)

The Second Century of the English Parliament by G Edwards (Oxford, 1979)

The English Parliament in the Middle Ages by H G Richardson and G O Sayles (London, 1981)

A History of Parliament: The Middle Ages by R Butt (London, 1989)

The English Parliament in the Middle Ages by R G Davies and J H Denton (Manchester 1991)

Justice and Grace: Private Petitioning and the English Parliament in the Late Middle Ages by G Dodd (Oxford, 2007)

The Commons in the Parliament of 1422 by J S Roskell (Manchester 1954)


"Tell your masters that Englishmen do not surrender" - Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset to French Herald; Valmont, 1416.

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Re: What do you know about the C15th Parliament?

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:52 pm

Fantastic, more books for me to explore.


OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

User avatar
craig1459
Post Centurion
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: What do you know about the C15th Parliament?

Postby craig1459 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:20 pm

Richard III only had one parliament, which took place early in 1484

Notable statutes included the illegitimacy of Edward V, rules to protect the English merchants from foreign competition and the modern system of bail.


die Behmen hinder iren bafosen ... stunden vest wie die mauren

User avatar
behanner
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:39 am

Re: What do you know about the C15th Parliament?

Postby behanner » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:50 am

Assuming your talking about John Howard who became Lord Howard then he was called to Parliament in the 1470s as well just in the House of Lords.



User avatar
Chris, yclept John Barber
Posts: 337
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:23 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Re: What do you know about the C15th Parliament?

Postby Chris, yclept John Barber » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:56 pm

Looks like I'm going to have to read the books then!

You can see my difficulty: the source Craig's link goes to gives a single date on which Parliament was assembled, but gives no impression of how long it took them to agree to 33 statutes. But at least he's confirmed that Parliament wasn't attended every year - unless he didn't have one in '83 because he wasn't King all of that year, and the same applies to '85 thanks to the events of Bosworth!

But Ghost's quote from Fortescue answers Colin's impression: he did need Parliament to pass new laws.

And yes, Behanner, it is that John Howard. What information do you have on his appearances in the House of Lords?


Of course he has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives - it's 1183 and we're barbarians.

User avatar
behanner
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:39 am

Re: What do you know about the C15th Parliament?

Postby behanner » Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:49 pm

Chris, yclept John Barber wrote:And yes, Behanner, it is that John Howard. What information do you have on his appearances in the House of Lords?


While it woudl have to be verified all peers of the realm were theoretically called to the House of Lords. It is actually one of the defining things of being a baron or lord or whatever term you want to use. I'll go and check in a minute and see if I can verify that.




Return to “1100-1500”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests