Summer Events at the History of Parliament

It’s been a busy summer already at the History of Parliament. As I’m sure you know during the course of 2015 we’ve been celebrating, along with many others of course, a number of important anniversaries in parliamentary history. The two most important of these – the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215 and Simon de Montfort’s 1265 parliament – formed the inspiration for two major … Continue reading Summer Events at the History of Parliament

The long-lived charter: Magna Carta’s 800 year legacy

800 years ago today, Magna Carta was sealed at Runnymede. In the last of our series celebrating the anniversaries of Magna Carta and Simon de Montfort’s Parliament, Dr Alexander Lock, Curator of Modern Historical Manuscripts at the British Library and lead researcher for the Library’s acclaimed Magna Carta exhibition, discusses how Magna Carta came to become an important symbol of the parliamentary system… Though Magna … Continue reading The long-lived charter: Magna Carta’s 800 year legacy

Sir Edward Coke, Magna Carta, and 17th century rebellion

In the latest in our ongoing series celebrating the anniversaries of Magna Carta and Simon de Montfort’s Parliament, Professor George Garnett discusses the importance of Sir Edward Coke’s 17th century commentary on Magna Carta… Sir Edward Coke’s role in English common law is widely acknowledged to be commensurate with that of his near contemporary William Shakespeare in English literature. But in an important sense his … Continue reading Sir Edward Coke, Magna Carta, and 17th century rebellion

Early Modern ideas about Parliament’s origins

Our series celebrating the anniversaries of Magna Carta and Simon de Montfort’s Parliament continues today. Dr Paul Cavill, Lecturer in Early Modern British History at Cambridge University discusses how the origins of Parliament were viewed in the early modern period… When did the first parliament in England meet? In modern historical consciousness, the answer is straightforward enough: in the year 1265, following the victory of … Continue reading Early Modern ideas about Parliament’s origins

Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: Alexander Lock, ‘Magna Carta: law, liberty and myth’

Our last ‘Parliaments, politics and people’ seminar of term took place on 24 March. Dr Alexander Lock, one of the curators of the British Library’s current exhibition ‘Magna Carta: law, liberty, legacy’ spoke on the impact and legacy of the 1215 Great Charter. His paper covered the full eight hundred year history of Magna Carta, and described how a failed medieval peace treaty came to … Continue reading Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: Alexander Lock, ‘Magna Carta: law, liberty and myth’

Eleanor de Montfort, countess of Leicester (b. c. 1215-d. c. 1275): A countess and a rebel

Continuing our ongoing series celebrating the anniversaries of Magna Carta and Simon de Montfort’s Parliament, this week’s guest blogpost looks at the role of a woman who helped to shape the politics of her time. Louise Wilkinson, Professor of Medieval History at Canterbury Christ Church University, explains the key role of Eleanor de Montfort… In the thirteenth century, Eleanor de Montfort was one of the … Continue reading Eleanor de Montfort, countess of Leicester (b. c. 1215-d. c. 1275): A countess and a rebel

London 1264: from Magna Carta to Montfort’s Parliament.

As part of our series on Magna Carta and Simon de Montfort’s parliament, Ian Stone, a Junior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, discusses how a recent discovery among the records of the Corporation of London shows just how tightly bound the citizens of London had become to Simon de Montfort’s regime in advance of Montfort’s famous parliament of 1265… In December 1264 … Continue reading London 1264: from Magna Carta to Montfort’s Parliament.