An empty victory: Queen Margaret and the second battle of St. Albans 17 Feb. 1461

Today Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project marks the anniversary of the second battle of St. Albans. The battle may have been a convincing victory for the Lancastrian side, but was it a blessing in disguise for their Yorkist foes? The Lancastrian victories of the civil war of 1459-61 have a curious quality. Any victory in a campaign that ends in defeat has the … Continue reading An empty victory: Queen Margaret and the second battle of St. Albans 17 Feb. 1461

Parliament and the trial of the ‘peers of the land’ in Henry of Lancaster’s revolt, 1328-29

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Matt Raven, of the University of Nottingham. On 16 February 2021, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Matt will be responding to your questions about his pre-circulated paper on the development of parliamentary privilege in fourteenth-century England. Details of how to join the discussion are available here, or by contacting … Continue reading Parliament and the trial of the ‘peers of the land’ in Henry of Lancaster’s revolt, 1328-29

Bristol and the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI

This winter marks the 550th anniversary of the Readeption Parliament of 1470-1, the circumstances and proceedings of which are the subject of a recent blog. Today Dr Charles Moreton from our Commons 1461-1504 project looks closer at the Parliament’s impact in Bristol and the period of the short-lived restoration of Henry VI in which this assembly sat. There are no extant election returns for the Parliament, and the names of just 41 of its MPs survive. Forty, if not all of these men, sat for urban constituencies, the archives of which preserve their election. As it happens, the … Continue reading Bristol and the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI

Richard, duke of York’s last Christmas: the Battle of Wakefield, 30 Dec. 1460

Today on the blog senior research fellow for our 1461-1504 project Dr Simon Payling regales us with Richard, duke of York’s final Christmas and the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460… 1460 saw some dramatic fluctuations in the fortunes of the house of York.  At its beginning the Yorkist lords were in exile and their estates confiscated; in the summer their victory at the … Continue reading Richard, duke of York’s last Christmas: the Battle of Wakefield, 30 Dec. 1460

The ‘lost statute’ of 1427-8: how to solve a problem like Queen Katherine

In today’s blog Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow for our Commons 1461-1504 project, returns to our recent blog theme of marriage. When Henry V died in 1422, making his infant son and namesake king, the romantic attachments of his widow, Katherine of Valois, became of chief parliamentary concern… Amongst the many problems bequeathed to the English government by the premature death of Henry V … Continue reading The ‘lost statute’ of 1427-8: how to solve a problem like Queen Katherine

Turning back the clock: the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI, 1470-71

In today’s blog Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks back to the winter of 1470, as Henry VI found himself on the throne once more… On 26 November 1470 a Parliament assembled at Westminster. This was in itself no remarkable event, even if there had been no such assembly for over two years. What was remarkable was that for the first … Continue reading Turning back the clock: the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI, 1470-71

The barbarity of the medieval criminal law: petty treason and the murders of Sir Thomas Murdak and John Cotell

In today’s blog Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow in our Commons 1461-1504 project, once again turns his attention to crime and punishment in the medieval period. In the 14th century, the criminal law system may have worked slowly, but it was particularly harsh to those convicted of ‘petty treason’… In the first months of 1316 there was a notable series of deaths in the … Continue reading The barbarity of the medieval criminal law: petty treason and the murders of Sir Thomas Murdak and John Cotell

The constituency of Oxfordshire in the reign of Henry VI, 1422-61

This month we’re turning our attention to Oxfordshire in our local history blog series. Kicking things off today is Dr Charles Moreton, Senior Research Fellow for our Commons 1461-1504 project. In the reign of Henry VI this was one of the wealthiest constituencies in England, but how did they select their representation? While unspectacular in landscape, Oxfordshire was one of the wealthiest and most fertile … Continue reading The constituency of Oxfordshire in the reign of Henry VI, 1422-61

Face to Face with the Abbot

The news this week is shaping up to be full of Abbots and of particular interest to the History of Parliament is a certain Abbot of St Albans cathedral who was also a long-serving parliamentarian in the fifteenth century, John Wheathampstead. The editor of our 1461-1504 project, Dr Hannes Kleineke, explains… Central to the work of colleagues at the History of Parliament is the pursuit … Continue reading Face to Face with the Abbot

The puzzling career of the luckless Sir Thomas Mallory (c.1416-1471), author of Le Morte d’Arthur

In today’s blog Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow for our Commons 1461-1504 project, explores the mysterious life of Sir Thomas Mallory, who spent much of his life incarcerated. Whilst Mallory’s literary legacy is clear to see, the reasons behind his long imprisonment are not so straightforward… As the author of a work of lasting literary significance, Le Morte d’Arthur, a vernacular compilation of Arthurian … Continue reading The puzzling career of the luckless Sir Thomas Mallory (c.1416-1471), author of Le Morte d’Arthur