Plague, prorogation and the suspension of the courts in fifteenth-century England

In another timely blog from our History of Parliament researchers, today Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow for the Commons 1461-1504 project, discusses Parliament’s response to another plague outbreak as the courts of justice were suspended in June 1464. On Wednesday 6 June 1464, at the beginning of Trinity term, a small piece of theatre was played out in Westminster Hall. Three justices of the … Continue reading Plague, prorogation and the suspension of the courts in fifteenth-century England

Yorkist Parliaments, but not at York

At the beginning of this week, the government sparked debate by announcing the possibility of relocating the House of Lords away from Westminster to the city of York. But this is not the first time that the city has been considered as a parliamentary host, as Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 section, explains… In the light of suggestions that the House of … Continue reading Yorkist Parliaments, but not at York

Tobacco Fraud and the Prorogation of April 1707

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley, senior research fellow in the Lords 1715-90 section, considers how an unexpected prorogation around the time of the Union was employed to attempt to secure the passage of much-needed legislation Prorogations have been much in the news of late, but they are a common occurrence in parliamentary history. Parliament is prorogued at the end … Continue reading Tobacco Fraud and the Prorogation of April 1707

Political Prorogations: a view from the Victorian Commons

Originally posted on The Victorian Commons:
It’s been a long time since the business of suspending Parliament and starting a new session has generated so much political controversy. Throughout most of the 20th century prorogations invariably tallied with the expectations of most parliamentarians, neatly book-ending a government’s legislative programme. Scroll back a little further into the 19th century, however, and a rather different picture emerges… Continue reading Political Prorogations: a view from the Victorian Commons

Rogue Prorogations? Suspending Parliament in the Later Middle Ages

In addition to Dr Vivienne Larminie’s blog about averting the prorogation of Parliament in May 1641, here’s Dr Hannes Kleineke of our House of Commons 1422-1504 project on the origins of the practice of prorogation and examples thereof in the later Middle Ages… Until recent days, prorogations of Parliament have generally been regarded as an arcane piece of parliamentary theatre, of limited concern to anyone … Continue reading Rogue Prorogations? Suspending Parliament in the Later Middle Ages

Averting the prorogation of Parliament, May 1641

In light of the attempt of the current government to prorogue Parliament, we thought it would be appropriate to offer examples of prorogation or the aversion thereof in Parliament’s past. Today, Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons 1640-1660 project explains how prorogation was narrowly avoided in 1641 during a crisis in the early months of the Long Parliament. In an earlier … Continue reading Averting the prorogation of Parliament, May 1641