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

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

Divorce, cuckoldry and bastardy: two unhappy medieval marriages

Today’s blog comes from Dr Charles Moreton, senior research fellow in our Commons 1461-1504 project, who begins our latest blog series all about parliamentarians’ marriages. Here Dr Moreton turns his attention to two particularly unhappy marriages during the 15th century… Unlike some of the blogs to come in this series, the following offers a couple of examples of unhappy marriages. Both of the parliamentarians in … Continue reading Divorce, cuckoldry and bastardy: two unhappy medieval marriages

The brief triumph of Richard, duke of York: the Parliamentary Accord of 31 October 1460

Our latest blog comes from Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow in our Commons 1461-1504 project. In October 1460 Richard, duke of York attempted to claim the English throne from his cousin Henry VI. He was technically unsuccessful, but Parliament agreed to an unusual arrangement… On 10 October 1460 there occurred the most dramatic event in the history of the fifteenth-century Parliament. Henry VI’s cousin, … Continue reading The brief triumph of Richard, duke of York: the Parliamentary Accord of 31 October 1460

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

Those pesky deliveries: delivering the King’s writs across 15th century England

In recent months, easily talking to friends and colleagues on the other side of the country, or even world, has become essential. But we shouldn’t take our Zoom, Teams, Hangout, Skype (etc.) calls for granted . In the 15th c. delivering a message from the King across England was quite a difficult endeavour, as Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, explores… One … Continue reading Those pesky deliveries: delivering the King’s writs across 15th century England

Real or imagined? Fifteenth-century MPs as perpetrators of violence

In our latest blog we’re exploring some of the dangerous reputations held by Medieval MPs with Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow for our Commons 1461-1504 project. It seems that in the 15th century accusations of violence (even murder!) weren’t enough to stop you becoming an MP… THE HISTORY OF PARLIAMENT: THE HOUSE OF COMMONS 1422-1461, edited by Linda Clark, is out now. For further … Continue reading Real or imagined? Fifteenth-century MPs as perpetrators of violence