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

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

Pubs, Publicans and Parliament in the later Middle Ages

Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, is one of many people celebrating parliament’s decision to allow the re-opening of pubs, bars and watering holes in England from today. But in our latest blog he looks back to the later middle ages, when parliament’s influence on pubs and publicans was a common aspect of the industry… For many of us, one of the … Continue reading Pubs, Publicans and Parliament in the later Middle Ages

Anti-Welsh legislation of the Parliament of 1401 and the battle of Pilleth on 22 June 1402

In June 1402 English forces once again faced an uprising in Wales and on 22 June the two sides met at the battle of Pilleth. The result would have significant impact on the reign of Henry IV. Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow in our Commons 1461-1504 project, recounts the battle in our latest blog… Parliament met on 20 January 1401 in a distinctly uncharitable … Continue reading Anti-Welsh legislation of the Parliament of 1401 and the battle of Pilleth on 22 June 1402

Sex, (almost) in the city: Southwark – a constituency of contrasts

Continuing our collaborative local history blog series, this month we are exploring the constituency of Southwark. In the first of two blogs, today Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, discusses the diverse nature of the constituency’s medieval residents. In the present day, Borough Market, served by Borough Station on the London Underground’s Northern Line, is a much loved destination for the food … Continue reading Sex, (almost) in the city: Southwark – a constituency of contrasts

Lockdown Entertainment: Medieval MPs and Books

Recent government lockdown measures have seen many people embrace new hobbies and pastimes to fill their days, including reading books. In today’s blog Dr Charles Moreton, senior research fellow in our Commons 1461-1504 project, discusses the reading habits of MPs in the late Middle Ages. ‘Public turn to books to escape lockdown boredom’ reads a recent headline. There is no doubt that books are a … Continue reading Lockdown Entertainment: Medieval MPs and Books

What might have been: The Sweating Sickness and the Representation of the County of Cornwall in Henry VII’s first Parliament of 1485-6

In today’s blog, Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks back to 1485, when a sudden epidemic impacted on the membership of Henry VII’s first parliament… By the time Henry VII overcame Richard III at the battle of Bosworth and claimed the English throne, changes of dynasty or even ruler followed an established pattern. Having successfully asserted a claim to the throne … Continue reading What might have been: The Sweating Sickness and the Representation of the County of Cornwall in Henry VII’s first Parliament of 1485-6

The true Queen of the West

May marks Local & Community History Month and kick-starts a new Local History blog series at the History of Parliament. Each month our researchers will explore the history of a constituency or an area across our different projects, and this week Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of the Commons 1461-1504 section, introduces the medieval constituency of Exeter. Keep an eye on our blog as other projects … Continue reading The true Queen of the West