Children and Parliament in Medieval England

Continuing the theme of children and Parliament following Helen Sunderland’s blog about schoolgirls’ visits to the House of Parliament, 1880-1918 from earlier this week, senior research fellow for our Commons 1461-1504 project, Dr Simon Payling, explores the relationship between children and Parliament in the later middle ages… It is not surprising that children, whether as individuals or a group, appear very rarely in the records … Continue reading Children and Parliament in Medieval England

Social Distancing – Medieval Style: a Petition of the Commons in the Parliament of 1439

As discussions turn to how Parliament should operate during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our 1461-1504 section, looks at the parliament of 1439. When Henry VI reluctantly called Parliament back to Westminster during the ‘Black Death’, MPs had just one request… If the efforts to control the epidemic currently sweeping the world seem unprecedented to those living through them, to medieval Englishmen … Continue reading Social Distancing – Medieval Style: a Petition of the Commons in the Parliament of 1439

A Speaker-Elect Makes a Quick Escape from the Parliamentary Turmoil caused by England’s Precipitous Exit from Europe

In light of the recent controversy surrounding the current Speaker of the House of Commons and his position on Brexit, Dr Linda Clark, Editor of the House of Commons 1422-1504 Section discusses how Agincourt veteran, Sir John Popham narrowly escaped assuming the daunting task of Speaker nearing the turbulent end of the Hundred Years’ War… A chronicler laconically remarked of 1449 that ‘This yere the … Continue reading A Speaker-Elect Makes a Quick Escape from the Parliamentary Turmoil caused by England’s Precipitous Exit from Europe

MPs as law enforcers in Late Medieval England

In today’s guest blog, from Dr Gordon McKelvie from the University of Winchester discusses whether the MPs who passed legislation in medieval England were actually that keen on enforcing them… A common debate about criminality is the reliability of criminal statistics – i.e. do changes in such statistics reveal actual changes in levels of crime or simply changes in the recording of crimes. Most historians … Continue reading MPs as law enforcers in Late Medieval England

The History of Parliament Annual Lecture 2015: Dr John Maddicott, ‘Parliament and the People in Medieval England’

Last week we had a large audience for our annual lecture in Portcullis House, Westminster. Dr John Maddicott FBA gave a fascinating talk on Parliament’s relationship with ordinary people between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. Dr Maddicott began by defining both ‘parliament’ and ‘the people.’ In doing so he traced the development of parliament from a group of the monarch’s close advisors to a body … Continue reading The History of Parliament Annual Lecture 2015: Dr John Maddicott, ‘Parliament and the People in Medieval England’