Parliament and the Politics of intimidation in Medieval England

As some of our previous blogs demonstrate, Medieval parliamentarians were no stranger to acts of physical violence. However as Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project suggests, sometimes the mere threat was enough to influence political change… It is a central tenet of parliamentary history that the political complexion of a Parliament was determined by its membership, particularly that of its fluctuating electoral element, … Continue reading Parliament and the Politics of intimidation in Medieval England

‘Am I not your uncle?’: John of Gaunt, the murder of Friar Latimer and the Salisbury Parliament of 1384

Recently on the History of Parliament blog we have been looking into some of the occasions when Parliament met away from Westminster. In April 1384 they gathered in Salisbury, but it was not the location that made the events of this session so interesting, as Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project describes… The Parliament which was summoned to meet on 29 April 1384 … Continue reading ‘Am I not your uncle?’: John of Gaunt, the murder of Friar Latimer and the Salisbury Parliament of 1384

‘Make good your ways and your habits’: Edward IV’s first Parliament of 1461-2

During the winter of 1461, Edward IV’s first Parliament began. Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project explores the priorities of the session… On Wednesday, 4 November 1461, Edward IV’s first Parliament opened at Westminster. It was an assembly designed to set a seal on the change of dynasty that had been foreshadowed in the accord reached in the previous Parliament a year … Continue reading ‘Make good your ways and your habits’: Edward IV’s first Parliament of 1461-2

‘He knewe the slaightes, stratagems, and the pollecies of warlike affaires’: Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, and the battle of Blore Heath

On 23 September 1459 the battle of Blore Heath took place. In today’s blog, marking the anniversary of the battle, Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project looks into the events of the encounter, as the earl of Salisbury’s Yorkist forces faced up to those led by the Lancastrian Lord Audley. The battle of Blore Heath, two miles from Market Drayton, near the border … Continue reading ‘He knewe the slaightes, stratagems, and the pollecies of warlike affaires’: Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, and the battle of Blore Heath

We’re all going on a summer … staycation: sightseeing in medieval England

The post-lockdown staycation has proven popular this year and in today’s blog Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks into the popular sites that could be visited a little closer to home in medieval England… Holidays and sightseeing have long traditions. If a pilgrimage could offer a convenient excuse for a medieval Englishman or -woman to abandon home, family, and day to … Continue reading We’re all going on a summer … staycation: sightseeing in medieval England

‘It was the dissimulation of this one man that stirred up that whole plague of evils which followed’: William Catesby, Speaker in the Parliament of 1484, and the accession of Richard III

On 25 August 1485 William Catesby, Speaker of the House of Commons, was executed. But what brought about the downfall of this once influential Member of Parliament? Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project explores… In his account of the accession of Richard III, written in the 1510s, Sir Thomas More assigned a pivotal role to an unlikely candidate, William Catesby, a lawyer educated … Continue reading ‘It was the dissimulation of this one man that stirred up that whole plague of evils which followed’: William Catesby, Speaker in the Parliament of 1484, and the accession of Richard III

The elusiveness of divorce in medieval England: the marital troubles of the last Warenne earl of Surrey (d.1347)

In today’s blog Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project continues our ongoing look into the marriages of Parliamentarians, both happy and unhappy. Divorce in medieval England was infrequent and difficult to secure, but this did not stop individuals from making an attempt… Medieval England knew two forms of divorce. The first, and overwhelmingly the most important, was divorce a vinculo matrimonii (from the … Continue reading The elusiveness of divorce in medieval England: the marital troubles of the last Warenne earl of Surrey (d.1347)

A Spectacular Memorial: the Tomb of Thomas and Edith Babington in the church of Ashover, Derbyshire

Despite their positions in Parliament, it is not uncommon to come across MPs in our research who had a reasonably mundane parliamentary career, as is the case for late 15th century MP for Nottingham, Thomas Babington. However, if his career was uneventful, his tomb paints another story, as Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project explores… The career of Thomas Babington, MP for the … Continue reading A Spectacular Memorial: the Tomb of Thomas and Edith Babington in the church of Ashover, Derbyshire

The hunting down of Queen Margaret: the battle of Tewkesbury 4 May 1471

Today we mark the anniversary of another key battle within the Wars of the Roses: the battle of Tewkesbury. As Edward IV’s forces sought to build on their earlier victory at the battle of Barnet, attention turned to Margaret of Anjou, as Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project explains… The most striking facet of the campaign that saw Edward IV win victories at … Continue reading The hunting down of Queen Margaret: the battle of Tewkesbury 4 May 1471

‘Without any worldly pompe’: the burial of a 15th-century royal consort at Windsor

As the nation mourns the passing of Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, today Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, reflects on the burial of another royal consort in the midst of an epidemic, some six centuries prior. When the late Duke of Edinburgh is laid to rest at Windsor on Saturday, 17 April 2021, he will become the latest in a … Continue reading ‘Without any worldly pompe’: the burial of a 15th-century royal consort at Windsor