The Commons in the Wars of the Roses

With the History of Parliament’s volumes for the reign of Henry VI complete and due for publication shortly, the focus of the History’s medieval team now shifts to the period from the accession of Edward IV in 1461 to that of his grandson Henry VIII in 1509. This exciting new project will cover the Parliaments of no fewer than five English monarchs: those convened by … Continue reading The Commons in the Wars of the Roses

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

Medieval MP of the Month: John Howard, from the Battle of Castillon to the Battle of Bosworth

Our Medieval MP of the Month series continues with John Howard, one of the only two known soldiers to have been at the Battle of Castillon on this day in 1453. Here’s Dr Charles Moreton of our House of Commons 1422-1504 project with more… Today marks the 566th anniversary of Castillon, the last great battle of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France. Fought … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: John Howard, from the Battle of Castillon to the Battle of Bosworth

Medieval MP of the Month: George Ashby

For this month’s installment from our House of Commons 1422-1461 Section we hear from Dr Simon Payling about poet and long-time servant to the Lancastrians, George Ashby of Warwickshire… George Ashby, MP for Warwick in the Parliament of 1459, is worthy of notice as the only known poet among the MPs of Henry VI’s reign. His poetry reflected his own troubled times and the personal … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: George Ashby

Medieval MP of the Month: ‘Please Sir, can I have one more?’ The marriages and murders of the Harcourt brothers of Oxfordshire 

Further tales of murder and scandal from Dr Hannes Kleineke for April’s medieval MP, or rather MPs of the Month. Today we hear of the murderous Harcourt brothers … Among the most distinguished families in late medieval Oxfordshire, the Harcourts were able to trace their pedigree back at least to the reign of Henry I, and by the end of the 12th century had acquired … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: ‘Please Sir, can I have one more?’ The marriages and murders of the Harcourt brothers of Oxfordshire 

Violent times? MPs as victims of murder in the mid-fifteenth century

Today Dr Simon Payling of the 1422-1504 Section explores the murders of MPs in the mid-fifteenth century… The completion of a set of History of Parliament volumes, in this case those for the reign of Henry VI (1422-61), provides an opportunity to answer some statistical questions.  How often, for example, did MPs fall victim to murder?  In the modern era, such murders, whether of sitting … Continue reading Violent times? MPs as victims of murder in the mid-fifteenth century

House of Commons 1422-1504: MP of the Month

Our House of Commons 1422-1504 Section are busy proofing their extensive first set of volumes ready for publication in 2019. This body of work refers to the reign of Henry VI, covering the period 1422 to 1461 and includes biographies of MPs, constituency articles and an introductory survey of the period. In our new Medieval MP of the Month series we’ll be giving you a … Continue reading House of Commons 1422-1504: MP of the Month