Was the battle of Towton as bloody as all that?

Today is the anniversary of the battle of Towton, a violent battle in 1461 which resulted in Edward IV claiming the throne from Henry VI. The battle is often thought to be the bloodiest ever fought on British soil, but is this really the case? Dr Simon Payling, Senior Research Fellow in our Commons 1461-1504 section explores… The battle of Towton on 29 March 1461 … Continue reading Was the battle of Towton as bloody as all that?

Making the most of a parhelion: the earl of March and the battle of Mortimer’s Cross

In our latest blog Dr Simon Payling, Senior Research Fellow for the Commons 1461-1504 project, looks back to this date in 1461, when a natural phenomenon appeared to the future King Edward IV on the eve of battle… The battle of Mortimer’s Cross has two claims to uniqueness among medieval British battles: it was preceded by the appearance of the meteorological phenomenon of a parhelion and … Continue reading Making the most of a parhelion: the earl of March and the battle of Mortimer’s Cross

Yorkist Parliaments, but not at York

At the beginning of this week, the government sparked debate by announcing the possibility of relocating the House of Lords away from Westminster to the city of York. But this is not the first time that the city has been considered as a parliamentary host, as Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 section, explains… In the light of suggestions that the House of … Continue reading Yorkist Parliaments, but not at York

A turning-point in the Wars of the Roses: the attainders of the Coventry Parliament

In our latest blog Dr Simon Payling, Senior Research Fellow in our 1461-1504 project, discusses the short Lancastrian parliament of 1459 and an Act that would have a lasting impact in the Wars of the Roses… The brief Parliament, which met at Coventry between 20 November and 20 December, 1459, marked a determining moment in the Wars of the Roses. The Lancastrian regime, in the … Continue reading A turning-point in the Wars of the Roses: the attainders of the Coventry Parliament

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