The termination of medieval Parliaments on the demise of the reigning monarch

As much of the nation, and the world, continues to reflect on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and accession of King Charles III, here Dr Hannes Kleineke from our Commons 1461-1504 project explores the now retired practice of terminating Parliaments following the death of the monarch. By modern convention, the death of a sovereign and the accession of their successor do not … Continue reading The termination of medieval Parliaments on the demise of the reigning monarch

In with the new – the appointment of Lord Chancellor Richard Neville in 1454

It was confirmed yesterday that the newly elected leader of the Conservative Party will be travelling to Balmoral next week, rather than Buckingham Palace, to receive the Sovereign’s invitation to form a government. This news comes amidst knowledge of HM the Queen’s ongoing mobility issues. But in 1454, when a new chief minister needed to be appointed it was the mental, not physical, faculties of … Continue reading In with the new – the appointment of Lord Chancellor Richard Neville in 1454

Funding the defence of the realm (or not…)

As questions of defence spending continue to be discussed in the chambers of Westminster, here Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks into 15th century attempts to secure more money for this purpose, to varying degrees of success… The story of the rise of the English Parliament is inextricably interwoven with the Crown’s acceptance in the 13th century that it should not … Continue reading Funding the defence of the realm (or not…)

Parliament and the removal of a political leader: a fifteenth-century example

Despite Westminster’s image as the home of Parliament, throughout our project there are many examples of members gathering in other locations. On 10 February 1447 Parliament met away from London, in Bury St Edmunds, with a particular purpose in mind, as Dr Charles Moreton from our Commons 1461-1504 section explains… The Parliament of 1447, which assembled on 10 February 1447, is noteworthy for its brevity, … Continue reading Parliament and the removal of a political leader: a fifteenth-century example

1421: a troubled royal Christmas

As the festive season draws to a close and a New Year commences, in today’s blog Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 section, looks back at the news met by Henry V during the Christmas of 1421-2. King Henry V spent the Christmas season of 1421-2 in France, as he had done for every one of the preceding four Christmases. It had been … Continue reading 1421: a troubled royal Christmas

Parliamentary Elections in the reign of Henry VI

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Hannes Kleineke, of the History of Parliament. On 1 June 2021, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Hannes will be responding to your questions about his pre-circulated paper on parliamentary elections in the reign of Henry VI. Details of how to join the discussion are available here, or by contacting seminar@histparl.ac.uk. The importance … Continue reading Parliamentary Elections in the reign of Henry VI

A New Dawn? The accession of Edward IV on 4 March 1461

On 4 March 1461 Edward duke of York was proclaimed King in Westminster Hall. But the authority of this new regime was not universally accepted. Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, continues our look at what some call the ‘first’ war of the roses, 1459-1461 and the parliamentary rulings behind it… On 4 March 1461 a piece of political theatre was played … Continue reading A New Dawn? The accession of Edward IV on 4 March 1461

An empty victory: Queen Margaret and the second battle of St. Albans 17 Feb. 1461

Today Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project marks the anniversary of the second battle of St. Albans. The battle may have been a convincing victory for the Lancastrian side, but was it a blessing in disguise for their Yorkist foes? The Lancastrian victories of the civil war of 1459-61 have a curious quality. Any victory in a campaign that ends in defeat has the … Continue reading An empty victory: Queen Margaret and the second battle of St. Albans 17 Feb. 1461

Bristol and the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI

This winter marks the 550th anniversary of the Readeption Parliament of 1470-1, the circumstances and proceedings of which are the subject of a recent blog. Today Dr Charles Moreton from our Commons 1461-1504 project looks closer at the Parliament’s impact in Bristol and the period of the short-lived restoration of Henry VI in which this assembly sat. There are no extant election returns for the Parliament, and the names of just 41 of its MPs survive. Forty, if not all of these men, sat for urban constituencies, the archives of which preserve their election. As it happens, the … Continue reading Bristol and the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI

The ‘lost statute’ of 1427-8: how to solve a problem like Queen Katherine

In today’s blog Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow for our Commons 1461-1504 project, returns to our recent blog theme of marriage. When Henry V died in 1422, making his infant son and namesake king, the romantic attachments of his widow, Katherine of Valois, became of chief parliamentary concern… Amongst the many problems bequeathed to the English government by the premature death of Henry V … Continue reading The ‘lost statute’ of 1427-8: how to solve a problem like Queen Katherine