Turning back the clock: the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI, 1470-71

In today’s blog Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks back to the winter of 1470, as Henry VI found himself on the throne once more… On 26 November 1470 a Parliament assembled at Westminster. This was in itself no remarkable event, even if there had been no such assembly for over two years. What was remarkable was that for the first … Continue reading Turning back the clock: the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI, 1470-71

Divorce, cuckoldry and bastardy: two unhappy medieval marriages

Today’s blog comes from Dr Charles Moreton, senior research fellow in our Commons 1461-1504 project, who begins our latest blog series all about parliamentarians’ marriages. Here Dr Moreton turns his attention to two particularly unhappy marriages during the 15th century… Unlike some of the blogs to come in this series, the following offers a couple of examples of unhappy marriages. Both of the parliamentarians in … Continue reading Divorce, cuckoldry and bastardy: two unhappy medieval marriages

The brief triumph of Richard, duke of York: the Parliamentary Accord of 31 October 1460

Our latest blog comes from Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow in our Commons 1461-1504 project. In October 1460 Richard, duke of York attempted to claim the English throne from his cousin Henry VI. He was technically unsuccessful, but Parliament agreed to an unusual arrangement… On 10 October 1460 there occurred the most dramatic event in the history of the fifteenth-century Parliament. Henry VI’s cousin, … Continue reading The brief triumph of Richard, duke of York: the Parliamentary Accord of 31 October 1460

The constituency of Oxfordshire in the reign of Henry VI, 1422-61

This month we’re turning our attention to Oxfordshire in our local history blog series. Kicking things off today is Dr Charles Moreton, Senior Research Fellow for our Commons 1461-1504 project. In the reign of Henry VI this was one of the wealthiest constituencies in England, but how did they select their representation? While unspectacular in landscape, Oxfordshire was one of the wealthiest and most fertile … Continue reading The constituency of Oxfordshire in the reign of Henry VI, 1422-61

Pubs, Publicans and Parliament in the later Middle Ages

Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, is one of many people celebrating parliament’s decision to allow the re-opening of pubs, bars and watering holes in England from today. But in our latest blog he looks back to the later middle ages, when parliament’s influence on pubs and publicans was a common aspect of the industry… For many of us, one of the … Continue reading Pubs, Publicans and Parliament in the later Middle Ages

Lockdown Entertainment: Medieval MPs and Books

Recent government lockdown measures have seen many people embrace new hobbies and pastimes to fill their days, including reading books. In today’s blog Dr Charles Moreton, senior research fellow in our Commons 1461-1504 project, discusses the reading habits of MPs in the late Middle Ages. ‘Public turn to books to escape lockdown boredom’ reads a recent headline. There is no doubt that books are a … Continue reading Lockdown Entertainment: Medieval MPs and Books

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

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?

Ambassadors in the late middle ages

March’s medieval offering is from Senior Research Fellow, Dr Charles Moreton, who is currently working on our 1461-1504 project. Charles previously worked on our 1422-1461 volumes which are due for publication in the coming weeks. Today he discusses the ambassadors of the crown in the late middle ages… As attested by the recent travails of Her Majesty’s recent representative in Washington, the role of ambassador … Continue reading Ambassadors in the late middle ages