The History of Parliament at IMC 2019

Today Dr. Hannes Kleineke of our House of Commons 1422-1461 section summarises the History of Parliament Trust’s successful sessions at this year’s International Medieval Congress… To mark the forthcoming publication of the History of Parliament Trust’s volumes for the House of Commons 1422-61, the medieval section organised two sessions at this year’s International Medieval Congress at Leeds. The first of these, chaired by History of … Continue reading The History of Parliament at IMC 2019

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: The sea hawk – Robert Wenyngton alias Cane

June’s medieval MP of the month is the swashbuckling Robert Wenyngton of Dartmouth. Dr Hannes Kleineke, of our House of Commons 1422-1504 Section, discusses this fifteenth century pirate (and politician) below… Long before Queen Elizabeth’s sea hawks (popularised by Michael Curtiz’s eponymous film of 1940 with Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s rousing score) threatened foreign shipping on the Spanish main, England, and particularly its south-western counties, produced … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: The sea hawk – Robert Wenyngton alias Cane

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 

A Speaker-Elect Makes a Quick Escape from the Parliamentary Turmoil caused by England’s Precipitous Exit from Europe

In light of the recent controversy surrounding the current Speaker of the House of Commons and his position on Brexit, Dr Linda Clark, Editor of the House of Commons 1422-1504 Section discusses how Agincourt veteran, Sir John Popham narrowly escaped assuming the daunting task of Speaker nearing the turbulent end of the Hundred Years’ War… A chronicler laconically remarked of 1449 that ‘This yere the … Continue reading A Speaker-Elect Makes a Quick Escape from the Parliamentary Turmoil caused by England’s Precipitous Exit from Europe

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

Unlikely Parliamentarians 2: William Veysy, medieval brickmaker

This week is Parliament Week, a programme of events and activities that connects people across the UK with Parliament and democracy. To mark it, every day this week we are publishing a blog on ‘unlikely parliamentarians’  – the men and women across history who became parliamentarians only unexpectedly. Our second blog written by Dr Linda Clark, editor of the Commons 1422-1504 Section, describes the life … Continue reading Unlikely Parliamentarians 2: William Veysy, medieval brickmaker

Medieval clerks of the parliament – part 1

The summer recess in parliament is not just a chance for MPs to take a break, but some peace and quiet for the clerical staff as well! In a series of two blogs, beginning today with one from Dr Hannes Kleineke, Senior Research Fellow on the Commons 1422-1504 section, we’ll look at some of the later medieval predecessors to today’s parliamentary staff… It is a … Continue reading Medieval clerks of the parliament – part 1