What might have been: The Sweating Sickness and the Representation of the County of Cornwall in Henry VII’s first Parliament of 1485-6

In today’s blog, Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks back to 1485, when a sudden epidemic impacted on the membership of Henry VII’s first parliament… By the time Henry VII overcame Richard III at the battle of Bosworth and claimed the English throne, changes of dynasty or even ruler followed an established pattern. Having successfully asserted a claim to the throne … Continue reading What might have been: The Sweating Sickness and the Representation of the County of Cornwall in Henry VII’s first Parliament of 1485-6

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?

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

Bats and Devils: Henry VI’s ‘seasonally-named’ parliaments

Rather appropriately for our Halloween blog offering, we hear from Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our House of Commons 1461-1504 project, on the fifteenth century Parliaments of Bats and Devils as part of our Named Parliaments series… The long reign of Henry VI was not short of high political drama, and so it is perhaps not surprising that is has also given us two of … Continue reading Bats and Devils: Henry VI’s ‘seasonally-named’ parliaments

The battle of Ludford Bridge

Today on our new blog page The Commons in the Wars of the Roses, Dr Simon Payling, Senior Research Fellow for the Commons 1461-1504 project, details the Battle of Ludford Bridge which took place on 12 October 1459… In the autumn of 1459 years of uneasy truce between the factions of York and Lancaster ended in dramatic fashion. The Yorkist lords rose in rebellion, motivated either … Continue reading The battle of Ludford Bridge

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

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 clerks of the parliament – part 2

Last week Dr Hannes Kleineke blogged on medieval parliamentary clerks. In his companion piece, guest blogger Dr Euan Roger, Royal Holloway University of London, looks at the clerks’ lives outside parliament… If in the life of the more or less permanent modern parliaments the recesses provide a rare opportunity for the clerical staff of the two Houses to pursue other interests, the more occasional parliaments … Continue reading Medieval clerks of the parliament – part 2