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Parliament of England

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


This article is about the pre-1707 legislature. For the proposed reestablishment
, see Devolved English parliament. For the current combined UK body, see Parliam
ent of the United Kingdom.
Parliament of England
Coat of arms or logo
Royal coat of arms of England, 1558 1603
Type
Type
Unicameral
(1215 1341 / 1649 1657)
Bicameral
(1341 1649 / 1657 1707)1
Houses Upper house:
House of Lords
(1341 1649 / 1660 1707)
House of Peers
(1657 1660)
Lower house:
House of Commons
(1341 1707)
History
Established
15 June 1215
(Lords only)
20 January 1265
(Lords and elected Commons)
Disbanded
1 May 1707
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Leadership
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
William Cowper1
Since 1705
Speaker of the House of Commons
John Smith1
Since 1705
Elections
House of Lords voting system
Ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of an English peerage
House of Commons voting system
First past the post with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Westminster 16C.jpg
Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
Footnotes
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood in 1707.
See also: Parliament of Scotland,
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066
, William of Normandy introduced what, in later centuries, became referred to as
a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief
(a person who held land) and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the ten
ants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the kin
g may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were
hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which graduall
y developed into a parliament.

Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of th
e English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the tr
ial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy un
der Charles II, and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of
Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and later British sov
ereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited exec
utive authority. The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Pa
rliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliamen
t of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was
now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Contents [hide]
1
History
1.1
Parliament in the reign of Henry III
1.2
The emergence of parliament as an institution
1.3
King, Lords, and Commons
1.4
Rebellion and revolution
1.5
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement
1.6
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain
2
Places where Parliament has been held other than London
3
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles
4
See also
5
References
6
Sources
7
External links
History[edit]
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear becau
se it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by
introducing more precise citations. (February 2013)
Under a monarchical system of government, the monarch usually must consult and s
eek a measure of acceptance for his policies if he is to enjoy the broad coopera
tion of his subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, and
so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in eve
ry part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England
following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have bee
n upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had econ
omic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and t
he feudal obligations of their tenants (some of whom held lands on condition of
military service). The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as
it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clerg
y on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Council
s. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, bishops, abbots, barons
and earls, the pillars of the feudal system.
When this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossi
ble for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this
prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and
Henry II and between King John and the barons.
Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murder
ed following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the C
hurch. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many le
ading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refu
sal to adhere to this charter led to civil war (see First Barons' War).
The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term itself came i
nto use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words

for discussion and speaking. The word first appears in official documents in the
1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson,
it is widely believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a le
gislative function.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire
to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in
1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to p
arliament to advise the king on finance.[1]
Initially, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money
through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention. This was due
in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by hi
s young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until
he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling t
o relinquish. Among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaff
irmed by the young king.
Parliament in the reign of Henry III[edit]
Once the minority of Henry III ended and he took full control of the government,
leading peers became increasingly concerned with his style of government, speci
fically his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, and his seeming
patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects. Henry's support
of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven lea
ding barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, superseded
, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster. This effectively abolish
ed the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen ba
rons, and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their p
erformance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, mos
t notably at Oxford in 1258.
The French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the le
ader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the following years, those
supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each oth
er. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sid
es began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defea
ted and taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had in
itially supported Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his re
forming zeal. His support amongst the nobility rapidly declined. So in 1264, Mon
tfort summoned the first parliament in English history without any prior royal a
uthorisation. The archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons were summoned,
as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. Knights
had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs
was unprecedented. This was purely a move to consolidate Montfort's position as
the legitimate governor of the kingdom, since he had captured Henry and his son
Prince Edward (later Edward I) at the Battle of Lewes.
A parliament consisting of representatives of the realm was the logical way for
Montfort to establish his authority. In calling this parliament, in a bid to gai
n popular support, he summoned knights and burgesses from the emerging gentry cl
ass, thus turning to his advantage the fact that most of the nobility had abando
ned his movement. This parliament was summoned on 14 December 1264. It first met
on 20 January 1265 in Westminster Hall[1] and was dissolved on 15 February 1265
. It is not certain who actually attended this parliament. Nonetheless, Montfort
's scheme was formally adopted by Edward I in the so-called "Model Parliament" o
f 1295. The attendance at parliament of knights and burgesses historically becam
e known as the summoning of "the Commons", a term derived from the Norman French
word "commune", literally translated as the "community of the realm".
Following Edward's escape from captivity, Montfort was defeated and killed at th

e Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry's authority was restored and the Provisions o
f Oxford were forgotten, but this was nonetheless a turning point in the history
of the Parliament of England. Although he was not obliged by statute to do so,
Henry summoned the Commons to parliament three times between September 1268 and
April 1270. However, this was not a significant turning point in the history of
parliamentary democracy. Subsequently, very little is known about how representa
tives were selected because, at this time, being sent to parliament was not a pr
estigious undertaking. But Montfort's decision to summon knights of the shires a
nd burgesses to his parliament did mark the irreversible emergence of the landed
gentry as a force in politics. From then on, monarchs could not ignore them, wh
ich explains Henry's decision to summon the Commons to several of his post-1265
parliaments.
Even though many peers who had supported the Provisions of Oxford remained activ
e in English public life throughout Henry's reign, the conditions they had laid
down for regular parliaments were largely forgotten, as if to symbolise the hist
orical development of the English Parliament via convention rather than statutes
and written constitutions.
The emergence of parliament as an institution[edit]
Medieval parliament
During the reign of Edward I, which began in 1272, the role of Parliament in the
government of the English kingdom increased due to Edward's determination to un
ite England, Wales and Scotland under his rule by force. He was also keen to uni
te his subjects in order to restore his authority and not face rebellion as was
his father's fate. Edward therefore encouraged all sectors of society to submit
petitions to parliament detailing their grievances in order for them to be resol
ved. This seemingly gave all of Edward's subjects a potential role in government
and this helped Edward assert his authority.
As the number of petitions being submitted to parliament increased, they came to
be dealt with, and often ignored, more and more by ministers of the Crown so as
not to block the passage of government business through parliament. However the
emergence of petitioning is significant because it is some of the earliest evid
ence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of or
dinary people. Submitting a petition to parliament is a tradition that continues
to this day in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in most Commonwealth re
alms.
These developments symbolise the fact that parliament and government were by no
means the same thing by this point. If monarchs were going to impose their will
on their kingdom, they would have to control parliament rather than be subservie
nt to it.
From Edward's reign onwards, the authority of the English Parliament would depen
d on the strength or weakness of the incumbent monarch. When the king or queen w
as strong he or she would wield enough influence to pass their legislation throu
gh parliament without much trouble. Some strong monarchs even bypassed it comple
tely, although this was not often possible in the case of financial legislation
due to the post-Magna Carta convention of parliament granting taxes. When weak m
onarchs governed, parliament often became the centre of opposition against them.
Subsequently, the composition of parliaments in this period varied depending on
the decisions that needed to be taken in them. The nobility and senior clergy w
ere always summoned. From 1265 onwards, when the monarch needed to raise money t
hrough taxes, it was usual for knights and burgesses to be summoned too. However
, when the king was merely seeking advice, he often only summoned the nobility a
nd the clergy, sometimes with and sometimes without the knights of the shires. O
n some occasions the Commons were summoned and sent home again once the monarch
was finished with them, allowing parliament to continue without them. It was not

until the mid-14th century that summoning representatives of the shires and the
boroughs became the norm for all parliaments.
One of the moments that marked the emergence of parliament as a true institution
in England was the deposition of Edward II. Even though it is debatable whether
Edward II was deposed in parliament or by parliament, this remarkable sequence
of events consolidated the importance of parliament in the English unwritten con
stitution. Parliament was also crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the kin
g who replaced Edward II: his son Edward III.
In 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first ti
me, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the
knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as
the House of Lords from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament.
The authority of parliament grew under Edward III; it was established that no la
w could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses and the
Sovereign. This development occurred during the reign of Edward III because he w
as involved in the Hundred Years' War and needed finances. During his conduct of
the war, Edward tried to circumvent parliament as much as possible, which cause
d this edict to be passed.
The Commons came to act with increasing boldness during this period. During the
Good Parliament (1376), the Presiding Officer of the lower chamber, Sir Peter de
la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expendi
tures, and criticised the king's management of the military. The Commons even pr
oceeded to impeach some of the king's ministers. The bold Speaker was imprisoned
, but was soon released after the death of Edward III. During the reign of the n
ext monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant minister
s of the Crown. They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but als
o public expenditure. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons stil
l remained much less powerful than the House of Lords and the Crown.
This period also saw the introduction of a franchise which limited the number of
people who could vote in elections for the House of Commons. From 1430 onwards,
the franchise was limited to Forty Shilling Freeholders, that is men who owned
freehold property worth forty shillings or more. The Parliament of England legis
lated the new uniform county franchise, in the statute 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. The Chron
ological Table of the Statutes does not mention such a 1430 law, as it was inclu
ded in the Consolidated Statutes as a recital in the Electors of Knights of the
Shire Act 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), which amended and re-enacted the 1430 law to m
ake clear that the resident of a county had to have a forty shilling freehold in
that county to be a voter there.
King, Lords, and Commons[edit]
It was during the reign of the Tudor monarchs that the modern structure of the E
nglish Parliament began to be created. The Tudor monarchy was powerful and there
were often periods of several years when parliament did not sit at all. However
the Tudor monarchs were astute enough to realise that they needed parliament to
legitimise many of their decisions, mostly out of a need to raise money through
taxation legitimately without causing discontent. Thus they consolidated the st
ate of affairs whereby monarchs would call and close parliament as and when they
needed it.
By the time Henry Tudor (Henry VII) came to the throne in 1485 the monarch was n
ot a member of either the Upper Chamber or the Lower Chamber. Consequently, the
monarch would have to make his or her feelings known to Parliament through his o
r her supporters in both houses. Proceedings were regulated by the presiding off
icer in either chamber. From the 1540s the presiding officer in the House of Com

mons became formally known as the "Speaker", having previously been referred to
as the "prolocutor" or "parlour" (a semi-official position, often nominated by t
he monarch, that had existed ever since Peter de Montfort had acted as the presi
ding officer of the Oxford Parliament of 1258). This was not an enviable job. Wh
en the House of Commons was unhappy it was the Speaker who had to deliver this n
ews to the monarch. This began the tradition whereby the Speaker of the House of
Commons is dragged to the Speaker's Chair by other members once elected.
A member of either chamber could present a "bill" to parliament. Bills supported
by the monarch were often proposed by members of the Privy Council who sat in p
arliament. In order for a bill to become law it would have to be approved by a m
ajority of both Houses of Parliament before it passed to the monarch for royal a
ssent or veto. The royal veto was applied several times during the 16th and 17th
centuries and it is still the right of the monarch of the United Kingdom and Co
mmonwealth realms to veto legislation today, although it has not been exercised
since 1707 (today such exercise would presumably precipitate a constitutional cr
isis).
When a bill was enacted into law, this process gave it the approval of each esta
te of the realm: the King, Lords, and Commons. In reality, this was not a democr
atic process. The Parliament of England was far from being a democratically repr
esentative institution in this period. It was possible to assemble the entire pe
erage and senior clergy of the realm in one place to form the estate of the Uppe
r Chamber. However, the voting franchise for the House of Commons was small; som
e historians estimate that it was as little as three per cent of the adult male
population; and there was no secret ballot. This meant that elections could be c
ontrolled by local grandees, because in many boroughs a majority of voters were
in some way dependent on a powerful individual, or else could be bought by money
or concessions. If these grandees were supporters of the incumbent monarch, thi
s gave the Crown and its ministers considerable influence over the business of p
arliament. Many of the men elected to parliament did not relish the prospect of
having to act in the interests of others. So a law was enacted, still on the sta
tute book today, whereby it became unlawful for members of the House of Commons
to resign their seat unless they were granted a position directly within the pat
ronage of the monarchy (today this latter restriction leads to a legal fiction a
llowing de facto resignation despite the prohibition, but nevertheless it is a r
esignation which needs the permission of the Crown). However, it must be emphasi
sed that while several elections to parliament in this period were in some way c
orrupt by modern standards, many elections involved genuine contests between riv
al candidates, even though the ballot was not secret.
It was in this period that the Palace of Westminster was established as the seat
of the English Parliament. In 1548, the House of Commons was granted a regular
meeting place by the Crown, St Stephen's Chapel. This had been a royal chapel. I
t was made into a debating chamber after Henry VIII became the last monarch to u
se the Palace of Westminster as a place of residence and following the suppressi
on of the college there. This room became the home of the House of Commons until
it was destroyed by fire in 1834, although the interior was altered several tim
es up until then. The structure of this room was pivotal in the development of t
he Parliament of England. While most modern legislatures sit in a circular chamb
er, the benches of the British Houses of Parliament are laid out in the form of
choir stalls in a chapel, simply because this is the part of the original room t
hat the members of the House of Commons utilised when they were granted use of S
t Stephen's Chapel. This structure took on a new significance with the emergence
of political parties in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as the traditio
n began whereby the members of the governing party would sit on the benches to t
he right of the Speaker and the opposition members on the benches to the left. I
t is said that the Speaker's chair was placed in front of the chapel's altar. As
Members came and went they observed the custom of bowing to the altar and conti
nued to do so, even when it had been taken away, thus then bowing to the Chair,

as is still the custom today.[citation needed]


The numbers of the Lords Spiritual diminished under Henry VIII, who commanded th
e Dissolution of the Monasteries, thereby depriving the abbots and priors of the
ir seats in the Upper House. For the first time, the Lords Temporal were more nu
merous than the Lords Spiritual. Currently, the Lords Spiritual consist of the A
rchbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester,
and twenty-one other English diocesan bishops in seniority of appointment to a
diocese.
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 42 annexed Wales as part of England and this brough
t Welsh representatives into the Parliament of England, first elected in 1542.
Rebellion and revolution[edit]
Parliaments of England
1597 1689
Coat of arms of England
Parliament
Date
9th Parliament of Elizabeth I 1597
Final parliament of Elizabeth I 1601
1st parliament of King James I 1604
Addled Parliament
1614
3rd parliament of King James I 1621
Happy Parliament
1624
Useless Parliament
1625
2nd Parliament of King Charles I
1626
3rd parliament of King Charles I
1628
Short Parliament
1640 Apr
Long Parliament (1)
1640 Nov
Oxford Parliament
1644
Long Parliament (2)
1645
Rump Parliament (1)
1648
Barebone's Parliament 1653
First Protectorate Parliament 1654
Second Protectorate Parliament 1656
Third Protectorate Parliament 1659
Rump Parliament (2)
1659
Long Parliament (3)
1660
Convention Parliament 1660
Cavalier Parliament
1661
Habeas Corpus Parliament
1679
Exclusion Bill Parliament
1680
Oxford Parliament
1681
Loyal Parliament
1685
Convention Parliament 1689
List of Parliaments of England
v t e
Parliament had not always submitted to the wishes of the Tudor monarchs. But par
liamentary criticism of the monarchy reached new levels in the 17th century. Whe
n the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland c
ame to power as King James I, founding the Stuart monarchy.
In 1628, alarmed by the arbitrary exercise of royal power, the House of Commons
submitted to Charles I the Petition of Right, demanding the restoration of their
liberties. Though he accepted the petition, Charles later dissolved parliament
and ruled without them for eleven years. It was only after the financial disaste
r of the Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639 1640) that he was forced to recall Parliamen
t so that they could authorise new taxes. This resulted in the calling of the as
semblies known historically as the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliam
ent, which sat with several breaks and in various forms between 1640 and 1660.

The Long Parliament was characterised by the growing number of critics of the ki
ng who sat in it. The most prominent of these critics in the House of Commons wa
s John Pym. Tensions between the king and his parliament reached boiling point i
n January 1642 when Charles entered the House of Commons and tried, unsuccessful
ly, to arrest Pym and four other members for their alleged treason. The five mem
bers had been tipped off about this, and by the time Charles came into the chamb
er with a group of soldiers they had disappeared. Charles was further humiliated
when he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, to give their whereabouts, which L
enthall famously refused to do.
From then on relations between the king and his parliament deteriorated further.
When trouble started to brew in Ireland, both Charles and his parliament raised
armies to quell the uprisings by native Catholics there. It was not long before
it was clear that these forces would end up fighting each other, leading to the
English Civil War which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642: thos
e supporting the cause of parliament were called Parliamentarians (or Roundheads
).
Battles between Crown and Parliament would continue throughout the 17th and 18th
centuries, but parliament was no longer subservient to the English monarchy. Th
is change was symbolised in the execution of Charles I in January 1649. It is so
mewhat ironic that this event was not instigated by the elected representatives
of the realm. In Pride's Purge of December 1648, the New Model Army (which by th
en had emerged as the leading force in the parliamentary alliance) purged Parlia
ment of members that did not support them. The remaining "Rump Parliament", as i
t was later referred to by critics, enacted legislation to put the king on trial
for treason. This trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, led to
the execution of the king and the start of an 11 year republic. The House of Lo
rds was abolished and the purged House of Commons governed England until April 1
653, when army chief Oliver Cromwell dissolved it following disagreements over r
eligious policy and how to carry out elections to parliament. Cromwell later con
vened a parliament of religious radicals in 1653, commonly known as Barebone's P
arliament, followed by the unicameral First Protectorate Parliament that sat fro
m September 1654 to January 1655 and the Second Protectorate Parliament that sat
in two sessions between 1656 and 1658, the first session was unicameral and the
second session was bicameral.
Although it is easy to dismiss the English Republic of 1649-60 as nothing more t
han a Cromwellian military dictatorship, the events that took place in this deca
de were hugely important in determining the future of parliament. First, it was
during the sitting of the first Rump Parliament that members of the House of Com
mons became known as "MPs" (Members of Parliament). Second, Cromwell gave a huge
degree of freedom to his parliaments, although royalists were barred from sitti
ng in all but a handful of cases. His vision of parliament appears to have been
largely based on the example of the Elizabethan parliaments. However, he underes
timated the extent to which Elizabeth I and her ministers had directly and indir
ectly influenced the decision-making process of her parliaments. He was thus alw
ays surprised when they became troublesome. He ended up dissolving each parliame
nt that he convened. Yet it is worth noting that the structure of the second ses
sion of the Second Protectorate Parliament of 1658 was almost identical to the p
arliamentary structure consolidated in the Glorious Revolution Settlement of 168
9.
In 1653 Cromwell had been made head of state with the title Lord Protector of th
e Realm. The Second Protectorate Parliament offered him the crown. Cromwell reje
cted this offer, but the governmental structure embodied in the final version of
the Humble Petition and Advice was a basis for all future parliaments. It propo
sed an elected House of Commons as the Lower Chamber, a House of Lords containin
g peers of the realm as the Upper Chamber, and a constitutional monarchy, subser

vient to parliament and the laws of the nation, as the executive arm of the stat
e at the top of the tree, assisted in carrying out their duties by a Privy Counc
il. Oliver Cromwell had thus inadvertently presided over the creation of a basis
for the future parliamentary government of England. In 1657 he had the Parliame
nt of Scotland unified with the English Parliament.
In terms of the evolution of parliament as an institution, by far the most impor
tant development during the republic was the sitting of the Rump Parliament betw
een 1649 and 1653. This proved that parliament could survive without a monarchy
and a House of Lords if it wanted to. Future English monarchs would never forget
this. Charles I was the last English monarch ever to enter the House of Commons
. Even to this day, a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sent to
Buckingham Palace as a ceremonial hostage during the State Opening of Parliament
, in order to ensure the safe return of the sovereign from a potentially hostile
parliament. During the ceremony the monarch sits on the throne in the House of
Lords and signals for the Lord Great Chamberlain to summon the House of Commons
to the Lords Chamber. The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand of office
to signal to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who has been waiting in the c
entral lobby. Black Rod turns and, escorted by the doorkeeper of the House of Lo
rds and an inspector of police, approaches the doors to the chamber of the Commo
ns. The doors are slammed in his face
symbolising the right of the Commons to de
bate without the presence of the Queen's representative. He then strikes three t
imes with his staff (the Black Rod), and he is admitted.
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement[edit]
The revolutionary events that occurred between 1620 and 1689 all took place in t
he name of parliament. The new status of parliament as the central governmental
organ of the English state was consolidated during the events surrounding the Re
storation of the monarchy in 1660. Following the assassination attempt of Oliver
Cromwell in September 1658, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Lord Prot
ector, summoning the Third Protectorate Parliament in the process. When this par
liament was dissolved following pressure from the army in April 1659, the Rump P
arliament was recalled at the insistence of the surviving army grandees. This in
turn was dissolved in a coup led by army general John Lambert, leading to the f
ormation of the Committee of Safety, dominated by Lambert and his supporters. Wh
en the breakaway forces of George Monck invaded England from Scotland where they
had been stationed without Lambert's supporters putting up a fight Monck temporaril
y recalled the Rump Parliament and reversed Pride's Purge by recalling the entir
ety of the Long Parliament. They then voted to dissolve themselves and call new
elections, which were arguably the most democratic for 20 years although the fra
nchise was still very small. This led to the calling of the Convention Parliamen
t which was dominated by royalists. This parliament voted to reinstate the monar
chy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as king in May 1660.
The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union that Cromwell had established was dissolv
ed in 1661 when the Scottish Parliament resumed its separate meeting place in Ed
inburgh.
The Restoration began the tradition whereby all governments looked to parliament
for legitimacy. In 1681 Charles II dissolved parliament and ruled without them
for the last four years of his reign. This followed bitter disagreements between
the king and parliament that had occurred between 1679 and 1681. Charles took a
big gamble by doing this. He risked the possibility of a military showdown akin
to that of 1642. However he rightly predicted that the nation did not want anot
her civil war. Parliament disbanded without a fight. Events that followed ensure
d that this would be nothing but a temporary blip.
Charles II died in 1685 and he was succeeded by his brother James II. During his
lifetime Charles had always pledged loyalty to the Protestant Church of England
, despite his private Catholic sympathies. James was openly Catholic. He attempt
ed to lift restrictions on Catholics taking up public offices. This was bitterly

opposed by Protestants in his kingdom. They invited William of Orange,[2] a Pro


testant who had married Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde to invade Engla
nd and claim the throne. William assembled an army estimated at 15,000 soldiers
(11,000 foot and 4000 horse)[3] and landed at Brixham in southwest England in No
vember, 1688. When many Protestant officers, including James's close adviser, Jo
hn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defected from the English army to William
's invasion force, James fled the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to
his Protestant daughter Mary, instead of his son (James Francis Edward Stuart).
Mary refused the offer, and instead William and Mary ruled jointly, with both ha
ving the right to rule alone on the other's death. As part of the compromise in
allowing William to be King called the Glorious Revolution Parliament was able to ha
ve the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted. Later the 1701 Act of Settlement was approve
d. These were statutes that lawfully upheld the prominence of parliament for the
first time in English history. These events marked the beginning of the English
constitutional monarchy and its role as one of the three elements of parliament
.
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain[edit]
Main article: Parliament of Great Britain
Following the Treaty of Union in 1707, Acts of Parliament passed in the Parliame
nt of England and the Parliament of Scotland created a new Kingdom of Great Brit
ain and dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new Parliament of Grea
t Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. The Parliament of
Great Britain later became the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801 when the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed through the Act of Union
1800.
Places where Parliament has been held other than London[edit]
York, various
Lincoln, various
Oxford, 1258 (Mad Parliament), 1681
Kenilworth, 1266
Acton Burnell Castle, 1283[4]
Shrewsbury, 1283 (trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd)
Lincoln, 1301
Carlisle, 1307
Northampton 1328
New Sarum, 1330
Winchester, 1332
Leicester, 1414 (Fire and Faggot Parliament), 1426 (Parliament of Bats)
Reading Abbey, 1453
Coventry, 1459 (Parliament of Devils)
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles[edit]
Two European cities, both annexed from and later ceded to the Kingdom of France
were represented in the Parliament as borough constituencies while they were Eng
lish possessions:
Calais, between 1372 and 1558.
Tournai between 1513 and 1519. (Now in Belgium.)
See also[edit]
History of democracy
History of local government in England
List of Parliaments of England
List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1485 1601
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1603 1641
Witenagemot
Magnum Concilium
References[edit]
^ Jump up to: a b "A Brief Chronology of the House of Commons", Factsheet G3, Ge

neral Series, August 2010, House of Commons Information Office


Jump up ^ Wouter Troost, William III the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography
(2004) ISBN 0-7546-5071-5 p 191
Jump up ^ Troost, pp 204 205
Jump up ^ Virtual Shropshire
Sources[edit]
Blackstone, Sir William. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Cl
arendon Press.
Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings
of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron. (1896). Constitutional History of Englan
d since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. vol 1 online; vol 2 online
Maddicott, John. The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327. Oxford: Oxford
University Press; 2010. ISBN 0-19-958550-4.
Paul Brand. "Review of Maddicott, John Robert, _The Origins of the English Parli
ament, 924-1327_." in H-Albion, H-Net Reviews. September, 2011. online
Sayles, G. O. The King's Parliament of England (1974), brief survey
"Parliament." (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge Universi
ty Press.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of England.
Birth of the English Parliament. UK Parliament
Parliament and People. British Library
Origins and growth of Parliament. National Archives
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Parliament of England
1066 c. 1215
c. 1215 1707
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
1707 1801
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Parliament of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the pre-1707 legislature. For the proposed reestablishment
, see Devolved English parliament. For the current combined UK body, see Parliam
ent of the United Kingdom.
Parliament of England
Coat of arms or logo
Royal coat of arms of England, 1558 1603
Type
Type
Unicameral
(1215 1341 / 1649 1657)
Bicameral
(1341 1649 / 1657 1707)1
Houses Upper house:
House of Lords
(1341 1649 / 1660 1707)
House of Peers
(1657 1660)
Lower house:
House of Commons
(1341 1707)
History
Established
15 June 1215
(Lords only)
20 January 1265
(Lords and elected Commons)
Disbanded
1 May 1707
Preceded by
Curia Regis

Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Leadership
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
William Cowper1
Since 1705
Speaker of the House of Commons
John Smith1
Since 1705
Elections
House of Lords voting system
Ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of an English peerage
House of Commons voting system
First past the post with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Westminster 16C.jpg
Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
Footnotes
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood in 1707.
See also: Parliament of Scotland,
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066
, William of Normandy introduced what, in later centuries, became referred to as
a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief
(a person who held land) and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the ten
ants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the kin
g may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were
hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which graduall
y developed into a parliament.
Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of th
e English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the tr
ial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy un
der Charles II, and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of
Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and later British sov
ereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited exec
utive authority. The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Pa
rliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliamen
t of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was
now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Contents [hide]
1
History
1.1
Parliament in the reign of Henry III
1.2
The emergence of parliament as an institution
1.3
King, Lords, and Commons
1.4
Rebellion and revolution
1.5
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement
1.6
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain
2
Places where Parliament has been held other than London
3
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles
4
See also
5
References
6
Sources
7
External links
History[edit]
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear becau
se it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by
introducing more precise citations. (February 2013)

Under a monarchical system of government, the monarch usually must consult and s
eek a measure of acceptance for his policies if he is to enjoy the broad coopera
tion of his subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, and
so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in eve
ry part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England
following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have bee
n upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had econ
omic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and t
he feudal obligations of their tenants (some of whom held lands on condition of
military service). The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as
it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clerg
y on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Council
s. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, bishops, abbots, barons
and earls, the pillars of the feudal system.
When this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossi
ble for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this
prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and
Henry II and between King John and the barons.
Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murder
ed following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the C
hurch. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many le
ading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refu
sal to adhere to this charter led to civil war (see First Barons' War).
The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term itself came i
nto use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words
for discussion and speaking. The word first appears in official documents in the
1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson,
it is widely believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a le
gislative function.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire
to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in
1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to p
arliament to advise the king on finance.[1]
Initially, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money
through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention. This was due
in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by hi
s young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until
he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling t
o relinquish. Among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaff
irmed by the young king.
Parliament in the reign of Henry III[edit]
Once the minority of Henry III ended and he took full control of the government,
leading peers became increasingly concerned with his style of government, speci
fically his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, and his seeming
patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects. Henry's support
of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven lea
ding barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, superseded
, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster. This effectively abolish
ed the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen ba
rons, and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their p
erformance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, mos
t notably at Oxford in 1258.

The French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the le


ader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the following years, those
supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each oth
er. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sid
es began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defea
ted and taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had in
itially supported Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his re
forming zeal. His support amongst the nobility rapidly declined. So in 1264, Mon
tfort summoned the first parliament in English history without any prior royal a
uthorisation. The archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons were summoned,
as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. Knights
had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs
was unprecedented. This was purely a move to consolidate Montfort's position as
the legitimate governor of the kingdom, since he had captured Henry and his son
Prince Edward (later Edward I) at the Battle of Lewes.
A parliament consisting of representatives of the realm was the logical way for
Montfort to establish his authority. In calling this parliament, in a bid to gai
n popular support, he summoned knights and burgesses from the emerging gentry cl
ass, thus turning to his advantage the fact that most of the nobility had abando
ned his movement. This parliament was summoned on 14 December 1264. It first met
on 20 January 1265 in Westminster Hall[1] and was dissolved on 15 February 1265
. It is not certain who actually attended this parliament. Nonetheless, Montfort
's scheme was formally adopted by Edward I in the so-called "Model Parliament" o
f 1295. The attendance at parliament of knights and burgesses historically becam
e known as the summoning of "the Commons", a term derived from the Norman French
word "commune", literally translated as the "community of the realm".
Following Edward's escape from captivity, Montfort was defeated and killed at th
e Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry's authority was restored and the Provisions o
f Oxford were forgotten, but this was nonetheless a turning point in the history
of the Parliament of England. Although he was not obliged by statute to do so,
Henry summoned the Commons to parliament three times between September 1268 and
April 1270. However, this was not a significant turning point in the history of
parliamentary democracy. Subsequently, very little is known about how representa
tives were selected because, at this time, being sent to parliament was not a pr
estigious undertaking. But Montfort's decision to summon knights of the shires a
nd burgesses to his parliament did mark the irreversible emergence of the landed
gentry as a force in politics. From then on, monarchs could not ignore them, wh
ich explains Henry's decision to summon the Commons to several of his post-1265
parliaments.
Even though many peers who had supported the Provisions of Oxford remained activ
e in English public life throughout Henry's reign, the conditions they had laid
down for regular parliaments were largely forgotten, as if to symbolise the hist
orical development of the English Parliament via convention rather than statutes
and written constitutions.
The emergence of parliament as an institution[edit]
Medieval parliament
During the reign of Edward I, which began in 1272, the role of Parliament in the
government of the English kingdom increased due to Edward's determination to un
ite England, Wales and Scotland under his rule by force. He was also keen to uni
te his subjects in order to restore his authority and not face rebellion as was
his father's fate. Edward therefore encouraged all sectors of society to submit
petitions to parliament detailing their grievances in order for them to be resol
ved. This seemingly gave all of Edward's subjects a potential role in government
and this helped Edward assert his authority.

As the number of petitions being submitted to parliament increased, they came to


be dealt with, and often ignored, more and more by ministers of the Crown so as
not to block the passage of government business through parliament. However the
emergence of petitioning is significant because it is some of the earliest evid
ence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of or
dinary people. Submitting a petition to parliament is a tradition that continues
to this day in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in most Commonwealth re
alms.
These developments symbolise the fact that parliament and government were by no
means the same thing by this point. If monarchs were going to impose their will
on their kingdom, they would have to control parliament rather than be subservie
nt to it.
From Edward's reign onwards, the authority of the English Parliament would depen
d on the strength or weakness of the incumbent monarch. When the king or queen w
as strong he or she would wield enough influence to pass their legislation throu
gh parliament without much trouble. Some strong monarchs even bypassed it comple
tely, although this was not often possible in the case of financial legislation
due to the post-Magna Carta convention of parliament granting taxes. When weak m
onarchs governed, parliament often became the centre of opposition against them.
Subsequently, the composition of parliaments in this period varied depending on
the decisions that needed to be taken in them. The nobility and senior clergy w
ere always summoned. From 1265 onwards, when the monarch needed to raise money t
hrough taxes, it was usual for knights and burgesses to be summoned too. However
, when the king was merely seeking advice, he often only summoned the nobility a
nd the clergy, sometimes with and sometimes without the knights of the shires. O
n some occasions the Commons were summoned and sent home again once the monarch
was finished with them, allowing parliament to continue without them. It was not
until the mid-14th century that summoning representatives of the shires and the
boroughs became the norm for all parliaments.
One of the moments that marked the emergence of parliament as a true institution
in England was the deposition of Edward II. Even though it is debatable whether
Edward II was deposed in parliament or by parliament, this remarkable sequence
of events consolidated the importance of parliament in the English unwritten con
stitution. Parliament was also crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the kin
g who replaced Edward II: his son Edward III.
In 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first ti
me, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the
knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as
the House of Lords from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament.
The authority of parliament grew under Edward III; it was established that no la
w could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses and the
Sovereign. This development occurred during the reign of Edward III because he w
as involved in the Hundred Years' War and needed finances. During his conduct of
the war, Edward tried to circumvent parliament as much as possible, which cause
d this edict to be passed.
The Commons came to act with increasing boldness during this period. During the
Good Parliament (1376), the Presiding Officer of the lower chamber, Sir Peter de
la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expendi
tures, and criticised the king's management of the military. The Commons even pr
oceeded to impeach some of the king's ministers. The bold Speaker was imprisoned
, but was soon released after the death of Edward III. During the reign of the n
ext monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant minister

s of the Crown. They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but als
o public expenditure. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons stil
l remained much less powerful than the House of Lords and the Crown.
This period also saw the introduction of a franchise which limited the number of
people who could vote in elections for the House of Commons. From 1430 onwards,
the franchise was limited to Forty Shilling Freeholders, that is men who owned
freehold property worth forty shillings or more. The Parliament of England legis
lated the new uniform county franchise, in the statute 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. The Chron
ological Table of the Statutes does not mention such a 1430 law, as it was inclu
ded in the Consolidated Statutes as a recital in the Electors of Knights of the
Shire Act 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), which amended and re-enacted the 1430 law to m
ake clear that the resident of a county had to have a forty shilling freehold in
that county to be a voter there.
King, Lords, and Commons[edit]
It was during the reign of the Tudor monarchs that the modern structure of the E
nglish Parliament began to be created. The Tudor monarchy was powerful and there
were often periods of several years when parliament did not sit at all. However
the Tudor monarchs were astute enough to realise that they needed parliament to
legitimise many of their decisions, mostly out of a need to raise money through
taxation legitimately without causing discontent. Thus they consolidated the st
ate of affairs whereby monarchs would call and close parliament as and when they
needed it.
By the time Henry Tudor (Henry VII) came to the throne in 1485 the monarch was n
ot a member of either the Upper Chamber or the Lower Chamber. Consequently, the
monarch would have to make his or her feelings known to Parliament through his o
r her supporters in both houses. Proceedings were regulated by the presiding off
icer in either chamber. From the 1540s the presiding officer in the House of Com
mons became formally known as the "Speaker", having previously been referred to
as the "prolocutor" or "parlour" (a semi-official position, often nominated by t
he monarch, that had existed ever since Peter de Montfort had acted as the presi
ding officer of the Oxford Parliament of 1258). This was not an enviable job. Wh
en the House of Commons was unhappy it was the Speaker who had to deliver this n
ews to the monarch. This began the tradition whereby the Speaker of the House of
Commons is dragged to the Speaker's Chair by other members once elected.
A member of either chamber could present a "bill" to parliament. Bills supported
by the monarch were often proposed by members of the Privy Council who sat in p
arliament. In order for a bill to become law it would have to be approved by a m
ajority of both Houses of Parliament before it passed to the monarch for royal a
ssent or veto. The royal veto was applied several times during the 16th and 17th
centuries and it is still the right of the monarch of the United Kingdom and Co
mmonwealth realms to veto legislation today, although it has not been exercised
since 1707 (today such exercise would presumably precipitate a constitutional cr
isis).
When a bill was enacted into law, this process gave it the approval of each esta
te of the realm: the King, Lords, and Commons. In reality, this was not a democr
atic process. The Parliament of England was far from being a democratically repr
esentative institution in this period. It was possible to assemble the entire pe
erage and senior clergy of the realm in one place to form the estate of the Uppe
r Chamber. However, the voting franchise for the House of Commons was small; som
e historians estimate that it was as little as three per cent of the adult male
population; and there was no secret ballot. This meant that elections could be c
ontrolled by local grandees, because in many boroughs a majority of voters were
in some way dependent on a powerful individual, or else could be bought by money
or concessions. If these grandees were supporters of the incumbent monarch, thi
s gave the Crown and its ministers considerable influence over the business of p

arliament. Many of the men elected to parliament did not relish the prospect of
having to act in the interests of others. So a law was enacted, still on the sta
tute book today, whereby it became unlawful for members of the House of Commons
to resign their seat unless they were granted a position directly within the pat
ronage of the monarchy (today this latter restriction leads to a legal fiction a
llowing de facto resignation despite the prohibition, but nevertheless it is a r
esignation which needs the permission of the Crown). However, it must be emphasi
sed that while several elections to parliament in this period were in some way c
orrupt by modern standards, many elections involved genuine contests between riv
al candidates, even though the ballot was not secret.
It was in this period that the Palace of Westminster was established as the seat
of the English Parliament. In 1548, the House of Commons was granted a regular
meeting place by the Crown, St Stephen's Chapel. This had been a royal chapel. I
t was made into a debating chamber after Henry VIII became the last monarch to u
se the Palace of Westminster as a place of residence and following the suppressi
on of the college there. This room became the home of the House of Commons until
it was destroyed by fire in 1834, although the interior was altered several tim
es up until then. The structure of this room was pivotal in the development of t
he Parliament of England. While most modern legislatures sit in a circular chamb
er, the benches of the British Houses of Parliament are laid out in the form of
choir stalls in a chapel, simply because this is the part of the original room t
hat the members of the House of Commons utilised when they were granted use of S
t Stephen's Chapel. This structure took on a new significance with the emergence
of political parties in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as the traditio
n began whereby the members of the governing party would sit on the benches to t
he right of the Speaker and the opposition members on the benches to the left. I
t is said that the Speaker's chair was placed in front of the chapel's altar. As
Members came and went they observed the custom of bowing to the altar and conti
nued to do so, even when it had been taken away, thus then bowing to the Chair,
as is still the custom today.[citation needed]
The numbers of the Lords Spiritual diminished under Henry VIII, who commanded th
e Dissolution of the Monasteries, thereby depriving the abbots and priors of the
ir seats in the Upper House. For the first time, the Lords Temporal were more nu
merous than the Lords Spiritual. Currently, the Lords Spiritual consist of the A
rchbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester,
and twenty-one other English diocesan bishops in seniority of appointment to a
diocese.
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 42 annexed Wales as part of England and this brough
t Welsh representatives into the Parliament of England, first elected in 1542.
Rebellion and revolution[edit]
Parliaments of England
1597 1689
Coat of arms of England
Parliament
Date
9th Parliament of Elizabeth I 1597
Final parliament of Elizabeth I 1601
1st parliament of King James I 1604
Addled Parliament
1614
3rd parliament of King James I 1621
Happy Parliament
1624
Useless Parliament
1625
2nd Parliament of King Charles I
3rd parliament of King Charles I
Short Parliament
1640 Apr
Long Parliament (1)
1640 Nov
Oxford Parliament
1644

1626
1628

Long Parliament (2)


1645
Rump Parliament (1)
1648
Barebone's Parliament 1653
First Protectorate Parliament 1654
Second Protectorate Parliament 1656
Third Protectorate Parliament 1659
Rump Parliament (2)
1659
Long Parliament (3)
1660
Convention Parliament 1660
Cavalier Parliament
1661
Habeas Corpus Parliament
1679
Exclusion Bill Parliament
1680
Oxford Parliament
1681
Loyal Parliament
1685
Convention Parliament 1689
List of Parliaments of England
v t e
Parliament had not always submitted to the wishes of the Tudor monarchs. But par
liamentary criticism of the monarchy reached new levels in the 17th century. Whe
n the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland c
ame to power as King James I, founding the Stuart monarchy.
In 1628, alarmed by the arbitrary exercise of royal power, the House of Commons
submitted to Charles I the Petition of Right, demanding the restoration of their
liberties. Though he accepted the petition, Charles later dissolved parliament
and ruled without them for eleven years. It was only after the financial disaste
r of the Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639 1640) that he was forced to recall Parliamen
t so that they could authorise new taxes. This resulted in the calling of the as
semblies known historically as the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliam
ent, which sat with several breaks and in various forms between 1640 and 1660.
The Long Parliament was characterised by the growing number of critics of the ki
ng who sat in it. The most prominent of these critics in the House of Commons wa
s John Pym. Tensions between the king and his parliament reached boiling point i
n January 1642 when Charles entered the House of Commons and tried, unsuccessful
ly, to arrest Pym and four other members for their alleged treason. The five mem
bers had been tipped off about this, and by the time Charles came into the chamb
er with a group of soldiers they had disappeared. Charles was further humiliated
when he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, to give their whereabouts, which L
enthall famously refused to do.
From then on relations between the king and his parliament deteriorated further.
When trouble started to brew in Ireland, both Charles and his parliament raised
armies to quell the uprisings by native Catholics there. It was not long before
it was clear that these forces would end up fighting each other, leading to the
English Civil War which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642: thos
e supporting the cause of parliament were called Parliamentarians (or Roundheads
).
Battles between Crown and Parliament would continue throughout the 17th and 18th
centuries, but parliament was no longer subservient to the English monarchy. Th
is change was symbolised in the execution of Charles I in January 1649. It is so
mewhat ironic that this event was not instigated by the elected representatives
of the realm. In Pride's Purge of December 1648, the New Model Army (which by th
en had emerged as the leading force in the parliamentary alliance) purged Parlia
ment of members that did not support them. The remaining "Rump Parliament", as i
t was later referred to by critics, enacted legislation to put the king on trial
for treason. This trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, led to
the execution of the king and the start of an 11 year republic. The House of Lo
rds was abolished and the purged House of Commons governed England until April 1

653, when army chief Oliver Cromwell dissolved it following disagreements over r
eligious policy and how to carry out elections to parliament. Cromwell later con
vened a parliament of religious radicals in 1653, commonly known as Barebone's P
arliament, followed by the unicameral First Protectorate Parliament that sat fro
m September 1654 to January 1655 and the Second Protectorate Parliament that sat
in two sessions between 1656 and 1658, the first session was unicameral and the
second session was bicameral.
Although it is easy to dismiss the English Republic of 1649-60 as nothing more t
han a Cromwellian military dictatorship, the events that took place in this deca
de were hugely important in determining the future of parliament. First, it was
during the sitting of the first Rump Parliament that members of the House of Com
mons became known as "MPs" (Members of Parliament). Second, Cromwell gave a huge
degree of freedom to his parliaments, although royalists were barred from sitti
ng in all but a handful of cases. His vision of parliament appears to have been
largely based on the example of the Elizabethan parliaments. However, he underes
timated the extent to which Elizabeth I and her ministers had directly and indir
ectly influenced the decision-making process of her parliaments. He was thus alw
ays surprised when they became troublesome. He ended up dissolving each parliame
nt that he convened. Yet it is worth noting that the structure of the second ses
sion of the Second Protectorate Parliament of 1658 was almost identical to the p
arliamentary structure consolidated in the Glorious Revolution Settlement of 168
9.
In 1653 Cromwell had been made head of state with the title Lord Protector of th
e Realm. The Second Protectorate Parliament offered him the crown. Cromwell reje
cted this offer, but the governmental structure embodied in the final version of
the Humble Petition and Advice was a basis for all future parliaments. It propo
sed an elected House of Commons as the Lower Chamber, a House of Lords containin
g peers of the realm as the Upper Chamber, and a constitutional monarchy, subser
vient to parliament and the laws of the nation, as the executive arm of the stat
e at the top of the tree, assisted in carrying out their duties by a Privy Counc
il. Oliver Cromwell had thus inadvertently presided over the creation of a basis
for the future parliamentary government of England. In 1657 he had the Parliame
nt of Scotland unified with the English Parliament.
In terms of the evolution of parliament as an institution, by far the most impor
tant development during the republic was the sitting of the Rump Parliament betw
een 1649 and 1653. This proved that parliament could survive without a monarchy
and a House of Lords if it wanted to. Future English monarchs would never forget
this. Charles I was the last English monarch ever to enter the House of Commons
. Even to this day, a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sent to
Buckingham Palace as a ceremonial hostage during the State Opening of Parliament
, in order to ensure the safe return of the sovereign from a potentially hostile
parliament. During the ceremony the monarch sits on the throne in the House of
Lords and signals for the Lord Great Chamberlain to summon the House of Commons
to the Lords Chamber. The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand of office
to signal to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who has been waiting in the c
entral lobby. Black Rod turns and, escorted by the doorkeeper of the House of Lo
rds and an inspector of police, approaches the doors to the chamber of the Commo
symbolising the right of the Commons to de
ns. The doors are slammed in his face
bate without the presence of the Queen's representative. He then strikes three t
imes with his staff (the Black Rod), and he is admitted.
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement[edit]
The revolutionary events that occurred between 1620 and 1689 all took place in t
he name of parliament. The new status of parliament as the central governmental
organ of the English state was consolidated during the events surrounding the Re
storation of the monarchy in 1660. Following the assassination attempt of Oliver
Cromwell in September 1658, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Lord Prot

ector, summoning the Third Protectorate Parliament in the process. When this par
liament was dissolved following pressure from the army in April 1659, the Rump P
arliament was recalled at the insistence of the surviving army grandees. This in
turn was dissolved in a coup led by army general John Lambert, leading to the f
ormation of the Committee of Safety, dominated by Lambert and his supporters. Wh
en the breakaway forces of George Monck invaded England from Scotland where they
had been stationed without Lambert's supporters putting up a fight Monck temporaril
y recalled the Rump Parliament and reversed Pride's Purge by recalling the entir
ety of the Long Parliament. They then voted to dissolve themselves and call new
elections, which were arguably the most democratic for 20 years although the fra
nchise was still very small. This led to the calling of the Convention Parliamen
t which was dominated by royalists. This parliament voted to reinstate the monar
chy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as king in May 1660.
The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union that Cromwell had established was dissolv
ed in 1661 when the Scottish Parliament resumed its separate meeting place in Ed
inburgh.
The Restoration began the tradition whereby all governments looked to parliament
for legitimacy. In 1681 Charles II dissolved parliament and ruled without them
for the last four years of his reign. This followed bitter disagreements between
the king and parliament that had occurred between 1679 and 1681. Charles took a
big gamble by doing this. He risked the possibility of a military showdown akin
to that of 1642. However he rightly predicted that the nation did not want anot
her civil war. Parliament disbanded without a fight. Events that followed ensure
d that this would be nothing but a temporary blip.
Charles II died in 1685 and he was succeeded by his brother James II. During his
lifetime Charles had always pledged loyalty to the Protestant Church of England
, despite his private Catholic sympathies. James was openly Catholic. He attempt
ed to lift restrictions on Catholics taking up public offices. This was bitterly
opposed by Protestants in his kingdom. They invited William of Orange,[2] a Pro
testant who had married Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde to invade Engla
nd and claim the throne. William assembled an army estimated at 15,000 soldiers
(11,000 foot and 4000 horse)[3] and landed at Brixham in southwest England in No
vember, 1688. When many Protestant officers, including James's close adviser, Jo
hn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defected from the English army to William
's invasion force, James fled the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to
his Protestant daughter Mary, instead of his son (James Francis Edward Stuart).
Mary refused the offer, and instead William and Mary ruled jointly, with both ha
ving the right to rule alone on the other's death. As part of the compromise in
allowing William to be King called the Glorious Revolution Parliament was able to ha
ve the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted. Later the 1701 Act of Settlement was approve
d. These were statutes that lawfully upheld the prominence of parliament for the
first time in English history. These events marked the beginning of the English
constitutional monarchy and its role as one of the three elements of parliament
.
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain[edit]
Main article: Parliament of Great Britain
Following the Treaty of Union in 1707, Acts of Parliament passed in the Parliame
nt of England and the Parliament of Scotland created a new Kingdom of Great Brit
ain and dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new Parliament of Grea
t Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. The Parliament of
Great Britain later became the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801 when the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed through the Act of Union
1800.
Places where Parliament has been held other than London[edit]
York, various
Lincoln, various

Oxford, 1258 (Mad Parliament), 1681


Kenilworth, 1266
Acton Burnell Castle, 1283[4]
Shrewsbury, 1283 (trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd)
Lincoln, 1301
Carlisle, 1307
Northampton 1328
New Sarum, 1330
Winchester, 1332
Leicester, 1414 (Fire and Faggot Parliament), 1426 (Parliament of Bats)
Reading Abbey, 1453
Coventry, 1459 (Parliament of Devils)
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles[edit]
Two European cities, both annexed from and later ceded to the Kingdom of France
were represented in the Parliament as borough constituencies while they were Eng
lish possessions:
Calais, between 1372 and 1558.
Tournai between 1513 and 1519. (Now in Belgium.)
See also[edit]
History of democracy
History of local government in England
List of Parliaments of England
List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1485 1601
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1603 1641
Witenagemot
Magnum Concilium
References[edit]
^ Jump up to: a b "A Brief Chronology of the House of Commons", Factsheet G3, Ge
neral Series, August 2010, House of Commons Information Office
Jump up ^ Wouter Troost, William III the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography
(2004) ISBN 0-7546-5071-5 p 191
Jump up ^ Troost, pp 204 205
Jump up ^ Virtual Shropshire
Sources[edit]
Blackstone, Sir William. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Cl
arendon Press.
Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings
of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron. (1896). Constitutional History of Englan
d since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. vol 1 online; vol 2 online
Maddicott, John. The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327. Oxford: Oxford
University Press; 2010. ISBN 0-19-958550-4.
Paul Brand. "Review of Maddicott, John Robert, _The Origins of the English Parli
ament, 924-1327_." in H-Albion, H-Net Reviews. September, 2011. online
Sayles, G. O. The King's Parliament of England (1974), brief survey
"Parliament." (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge Universi
ty Press.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of England.
Birth of the English Parliament. UK Parliament
Parliament and People. British Library
Origins and growth of Parliament. National Archives
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Curia Regis
1066 c. 1215
Parliament of England
c. 1215 1707
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain

1707 1801
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Parliament of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the pre-1707 legislature. For the proposed reestablishment
, see Devolved English parliament. For the current combined UK body, see Parliam
ent of the United Kingdom.
Parliament of England
Coat of arms or logo
Royal coat of arms of England, 1558 1603
Type
Type
Unicameral
(1215 1341 / 1649 1657)
Bicameral
(1341 1649 / 1657 1707)1
Houses Upper house:
House of Lords
(1341 1649 / 1660 1707)
House of Peers
(1657 1660)
Lower house:
House of Commons
(1341 1707)
History
Established
15 June 1215
(Lords only)
20 January 1265
(Lords and elected Commons)
Disbanded
1 May 1707
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Leadership
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
William Cowper1
Since 1705
Speaker of the House of Commons
John Smith1
Since 1705
Elections
House of Lords voting system
Ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of an English peerage
House of Commons voting system
First past the post with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Westminster 16C.jpg
Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
Footnotes
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood in 1707.
See also: Parliament of Scotland,
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066
, William of Normandy introduced what, in later centuries, became referred to as
a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief
(a person who held land) and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the ten
ants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the kin
g may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were
hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which graduall
y developed into a parliament.
Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of th

e English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the tr
ial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy un
der Charles II, and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of
Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and later British sov
ereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited exec
utive authority. The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Pa
rliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliamen
t of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was
now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Contents [hide]
1
History
1.1
Parliament in the reign of Henry III
1.2
The emergence of parliament as an institution
1.3
King, Lords, and Commons
1.4
Rebellion and revolution
1.5
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement
1.6
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain
2
Places where Parliament has been held other than London
3
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles
4
See also
5
References
6
Sources
7
External links
History[edit]
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear becau
se it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by
introducing more precise citations. (February 2013)
Under a monarchical system of government, the monarch usually must consult and s
eek a measure of acceptance for his policies if he is to enjoy the broad coopera
tion of his subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, and
so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in eve
ry part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England
following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have bee
n upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had econ
omic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and t
he feudal obligations of their tenants (some of whom held lands on condition of
military service). The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as
it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clerg
y on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Council
s. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, bishops, abbots, barons
and earls, the pillars of the feudal system.
When this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossi
ble for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this
prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and
Henry II and between King John and the barons.
Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murder
ed following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the C
hurch. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many le
ading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refu
sal to adhere to this charter led to civil war (see First Barons' War).
The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term itself came i
nto use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words
for discussion and speaking. The word first appears in official documents in the

1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson,


it is widely believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a le
gislative function.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire
to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in
1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to p
arliament to advise the king on finance.[1]
Initially, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money
through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention. This was due
in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by hi
s young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until
he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling t
o relinquish. Among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaff
irmed by the young king.
Parliament in the reign of Henry III[edit]
Once the minority of Henry III ended and he took full control of the government,
leading peers became increasingly concerned with his style of government, speci
fically his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, and his seeming
patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects. Henry's support
of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven lea
ding barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, superseded
, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster. This effectively abolish
ed the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen ba
rons, and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their p
erformance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, mos
t notably at Oxford in 1258.
The French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the le
ader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the following years, those
supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each oth
er. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sid
es began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defea
ted and taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had in
itially supported Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his re
forming zeal. His support amongst the nobility rapidly declined. So in 1264, Mon
tfort summoned the first parliament in English history without any prior royal a
uthorisation. The archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons were summoned,
as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. Knights
had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs
was unprecedented. This was purely a move to consolidate Montfort's position as
the legitimate governor of the kingdom, since he had captured Henry and his son
Prince Edward (later Edward I) at the Battle of Lewes.
A parliament consisting of representatives of the realm was the logical way for
Montfort to establish his authority. In calling this parliament, in a bid to gai
n popular support, he summoned knights and burgesses from the emerging gentry cl
ass, thus turning to his advantage the fact that most of the nobility had abando
ned his movement. This parliament was summoned on 14 December 1264. It first met
on 20 January 1265 in Westminster Hall[1] and was dissolved on 15 February 1265
. It is not certain who actually attended this parliament. Nonetheless, Montfort
's scheme was formally adopted by Edward I in the so-called "Model Parliament" o
f 1295. The attendance at parliament of knights and burgesses historically becam
e known as the summoning of "the Commons", a term derived from the Norman French
word "commune", literally translated as the "community of the realm".
Following Edward's escape from captivity, Montfort was defeated and killed at th
e Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry's authority was restored and the Provisions o

f Oxford were forgotten, but this was nonetheless a turning point in the history
of the Parliament of England. Although he was not obliged by statute to do so,
Henry summoned the Commons to parliament three times between September 1268 and
April 1270. However, this was not a significant turning point in the history of
parliamentary democracy. Subsequently, very little is known about how representa
tives were selected because, at this time, being sent to parliament was not a pr
estigious undertaking. But Montfort's decision to summon knights of the shires a
nd burgesses to his parliament did mark the irreversible emergence of the landed
gentry as a force in politics. From then on, monarchs could not ignore them, wh
ich explains Henry's decision to summon the Commons to several of his post-1265
parliaments.
Even though many peers who had supported the Provisions of Oxford remained activ
e in English public life throughout Henry's reign, the conditions they had laid
down for regular parliaments were largely forgotten, as if to symbolise the hist
orical development of the English Parliament via convention rather than statutes
and written constitutions.
The emergence of parliament as an institution[edit]
Medieval parliament
During the reign of Edward I, which began in 1272, the role of Parliament in the
government of the English kingdom increased due to Edward's determination to un
ite England, Wales and Scotland under his rule by force. He was also keen to uni
te his subjects in order to restore his authority and not face rebellion as was
his father's fate. Edward therefore encouraged all sectors of society to submit
petitions to parliament detailing their grievances in order for them to be resol
ved. This seemingly gave all of Edward's subjects a potential role in government
and this helped Edward assert his authority.
As the number of petitions being submitted to parliament increased, they came to
be dealt with, and often ignored, more and more by ministers of the Crown so as
not to block the passage of government business through parliament. However the
emergence of petitioning is significant because it is some of the earliest evid
ence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of or
dinary people. Submitting a petition to parliament is a tradition that continues
to this day in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in most Commonwealth re
alms.
These developments symbolise the fact that parliament and government were by no
means the same thing by this point. If monarchs were going to impose their will
on their kingdom, they would have to control parliament rather than be subservie
nt to it.
From Edward's reign onwards, the authority of the English Parliament would depen
d on the strength or weakness of the incumbent monarch. When the king or queen w
as strong he or she would wield enough influence to pass their legislation throu
gh parliament without much trouble. Some strong monarchs even bypassed it comple
tely, although this was not often possible in the case of financial legislation
due to the post-Magna Carta convention of parliament granting taxes. When weak m
onarchs governed, parliament often became the centre of opposition against them.
Subsequently, the composition of parliaments in this period varied depending on
the decisions that needed to be taken in them. The nobility and senior clergy w
ere always summoned. From 1265 onwards, when the monarch needed to raise money t
hrough taxes, it was usual for knights and burgesses to be summoned too. However
, when the king was merely seeking advice, he often only summoned the nobility a
nd the clergy, sometimes with and sometimes without the knights of the shires. O
n some occasions the Commons were summoned and sent home again once the monarch
was finished with them, allowing parliament to continue without them. It was not
until the mid-14th century that summoning representatives of the shires and the

boroughs became the norm for all parliaments.


One of the moments that marked the emergence of parliament as a true institution
in England was the deposition of Edward II. Even though it is debatable whether
Edward II was deposed in parliament or by parliament, this remarkable sequence
of events consolidated the importance of parliament in the English unwritten con
stitution. Parliament was also crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the kin
g who replaced Edward II: his son Edward III.
In 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first ti
me, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the
knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as
the House of Lords from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament.
The authority of parliament grew under Edward III; it was established that no la
w could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses and the
Sovereign. This development occurred during the reign of Edward III because he w
as involved in the Hundred Years' War and needed finances. During his conduct of
the war, Edward tried to circumvent parliament as much as possible, which cause
d this edict to be passed.
The Commons came to act with increasing boldness during this period. During the
Good Parliament (1376), the Presiding Officer of the lower chamber, Sir Peter de
la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expendi
tures, and criticised the king's management of the military. The Commons even pr
oceeded to impeach some of the king's ministers. The bold Speaker was imprisoned
, but was soon released after the death of Edward III. During the reign of the n
ext monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant minister
s of the Crown. They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but als
o public expenditure. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons stil
l remained much less powerful than the House of Lords and the Crown.
This period also saw the introduction of a franchise which limited the number of
people who could vote in elections for the House of Commons. From 1430 onwards,
the franchise was limited to Forty Shilling Freeholders, that is men who owned
freehold property worth forty shillings or more. The Parliament of England legis
lated the new uniform county franchise, in the statute 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. The Chron
ological Table of the Statutes does not mention such a 1430 law, as it was inclu
ded in the Consolidated Statutes as a recital in the Electors of Knights of the
Shire Act 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), which amended and re-enacted the 1430 law to m
ake clear that the resident of a county had to have a forty shilling freehold in
that county to be a voter there.
King, Lords, and Commons[edit]
It was during the reign of the Tudor monarchs that the modern structure of the E
nglish Parliament began to be created. The Tudor monarchy was powerful and there
were often periods of several years when parliament did not sit at all. However
the Tudor monarchs were astute enough to realise that they needed parliament to
legitimise many of their decisions, mostly out of a need to raise money through
taxation legitimately without causing discontent. Thus they consolidated the st
ate of affairs whereby monarchs would call and close parliament as and when they
needed it.
By the time Henry Tudor (Henry VII) came to the throne in 1485 the monarch was n
ot a member of either the Upper Chamber or the Lower Chamber. Consequently, the
monarch would have to make his or her feelings known to Parliament through his o
r her supporters in both houses. Proceedings were regulated by the presiding off
icer in either chamber. From the 1540s the presiding officer in the House of Com
mons became formally known as the "Speaker", having previously been referred to

as the "prolocutor" or "parlour" (a semi-official position, often nominated by t


he monarch, that had existed ever since Peter de Montfort had acted as the presi
ding officer of the Oxford Parliament of 1258). This was not an enviable job. Wh
en the House of Commons was unhappy it was the Speaker who had to deliver this n
ews to the monarch. This began the tradition whereby the Speaker of the House of
Commons is dragged to the Speaker's Chair by other members once elected.
A member of either chamber could present a "bill" to parliament. Bills supported
by the monarch were often proposed by members of the Privy Council who sat in p
arliament. In order for a bill to become law it would have to be approved by a m
ajority of both Houses of Parliament before it passed to the monarch for royal a
ssent or veto. The royal veto was applied several times during the 16th and 17th
centuries and it is still the right of the monarch of the United Kingdom and Co
mmonwealth realms to veto legislation today, although it has not been exercised
since 1707 (today such exercise would presumably precipitate a constitutional cr
isis).
When a bill was enacted into law, this process gave it the approval of each esta
te of the realm: the King, Lords, and Commons. In reality, this was not a democr
atic process. The Parliament of England was far from being a democratically repr
esentative institution in this period. It was possible to assemble the entire pe
erage and senior clergy of the realm in one place to form the estate of the Uppe
r Chamber. However, the voting franchise for the House of Commons was small; som
e historians estimate that it was as little as three per cent of the adult male
population; and there was no secret ballot. This meant that elections could be c
ontrolled by local grandees, because in many boroughs a majority of voters were
in some way dependent on a powerful individual, or else could be bought by money
or concessions. If these grandees were supporters of the incumbent monarch, thi
s gave the Crown and its ministers considerable influence over the business of p
arliament. Many of the men elected to parliament did not relish the prospect of
having to act in the interests of others. So a law was enacted, still on the sta
tute book today, whereby it became unlawful for members of the House of Commons
to resign their seat unless they were granted a position directly within the pat
ronage of the monarchy (today this latter restriction leads to a legal fiction a
llowing de facto resignation despite the prohibition, but nevertheless it is a r
esignation which needs the permission of the Crown). However, it must be emphasi
sed that while several elections to parliament in this period were in some way c
orrupt by modern standards, many elections involved genuine contests between riv
al candidates, even though the ballot was not secret.
It was in this period that the Palace of Westminster was established as the seat
of the English Parliament. In 1548, the House of Commons was granted a regular
meeting place by the Crown, St Stephen's Chapel. This had been a royal chapel. I
t was made into a debating chamber after Henry VIII became the last monarch to u
se the Palace of Westminster as a place of residence and following the suppressi
on of the college there. This room became the home of the House of Commons until
it was destroyed by fire in 1834, although the interior was altered several tim
es up until then. The structure of this room was pivotal in the development of t
he Parliament of England. While most modern legislatures sit in a circular chamb
er, the benches of the British Houses of Parliament are laid out in the form of
choir stalls in a chapel, simply because this is the part of the original room t
hat the members of the House of Commons utilised when they were granted use of S
t Stephen's Chapel. This structure took on a new significance with the emergence
of political parties in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as the traditio
n began whereby the members of the governing party would sit on the benches to t
he right of the Speaker and the opposition members on the benches to the left. I
t is said that the Speaker's chair was placed in front of the chapel's altar. As
Members came and went they observed the custom of bowing to the altar and conti
nued to do so, even when it had been taken away, thus then bowing to the Chair,
as is still the custom today.[citation needed]

The numbers of the Lords Spiritual diminished under Henry VIII, who commanded th
e Dissolution of the Monasteries, thereby depriving the abbots and priors of the
ir seats in the Upper House. For the first time, the Lords Temporal were more nu
merous than the Lords Spiritual. Currently, the Lords Spiritual consist of the A
rchbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester,
and twenty-one other English diocesan bishops in seniority of appointment to a
diocese.
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 42 annexed Wales as part of England and this brough
t Welsh representatives into the Parliament of England, first elected in 1542.
Rebellion and revolution[edit]
Parliaments of England
1597 1689
Coat of arms of England
Parliament
Date
9th Parliament of Elizabeth I 1597
Final parliament of Elizabeth I 1601
1st parliament of King James I 1604
Addled Parliament
1614
3rd parliament of King James I 1621
Happy Parliament
1624
Useless Parliament
1625
2nd Parliament of King Charles I
1626
3rd parliament of King Charles I
1628
Short Parliament
1640 Apr
Long Parliament (1)
1640 Nov
Oxford Parliament
1644
Long Parliament (2)
1645
Rump Parliament (1)
1648
Barebone's Parliament 1653
First Protectorate Parliament 1654
Second Protectorate Parliament 1656
Third Protectorate Parliament 1659
Rump Parliament (2)
1659
Long Parliament (3)
1660
Convention Parliament 1660
Cavalier Parliament
1661
Habeas Corpus Parliament
1679
Exclusion Bill Parliament
1680
Oxford Parliament
1681
Loyal Parliament
1685
Convention Parliament 1689
List of Parliaments of England
v t e
Parliament had not always submitted to the wishes of the Tudor monarchs. But par
liamentary criticism of the monarchy reached new levels in the 17th century. Whe
n the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland c
ame to power as King James I, founding the Stuart monarchy.
In 1628, alarmed by the arbitrary exercise of royal power, the House of Commons
submitted to Charles I the Petition of Right, demanding the restoration of their
liberties. Though he accepted the petition, Charles later dissolved parliament
and ruled without them for eleven years. It was only after the financial disaste
r of the Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639 1640) that he was forced to recall Parliamen
t so that they could authorise new taxes. This resulted in the calling of the as
semblies known historically as the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliam
ent, which sat with several breaks and in various forms between 1640 and 1660.

The Long Parliament was characterised by the growing number of critics of the ki
ng who sat in it. The most prominent of these critics in the House of Commons wa
s John Pym. Tensions between the king and his parliament reached boiling point i
n January 1642 when Charles entered the House of Commons and tried, unsuccessful
ly, to arrest Pym and four other members for their alleged treason. The five mem
bers had been tipped off about this, and by the time Charles came into the chamb
er with a group of soldiers they had disappeared. Charles was further humiliated
when he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, to give their whereabouts, which L
enthall famously refused to do.
From then on relations between the king and his parliament deteriorated further.
When trouble started to brew in Ireland, both Charles and his parliament raised
armies to quell the uprisings by native Catholics there. It was not long before
it was clear that these forces would end up fighting each other, leading to the
English Civil War which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642: thos
e supporting the cause of parliament were called Parliamentarians (or Roundheads
).
Battles between Crown and Parliament would continue throughout the 17th and 18th
centuries, but parliament was no longer subservient to the English monarchy. Th
is change was symbolised in the execution of Charles I in January 1649. It is so
mewhat ironic that this event was not instigated by the elected representatives
of the realm. In Pride's Purge of December 1648, the New Model Army (which by th
en had emerged as the leading force in the parliamentary alliance) purged Parlia
ment of members that did not support them. The remaining "Rump Parliament", as i
t was later referred to by critics, enacted legislation to put the king on trial
for treason. This trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, led to
the execution of the king and the start of an 11 year republic. The House of Lo
rds was abolished and the purged House of Commons governed England until April 1
653, when army chief Oliver Cromwell dissolved it following disagreements over r
eligious policy and how to carry out elections to parliament. Cromwell later con
vened a parliament of religious radicals in 1653, commonly known as Barebone's P
arliament, followed by the unicameral First Protectorate Parliament that sat fro
m September 1654 to January 1655 and the Second Protectorate Parliament that sat
in two sessions between 1656 and 1658, the first session was unicameral and the
second session was bicameral.
Although it is easy to dismiss the English Republic of 1649-60 as nothing more t
han a Cromwellian military dictatorship, the events that took place in this deca
de were hugely important in determining the future of parliament. First, it was
during the sitting of the first Rump Parliament that members of the House of Com
mons became known as "MPs" (Members of Parliament). Second, Cromwell gave a huge
degree of freedom to his parliaments, although royalists were barred from sitti
ng in all but a handful of cases. His vision of parliament appears to have been
largely based on the example of the Elizabethan parliaments. However, he underes
timated the extent to which Elizabeth I and her ministers had directly and indir
ectly influenced the decision-making process of her parliaments. He was thus alw
ays surprised when they became troublesome. He ended up dissolving each parliame
nt that he convened. Yet it is worth noting that the structure of the second ses
sion of the Second Protectorate Parliament of 1658 was almost identical to the p
arliamentary structure consolidated in the Glorious Revolution Settlement of 168
9.
In 1653 Cromwell had been made head of state with the title Lord Protector of th
e Realm. The Second Protectorate Parliament offered him the crown. Cromwell reje
cted this offer, but the governmental structure embodied in the final version of
the Humble Petition and Advice was a basis for all future parliaments. It propo
sed an elected House of Commons as the Lower Chamber, a House of Lords containin
g peers of the realm as the Upper Chamber, and a constitutional monarchy, subser
vient to parliament and the laws of the nation, as the executive arm of the stat

e at the top of the tree, assisted in carrying out their duties by a Privy Counc
il. Oliver Cromwell had thus inadvertently presided over the creation of a basis
for the future parliamentary government of England. In 1657 he had the Parliame
nt of Scotland unified with the English Parliament.
In terms of the evolution of parliament as an institution, by far the most impor
tant development during the republic was the sitting of the Rump Parliament betw
een 1649 and 1653. This proved that parliament could survive without a monarchy
and a House of Lords if it wanted to. Future English monarchs would never forget
this. Charles I was the last English monarch ever to enter the House of Commons
. Even to this day, a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sent to
Buckingham Palace as a ceremonial hostage during the State Opening of Parliament
, in order to ensure the safe return of the sovereign from a potentially hostile
parliament. During the ceremony the monarch sits on the throne in the House of
Lords and signals for the Lord Great Chamberlain to summon the House of Commons
to the Lords Chamber. The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand of office
to signal to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who has been waiting in the c
entral lobby. Black Rod turns and, escorted by the doorkeeper of the House of Lo
rds and an inspector of police, approaches the doors to the chamber of the Commo
ns. The doors are slammed in his face
symbolising the right of the Commons to de
bate without the presence of the Queen's representative. He then strikes three t
imes with his staff (the Black Rod), and he is admitted.
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement[edit]
The revolutionary events that occurred between 1620 and 1689 all took place in t
he name of parliament. The new status of parliament as the central governmental
organ of the English state was consolidated during the events surrounding the Re
storation of the monarchy in 1660. Following the assassination attempt of Oliver
Cromwell in September 1658, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Lord Prot
ector, summoning the Third Protectorate Parliament in the process. When this par
liament was dissolved following pressure from the army in April 1659, the Rump P
arliament was recalled at the insistence of the surviving army grandees. This in
turn was dissolved in a coup led by army general John Lambert, leading to the f
ormation of the Committee of Safety, dominated by Lambert and his supporters. Wh
en the breakaway forces of George Monck invaded England from Scotland where they
had been stationed without Lambert's supporters putting up a fight Monck temporaril
y recalled the Rump Parliament and reversed Pride's Purge by recalling the entir
ety of the Long Parliament. They then voted to dissolve themselves and call new
elections, which were arguably the most democratic for 20 years although the fra
nchise was still very small. This led to the calling of the Convention Parliamen
t which was dominated by royalists. This parliament voted to reinstate the monar
chy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as king in May 1660.
The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union that Cromwell had established was dissolv
ed in 1661 when the Scottish Parliament resumed its separate meeting place in Ed
inburgh.
The Restoration began the tradition whereby all governments looked to parliament
for legitimacy. In 1681 Charles II dissolved parliament and ruled without them
for the last four years of his reign. This followed bitter disagreements between
the king and parliament that had occurred between 1679 and 1681. Charles took a
big gamble by doing this. He risked the possibility of a military showdown akin
to that of 1642. However he rightly predicted that the nation did not want anot
her civil war. Parliament disbanded without a fight. Events that followed ensure
d that this would be nothing but a temporary blip.
Charles II died in 1685 and he was succeeded by his brother James II. During his
lifetime Charles had always pledged loyalty to the Protestant Church of England
, despite his private Catholic sympathies. James was openly Catholic. He attempt
ed to lift restrictions on Catholics taking up public offices. This was bitterly
opposed by Protestants in his kingdom. They invited William of Orange,[2] a Pro

testant who had married Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde to invade Engla
nd and claim the throne. William assembled an army estimated at 15,000 soldiers
(11,000 foot and 4000 horse)[3] and landed at Brixham in southwest England in No
vember, 1688. When many Protestant officers, including James's close adviser, Jo
hn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defected from the English army to William
's invasion force, James fled the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to
his Protestant daughter Mary, instead of his son (James Francis Edward Stuart).
Mary refused the offer, and instead William and Mary ruled jointly, with both ha
ving the right to rule alone on the other's death. As part of the compromise in
allowing William to be King called the Glorious Revolution Parliament was able to ha
ve the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted. Later the 1701 Act of Settlement was approve
d. These were statutes that lawfully upheld the prominence of parliament for the
first time in English history. These events marked the beginning of the English
constitutional monarchy and its role as one of the three elements of parliament
.
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain[edit]
Main article: Parliament of Great Britain
Following the Treaty of Union in 1707, Acts of Parliament passed in the Parliame
nt of England and the Parliament of Scotland created a new Kingdom of Great Brit
ain and dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new Parliament of Grea
t Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. The Parliament of
Great Britain later became the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801 when the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed through the Act of Union
1800.
Places where Parliament has been held other than London[edit]
York, various
Lincoln, various
Oxford, 1258 (Mad Parliament), 1681
Kenilworth, 1266
Acton Burnell Castle, 1283[4]
Shrewsbury, 1283 (trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd)
Lincoln, 1301
Carlisle, 1307
Northampton 1328
New Sarum, 1330
Winchester, 1332
Leicester, 1414 (Fire and Faggot Parliament), 1426 (Parliament of Bats)
Reading Abbey, 1453
Coventry, 1459 (Parliament of Devils)
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles[edit]
Two European cities, both annexed from and later ceded to the Kingdom of France
were represented in the Parliament as borough constituencies while they were Eng
lish possessions:
Calais, between 1372 and 1558.
Tournai between 1513 and 1519. (Now in Belgium.)
See also[edit]
History of democracy
History of local government in England
List of Parliaments of England
List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1485 1601
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1603 1641
Witenagemot
Magnum Concilium
References[edit]
^ Jump up to: a b "A Brief Chronology of the House of Commons", Factsheet G3, Ge
neral Series, August 2010, House of Commons Information Office

Jump up ^ Wouter Troost, William III the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography


(2004) ISBN 0-7546-5071-5 p 191
Jump up ^ Troost, pp 204 205
Jump up ^ Virtual Shropshire
Sources[edit]
Blackstone, Sir William. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Cl
arendon Press.
Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings
of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron. (1896). Constitutional History of Englan
d since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. vol 1 online; vol 2 online
Maddicott, John. The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327. Oxford: Oxford
University Press; 2010. ISBN 0-19-958550-4.
Paul Brand. "Review of Maddicott, John Robert, _The Origins of the English Parli
ament, 924-1327_." in H-Albion, H-Net Reviews. September, 2011. online
Sayles, G. O. The King's Parliament of England (1974), brief survey
"Parliament." (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge Universi
ty Press.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of England.
Birth of the English Parliament. UK Parliament
Parliament and People. British Library
Origins and growth of Parliament. National Archives
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Parliament of England
1066 c. 1215
c. 1215 1707
Succeeded by
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1707 1801
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Parliament of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the pre-1707 legislature. For the proposed reestablishment
, see Devolved English parliament. For the current combined UK body, see Parliam
ent of the United Kingdom.
Parliament of England
Coat of arms or logo
Royal coat of arms of England, 1558 1603
Type
Type
Unicameral
(1215 1341 / 1649 1657)
Bicameral
(1341 1649 / 1657 1707)1
Houses Upper house:
House of Lords
(1341 1649 / 1660 1707)
House of Peers
(1657 1660)
Lower house:
House of Commons
(1341 1707)
History
Established
15 June 1215
(Lords only)
20 January 1265
(Lords and elected Commons)
Disbanded
1 May 1707
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain

Leadership
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
William Cowper1
Since 1705
Speaker of the House of Commons
John Smith1
Since 1705
Elections
House of Lords voting system
Ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of an English peerage
House of Commons voting system
First past the post with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Westminster 16C.jpg
Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
Footnotes
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood in 1707.
See also: Parliament of Scotland,
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066
, William of Normandy introduced what, in later centuries, became referred to as
a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief
(a person who held land) and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the ten
ants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the kin
g may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were
hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which graduall
y developed into a parliament.
Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of th
e English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the tr
ial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy un
der Charles II, and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of
Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and later British sov
ereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited exec
utive authority. The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Pa
rliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliamen
t of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was
now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Contents [hide]
1
History
1.1
Parliament in the reign of Henry III
1.2
The emergence of parliament as an institution
1.3
King, Lords, and Commons
1.4
Rebellion and revolution
1.5
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement
1.6
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain
2
Places where Parliament has been held other than London
3
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles
4
See also
5
References
6
Sources
7
External links
History[edit]
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear becau
se it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by
introducing more precise citations. (February 2013)
Under a monarchical system of government, the monarch usually must consult and s

eek a measure of acceptance for his policies if he is to enjoy the broad coopera
tion of his subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, and
so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in eve
ry part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England
following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have bee
n upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had econ
omic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and t
he feudal obligations of their tenants (some of whom held lands on condition of
military service). The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as
it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clerg
y on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Council
s. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, bishops, abbots, barons
and earls, the pillars of the feudal system.
When this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossi
ble for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this
prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and
Henry II and between King John and the barons.
Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murder
ed following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the C
hurch. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many le
ading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refu
sal to adhere to this charter led to civil war (see First Barons' War).
The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term itself came i
nto use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words
for discussion and speaking. The word first appears in official documents in the
1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson,
it is widely believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a le
gislative function.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire
to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in
1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to p
arliament to advise the king on finance.[1]
Initially, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money
through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention. This was due
in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by hi
s young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until
he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling t
o relinquish. Among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaff
irmed by the young king.
Parliament in the reign of Henry III[edit]
Once the minority of Henry III ended and he took full control of the government,
leading peers became increasingly concerned with his style of government, speci
fically his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, and his seeming
patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects. Henry's support
of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven lea
ding barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, superseded
, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster. This effectively abolish
ed the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen ba
rons, and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their p
erformance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, mos
t notably at Oxford in 1258.

The French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the le


ader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the following years, those
supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each oth
er. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sid
es began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defea
ted and taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had in
itially supported Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his re
forming zeal. His support amongst the nobility rapidly declined. So in 1264, Mon
tfort summoned the first parliament in English history without any prior royal a
uthorisation. The archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons were summoned,
as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. Knights
had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs
was unprecedented. This was purely a move to consolidate Montfort's position as
the legitimate governor of the kingdom, since he had captured Henry and his son
Prince Edward (later Edward I) at the Battle of Lewes.
A parliament consisting of representatives of the realm was the logical way for
Montfort to establish his authority. In calling this parliament, in a bid to gai
n popular support, he summoned knights and burgesses from the emerging gentry cl
ass, thus turning to his advantage the fact that most of the nobility had abando
ned his movement. This parliament was summoned on 14 December 1264. It first met
on 20 January 1265 in Westminster Hall[1] and was dissolved on 15 February 1265
. It is not certain who actually attended this parliament. Nonetheless, Montfort
's scheme was formally adopted by Edward I in the so-called "Model Parliament" o
f 1295. The attendance at parliament of knights and burgesses historically becam
e known as the summoning of "the Commons", a term derived from the Norman French
word "commune", literally translated as the "community of the realm".
Following Edward's escape from captivity, Montfort was defeated and killed at th
e Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry's authority was restored and the Provisions o
f Oxford were forgotten, but this was nonetheless a turning point in the history
of the Parliament of England. Although he was not obliged by statute to do so,
Henry summoned the Commons to parliament three times between September 1268 and
April 1270. However, this was not a significant turning point in the history of
parliamentary democracy. Subsequently, very little is known about how representa
tives were selected because, at this time, being sent to parliament was not a pr
estigious undertaking. But Montfort's decision to summon knights of the shires a
nd burgesses to his parliament did mark the irreversible emergence of the landed
gentry as a force in politics. From then on, monarchs could not ignore them, wh
ich explains Henry's decision to summon the Commons to several of his post-1265
parliaments.
Even though many peers who had supported the Provisions of Oxford remained activ
e in English public life throughout Henry's reign, the conditions they had laid
down for regular parliaments were largely forgotten, as if to symbolise the hist
orical development of the English Parliament via convention rather than statutes
and written constitutions.
The emergence of parliament as an institution[edit]
Medieval parliament
During the reign of Edward I, which began in 1272, the role of Parliament in the
government of the English kingdom increased due to Edward's determination to un
ite England, Wales and Scotland under his rule by force. He was also keen to uni
te his subjects in order to restore his authority and not face rebellion as was
his father's fate. Edward therefore encouraged all sectors of society to submit
petitions to parliament detailing their grievances in order for them to be resol
ved. This seemingly gave all of Edward's subjects a potential role in government
and this helped Edward assert his authority.

As the number of petitions being submitted to parliament increased, they came to


be dealt with, and often ignored, more and more by ministers of the Crown so as
not to block the passage of government business through parliament. However the
emergence of petitioning is significant because it is some of the earliest evid
ence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of or
dinary people. Submitting a petition to parliament is a tradition that continues
to this day in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in most Commonwealth re
alms.
These developments symbolise the fact that parliament and government were by no
means the same thing by this point. If monarchs were going to impose their will
on their kingdom, they would have to control parliament rather than be subservie
nt to it.
From Edward's reign onwards, the authority of the English Parliament would depen
d on the strength or weakness of the incumbent monarch. When the king or queen w
as strong he or she would wield enough influence to pass their legislation throu
gh parliament without much trouble. Some strong monarchs even bypassed it comple
tely, although this was not often possible in the case of financial legislation
due to the post-Magna Carta convention of parliament granting taxes. When weak m
onarchs governed, parliament often became the centre of opposition against them.
Subsequently, the composition of parliaments in this period varied depending on
the decisions that needed to be taken in them. The nobility and senior clergy w
ere always summoned. From 1265 onwards, when the monarch needed to raise money t
hrough taxes, it was usual for knights and burgesses to be summoned too. However
, when the king was merely seeking advice, he often only summoned the nobility a
nd the clergy, sometimes with and sometimes without the knights of the shires. O
n some occasions the Commons were summoned and sent home again once the monarch
was finished with them, allowing parliament to continue without them. It was not
until the mid-14th century that summoning representatives of the shires and the
boroughs became the norm for all parliaments.
One of the moments that marked the emergence of parliament as a true institution
in England was the deposition of Edward II. Even though it is debatable whether
Edward II was deposed in parliament or by parliament, this remarkable sequence
of events consolidated the importance of parliament in the English unwritten con
stitution. Parliament was also crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the kin
g who replaced Edward II: his son Edward III.
In 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first ti
me, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the
knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as
the House of Lords from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament.
The authority of parliament grew under Edward III; it was established that no la
w could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses and the
Sovereign. This development occurred during the reign of Edward III because he w
as involved in the Hundred Years' War and needed finances. During his conduct of
the war, Edward tried to circumvent parliament as much as possible, which cause
d this edict to be passed.
The Commons came to act with increasing boldness during this period. During the
Good Parliament (1376), the Presiding Officer of the lower chamber, Sir Peter de
la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expendi
tures, and criticised the king's management of the military. The Commons even pr
oceeded to impeach some of the king's ministers. The bold Speaker was imprisoned
, but was soon released after the death of Edward III. During the reign of the n
ext monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant minister
s of the Crown. They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but als

o public expenditure. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons stil
l remained much less powerful than the House of Lords and the Crown.
This period also saw the introduction of a franchise which limited the number of
people who could vote in elections for the House of Commons. From 1430 onwards,
the franchise was limited to Forty Shilling Freeholders, that is men who owned
freehold property worth forty shillings or more. The Parliament of England legis
lated the new uniform county franchise, in the statute 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. The Chron
ological Table of the Statutes does not mention such a 1430 law, as it was inclu
ded in the Consolidated Statutes as a recital in the Electors of Knights of the
Shire Act 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), which amended and re-enacted the 1430 law to m
ake clear that the resident of a county had to have a forty shilling freehold in
that county to be a voter there.
King, Lords, and Commons[edit]
It was during the reign of the Tudor monarchs that the modern structure of the E
nglish Parliament began to be created. The Tudor monarchy was powerful and there
were often periods of several years when parliament did not sit at all. However
the Tudor monarchs were astute enough to realise that they needed parliament to
legitimise many of their decisions, mostly out of a need to raise money through
taxation legitimately without causing discontent. Thus they consolidated the st
ate of affairs whereby monarchs would call and close parliament as and when they
needed it.
By the time Henry Tudor (Henry VII) came to the throne in 1485 the monarch was n
ot a member of either the Upper Chamber or the Lower Chamber. Consequently, the
monarch would have to make his or her feelings known to Parliament through his o
r her supporters in both houses. Proceedings were regulated by the presiding off
icer in either chamber. From the 1540s the presiding officer in the House of Com
mons became formally known as the "Speaker", having previously been referred to
as the "prolocutor" or "parlour" (a semi-official position, often nominated by t
he monarch, that had existed ever since Peter de Montfort had acted as the presi
ding officer of the Oxford Parliament of 1258). This was not an enviable job. Wh
en the House of Commons was unhappy it was the Speaker who had to deliver this n
ews to the monarch. This began the tradition whereby the Speaker of the House of
Commons is dragged to the Speaker's Chair by other members once elected.
A member of either chamber could present a "bill" to parliament. Bills supported
by the monarch were often proposed by members of the Privy Council who sat in p
arliament. In order for a bill to become law it would have to be approved by a m
ajority of both Houses of Parliament before it passed to the monarch for royal a
ssent or veto. The royal veto was applied several times during the 16th and 17th
centuries and it is still the right of the monarch of the United Kingdom and Co
mmonwealth realms to veto legislation today, although it has not been exercised
since 1707 (today such exercise would presumably precipitate a constitutional cr
isis).
When a bill was enacted into law, this process gave it the approval of each esta
te of the realm: the King, Lords, and Commons. In reality, this was not a democr
atic process. The Parliament of England was far from being a democratically repr
esentative institution in this period. It was possible to assemble the entire pe
erage and senior clergy of the realm in one place to form the estate of the Uppe
r Chamber. However, the voting franchise for the House of Commons was small; som
e historians estimate that it was as little as three per cent of the adult male
population; and there was no secret ballot. This meant that elections could be c
ontrolled by local grandees, because in many boroughs a majority of voters were
in some way dependent on a powerful individual, or else could be bought by money
or concessions. If these grandees were supporters of the incumbent monarch, thi
s gave the Crown and its ministers considerable influence over the business of p
arliament. Many of the men elected to parliament did not relish the prospect of

having to act in the interests of others. So a law was enacted, still on the sta
tute book today, whereby it became unlawful for members of the House of Commons
to resign their seat unless they were granted a position directly within the pat
ronage of the monarchy (today this latter restriction leads to a legal fiction a
llowing de facto resignation despite the prohibition, but nevertheless it is a r
esignation which needs the permission of the Crown). However, it must be emphasi
sed that while several elections to parliament in this period were in some way c
orrupt by modern standards, many elections involved genuine contests between riv
al candidates, even though the ballot was not secret.
It was in this period that the Palace of Westminster was established as the seat
of the English Parliament. In 1548, the House of Commons was granted a regular
meeting place by the Crown, St Stephen's Chapel. This had been a royal chapel. I
t was made into a debating chamber after Henry VIII became the last monarch to u
se the Palace of Westminster as a place of residence and following the suppressi
on of the college there. This room became the home of the House of Commons until
it was destroyed by fire in 1834, although the interior was altered several tim
es up until then. The structure of this room was pivotal in the development of t
he Parliament of England. While most modern legislatures sit in a circular chamb
er, the benches of the British Houses of Parliament are laid out in the form of
choir stalls in a chapel, simply because this is the part of the original room t
hat the members of the House of Commons utilised when they were granted use of S
t Stephen's Chapel. This structure took on a new significance with the emergence
of political parties in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as the traditio
n began whereby the members of the governing party would sit on the benches to t
he right of the Speaker and the opposition members on the benches to the left. I
t is said that the Speaker's chair was placed in front of the chapel's altar. As
Members came and went they observed the custom of bowing to the altar and conti
nued to do so, even when it had been taken away, thus then bowing to the Chair,
as is still the custom today.[citation needed]
The numbers of the Lords Spiritual diminished under Henry VIII, who commanded th
e Dissolution of the Monasteries, thereby depriving the abbots and priors of the
ir seats in the Upper House. For the first time, the Lords Temporal were more nu
merous than the Lords Spiritual. Currently, the Lords Spiritual consist of the A
rchbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester,
and twenty-one other English diocesan bishops in seniority of appointment to a
diocese.
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 42 annexed Wales as part of England and this brough
t Welsh representatives into the Parliament of England, first elected in 1542.
Rebellion and revolution[edit]
Parliaments of England
1597 1689
Coat of arms of England
Parliament
Date
9th Parliament of Elizabeth I 1597
Final parliament of Elizabeth I 1601
1st parliament of King James I 1604
Addled Parliament
1614
3rd parliament of King James I 1621
Happy Parliament
1624
Useless Parliament
1625
2nd Parliament of King Charles I
3rd parliament of King Charles I
Short Parliament
1640 Apr
Long Parliament (1)
1640 Nov
Oxford Parliament
1644
Long Parliament (2)
1645

1626
1628

Rump Parliament (1)


1648
Barebone's Parliament 1653
First Protectorate Parliament 1654
Second Protectorate Parliament 1656
Third Protectorate Parliament 1659
Rump Parliament (2)
1659
Long Parliament (3)
1660
Convention Parliament 1660
Cavalier Parliament
1661
Habeas Corpus Parliament
1679
Exclusion Bill Parliament
1680
Oxford Parliament
1681
Loyal Parliament
1685
Convention Parliament 1689
List of Parliaments of England
v t e
Parliament had not always submitted to the wishes of the Tudor monarchs. But par
liamentary criticism of the monarchy reached new levels in the 17th century. Whe
n the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland c
ame to power as King James I, founding the Stuart monarchy.
In 1628, alarmed by the arbitrary exercise of royal power, the House of Commons
submitted to Charles I the Petition of Right, demanding the restoration of their
liberties. Though he accepted the petition, Charles later dissolved parliament
and ruled without them for eleven years. It was only after the financial disaste
r of the Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639 1640) that he was forced to recall Parliamen
t so that they could authorise new taxes. This resulted in the calling of the as
semblies known historically as the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliam
ent, which sat with several breaks and in various forms between 1640 and 1660.
The Long Parliament was characterised by the growing number of critics of the ki
ng who sat in it. The most prominent of these critics in the House of Commons wa
s John Pym. Tensions between the king and his parliament reached boiling point i
n January 1642 when Charles entered the House of Commons and tried, unsuccessful
ly, to arrest Pym and four other members for their alleged treason. The five mem
bers had been tipped off about this, and by the time Charles came into the chamb
er with a group of soldiers they had disappeared. Charles was further humiliated
when he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, to give their whereabouts, which L
enthall famously refused to do.
From then on relations between the king and his parliament deteriorated further.
When trouble started to brew in Ireland, both Charles and his parliament raised
armies to quell the uprisings by native Catholics there. It was not long before
it was clear that these forces would end up fighting each other, leading to the
English Civil War which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642: thos
e supporting the cause of parliament were called Parliamentarians (or Roundheads
).
Battles between Crown and Parliament would continue throughout the 17th and 18th
centuries, but parliament was no longer subservient to the English monarchy. Th
is change was symbolised in the execution of Charles I in January 1649. It is so
mewhat ironic that this event was not instigated by the elected representatives
of the realm. In Pride's Purge of December 1648, the New Model Army (which by th
en had emerged as the leading force in the parliamentary alliance) purged Parlia
ment of members that did not support them. The remaining "Rump Parliament", as i
t was later referred to by critics, enacted legislation to put the king on trial
for treason. This trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, led to
the execution of the king and the start of an 11 year republic. The House of Lo
rds was abolished and the purged House of Commons governed England until April 1
653, when army chief Oliver Cromwell dissolved it following disagreements over r

eligious policy and how to carry out elections to parliament. Cromwell later con
vened a parliament of religious radicals in 1653, commonly known as Barebone's P
arliament, followed by the unicameral First Protectorate Parliament that sat fro
m September 1654 to January 1655 and the Second Protectorate Parliament that sat
in two sessions between 1656 and 1658, the first session was unicameral and the
second session was bicameral.
Although it is easy to dismiss the English Republic of 1649-60 as nothing more t
han a Cromwellian military dictatorship, the events that took place in this deca
de were hugely important in determining the future of parliament. First, it was
during the sitting of the first Rump Parliament that members of the House of Com
mons became known as "MPs" (Members of Parliament). Second, Cromwell gave a huge
degree of freedom to his parliaments, although royalists were barred from sitti
ng in all but a handful of cases. His vision of parliament appears to have been
largely based on the example of the Elizabethan parliaments. However, he underes
timated the extent to which Elizabeth I and her ministers had directly and indir
ectly influenced the decision-making process of her parliaments. He was thus alw
ays surprised when they became troublesome. He ended up dissolving each parliame
nt that he convened. Yet it is worth noting that the structure of the second ses
sion of the Second Protectorate Parliament of 1658 was almost identical to the p
arliamentary structure consolidated in the Glorious Revolution Settlement of 168
9.
In 1653 Cromwell had been made head of state with the title Lord Protector of th
e Realm. The Second Protectorate Parliament offered him the crown. Cromwell reje
cted this offer, but the governmental structure embodied in the final version of
the Humble Petition and Advice was a basis for all future parliaments. It propo
sed an elected House of Commons as the Lower Chamber, a House of Lords containin
g peers of the realm as the Upper Chamber, and a constitutional monarchy, subser
vient to parliament and the laws of the nation, as the executive arm of the stat
e at the top of the tree, assisted in carrying out their duties by a Privy Counc
il. Oliver Cromwell had thus inadvertently presided over the creation of a basis
for the future parliamentary government of England. In 1657 he had the Parliame
nt of Scotland unified with the English Parliament.
In terms of the evolution of parliament as an institution, by far the most impor
tant development during the republic was the sitting of the Rump Parliament betw
een 1649 and 1653. This proved that parliament could survive without a monarchy
and a House of Lords if it wanted to. Future English monarchs would never forget
this. Charles I was the last English monarch ever to enter the House of Commons
. Even to this day, a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sent to
Buckingham Palace as a ceremonial hostage during the State Opening of Parliament
, in order to ensure the safe return of the sovereign from a potentially hostile
parliament. During the ceremony the monarch sits on the throne in the House of
Lords and signals for the Lord Great Chamberlain to summon the House of Commons
to the Lords Chamber. The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand of office
to signal to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who has been waiting in the c
entral lobby. Black Rod turns and, escorted by the doorkeeper of the House of Lo
rds and an inspector of police, approaches the doors to the chamber of the Commo
ns. The doors are slammed in his face
symbolising the right of the Commons to de
bate without the presence of the Queen's representative. He then strikes three t
imes with his staff (the Black Rod), and he is admitted.
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement[edit]
The revolutionary events that occurred between 1620 and 1689 all took place in t
he name of parliament. The new status of parliament as the central governmental
organ of the English state was consolidated during the events surrounding the Re
storation of the monarchy in 1660. Following the assassination attempt of Oliver
Cromwell in September 1658, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Lord Prot
ector, summoning the Third Protectorate Parliament in the process. When this par

liament was dissolved following pressure from the army in April 1659, the Rump P
arliament was recalled at the insistence of the surviving army grandees. This in
turn was dissolved in a coup led by army general John Lambert, leading to the f
ormation of the Committee of Safety, dominated by Lambert and his supporters. Wh
en the breakaway forces of George Monck invaded England from Scotland where they
had been stationed without Lambert's supporters putting up a fight Monck temporaril
y recalled the Rump Parliament and reversed Pride's Purge by recalling the entir
ety of the Long Parliament. They then voted to dissolve themselves and call new
elections, which were arguably the most democratic for 20 years although the fra
nchise was still very small. This led to the calling of the Convention Parliamen
t which was dominated by royalists. This parliament voted to reinstate the monar
chy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as king in May 1660.
The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union that Cromwell had established was dissolv
ed in 1661 when the Scottish Parliament resumed its separate meeting place in Ed
inburgh.
The Restoration began the tradition whereby all governments looked to parliament
for legitimacy. In 1681 Charles II dissolved parliament and ruled without them
for the last four years of his reign. This followed bitter disagreements between
the king and parliament that had occurred between 1679 and 1681. Charles took a
big gamble by doing this. He risked the possibility of a military showdown akin
to that of 1642. However he rightly predicted that the nation did not want anot
her civil war. Parliament disbanded without a fight. Events that followed ensure
d that this would be nothing but a temporary blip.
Charles II died in 1685 and he was succeeded by his brother James II. During his
lifetime Charles had always pledged loyalty to the Protestant Church of England
, despite his private Catholic sympathies. James was openly Catholic. He attempt
ed to lift restrictions on Catholics taking up public offices. This was bitterly
opposed by Protestants in his kingdom. They invited William of Orange,[2] a Pro
testant who had married Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde to invade Engla
nd and claim the throne. William assembled an army estimated at 15,000 soldiers
(11,000 foot and 4000 horse)[3] and landed at Brixham in southwest England in No
vember, 1688. When many Protestant officers, including James's close adviser, Jo
hn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defected from the English army to William
's invasion force, James fled the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to
his Protestant daughter Mary, instead of his son (James Francis Edward Stuart).
Mary refused the offer, and instead William and Mary ruled jointly, with both ha
ving the right to rule alone on the other's death. As part of the compromise in
allowing William to be King called the Glorious Revolution Parliament was able to ha
ve the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted. Later the 1701 Act of Settlement was approve
d. These were statutes that lawfully upheld the prominence of parliament for the
first time in English history. These events marked the beginning of the English
constitutional monarchy and its role as one of the three elements of parliament
.
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain[edit]
Main article: Parliament of Great Britain
Following the Treaty of Union in 1707, Acts of Parliament passed in the Parliame
nt of England and the Parliament of Scotland created a new Kingdom of Great Brit
ain and dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new Parliament of Grea
t Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. The Parliament of
Great Britain later became the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801 when the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed through the Act of Union
1800.
Places where Parliament has been held other than London[edit]
York, various
Lincoln, various
Oxford, 1258 (Mad Parliament), 1681

Kenilworth, 1266
Acton Burnell Castle, 1283[4]
Shrewsbury, 1283 (trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd)
Lincoln, 1301
Carlisle, 1307
Northampton 1328
New Sarum, 1330
Winchester, 1332
Leicester, 1414 (Fire and Faggot Parliament), 1426 (Parliament of Bats)
Reading Abbey, 1453
Coventry, 1459 (Parliament of Devils)
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles[edit]
Two European cities, both annexed from and later ceded to the Kingdom of France
were represented in the Parliament as borough constituencies while they were Eng
lish possessions:
Calais, between 1372 and 1558.
Tournai between 1513 and 1519. (Now in Belgium.)
See also[edit]
History of democracy
History of local government in England
List of Parliaments of England
List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1485 1601
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1603 1641
Witenagemot
Magnum Concilium
References[edit]
^ Jump up to: a b "A Brief Chronology of the House of Commons", Factsheet G3, Ge
neral Series, August 2010, House of Commons Information Office
Jump up ^ Wouter Troost, William III the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography
(2004) ISBN 0-7546-5071-5 p 191
Jump up ^ Troost, pp 204 205
Jump up ^ Virtual Shropshire
Sources[edit]
Blackstone, Sir William. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Cl
arendon Press.
Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings
of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron. (1896). Constitutional History of Englan
d since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. vol 1 online; vol 2 online
Maddicott, John. The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327. Oxford: Oxford
University Press; 2010. ISBN 0-19-958550-4.
Paul Brand. "Review of Maddicott, John Robert, _The Origins of the English Parli
ament, 924-1327_." in H-Albion, H-Net Reviews. September, 2011. online
Sayles, G. O. The King's Parliament of England (1974), brief survey
"Parliament." (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge Universi
ty Press.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of England.
Birth of the English Parliament. UK Parliament
Parliament and People. British Library
Origins and growth of Parliament. National Archives
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Curia Regis
1066 c. 1215
Parliament of England
c. 1215 1707
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
1707 1801

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Parliament of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the pre-1707 legislature. For the proposed reestablishment
, see Devolved English parliament. For the current combined UK body, see Parliam
ent of the United Kingdom.
Parliament of England
Coat of arms or logo
Royal coat of arms of England, 1558 1603
Type
Type
Unicameral
(1215 1341 / 1649 1657)
Bicameral
(1341 1649 / 1657 1707)1
Houses Upper house:
House of Lords
(1341 1649 / 1660 1707)
House of Peers
(1657 1660)
Lower house:
House of Commons
(1341 1707)
History
Established
15 June 1215
(Lords only)
20 January 1265
(Lords and elected Commons)
Disbanded
1 May 1707
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Leadership
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
William Cowper1
Since 1705
Speaker of the House of Commons
John Smith1
Since 1705
Elections
House of Lords voting system
Ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of an English peerage
House of Commons voting system
First past the post with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Westminster 16C.jpg
Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
Footnotes
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood in 1707.
See also: Parliament of Scotland,
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066
, William of Normandy introduced what, in later centuries, became referred to as
a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief
(a person who held land) and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the ten
ants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the kin
g may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were
hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which graduall
y developed into a parliament.
Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of th
e English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the tr
ial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy un

der Charles II, and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of
Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and later British sov
ereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited exec
utive authority. The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Pa
rliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliamen
t of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was
now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Contents [hide]
1
History
1.1
Parliament in the reign of Henry III
1.2
The emergence of parliament as an institution
1.3
King, Lords, and Commons
1.4
Rebellion and revolution
1.5
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement
1.6
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain
2
Places where Parliament has been held other than London
3
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles
4
See also
5
References
6
Sources
7
External links
History[edit]
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear becau
se it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by
introducing more precise citations. (February 2013)
Under a monarchical system of government, the monarch usually must consult and s
eek a measure of acceptance for his policies if he is to enjoy the broad coopera
tion of his subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, and
so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in eve
ry part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England
following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have bee
n upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had econ
omic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and t
he feudal obligations of their tenants (some of whom held lands on condition of
military service). The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as
it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clerg
y on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Council
s. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, bishops, abbots, barons
and earls, the pillars of the feudal system.
When this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossi
ble for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this
prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and
Henry II and between King John and the barons.
Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murder
ed following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the C
hurch. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many le
ading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refu
sal to adhere to this charter led to civil war (see First Barons' War).
The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term itself came i
nto use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words
for discussion and speaking. The word first appears in official documents in the
1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson,
it is widely believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a le

gislative function.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire
to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in
1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to p
arliament to advise the king on finance.[1]
Initially, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money
through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention. This was due
in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by hi
s young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until
he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling t
o relinquish. Among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaff
irmed by the young king.
Parliament in the reign of Henry III[edit]
Once the minority of Henry III ended and he took full control of the government,
leading peers became increasingly concerned with his style of government, speci
fically his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, and his seeming
patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects. Henry's support
of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven lea
ding barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, superseded
, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster. This effectively abolish
ed the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen ba
rons, and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their p
erformance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, mos
t notably at Oxford in 1258.
The French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the le
ader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the following years, those
supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each oth
er. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sid
es began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defea
ted and taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had in
itially supported Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his re
forming zeal. His support amongst the nobility rapidly declined. So in 1264, Mon
tfort summoned the first parliament in English history without any prior royal a
uthorisation. The archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons were summoned,
as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. Knights
had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs
was unprecedented. This was purely a move to consolidate Montfort's position as
the legitimate governor of the kingdom, since he had captured Henry and his son
Prince Edward (later Edward I) at the Battle of Lewes.
A parliament consisting of representatives of the realm was the logical way for
Montfort to establish his authority. In calling this parliament, in a bid to gai
n popular support, he summoned knights and burgesses from the emerging gentry cl
ass, thus turning to his advantage the fact that most of the nobility had abando
ned his movement. This parliament was summoned on 14 December 1264. It first met
on 20 January 1265 in Westminster Hall[1] and was dissolved on 15 February 1265
. It is not certain who actually attended this parliament. Nonetheless, Montfort
's scheme was formally adopted by Edward I in the so-called "Model Parliament" o
f 1295. The attendance at parliament of knights and burgesses historically becam
e known as the summoning of "the Commons", a term derived from the Norman French
word "commune", literally translated as the "community of the realm".
Following Edward's escape from captivity, Montfort was defeated and killed at th
e Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry's authority was restored and the Provisions o
f Oxford were forgotten, but this was nonetheless a turning point in the history
of the Parliament of England. Although he was not obliged by statute to do so,

Henry summoned the Commons to parliament three times between September 1268 and
April 1270. However, this was not a significant turning point in the history of
parliamentary democracy. Subsequently, very little is known about how representa
tives were selected because, at this time, being sent to parliament was not a pr
estigious undertaking. But Montfort's decision to summon knights of the shires a
nd burgesses to his parliament did mark the irreversible emergence of the landed
gentry as a force in politics. From then on, monarchs could not ignore them, wh
ich explains Henry's decision to summon the Commons to several of his post-1265
parliaments.
Even though many peers who had supported the Provisions of Oxford remained activ
e in English public life throughout Henry's reign, the conditions they had laid
down for regular parliaments were largely forgotten, as if to symbolise the hist
orical development of the English Parliament via convention rather than statutes
and written constitutions.
The emergence of parliament as an institution[edit]
Medieval parliament
During the reign of Edward I, which began in 1272, the role of Parliament in the
government of the English kingdom increased due to Edward's determination to un
ite England, Wales and Scotland under his rule by force. He was also keen to uni
te his subjects in order to restore his authority and not face rebellion as was
his father's fate. Edward therefore encouraged all sectors of society to submit
petitions to parliament detailing their grievances in order for them to be resol
ved. This seemingly gave all of Edward's subjects a potential role in government
and this helped Edward assert his authority.
As the number of petitions being submitted to parliament increased, they came to
be dealt with, and often ignored, more and more by ministers of the Crown so as
not to block the passage of government business through parliament. However the
emergence of petitioning is significant because it is some of the earliest evid
ence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of or
dinary people. Submitting a petition to parliament is a tradition that continues
to this day in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in most Commonwealth re
alms.
These developments symbolise the fact that parliament and government were by no
means the same thing by this point. If monarchs were going to impose their will
on their kingdom, they would have to control parliament rather than be subservie
nt to it.
From Edward's reign onwards, the authority of the English Parliament would depen
d on the strength or weakness of the incumbent monarch. When the king or queen w
as strong he or she would wield enough influence to pass their legislation throu
gh parliament without much trouble. Some strong monarchs even bypassed it comple
tely, although this was not often possible in the case of financial legislation
due to the post-Magna Carta convention of parliament granting taxes. When weak m
onarchs governed, parliament often became the centre of opposition against them.
Subsequently, the composition of parliaments in this period varied depending on
the decisions that needed to be taken in them. The nobility and senior clergy w
ere always summoned. From 1265 onwards, when the monarch needed to raise money t
hrough taxes, it was usual for knights and burgesses to be summoned too. However
, when the king was merely seeking advice, he often only summoned the nobility a
nd the clergy, sometimes with and sometimes without the knights of the shires. O
n some occasions the Commons were summoned and sent home again once the monarch
was finished with them, allowing parliament to continue without them. It was not
until the mid-14th century that summoning representatives of the shires and the
boroughs became the norm for all parliaments.

One of the moments that marked the emergence of parliament as a true institution
in England was the deposition of Edward II. Even though it is debatable whether
Edward II was deposed in parliament or by parliament, this remarkable sequence
of events consolidated the importance of parliament in the English unwritten con
stitution. Parliament was also crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the kin
g who replaced Edward II: his son Edward III.
In 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first ti
me, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the
knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as
the House of Lords from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament.
The authority of parliament grew under Edward III; it was established that no la
w could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses and the
Sovereign. This development occurred during the reign of Edward III because he w
as involved in the Hundred Years' War and needed finances. During his conduct of
the war, Edward tried to circumvent parliament as much as possible, which cause
d this edict to be passed.
The Commons came to act with increasing boldness during this period. During the
Good Parliament (1376), the Presiding Officer of the lower chamber, Sir Peter de
la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expendi
tures, and criticised the king's management of the military. The Commons even pr
oceeded to impeach some of the king's ministers. The bold Speaker was imprisoned
, but was soon released after the death of Edward III. During the reign of the n
ext monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant minister
s of the Crown. They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but als
o public expenditure. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons stil
l remained much less powerful than the House of Lords and the Crown.
This period also saw the introduction of a franchise which limited the number of
people who could vote in elections for the House of Commons. From 1430 onwards,
the franchise was limited to Forty Shilling Freeholders, that is men who owned
freehold property worth forty shillings or more. The Parliament of England legis
lated the new uniform county franchise, in the statute 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. The Chron
ological Table of the Statutes does not mention such a 1430 law, as it was inclu
ded in the Consolidated Statutes as a recital in the Electors of Knights of the
Shire Act 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), which amended and re-enacted the 1430 law to m
ake clear that the resident of a county had to have a forty shilling freehold in
that county to be a voter there.
King, Lords, and Commons[edit]
It was during the reign of the Tudor monarchs that the modern structure of the E
nglish Parliament began to be created. The Tudor monarchy was powerful and there
were often periods of several years when parliament did not sit at all. However
the Tudor monarchs were astute enough to realise that they needed parliament to
legitimise many of their decisions, mostly out of a need to raise money through
taxation legitimately without causing discontent. Thus they consolidated the st
ate of affairs whereby monarchs would call and close parliament as and when they
needed it.
By the time Henry Tudor (Henry VII) came to the throne in 1485 the monarch was n
ot a member of either the Upper Chamber or the Lower Chamber. Consequently, the
monarch would have to make his or her feelings known to Parliament through his o
r her supporters in both houses. Proceedings were regulated by the presiding off
icer in either chamber. From the 1540s the presiding officer in the House of Com
mons became formally known as the "Speaker", having previously been referred to
as the "prolocutor" or "parlour" (a semi-official position, often nominated by t
he monarch, that had existed ever since Peter de Montfort had acted as the presi

ding officer of the Oxford Parliament of 1258). This was not an enviable job. Wh
en the House of Commons was unhappy it was the Speaker who had to deliver this n
ews to the monarch. This began the tradition whereby the Speaker of the House of
Commons is dragged to the Speaker's Chair by other members once elected.
A member of either chamber could present a "bill" to parliament. Bills supported
by the monarch were often proposed by members of the Privy Council who sat in p
arliament. In order for a bill to become law it would have to be approved by a m
ajority of both Houses of Parliament before it passed to the monarch for royal a
ssent or veto. The royal veto was applied several times during the 16th and 17th
centuries and it is still the right of the monarch of the United Kingdom and Co
mmonwealth realms to veto legislation today, although it has not been exercised
since 1707 (today such exercise would presumably precipitate a constitutional cr
isis).
When a bill was enacted into law, this process gave it the approval of each esta
te of the realm: the King, Lords, and Commons. In reality, this was not a democr
atic process. The Parliament of England was far from being a democratically repr
esentative institution in this period. It was possible to assemble the entire pe
erage and senior clergy of the realm in one place to form the estate of the Uppe
r Chamber. However, the voting franchise for the House of Commons was small; som
e historians estimate that it was as little as three per cent of the adult male
population; and there was no secret ballot. This meant that elections could be c
ontrolled by local grandees, because in many boroughs a majority of voters were
in some way dependent on a powerful individual, or else could be bought by money
or concessions. If these grandees were supporters of the incumbent monarch, thi
s gave the Crown and its ministers considerable influence over the business of p
arliament. Many of the men elected to parliament did not relish the prospect of
having to act in the interests of others. So a law was enacted, still on the sta
tute book today, whereby it became unlawful for members of the House of Commons
to resign their seat unless they were granted a position directly within the pat
ronage of the monarchy (today this latter restriction leads to a legal fiction a
llowing de facto resignation despite the prohibition, but nevertheless it is a r
esignation which needs the permission of the Crown). However, it must be emphasi
sed that while several elections to parliament in this period were in some way c
orrupt by modern standards, many elections involved genuine contests between riv
al candidates, even though the ballot was not secret.
It was in this period that the Palace of Westminster was established as the seat
of the English Parliament. In 1548, the House of Commons was granted a regular
meeting place by the Crown, St Stephen's Chapel. This had been a royal chapel. I
t was made into a debating chamber after Henry VIII became the last monarch to u
se the Palace of Westminster as a place of residence and following the suppressi
on of the college there. This room became the home of the House of Commons until
it was destroyed by fire in 1834, although the interior was altered several tim
es up until then. The structure of this room was pivotal in the development of t
he Parliament of England. While most modern legislatures sit in a circular chamb
er, the benches of the British Houses of Parliament are laid out in the form of
choir stalls in a chapel, simply because this is the part of the original room t
hat the members of the House of Commons utilised when they were granted use of S
t Stephen's Chapel. This structure took on a new significance with the emergence
of political parties in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as the traditio
n began whereby the members of the governing party would sit on the benches to t
he right of the Speaker and the opposition members on the benches to the left. I
t is said that the Speaker's chair was placed in front of the chapel's altar. As
Members came and went they observed the custom of bowing to the altar and conti
nued to do so, even when it had been taken away, thus then bowing to the Chair,
as is still the custom today.[citation needed]
The numbers of the Lords Spiritual diminished under Henry VIII, who commanded th

e Dissolution of the Monasteries, thereby depriving the abbots and priors of the
ir seats in the Upper House. For the first time, the Lords Temporal were more nu
merous than the Lords Spiritual. Currently, the Lords Spiritual consist of the A
rchbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester,
and twenty-one other English diocesan bishops in seniority of appointment to a
diocese.
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 42 annexed Wales as part of England and this brough
t Welsh representatives into the Parliament of England, first elected in 1542.
Rebellion and revolution[edit]
Parliaments of England
1597 1689
Coat of arms of England
Parliament
Date
9th Parliament of Elizabeth I 1597
Final parliament of Elizabeth I 1601
1st parliament of King James I 1604
Addled Parliament
1614
3rd parliament of King James I 1621
Happy Parliament
1624
Useless Parliament
1625
2nd Parliament of King Charles I
1626
3rd parliament of King Charles I
1628
Short Parliament
1640 Apr
Long Parliament (1)
1640 Nov
Oxford Parliament
1644
Long Parliament (2)
1645
Rump Parliament (1)
1648
Barebone's Parliament 1653
First Protectorate Parliament 1654
Second Protectorate Parliament 1656
Third Protectorate Parliament 1659
Rump Parliament (2)
1659
Long Parliament (3)
1660
Convention Parliament 1660
Cavalier Parliament
1661
Habeas Corpus Parliament
1679
Exclusion Bill Parliament
1680
Oxford Parliament
1681
Loyal Parliament
1685
Convention Parliament 1689
List of Parliaments of England
v t e
Parliament had not always submitted to the wishes of the Tudor monarchs. But par
liamentary criticism of the monarchy reached new levels in the 17th century. Whe
n the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland c
ame to power as King James I, founding the Stuart monarchy.
In 1628, alarmed by the arbitrary exercise of royal power, the House of Commons
submitted to Charles I the Petition of Right, demanding the restoration of their
liberties. Though he accepted the petition, Charles later dissolved parliament
and ruled without them for eleven years. It was only after the financial disaste
r of the Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639 1640) that he was forced to recall Parliamen
t so that they could authorise new taxes. This resulted in the calling of the as
semblies known historically as the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliam
ent, which sat with several breaks and in various forms between 1640 and 1660.
The Long Parliament was characterised by the growing number of critics of the ki
ng who sat in it. The most prominent of these critics in the House of Commons wa

s John Pym. Tensions between the king and his parliament reached boiling point i
n January 1642 when Charles entered the House of Commons and tried, unsuccessful
ly, to arrest Pym and four other members for their alleged treason. The five mem
bers had been tipped off about this, and by the time Charles came into the chamb
er with a group of soldiers they had disappeared. Charles was further humiliated
when he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, to give their whereabouts, which L
enthall famously refused to do.
From then on relations between the king and his parliament deteriorated further.
When trouble started to brew in Ireland, both Charles and his parliament raised
armies to quell the uprisings by native Catholics there. It was not long before
it was clear that these forces would end up fighting each other, leading to the
English Civil War which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642: thos
e supporting the cause of parliament were called Parliamentarians (or Roundheads
).
Battles between Crown and Parliament would continue throughout the 17th and 18th
centuries, but parliament was no longer subservient to the English monarchy. Th
is change was symbolised in the execution of Charles I in January 1649. It is so
mewhat ironic that this event was not instigated by the elected representatives
of the realm. In Pride's Purge of December 1648, the New Model Army (which by th
en had emerged as the leading force in the parliamentary alliance) purged Parlia
ment of members that did not support them. The remaining "Rump Parliament", as i
t was later referred to by critics, enacted legislation to put the king on trial
for treason. This trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, led to
the execution of the king and the start of an 11 year republic. The House of Lo
rds was abolished and the purged House of Commons governed England until April 1
653, when army chief Oliver Cromwell dissolved it following disagreements over r
eligious policy and how to carry out elections to parliament. Cromwell later con
vened a parliament of religious radicals in 1653, commonly known as Barebone's P
arliament, followed by the unicameral First Protectorate Parliament that sat fro
m September 1654 to January 1655 and the Second Protectorate Parliament that sat
in two sessions between 1656 and 1658, the first session was unicameral and the
second session was bicameral.
Although it is easy to dismiss the English Republic of 1649-60 as nothing more t
han a Cromwellian military dictatorship, the events that took place in this deca
de were hugely important in determining the future of parliament. First, it was
during the sitting of the first Rump Parliament that members of the House of Com
mons became known as "MPs" (Members of Parliament). Second, Cromwell gave a huge
degree of freedom to his parliaments, although royalists were barred from sitti
ng in all but a handful of cases. His vision of parliament appears to have been
largely based on the example of the Elizabethan parliaments. However, he underes
timated the extent to which Elizabeth I and her ministers had directly and indir
ectly influenced the decision-making process of her parliaments. He was thus alw
ays surprised when they became troublesome. He ended up dissolving each parliame
nt that he convened. Yet it is worth noting that the structure of the second ses
sion of the Second Protectorate Parliament of 1658 was almost identical to the p
arliamentary structure consolidated in the Glorious Revolution Settlement of 168
9.
In 1653 Cromwell had been made head of state with the title Lord Protector of th
e Realm. The Second Protectorate Parliament offered him the crown. Cromwell reje
cted this offer, but the governmental structure embodied in the final version of
the Humble Petition and Advice was a basis for all future parliaments. It propo
sed an elected House of Commons as the Lower Chamber, a House of Lords containin
g peers of the realm as the Upper Chamber, and a constitutional monarchy, subser
vient to parliament and the laws of the nation, as the executive arm of the stat
e at the top of the tree, assisted in carrying out their duties by a Privy Counc
il. Oliver Cromwell had thus inadvertently presided over the creation of a basis

for the future parliamentary government of England. In 1657 he had the Parliame
nt of Scotland unified with the English Parliament.
In terms of the evolution of parliament as an institution, by far the most impor
tant development during the republic was the sitting of the Rump Parliament betw
een 1649 and 1653. This proved that parliament could survive without a monarchy
and a House of Lords if it wanted to. Future English monarchs would never forget
this. Charles I was the last English monarch ever to enter the House of Commons
. Even to this day, a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sent to
Buckingham Palace as a ceremonial hostage during the State Opening of Parliament
, in order to ensure the safe return of the sovereign from a potentially hostile
parliament. During the ceremony the monarch sits on the throne in the House of
Lords and signals for the Lord Great Chamberlain to summon the House of Commons
to the Lords Chamber. The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand of office
to signal to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who has been waiting in the c
entral lobby. Black Rod turns and, escorted by the doorkeeper of the House of Lo
rds and an inspector of police, approaches the doors to the chamber of the Commo
ns. The doors are slammed in his face
symbolising the right of the Commons to de
bate without the presence of the Queen's representative. He then strikes three t
imes with his staff (the Black Rod), and he is admitted.
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement[edit]
The revolutionary events that occurred between 1620 and 1689 all took place in t
he name of parliament. The new status of parliament as the central governmental
organ of the English state was consolidated during the events surrounding the Re
storation of the monarchy in 1660. Following the assassination attempt of Oliver
Cromwell in September 1658, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Lord Prot
ector, summoning the Third Protectorate Parliament in the process. When this par
liament was dissolved following pressure from the army in April 1659, the Rump P
arliament was recalled at the insistence of the surviving army grandees. This in
turn was dissolved in a coup led by army general John Lambert, leading to the f
ormation of the Committee of Safety, dominated by Lambert and his supporters. Wh
en the breakaway forces of George Monck invaded England from Scotland where they
had been stationed without Lambert's supporters putting up a fight Monck temporaril
y recalled the Rump Parliament and reversed Pride's Purge by recalling the entir
ety of the Long Parliament. They then voted to dissolve themselves and call new
elections, which were arguably the most democratic for 20 years although the fra
nchise was still very small. This led to the calling of the Convention Parliamen
t which was dominated by royalists. This parliament voted to reinstate the monar
chy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as king in May 1660.
The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union that Cromwell had established was dissolv
ed in 1661 when the Scottish Parliament resumed its separate meeting place in Ed
inburgh.
The Restoration began the tradition whereby all governments looked to parliament
for legitimacy. In 1681 Charles II dissolved parliament and ruled without them
for the last four years of his reign. This followed bitter disagreements between
the king and parliament that had occurred between 1679 and 1681. Charles took a
big gamble by doing this. He risked the possibility of a military showdown akin
to that of 1642. However he rightly predicted that the nation did not want anot
her civil war. Parliament disbanded without a fight. Events that followed ensure
d that this would be nothing but a temporary blip.
Charles II died in 1685 and he was succeeded by his brother James II. During his
lifetime Charles had always pledged loyalty to the Protestant Church of England
, despite his private Catholic sympathies. James was openly Catholic. He attempt
ed to lift restrictions on Catholics taking up public offices. This was bitterly
opposed by Protestants in his kingdom. They invited William of Orange,[2] a Pro
testant who had married Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde to invade Engla
nd and claim the throne. William assembled an army estimated at 15,000 soldiers

(11,000 foot and 4000 horse)[3] and landed at Brixham in southwest England in No
vember, 1688. When many Protestant officers, including James's close adviser, Jo
hn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defected from the English army to William
's invasion force, James fled the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to
his Protestant daughter Mary, instead of his son (James Francis Edward Stuart).
Mary refused the offer, and instead William and Mary ruled jointly, with both ha
ving the right to rule alone on the other's death. As part of the compromise in
allowing William to be King called the Glorious Revolution Parliament was able to ha
ve the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted. Later the 1701 Act of Settlement was approve
d. These were statutes that lawfully upheld the prominence of parliament for the
first time in English history. These events marked the beginning of the English
constitutional monarchy and its role as one of the three elements of parliament
.
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain[edit]
Main article: Parliament of Great Britain
Following the Treaty of Union in 1707, Acts of Parliament passed in the Parliame
nt of England and the Parliament of Scotland created a new Kingdom of Great Brit
ain and dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new Parliament of Grea
t Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. The Parliament of
Great Britain later became the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801 when the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed through the Act of Union
1800.
Places where Parliament has been held other than London[edit]
York, various
Lincoln, various
Oxford, 1258 (Mad Parliament), 1681
Kenilworth, 1266
Acton Burnell Castle, 1283[4]
Shrewsbury, 1283 (trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd)
Lincoln, 1301
Carlisle, 1307
Northampton 1328
New Sarum, 1330
Winchester, 1332
Leicester, 1414 (Fire and Faggot Parliament), 1426 (Parliament of Bats)
Reading Abbey, 1453
Coventry, 1459 (Parliament of Devils)
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles[edit]
Two European cities, both annexed from and later ceded to the Kingdom of France
were represented in the Parliament as borough constituencies while they were Eng
lish possessions:
Calais, between 1372 and 1558.
Tournai between 1513 and 1519. (Now in Belgium.)
See also[edit]
History of democracy
History of local government in England
List of Parliaments of England
List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1485 1601
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1603 1641
Witenagemot
Magnum Concilium
References[edit]
^ Jump up to: a b "A Brief Chronology of the House of Commons", Factsheet G3, Ge
neral Series, August 2010, House of Commons Information Office
Jump up ^ Wouter Troost, William III the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography
(2004) ISBN 0-7546-5071-5 p 191

Jump up ^ Troost, pp 204 205


Jump up ^ Virtual Shropshire
Sources[edit]
Blackstone, Sir William. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Cl
arendon Press.
Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings
of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron. (1896). Constitutional History of Englan
d since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. vol 1 online; vol 2 online
Maddicott, John. The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327. Oxford: Oxford
University Press; 2010. ISBN 0-19-958550-4.
Paul Brand. "Review of Maddicott, John Robert, _The Origins of the English Parli
ament, 924-1327_." in H-Albion, H-Net Reviews. September, 2011. online
Sayles, G. O. The King's Parliament of England (1974), brief survey
"Parliament." (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge Universi
ty Press.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of England.
Birth of the English Parliament. UK Parliament
Parliament and People. British Library
Origins and growth of Parliament. National Archives
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Parliament of England
1066 c. 1215
c. 1215 1707
Succeeded by
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1707 1801
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Parliament of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the pre-1707 legislature. For the proposed reestablishment
, see Devolved English parliament. For the current combined UK body, see Parliam
ent of the United Kingdom.
Parliament of England
Coat of arms or logo
Royal coat of arms of England, 1558 1603
Type
Type
Unicameral
(1215 1341 / 1649 1657)
Bicameral
(1341 1649 / 1657 1707)1
Houses Upper house:
House of Lords
(1341 1649 / 1660 1707)
House of Peers
(1657 1660)
Lower house:
House of Commons
(1341 1707)
History
Established
15 June 1215
(Lords only)
20 January 1265
(Lords and elected Commons)
Disbanded
1 May 1707
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Leadership
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
William Cowper1

Since 1705
Speaker of the House of Commons
John Smith1
Since 1705
Elections
House of Lords voting system
Ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of an English peerage
House of Commons voting system
First past the post with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Westminster 16C.jpg
Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
Footnotes
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood in 1707.
See also: Parliament of Scotland,
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066
, William of Normandy introduced what, in later centuries, became referred to as
a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief
(a person who held land) and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the ten
ants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the kin
g may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were
hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which graduall
y developed into a parliament.
Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of th
e English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the tr
ial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy un
der Charles II, and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of
Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and later British sov
ereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited exec
utive authority. The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Pa
rliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliamen
t of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was
now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Contents [hide]
1
History
1.1
Parliament in the reign of Henry III
1.2
The emergence of parliament as an institution
1.3
King, Lords, and Commons
1.4
Rebellion and revolution
1.5
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement
1.6
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain
2
Places where Parliament has been held other than London
3
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles
4
See also
5
References
6
Sources
7
External links
History[edit]
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear becau
se it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by
introducing more precise citations. (February 2013)
Under a monarchical system of government, the monarch usually must consult and s
eek a measure of acceptance for his policies if he is to enjoy the broad coopera
tion of his subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, and
so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in eve

ry part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England
following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have bee
n upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had econ
omic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and t
he feudal obligations of their tenants (some of whom held lands on condition of
military service). The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as
it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clerg
y on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Council
s. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, bishops, abbots, barons
and earls, the pillars of the feudal system.
When this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossi
ble for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this
prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and
Henry II and between King John and the barons.
Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murder
ed following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the C
hurch. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many le
ading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refu
sal to adhere to this charter led to civil war (see First Barons' War).
The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term itself came i
nto use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words
for discussion and speaking. The word first appears in official documents in the
1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson,
it is widely believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a le
gislative function.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire
to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in
1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to p
arliament to advise the king on finance.[1]
Initially, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money
through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention. This was due
in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by hi
s young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until
he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling t
o relinquish. Among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaff
irmed by the young king.
Parliament in the reign of Henry III[edit]
Once the minority of Henry III ended and he took full control of the government,
leading peers became increasingly concerned with his style of government, speci
fically his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, and his seeming
patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects. Henry's support
of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven lea
ding barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, superseded
, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster. This effectively abolish
ed the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen ba
rons, and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their p
erformance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, mos
t notably at Oxford in 1258.
The French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the le
ader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the following years, those
supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each oth

er. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sid
es began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defea
ted and taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had in
itially supported Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his re
forming zeal. His support amongst the nobility rapidly declined. So in 1264, Mon
tfort summoned the first parliament in English history without any prior royal a
uthorisation. The archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons were summoned,
as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. Knights
had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs
was unprecedented. This was purely a move to consolidate Montfort's position as
the legitimate governor of the kingdom, since he had captured Henry and his son
Prince Edward (later Edward I) at the Battle of Lewes.
A parliament consisting of representatives of the realm was the logical way for
Montfort to establish his authority. In calling this parliament, in a bid to gai
n popular support, he summoned knights and burgesses from the emerging gentry cl
ass, thus turning to his advantage the fact that most of the nobility had abando
ned his movement. This parliament was summoned on 14 December 1264. It first met
on 20 January 1265 in Westminster Hall[1] and was dissolved on 15 February 1265
. It is not certain who actually attended this parliament. Nonetheless, Montfort
's scheme was formally adopted by Edward I in the so-called "Model Parliament" o
f 1295. The attendance at parliament of knights and burgesses historically becam
e known as the summoning of "the Commons", a term derived from the Norman French
word "commune", literally translated as the "community of the realm".
Following Edward's escape from captivity, Montfort was defeated and killed at th
e Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry's authority was restored and the Provisions o
f Oxford were forgotten, but this was nonetheless a turning point in the history
of the Parliament of England. Although he was not obliged by statute to do so,
Henry summoned the Commons to parliament three times between September 1268 and
April 1270. However, this was not a significant turning point in the history of
parliamentary democracy. Subsequently, very little is known about how representa
tives were selected because, at this time, being sent to parliament was not a pr
estigious undertaking. But Montfort's decision to summon knights of the shires a
nd burgesses to his parliament did mark the irreversible emergence of the landed
gentry as a force in politics. From then on, monarchs could not ignore them, wh
ich explains Henry's decision to summon the Commons to several of his post-1265
parliaments.
Even though many peers who had supported the Provisions of Oxford remained activ
e in English public life throughout Henry's reign, the conditions they had laid
down for regular parliaments were largely forgotten, as if to symbolise the hist
orical development of the English Parliament via convention rather than statutes
and written constitutions.
The emergence of parliament as an institution[edit]
Medieval parliament
During the reign of Edward I, which began in 1272, the role of Parliament in the
government of the English kingdom increased due to Edward's determination to un
ite England, Wales and Scotland under his rule by force. He was also keen to uni
te his subjects in order to restore his authority and not face rebellion as was
his father's fate. Edward therefore encouraged all sectors of society to submit
petitions to parliament detailing their grievances in order for them to be resol
ved. This seemingly gave all of Edward's subjects a potential role in government
and this helped Edward assert his authority.
As the number of petitions being submitted to parliament increased, they came to
be dealt with, and often ignored, more and more by ministers of the Crown so as
not to block the passage of government business through parliament. However the

emergence of petitioning is significant because it is some of the earliest evid


ence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of or
dinary people. Submitting a petition to parliament is a tradition that continues
to this day in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in most Commonwealth re
alms.
These developments symbolise the fact that parliament and government were by no
means the same thing by this point. If monarchs were going to impose their will
on their kingdom, they would have to control parliament rather than be subservie
nt to it.
From Edward's reign onwards, the authority of the English Parliament would depen
d on the strength or weakness of the incumbent monarch. When the king or queen w
as strong he or she would wield enough influence to pass their legislation throu
gh parliament without much trouble. Some strong monarchs even bypassed it comple
tely, although this was not often possible in the case of financial legislation
due to the post-Magna Carta convention of parliament granting taxes. When weak m
onarchs governed, parliament often became the centre of opposition against them.
Subsequently, the composition of parliaments in this period varied depending on
the decisions that needed to be taken in them. The nobility and senior clergy w
ere always summoned. From 1265 onwards, when the monarch needed to raise money t
hrough taxes, it was usual for knights and burgesses to be summoned too. However
, when the king was merely seeking advice, he often only summoned the nobility a
nd the clergy, sometimes with and sometimes without the knights of the shires. O
n some occasions the Commons were summoned and sent home again once the monarch
was finished with them, allowing parliament to continue without them. It was not
until the mid-14th century that summoning representatives of the shires and the
boroughs became the norm for all parliaments.
One of the moments that marked the emergence of parliament as a true institution
in England was the deposition of Edward II. Even though it is debatable whether
Edward II was deposed in parliament or by parliament, this remarkable sequence
of events consolidated the importance of parliament in the English unwritten con
stitution. Parliament was also crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the kin
g who replaced Edward II: his son Edward III.
In 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first ti
me, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the
knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as
the House of Lords from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament.
The authority of parliament grew under Edward III; it was established that no la
w could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses and the
Sovereign. This development occurred during the reign of Edward III because he w
as involved in the Hundred Years' War and needed finances. During his conduct of
the war, Edward tried to circumvent parliament as much as possible, which cause
d this edict to be passed.
The Commons came to act with increasing boldness during this period. During the
Good Parliament (1376), the Presiding Officer of the lower chamber, Sir Peter de
la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expendi
tures, and criticised the king's management of the military. The Commons even pr
oceeded to impeach some of the king's ministers. The bold Speaker was imprisoned
, but was soon released after the death of Edward III. During the reign of the n
ext monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant minister
s of the Crown. They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but als
o public expenditure. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons stil
l remained much less powerful than the House of Lords and the Crown.

This period also saw the introduction of a franchise which limited the number of
people who could vote in elections for the House of Commons. From 1430 onwards,
the franchise was limited to Forty Shilling Freeholders, that is men who owned
freehold property worth forty shillings or more. The Parliament of England legis
lated the new uniform county franchise, in the statute 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. The Chron
ological Table of the Statutes does not mention such a 1430 law, as it was inclu
ded in the Consolidated Statutes as a recital in the Electors of Knights of the
Shire Act 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), which amended and re-enacted the 1430 law to m
ake clear that the resident of a county had to have a forty shilling freehold in
that county to be a voter there.
King, Lords, and Commons[edit]
It was during the reign of the Tudor monarchs that the modern structure of the E
nglish Parliament began to be created. The Tudor monarchy was powerful and there
were often periods of several years when parliament did not sit at all. However
the Tudor monarchs were astute enough to realise that they needed parliament to
legitimise many of their decisions, mostly out of a need to raise money through
taxation legitimately without causing discontent. Thus they consolidated the st
ate of affairs whereby monarchs would call and close parliament as and when they
needed it.
By the time Henry Tudor (Henry VII) came to the throne in 1485 the monarch was n
ot a member of either the Upper Chamber or the Lower Chamber. Consequently, the
monarch would have to make his or her feelings known to Parliament through his o
r her supporters in both houses. Proceedings were regulated by the presiding off
icer in either chamber. From the 1540s the presiding officer in the House of Com
mons became formally known as the "Speaker", having previously been referred to
as the "prolocutor" or "parlour" (a semi-official position, often nominated by t
he monarch, that had existed ever since Peter de Montfort had acted as the presi
ding officer of the Oxford Parliament of 1258). This was not an enviable job. Wh
en the House of Commons was unhappy it was the Speaker who had to deliver this n
ews to the monarch. This began the tradition whereby the Speaker of the House of
Commons is dragged to the Speaker's Chair by other members once elected.
A member of either chamber could present a "bill" to parliament. Bills supported
by the monarch were often proposed by members of the Privy Council who sat in p
arliament. In order for a bill to become law it would have to be approved by a m
ajority of both Houses of Parliament before it passed to the monarch for royal a
ssent or veto. The royal veto was applied several times during the 16th and 17th
centuries and it is still the right of the monarch of the United Kingdom and Co
mmonwealth realms to veto legislation today, although it has not been exercised
since 1707 (today such exercise would presumably precipitate a constitutional cr
isis).
When a bill was enacted into law, this process gave it the approval of each esta
te of the realm: the King, Lords, and Commons. In reality, this was not a democr
atic process. The Parliament of England was far from being a democratically repr
esentative institution in this period. It was possible to assemble the entire pe
erage and senior clergy of the realm in one place to form the estate of the Uppe
r Chamber. However, the voting franchise for the House of Commons was small; som
e historians estimate that it was as little as three per cent of the adult male
population; and there was no secret ballot. This meant that elections could be c
ontrolled by local grandees, because in many boroughs a majority of voters were
in some way dependent on a powerful individual, or else could be bought by money
or concessions. If these grandees were supporters of the incumbent monarch, thi
s gave the Crown and its ministers considerable influence over the business of p
arliament. Many of the men elected to parliament did not relish the prospect of
having to act in the interests of others. So a law was enacted, still on the sta
tute book today, whereby it became unlawful for members of the House of Commons
to resign their seat unless they were granted a position directly within the pat

ronage of the monarchy (today this latter restriction leads to a legal fiction a
llowing de facto resignation despite the prohibition, but nevertheless it is a r
esignation which needs the permission of the Crown). However, it must be emphasi
sed that while several elections to parliament in this period were in some way c
orrupt by modern standards, many elections involved genuine contests between riv
al candidates, even though the ballot was not secret.
It was in this period that the Palace of Westminster was established as the seat
of the English Parliament. In 1548, the House of Commons was granted a regular
meeting place by the Crown, St Stephen's Chapel. This had been a royal chapel. I
t was made into a debating chamber after Henry VIII became the last monarch to u
se the Palace of Westminster as a place of residence and following the suppressi
on of the college there. This room became the home of the House of Commons until
it was destroyed by fire in 1834, although the interior was altered several tim
es up until then. The structure of this room was pivotal in the development of t
he Parliament of England. While most modern legislatures sit in a circular chamb
er, the benches of the British Houses of Parliament are laid out in the form of
choir stalls in a chapel, simply because this is the part of the original room t
hat the members of the House of Commons utilised when they were granted use of S
t Stephen's Chapel. This structure took on a new significance with the emergence
of political parties in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as the traditio
n began whereby the members of the governing party would sit on the benches to t
he right of the Speaker and the opposition members on the benches to the left. I
t is said that the Speaker's chair was placed in front of the chapel's altar. As
Members came and went they observed the custom of bowing to the altar and conti
nued to do so, even when it had been taken away, thus then bowing to the Chair,
as is still the custom today.[citation needed]
The numbers of the Lords Spiritual diminished under Henry VIII, who commanded th
e Dissolution of the Monasteries, thereby depriving the abbots and priors of the
ir seats in the Upper House. For the first time, the Lords Temporal were more nu
merous than the Lords Spiritual. Currently, the Lords Spiritual consist of the A
rchbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester,
and twenty-one other English diocesan bishops in seniority of appointment to a
diocese.
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 42 annexed Wales as part of England and this brough
t Welsh representatives into the Parliament of England, first elected in 1542.
Rebellion and revolution[edit]
Parliaments of England
1597 1689
Coat of arms of England
Parliament
Date
9th Parliament of Elizabeth I 1597
Final parliament of Elizabeth I 1601
1st parliament of King James I 1604
Addled Parliament
1614
3rd parliament of King James I 1621
Happy Parliament
1624
Useless Parliament
1625
2nd Parliament of King Charles I
3rd parliament of King Charles I
Short Parliament
1640 Apr
Long Parliament (1)
1640 Nov
Oxford Parliament
1644
Long Parliament (2)
1645
Rump Parliament (1)
1648
Barebone's Parliament 1653
First Protectorate Parliament 1654

1626
1628

Second Protectorate Parliament 1656


Third Protectorate Parliament 1659
Rump Parliament (2)
1659
Long Parliament (3)
1660
Convention Parliament 1660
Cavalier Parliament
1661
Habeas Corpus Parliament
1679
Exclusion Bill Parliament
1680
Oxford Parliament
1681
Loyal Parliament
1685
Convention Parliament 1689
List of Parliaments of England
v t e
Parliament had not always submitted to the wishes of the Tudor monarchs. But par
liamentary criticism of the monarchy reached new levels in the 17th century. Whe
n the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland c
ame to power as King James I, founding the Stuart monarchy.
In 1628, alarmed by the arbitrary exercise of royal power, the House of Commons
submitted to Charles I the Petition of Right, demanding the restoration of their
liberties. Though he accepted the petition, Charles later dissolved parliament
and ruled without them for eleven years. It was only after the financial disaste
r of the Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639 1640) that he was forced to recall Parliamen
t so that they could authorise new taxes. This resulted in the calling of the as
semblies known historically as the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliam
ent, which sat with several breaks and in various forms between 1640 and 1660.
The Long Parliament was characterised by the growing number of critics of the ki
ng who sat in it. The most prominent of these critics in the House of Commons wa
s John Pym. Tensions between the king and his parliament reached boiling point i
n January 1642 when Charles entered the House of Commons and tried, unsuccessful
ly, to arrest Pym and four other members for their alleged treason. The five mem
bers had been tipped off about this, and by the time Charles came into the chamb
er with a group of soldiers they had disappeared. Charles was further humiliated
when he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, to give their whereabouts, which L
enthall famously refused to do.
From then on relations between the king and his parliament deteriorated further.
When trouble started to brew in Ireland, both Charles and his parliament raised
armies to quell the uprisings by native Catholics there. It was not long before
it was clear that these forces would end up fighting each other, leading to the
English Civil War which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642: thos
e supporting the cause of parliament were called Parliamentarians (or Roundheads
).
Battles between Crown and Parliament would continue throughout the 17th and 18th
centuries, but parliament was no longer subservient to the English monarchy. Th
is change was symbolised in the execution of Charles I in January 1649. It is so
mewhat ironic that this event was not instigated by the elected representatives
of the realm. In Pride's Purge of December 1648, the New Model Army (which by th
en had emerged as the leading force in the parliamentary alliance) purged Parlia
ment of members that did not support them. The remaining "Rump Parliament", as i
t was later referred to by critics, enacted legislation to put the king on trial
for treason. This trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, led to
the execution of the king and the start of an 11 year republic. The House of Lo
rds was abolished and the purged House of Commons governed England until April 1
653, when army chief Oliver Cromwell dissolved it following disagreements over r
eligious policy and how to carry out elections to parliament. Cromwell later con
vened a parliament of religious radicals in 1653, commonly known as Barebone's P
arliament, followed by the unicameral First Protectorate Parliament that sat fro

m September 1654 to January 1655 and the Second Protectorate Parliament that sat
in two sessions between 1656 and 1658, the first session was unicameral and the
second session was bicameral.
Although it is easy to dismiss the English Republic of 1649-60 as nothing more t
han a Cromwellian military dictatorship, the events that took place in this deca
de were hugely important in determining the future of parliament. First, it was
during the sitting of the first Rump Parliament that members of the House of Com
mons became known as "MPs" (Members of Parliament). Second, Cromwell gave a huge
degree of freedom to his parliaments, although royalists were barred from sitti
ng in all but a handful of cases. His vision of parliament appears to have been
largely based on the example of the Elizabethan parliaments. However, he underes
timated the extent to which Elizabeth I and her ministers had directly and indir
ectly influenced the decision-making process of her parliaments. He was thus alw
ays surprised when they became troublesome. He ended up dissolving each parliame
nt that he convened. Yet it is worth noting that the structure of the second ses
sion of the Second Protectorate Parliament of 1658 was almost identical to the p
arliamentary structure consolidated in the Glorious Revolution Settlement of 168
9.
In 1653 Cromwell had been made head of state with the title Lord Protector of th
e Realm. The Second Protectorate Parliament offered him the crown. Cromwell reje
cted this offer, but the governmental structure embodied in the final version of
the Humble Petition and Advice was a basis for all future parliaments. It propo
sed an elected House of Commons as the Lower Chamber, a House of Lords containin
g peers of the realm as the Upper Chamber, and a constitutional monarchy, subser
vient to parliament and the laws of the nation, as the executive arm of the stat
e at the top of the tree, assisted in carrying out their duties by a Privy Counc
il. Oliver Cromwell had thus inadvertently presided over the creation of a basis
for the future parliamentary government of England. In 1657 he had the Parliame
nt of Scotland unified with the English Parliament.
In terms of the evolution of parliament as an institution, by far the most impor
tant development during the republic was the sitting of the Rump Parliament betw
een 1649 and 1653. This proved that parliament could survive without a monarchy
and a House of Lords if it wanted to. Future English monarchs would never forget
this. Charles I was the last English monarch ever to enter the House of Commons
. Even to this day, a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sent to
Buckingham Palace as a ceremonial hostage during the State Opening of Parliament
, in order to ensure the safe return of the sovereign from a potentially hostile
parliament. During the ceremony the monarch sits on the throne in the House of
Lords and signals for the Lord Great Chamberlain to summon the House of Commons
to the Lords Chamber. The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand of office
to signal to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who has been waiting in the c
entral lobby. Black Rod turns and, escorted by the doorkeeper of the House of Lo
rds and an inspector of police, approaches the doors to the chamber of the Commo
ns. The doors are slammed in his face
symbolising the right of the Commons to de
bate without the presence of the Queen's representative. He then strikes three t
imes with his staff (the Black Rod), and he is admitted.
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement[edit]
The revolutionary events that occurred between 1620 and 1689 all took place in t
he name of parliament. The new status of parliament as the central governmental
organ of the English state was consolidated during the events surrounding the Re
storation of the monarchy in 1660. Following the assassination attempt of Oliver
Cromwell in September 1658, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Lord Prot
ector, summoning the Third Protectorate Parliament in the process. When this par
liament was dissolved following pressure from the army in April 1659, the Rump P
arliament was recalled at the insistence of the surviving army grandees. This in
turn was dissolved in a coup led by army general John Lambert, leading to the f

ormation of the Committee of Safety, dominated by Lambert and his supporters. Wh


en the breakaway forces of George Monck invaded England from Scotland where they
had been stationed without Lambert's supporters putting up a fight Monck temporaril
y recalled the Rump Parliament and reversed Pride's Purge by recalling the entir
ety of the Long Parliament. They then voted to dissolve themselves and call new
elections, which were arguably the most democratic for 20 years although the fra
nchise was still very small. This led to the calling of the Convention Parliamen
t which was dominated by royalists. This parliament voted to reinstate the monar
chy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as king in May 1660.
The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union that Cromwell had established was dissolv
ed in 1661 when the Scottish Parliament resumed its separate meeting place in Ed
inburgh.
The Restoration began the tradition whereby all governments looked to parliament
for legitimacy. In 1681 Charles II dissolved parliament and ruled without them
for the last four years of his reign. This followed bitter disagreements between
the king and parliament that had occurred between 1679 and 1681. Charles took a
big gamble by doing this. He risked the possibility of a military showdown akin
to that of 1642. However he rightly predicted that the nation did not want anot
her civil war. Parliament disbanded without a fight. Events that followed ensure
d that this would be nothing but a temporary blip.
Charles II died in 1685 and he was succeeded by his brother James II. During his
lifetime Charles had always pledged loyalty to the Protestant Church of England
, despite his private Catholic sympathies. James was openly Catholic. He attempt
ed to lift restrictions on Catholics taking up public offices. This was bitterly
opposed by Protestants in his kingdom. They invited William of Orange,[2] a Pro
testant who had married Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde to invade Engla
nd and claim the throne. William assembled an army estimated at 15,000 soldiers
(11,000 foot and 4000 horse)[3] and landed at Brixham in southwest England in No
vember, 1688. When many Protestant officers, including James's close adviser, Jo
hn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defected from the English army to William
's invasion force, James fled the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to
his Protestant daughter Mary, instead of his son (James Francis Edward Stuart).
Mary refused the offer, and instead William and Mary ruled jointly, with both ha
ving the right to rule alone on the other's death. As part of the compromise in
allowing William to be King called the Glorious Revolution Parliament was able to ha
ve the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted. Later the 1701 Act of Settlement was approve
d. These were statutes that lawfully upheld the prominence of parliament for the
first time in English history. These events marked the beginning of the English
constitutional monarchy and its role as one of the three elements of parliament
.
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain[edit]
Main article: Parliament of Great Britain
Following the Treaty of Union in 1707, Acts of Parliament passed in the Parliame
nt of England and the Parliament of Scotland created a new Kingdom of Great Brit
ain and dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new Parliament of Grea
t Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. The Parliament of
Great Britain later became the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801 when the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed through the Act of Union
1800.
Places where Parliament has been held other than London[edit]
York, various
Lincoln, various
Oxford, 1258 (Mad Parliament), 1681
Kenilworth, 1266
Acton Burnell Castle, 1283[4]
Shrewsbury, 1283 (trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd)

Lincoln, 1301
Carlisle, 1307
Northampton 1328
New Sarum, 1330
Winchester, 1332
Leicester, 1414 (Fire and Faggot Parliament), 1426 (Parliament of Bats)
Reading Abbey, 1453
Coventry, 1459 (Parliament of Devils)
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles[edit]
Two European cities, both annexed from and later ceded to the Kingdom of France
were represented in the Parliament as borough constituencies while they were Eng
lish possessions:
Calais, between 1372 and 1558.
Tournai between 1513 and 1519. (Now in Belgium.)
See also[edit]
History of democracy
History of local government in England
List of Parliaments of England
List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1485 1601
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1603 1641
Witenagemot
Magnum Concilium
References[edit]
^ Jump up to: a b "A Brief Chronology of the House of Commons", Factsheet G3, Ge
neral Series, August 2010, House of Commons Information Office
Jump up ^ Wouter Troost, William III the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography
(2004) ISBN 0-7546-5071-5 p 191
Jump up ^ Troost, pp 204 205
Jump up ^ Virtual Shropshire
Sources[edit]
Blackstone, Sir William. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Cl
arendon Press.
Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings
of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron. (1896). Constitutional History of Englan
d since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. vol 1 online; vol 2 online
Maddicott, John. The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327. Oxford: Oxford
University Press; 2010. ISBN 0-19-958550-4.
Paul Brand. "Review of Maddicott, John Robert, _The Origins of the English Parli
ament, 924-1327_." in H-Albion, H-Net Reviews. September, 2011. online
Sayles, G. O. The King's Parliament of England (1974), brief survey
"Parliament." (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge Universi
ty Press.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of England.
Birth of the English Parliament. UK Parliament
Parliament and People. British Library
Origins and growth of Parliament. National Archives
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Curia Regis
1066 c. 1215
Parliament of England
c. 1215 1707
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
1707 1801
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Parliament of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the pre-1707 legislature. For the proposed reestablishment

, see Devolved English parliament. For the current combined UK body, see Parliam
ent of the United Kingdom.
Parliament of England
Coat of arms or logo
Royal coat of arms of England, 1558 1603
Type
Type
Unicameral
(1215 1341 / 1649 1657)
Bicameral
(1341 1649 / 1657 1707)1
Houses Upper house:
House of Lords
(1341 1649 / 1660 1707)
House of Peers
(1657 1660)
Lower house:
House of Commons
(1341 1707)
History
Established
15 June 1215
(Lords only)
20 January 1265
(Lords and elected Commons)
Disbanded
1 May 1707
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Leadership
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
William Cowper1
Since 1705
Speaker of the House of Commons
John Smith1
Since 1705
Elections
House of Lords voting system
Ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of an English peerage
House of Commons voting system
First past the post with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Westminster 16C.jpg
Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
Footnotes
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood in 1707.
See also: Parliament of Scotland,
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066
, William of Normandy introduced what, in later centuries, became referred to as
a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief
(a person who held land) and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the ten
ants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the kin
g may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were
hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which graduall
y developed into a parliament.
Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of
e English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the
ial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy
der Charles II, and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy

th
tr
un
of

Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and later British sov
ereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited exec
utive authority. The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Pa
rliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliamen
t of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was
now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Contents [hide]
1
History
1.1
Parliament in the reign of Henry III
1.2
The emergence of parliament as an institution
1.3
King, Lords, and Commons
1.4
Rebellion and revolution
1.5
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement
1.6
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain
2
Places where Parliament has been held other than London
3
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles
4
See also
5
References
6
Sources
7
External links
History[edit]
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear becau
se it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by
introducing more precise citations. (February 2013)
Under a monarchical system of government, the monarch usually must consult and s
eek a measure of acceptance for his policies if he is to enjoy the broad coopera
tion of his subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, and
so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in eve
ry part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England
following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have bee
n upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had econ
omic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and t
he feudal obligations of their tenants (some of whom held lands on condition of
military service). The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as
it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clerg
y on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Council
s. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, bishops, abbots, barons
and earls, the pillars of the feudal system.
When this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossi
ble for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this
prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and
Henry II and between King John and the barons.
Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murder
ed following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the C
hurch. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many le
ading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refu
sal to adhere to this charter led to civil war (see First Barons' War).
The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term itself came i
nto use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words
for discussion and speaking. The word first appears in official documents in the
1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson,
it is widely believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a le
gislative function.

During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire
to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in
1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to p
arliament to advise the king on finance.[1]
Initially, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money
through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention. This was due
in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by hi
s young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until
he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling t
o relinquish. Among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaff
irmed by the young king.
Parliament in the reign of Henry III[edit]
Once the minority of Henry III ended and he took full control of the government,
leading peers became increasingly concerned with his style of government, speci
fically his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, and his seeming
patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects. Henry's support
of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven lea
ding barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, superseded
, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster. This effectively abolish
ed the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen ba
rons, and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their p
erformance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, mos
t notably at Oxford in 1258.
The French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the le
ader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the following years, those
supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each oth
er. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sid
es began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defea
ted and taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had in
itially supported Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his re
forming zeal. His support amongst the nobility rapidly declined. So in 1264, Mon
tfort summoned the first parliament in English history without any prior royal a
uthorisation. The archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons were summoned,
as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. Knights
had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs
was unprecedented. This was purely a move to consolidate Montfort's position as
the legitimate governor of the kingdom, since he had captured Henry and his son
Prince Edward (later Edward I) at the Battle of Lewes.
A parliament consisting of representatives of the realm was the logical way for
Montfort to establish his authority. In calling this parliament, in a bid to gai
n popular support, he summoned knights and burgesses from the emerging gentry cl
ass, thus turning to his advantage the fact that most of the nobility had abando
ned his movement. This parliament was summoned on 14 December 1264. It first met
on 20 January 1265 in Westminster Hall[1] and was dissolved on 15 February 1265
. It is not certain who actually attended this parliament. Nonetheless, Montfort
's scheme was formally adopted by Edward I in the so-called "Model Parliament" o
f 1295. The attendance at parliament of knights and burgesses historically becam
e known as the summoning of "the Commons", a term derived from the Norman French
word "commune", literally translated as the "community of the realm".
Following Edward's escape from captivity, Montfort was defeated and killed at th
e Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry's authority was restored and the Provisions o
f Oxford were forgotten, but this was nonetheless a turning point in the history
of the Parliament of England. Although he was not obliged by statute to do so,
Henry summoned the Commons to parliament three times between September 1268 and

April 1270. However, this was not a significant turning point in the history of
parliamentary democracy. Subsequently, very little is known about how representa
tives were selected because, at this time, being sent to parliament was not a pr
estigious undertaking. But Montfort's decision to summon knights of the shires a
nd burgesses to his parliament did mark the irreversible emergence of the landed
gentry as a force in politics. From then on, monarchs could not ignore them, wh
ich explains Henry's decision to summon the Commons to several of his post-1265
parliaments.
Even though many peers who had supported the Provisions of Oxford remained activ
e in English public life throughout Henry's reign, the conditions they had laid
down for regular parliaments were largely forgotten, as if to symbolise the hist
orical development of the English Parliament via convention rather than statutes
and written constitutions.
The emergence of parliament as an institution[edit]
Medieval parliament
During the reign of Edward I, which began in 1272, the role of Parliament in the
government of the English kingdom increased due to Edward's determination to un
ite England, Wales and Scotland under his rule by force. He was also keen to uni
te his subjects in order to restore his authority and not face rebellion as was
his father's fate. Edward therefore encouraged all sectors of society to submit
petitions to parliament detailing their grievances in order for them to be resol
ved. This seemingly gave all of Edward's subjects a potential role in government
and this helped Edward assert his authority.
As the number of petitions being submitted to parliament increased, they came to
be dealt with, and often ignored, more and more by ministers of the Crown so as
not to block the passage of government business through parliament. However the
emergence of petitioning is significant because it is some of the earliest evid
ence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of or
dinary people. Submitting a petition to parliament is a tradition that continues
to this day in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in most Commonwealth re
alms.
These developments symbolise the fact that parliament and government were by no
means the same thing by this point. If monarchs were going to impose their will
on their kingdom, they would have to control parliament rather than be subservie
nt to it.
From Edward's reign onwards, the authority of the English Parliament would depen
d on the strength or weakness of the incumbent monarch. When the king or queen w
as strong he or she would wield enough influence to pass their legislation throu
gh parliament without much trouble. Some strong monarchs even bypassed it comple
tely, although this was not often possible in the case of financial legislation
due to the post-Magna Carta convention of parliament granting taxes. When weak m
onarchs governed, parliament often became the centre of opposition against them.
Subsequently, the composition of parliaments in this period varied depending on
the decisions that needed to be taken in them. The nobility and senior clergy w
ere always summoned. From 1265 onwards, when the monarch needed to raise money t
hrough taxes, it was usual for knights and burgesses to be summoned too. However
, when the king was merely seeking advice, he often only summoned the nobility a
nd the clergy, sometimes with and sometimes without the knights of the shires. O
n some occasions the Commons were summoned and sent home again once the monarch
was finished with them, allowing parliament to continue without them. It was not
until the mid-14th century that summoning representatives of the shires and the
boroughs became the norm for all parliaments.
One of the moments that marked the emergence of parliament as a true institution

in England was the deposition of Edward II. Even though it is debatable whether
Edward II was deposed in parliament or by parliament, this remarkable sequence
of events consolidated the importance of parliament in the English unwritten con
stitution. Parliament was also crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the kin
g who replaced Edward II: his son Edward III.
In 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first ti
me, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the
knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as
the House of Lords from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament.
The authority of parliament grew under Edward III; it was established that no la
w could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses and the
Sovereign. This development occurred during the reign of Edward III because he w
as involved in the Hundred Years' War and needed finances. During his conduct of
the war, Edward tried to circumvent parliament as much as possible, which cause
d this edict to be passed.
The Commons came to act with increasing boldness during this period. During the
Good Parliament (1376), the Presiding Officer of the lower chamber, Sir Peter de
la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expendi
tures, and criticised the king's management of the military. The Commons even pr
oceeded to impeach some of the king's ministers. The bold Speaker was imprisoned
, but was soon released after the death of Edward III. During the reign of the n
ext monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant minister
s of the Crown. They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but als
o public expenditure. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons stil
l remained much less powerful than the House of Lords and the Crown.
This period also saw the introduction of a franchise which limited the number of
people who could vote in elections for the House of Commons. From 1430 onwards,
the franchise was limited to Forty Shilling Freeholders, that is men who owned
freehold property worth forty shillings or more. The Parliament of England legis
lated the new uniform county franchise, in the statute 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. The Chron
ological Table of the Statutes does not mention such a 1430 law, as it was inclu
ded in the Consolidated Statutes as a recital in the Electors of Knights of the
Shire Act 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), which amended and re-enacted the 1430 law to m
ake clear that the resident of a county had to have a forty shilling freehold in
that county to be a voter there.
King, Lords, and Commons[edit]
It was during the reign of the Tudor monarchs that the modern structure of the E
nglish Parliament began to be created. The Tudor monarchy was powerful and there
were often periods of several years when parliament did not sit at all. However
the Tudor monarchs were astute enough to realise that they needed parliament to
legitimise many of their decisions, mostly out of a need to raise money through
taxation legitimately without causing discontent. Thus they consolidated the st
ate of affairs whereby monarchs would call and close parliament as and when they
needed it.
By the time Henry Tudor (Henry VII) came to the throne in 1485 the monarch was n
ot a member of either the Upper Chamber or the Lower Chamber. Consequently, the
monarch would have to make his or her feelings known to Parliament through his o
r her supporters in both houses. Proceedings were regulated by the presiding off
icer in either chamber. From the 1540s the presiding officer in the House of Com
mons became formally known as the "Speaker", having previously been referred to
as the "prolocutor" or "parlour" (a semi-official position, often nominated by t
he monarch, that had existed ever since Peter de Montfort had acted as the presi
ding officer of the Oxford Parliament of 1258). This was not an enviable job. Wh

en the House of Commons was unhappy it was the Speaker who had to deliver this n
ews to the monarch. This began the tradition whereby the Speaker of the House of
Commons is dragged to the Speaker's Chair by other members once elected.
A member of either chamber could present a "bill" to parliament. Bills supported
by the monarch were often proposed by members of the Privy Council who sat in p
arliament. In order for a bill to become law it would have to be approved by a m
ajority of both Houses of Parliament before it passed to the monarch for royal a
ssent or veto. The royal veto was applied several times during the 16th and 17th
centuries and it is still the right of the monarch of the United Kingdom and Co
mmonwealth realms to veto legislation today, although it has not been exercised
since 1707 (today such exercise would presumably precipitate a constitutional cr
isis).
When a bill was enacted into law, this process gave it the approval of each esta
te of the realm: the King, Lords, and Commons. In reality, this was not a democr
atic process. The Parliament of England was far from being a democratically repr
esentative institution in this period. It was possible to assemble the entire pe
erage and senior clergy of the realm in one place to form the estate of the Uppe
r Chamber. However, the voting franchise for the House of Commons was small; som
e historians estimate that it was as little as three per cent of the adult male
population; and there was no secret ballot. This meant that elections could be c
ontrolled by local grandees, because in many boroughs a majority of voters were
in some way dependent on a powerful individual, or else could be bought by money
or concessions. If these grandees were supporters of the incumbent monarch, thi
s gave the Crown and its ministers considerable influence over the business of p
arliament. Many of the men elected to parliament did not relish the prospect of
having to act in the interests of others. So a law was enacted, still on the sta
tute book today, whereby it became unlawful for members of the House of Commons
to resign their seat unless they were granted a position directly within the pat
ronage of the monarchy (today this latter restriction leads to a legal fiction a
llowing de facto resignation despite the prohibition, but nevertheless it is a r
esignation which needs the permission of the Crown). However, it must be emphasi
sed that while several elections to parliament in this period were in some way c
orrupt by modern standards, many elections involved genuine contests between riv
al candidates, even though the ballot was not secret.
It was in this period that the Palace of Westminster was established as the seat
of the English Parliament. In 1548, the House of Commons was granted a regular
meeting place by the Crown, St Stephen's Chapel. This had been a royal chapel. I
t was made into a debating chamber after Henry VIII became the last monarch to u
se the Palace of Westminster as a place of residence and following the suppressi
on of the college there. This room became the home of the House of Commons until
it was destroyed by fire in 1834, although the interior was altered several tim
es up until then. The structure of this room was pivotal in the development of t
he Parliament of England. While most modern legislatures sit in a circular chamb
er, the benches of the British Houses of Parliament are laid out in the form of
choir stalls in a chapel, simply because this is the part of the original room t
hat the members of the House of Commons utilised when they were granted use of S
t Stephen's Chapel. This structure took on a new significance with the emergence
of political parties in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as the traditio
n began whereby the members of the governing party would sit on the benches to t
he right of the Speaker and the opposition members on the benches to the left. I
t is said that the Speaker's chair was placed in front of the chapel's altar. As
Members came and went they observed the custom of bowing to the altar and conti
nued to do so, even when it had been taken away, thus then bowing to the Chair,
as is still the custom today.[citation needed]
The numbers of the Lords Spiritual diminished under Henry VIII, who commanded th
e Dissolution of the Monasteries, thereby depriving the abbots and priors of the

ir seats in the Upper House. For the first time, the Lords Temporal were more nu
merous than the Lords Spiritual. Currently, the Lords Spiritual consist of the A
rchbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester,
and twenty-one other English diocesan bishops in seniority of appointment to a
diocese.
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 42 annexed Wales as part of England and this brough
t Welsh representatives into the Parliament of England, first elected in 1542.
Rebellion and revolution[edit]
Parliaments of England
1597 1689
Coat of arms of England
Parliament
Date
9th Parliament of Elizabeth I 1597
Final parliament of Elizabeth I 1601
1st parliament of King James I 1604
Addled Parliament
1614
3rd parliament of King James I 1621
Happy Parliament
1624
Useless Parliament
1625
2nd Parliament of King Charles I
1626
3rd parliament of King Charles I
1628
Short Parliament
1640 Apr
Long Parliament (1)
1640 Nov
Oxford Parliament
1644
Long Parliament (2)
1645
Rump Parliament (1)
1648
Barebone's Parliament 1653
First Protectorate Parliament 1654
Second Protectorate Parliament 1656
Third Protectorate Parliament 1659
Rump Parliament (2)
1659
Long Parliament (3)
1660
Convention Parliament 1660
Cavalier Parliament
1661
Habeas Corpus Parliament
1679
Exclusion Bill Parliament
1680
Oxford Parliament
1681
Loyal Parliament
1685
Convention Parliament 1689
List of Parliaments of England
v t e
Parliament had not always submitted to the wishes of the Tudor monarchs. But par
liamentary criticism of the monarchy reached new levels in the 17th century. Whe
n the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland c
ame to power as King James I, founding the Stuart monarchy.
In 1628, alarmed by the arbitrary exercise of royal power, the House of Commons
submitted to Charles I the Petition of Right, demanding the restoration of their
liberties. Though he accepted the petition, Charles later dissolved parliament
and ruled without them for eleven years. It was only after the financial disaste
r of the Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639 1640) that he was forced to recall Parliamen
t so that they could authorise new taxes. This resulted in the calling of the as
semblies known historically as the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliam
ent, which sat with several breaks and in various forms between 1640 and 1660.
The Long Parliament was characterised by the growing number of critics of the ki
ng who sat in it. The most prominent of these critics in the House of Commons wa
s John Pym. Tensions between the king and his parliament reached boiling point i

n January 1642 when Charles entered the House of Commons and tried, unsuccessful
ly, to arrest Pym and four other members for their alleged treason. The five mem
bers had been tipped off about this, and by the time Charles came into the chamb
er with a group of soldiers they had disappeared. Charles was further humiliated
when he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, to give their whereabouts, which L
enthall famously refused to do.
From then on relations between the king and his parliament deteriorated further.
When trouble started to brew in Ireland, both Charles and his parliament raised
armies to quell the uprisings by native Catholics there. It was not long before
it was clear that these forces would end up fighting each other, leading to the
English Civil War which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642: thos
e supporting the cause of parliament were called Parliamentarians (or Roundheads
).
Battles between Crown and Parliament would continue throughout the 17th and 18th
centuries, but parliament was no longer subservient to the English monarchy. Th
is change was symbolised in the execution of Charles I in January 1649. It is so
mewhat ironic that this event was not instigated by the elected representatives
of the realm. In Pride's Purge of December 1648, the New Model Army (which by th
en had emerged as the leading force in the parliamentary alliance) purged Parlia
ment of members that did not support them. The remaining "Rump Parliament", as i
t was later referred to by critics, enacted legislation to put the king on trial
for treason. This trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, led to
the execution of the king and the start of an 11 year republic. The House of Lo
rds was abolished and the purged House of Commons governed England until April 1
653, when army chief Oliver Cromwell dissolved it following disagreements over r
eligious policy and how to carry out elections to parliament. Cromwell later con
vened a parliament of religious radicals in 1653, commonly known as Barebone's P
arliament, followed by the unicameral First Protectorate Parliament that sat fro
m September 1654 to January 1655 and the Second Protectorate Parliament that sat
in two sessions between 1656 and 1658, the first session was unicameral and the
second session was bicameral.
Although it is easy to dismiss the English Republic of 1649-60 as nothing more t
han a Cromwellian military dictatorship, the events that took place in this deca
de were hugely important in determining the future of parliament. First, it was
during the sitting of the first Rump Parliament that members of the House of Com
mons became known as "MPs" (Members of Parliament). Second, Cromwell gave a huge
degree of freedom to his parliaments, although royalists were barred from sitti
ng in all but a handful of cases. His vision of parliament appears to have been
largely based on the example of the Elizabethan parliaments. However, he underes
timated the extent to which Elizabeth I and her ministers had directly and indir
ectly influenced the decision-making process of her parliaments. He was thus alw
ays surprised when they became troublesome. He ended up dissolving each parliame
nt that he convened. Yet it is worth noting that the structure of the second ses
sion of the Second Protectorate Parliament of 1658 was almost identical to the p
arliamentary structure consolidated in the Glorious Revolution Settlement of 168
9.
In 1653 Cromwell had been made head of state with the title Lord Protector of th
e Realm. The Second Protectorate Parliament offered him the crown. Cromwell reje
cted this offer, but the governmental structure embodied in the final version of
the Humble Petition and Advice was a basis for all future parliaments. It propo
sed an elected House of Commons as the Lower Chamber, a House of Lords containin
g peers of the realm as the Upper Chamber, and a constitutional monarchy, subser
vient to parliament and the laws of the nation, as the executive arm of the stat
e at the top of the tree, assisted in carrying out their duties by a Privy Counc
il. Oliver Cromwell had thus inadvertently presided over the creation of a basis
for the future parliamentary government of England. In 1657 he had the Parliame

nt of Scotland unified with the English Parliament.


In terms of the evolution of parliament as an institution, by far the most impor
tant development during the republic was the sitting of the Rump Parliament betw
een 1649 and 1653. This proved that parliament could survive without a monarchy
and a House of Lords if it wanted to. Future English monarchs would never forget
this. Charles I was the last English monarch ever to enter the House of Commons
. Even to this day, a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sent to
Buckingham Palace as a ceremonial hostage during the State Opening of Parliament
, in order to ensure the safe return of the sovereign from a potentially hostile
parliament. During the ceremony the monarch sits on the throne in the House of
Lords and signals for the Lord Great Chamberlain to summon the House of Commons
to the Lords Chamber. The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand of office
to signal to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who has been waiting in the c
entral lobby. Black Rod turns and, escorted by the doorkeeper of the House of Lo
rds and an inspector of police, approaches the doors to the chamber of the Commo
ns. The doors are slammed in his face
symbolising the right of the Commons to de
bate without the presence of the Queen's representative. He then strikes three t
imes with his staff (the Black Rod), and he is admitted.
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement[edit]
The revolutionary events that occurred between 1620 and 1689 all took place in t
he name of parliament. The new status of parliament as the central governmental
organ of the English state was consolidated during the events surrounding the Re
storation of the monarchy in 1660. Following the assassination attempt of Oliver
Cromwell in September 1658, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Lord Prot
ector, summoning the Third Protectorate Parliament in the process. When this par
liament was dissolved following pressure from the army in April 1659, the Rump P
arliament was recalled at the insistence of the surviving army grandees. This in
turn was dissolved in a coup led by army general John Lambert, leading to the f
ormation of the Committee of Safety, dominated by Lambert and his supporters. Wh
en the breakaway forces of George Monck invaded England from Scotland where they
had been stationed without Lambert's supporters putting up a fight Monck temporaril
y recalled the Rump Parliament and reversed Pride's Purge by recalling the entir
ety of the Long Parliament. They then voted to dissolve themselves and call new
elections, which were arguably the most democratic for 20 years although the fra
nchise was still very small. This led to the calling of the Convention Parliamen
t which was dominated by royalists. This parliament voted to reinstate the monar
chy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as king in May 1660.
The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union that Cromwell had established was dissolv
ed in 1661 when the Scottish Parliament resumed its separate meeting place in Ed
inburgh.
The Restoration began the tradition whereby all governments looked to parliament
for legitimacy. In 1681 Charles II dissolved parliament and ruled without them
for the last four years of his reign. This followed bitter disagreements between
the king and parliament that had occurred between 1679 and 1681. Charles took a
big gamble by doing this. He risked the possibility of a military showdown akin
to that of 1642. However he rightly predicted that the nation did not want anot
her civil war. Parliament disbanded without a fight. Events that followed ensure
d that this would be nothing but a temporary blip.
Charles II died in 1685 and he was succeeded by his brother James II. During his
lifetime Charles had always pledged loyalty to the Protestant Church of England
, despite his private Catholic sympathies. James was openly Catholic. He attempt
ed to lift restrictions on Catholics taking up public offices. This was bitterly
opposed by Protestants in his kingdom. They invited William of Orange,[2] a Pro
testant who had married Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde to invade Engla
nd and claim the throne. William assembled an army estimated at 15,000 soldiers
(11,000 foot and 4000 horse)[3] and landed at Brixham in southwest England in No

vember, 1688. When many Protestant officers, including James's close adviser, Jo
hn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defected from the English army to William
's invasion force, James fled the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to
his Protestant daughter Mary, instead of his son (James Francis Edward Stuart).
Mary refused the offer, and instead William and Mary ruled jointly, with both ha
ving the right to rule alone on the other's death. As part of the compromise in
allowing William to be King called the Glorious Revolution Parliament was able to ha
ve the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted. Later the 1701 Act of Settlement was approve
d. These were statutes that lawfully upheld the prominence of parliament for the
first time in English history. These events marked the beginning of the English
constitutional monarchy and its role as one of the three elements of parliament
.
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain[edit]
Main article: Parliament of Great Britain
Following the Treaty of Union in 1707, Acts of Parliament passed in the Parliame
nt of England and the Parliament of Scotland created a new Kingdom of Great Brit
ain and dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new Parliament of Grea
t Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. The Parliament of
Great Britain later became the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801 when the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed through the Act of Union
1800.
Places where Parliament has been held other than London[edit]
York, various
Lincoln, various
Oxford, 1258 (Mad Parliament), 1681
Kenilworth, 1266
Acton Burnell Castle, 1283[4]
Shrewsbury, 1283 (trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd)
Lincoln, 1301
Carlisle, 1307
Northampton 1328
New Sarum, 1330
Winchester, 1332
Leicester, 1414 (Fire and Faggot Parliament), 1426 (Parliament of Bats)
Reading Abbey, 1453
Coventry, 1459 (Parliament of Devils)
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles[edit]
Two European cities, both annexed from and later ceded to the Kingdom of France
were represented in the Parliament as borough constituencies while they were Eng
lish possessions:
Calais, between 1372 and 1558.
Tournai between 1513 and 1519. (Now in Belgium.)
See also[edit]
History of democracy
History of local government in England
List of Parliaments of England
List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1485 1601
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1603 1641
Witenagemot
Magnum Concilium
References[edit]
^ Jump up to: a b "A Brief Chronology of the House of Commons", Factsheet G3, Ge
neral Series, August 2010, House of Commons Information Office
Jump up ^ Wouter Troost, William III the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography
(2004) ISBN 0-7546-5071-5 p 191
Jump up ^ Troost, pp 204 205

Jump up ^ Virtual Shropshire


Sources[edit]
Blackstone, Sir William. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Cl
arendon Press.
Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings
of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron. (1896). Constitutional History of Englan
d since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. vol 1 online; vol 2 online
Maddicott, John. The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327. Oxford: Oxford
University Press; 2010. ISBN 0-19-958550-4.
Paul Brand. "Review of Maddicott, John Robert, _The Origins of the English Parli
ament, 924-1327_." in H-Albion, H-Net Reviews. September, 2011. online
Sayles, G. O. The King's Parliament of England (1974), brief survey
"Parliament." (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge Universi
ty Press.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of England.
Birth of the English Parliament. UK Parliament
Parliament and People. British Library
Origins and growth of Parliament. National Archives
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Parliament of England
1066 c. 1215
c. 1215 1707
Succeeded by
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1707 1801
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Parliament of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the pre-1707 legislature. For the proposed reestablishment
, see Devolved English parliament. For the current combined UK body, see Parliam
ent of the United Kingdom.
Parliament of England
Coat of arms or logo
Royal coat of arms of England, 1558 1603
Type
Type
Unicameral
(1215 1341 / 1649 1657)
Bicameral
(1341 1649 / 1657 1707)1
Houses Upper house:
House of Lords
(1341 1649 / 1660 1707)
House of Peers
(1657 1660)
Lower house:
House of Commons
(1341 1707)
History
Established
15 June 1215
(Lords only)
20 January 1265
(Lords and elected Commons)
Disbanded
1 May 1707
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Leadership
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
William Cowper1
Since 1705
Speaker of the House of Commons
John Smith1

Since 1705
Elections
House of Lords voting system
Ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of an English peerage
House of Commons voting system
First past the post with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Westminster 16C.jpg
Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
Footnotes
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood in 1707.
See also: Parliament of Scotland,
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066
, William of Normandy introduced what, in later centuries, became referred to as
a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief
(a person who held land) and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the ten
ants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the kin
g may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were
hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which graduall
y developed into a parliament.
Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of th
e English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the tr
ial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy un
der Charles II, and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of
Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and later British sov
ereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited exec
utive authority. The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Pa
rliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliamen
t of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was
now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Contents [hide]
1
History
1.1
Parliament in the reign of Henry III
1.2
The emergence of parliament as an institution
1.3
King, Lords, and Commons
1.4
Rebellion and revolution
1.5
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement
1.6
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain
2
Places where Parliament has been held other than London
3
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles
4
See also
5
References
6
Sources
7
External links
History[edit]
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear becau
se it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by
introducing more precise citations. (February 2013)
Under a monarchical system of government, the monarch usually must consult and s
eek a measure of acceptance for his policies if he is to enjoy the broad coopera
tion of his subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, and
so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in eve
ry part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England
following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have bee
n upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had econ

omic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and t
he feudal obligations of their tenants (some of whom held lands on condition of
military service). The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as
it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clerg
y on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Council
s. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, bishops, abbots, barons
and earls, the pillars of the feudal system.
When this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossi
ble for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this
prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and
Henry II and between King John and the barons.
Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murder
ed following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the C
hurch. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many le
ading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refu
sal to adhere to this charter led to civil war (see First Barons' War).
The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term itself came i
nto use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words
for discussion and speaking. The word first appears in official documents in the
1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson,
it is widely believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a le
gislative function.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire
to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in
1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to p
arliament to advise the king on finance.[1]
Initially, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money
through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention. This was due
in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by hi
s young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until
he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling t
o relinquish. Among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaff
irmed by the young king.
Parliament in the reign of Henry III[edit]
Once the minority of Henry III ended and he took full control of the government,
leading peers became increasingly concerned with his style of government, speci
fically his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, and his seeming
patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects. Henry's support
of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven lea
ding barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, superseded
, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster. This effectively abolish
ed the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen ba
rons, and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their p
erformance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, mos
t notably at Oxford in 1258.
The French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the le
ader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the following years, those
supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each oth
er. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sid
es began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defea
ted and taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had in

itially supported Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his re
forming zeal. His support amongst the nobility rapidly declined. So in 1264, Mon
tfort summoned the first parliament in English history without any prior royal a
uthorisation. The archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons were summoned,
as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. Knights
had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs
was unprecedented. This was purely a move to consolidate Montfort's position as
the legitimate governor of the kingdom, since he had captured Henry and his son
Prince Edward (later Edward I) at the Battle of Lewes.
A parliament consisting of representatives of the realm was the logical way for
Montfort to establish his authority. In calling this parliament, in a bid to gai
n popular support, he summoned knights and burgesses from the emerging gentry cl
ass, thus turning to his advantage the fact that most of the nobility had abando
ned his movement. This parliament was summoned on 14 December 1264. It first met
on 20 January 1265 in Westminster Hall[1] and was dissolved on 15 February 1265
. It is not certain who actually attended this parliament. Nonetheless, Montfort
's scheme was formally adopted by Edward I in the so-called "Model Parliament" o
f 1295. The attendance at parliament of knights and burgesses historically becam
e known as the summoning of "the Commons", a term derived from the Norman French
word "commune", literally translated as the "community of the realm".
Following Edward's escape from captivity, Montfort was defeated and killed at th
e Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry's authority was restored and the Provisions o
f Oxford were forgotten, but this was nonetheless a turning point in the history
of the Parliament of England. Although he was not obliged by statute to do so,
Henry summoned the Commons to parliament three times between September 1268 and
April 1270. However, this was not a significant turning point in the history of
parliamentary democracy. Subsequently, very little is known about how representa
tives were selected because, at this time, being sent to parliament was not a pr
estigious undertaking. But Montfort's decision to summon knights of the shires a
nd burgesses to his parliament did mark the irreversible emergence of the landed
gentry as a force in politics. From then on, monarchs could not ignore them, wh
ich explains Henry's decision to summon the Commons to several of his post-1265
parliaments.
Even though many peers who had supported the Provisions of Oxford remained activ
e in English public life throughout Henry's reign, the conditions they had laid
down for regular parliaments were largely forgotten, as if to symbolise the hist
orical development of the English Parliament via convention rather than statutes
and written constitutions.
The emergence of parliament as an institution[edit]
Medieval parliament
During the reign of Edward I, which began in 1272, the role of Parliament in the
government of the English kingdom increased due to Edward's determination to un
ite England, Wales and Scotland under his rule by force. He was also keen to uni
te his subjects in order to restore his authority and not face rebellion as was
his father's fate. Edward therefore encouraged all sectors of society to submit
petitions to parliament detailing their grievances in order for them to be resol
ved. This seemingly gave all of Edward's subjects a potential role in government
and this helped Edward assert his authority.
As the number of petitions being submitted to parliament increased, they came to
be dealt with, and often ignored, more and more by ministers of the Crown so as
not to block the passage of government business through parliament. However the
emergence of petitioning is significant because it is some of the earliest evid
ence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of or
dinary people. Submitting a petition to parliament is a tradition that continues

to this day in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in most Commonwealth re
alms.
These developments symbolise the fact that parliament and government were by no
means the same thing by this point. If monarchs were going to impose their will
on their kingdom, they would have to control parliament rather than be subservie
nt to it.
From Edward's reign onwards, the authority of the English Parliament would depen
d on the strength or weakness of the incumbent monarch. When the king or queen w
as strong he or she would wield enough influence to pass their legislation throu
gh parliament without much trouble. Some strong monarchs even bypassed it comple
tely, although this was not often possible in the case of financial legislation
due to the post-Magna Carta convention of parliament granting taxes. When weak m
onarchs governed, parliament often became the centre of opposition against them.
Subsequently, the composition of parliaments in this period varied depending on
the decisions that needed to be taken in them. The nobility and senior clergy w
ere always summoned. From 1265 onwards, when the monarch needed to raise money t
hrough taxes, it was usual for knights and burgesses to be summoned too. However
, when the king was merely seeking advice, he often only summoned the nobility a
nd the clergy, sometimes with and sometimes without the knights of the shires. O
n some occasions the Commons were summoned and sent home again once the monarch
was finished with them, allowing parliament to continue without them. It was not
until the mid-14th century that summoning representatives of the shires and the
boroughs became the norm for all parliaments.
One of the moments that marked the emergence of parliament as a true institution
in England was the deposition of Edward II. Even though it is debatable whether
Edward II was deposed in parliament or by parliament, this remarkable sequence
of events consolidated the importance of parliament in the English unwritten con
stitution. Parliament was also crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the kin
g who replaced Edward II: his son Edward III.
In 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first ti
me, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the
knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as
the House of Lords from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament.
The authority of parliament grew under Edward III; it was established that no la
w could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses and the
Sovereign. This development occurred during the reign of Edward III because he w
as involved in the Hundred Years' War and needed finances. During his conduct of
the war, Edward tried to circumvent parliament as much as possible, which cause
d this edict to be passed.
The Commons came to act with increasing boldness during this period. During the
Good Parliament (1376), the Presiding Officer of the lower chamber, Sir Peter de
la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expendi
tures, and criticised the king's management of the military. The Commons even pr
oceeded to impeach some of the king's ministers. The bold Speaker was imprisoned
, but was soon released after the death of Edward III. During the reign of the n
ext monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant minister
s of the Crown. They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but als
o public expenditure. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons stil
l remained much less powerful than the House of Lords and the Crown.
This period also saw the introduction of a franchise which limited the number of
people who could vote in elections for the House of Commons. From 1430 onwards,
the franchise was limited to Forty Shilling Freeholders, that is men who owned

freehold property worth forty shillings or more. The Parliament of England legis
lated the new uniform county franchise, in the statute 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. The Chron
ological Table of the Statutes does not mention such a 1430 law, as it was inclu
ded in the Consolidated Statutes as a recital in the Electors of Knights of the
Shire Act 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), which amended and re-enacted the 1430 law to m
ake clear that the resident of a county had to have a forty shilling freehold in
that county to be a voter there.
King, Lords, and Commons[edit]
It was during the reign of the Tudor monarchs that the modern structure of the E
nglish Parliament began to be created. The Tudor monarchy was powerful and there
were often periods of several years when parliament did not sit at all. However
the Tudor monarchs were astute enough to realise that they needed parliament to
legitimise many of their decisions, mostly out of a need to raise money through
taxation legitimately without causing discontent. Thus they consolidated the st
ate of affairs whereby monarchs would call and close parliament as and when they
needed it.
By the time Henry Tudor (Henry VII) came to the throne in 1485 the monarch was n
ot a member of either the Upper Chamber or the Lower Chamber. Consequently, the
monarch would have to make his or her feelings known to Parliament through his o
r her supporters in both houses. Proceedings were regulated by the presiding off
icer in either chamber. From the 1540s the presiding officer in the House of Com
mons became formally known as the "Speaker", having previously been referred to
as the "prolocutor" or "parlour" (a semi-official position, often nominated by t
he monarch, that had existed ever since Peter de Montfort had acted as the presi
ding officer of the Oxford Parliament of 1258). This was not an enviable job. Wh
en the House of Commons was unhappy it was the Speaker who had to deliver this n
ews to the monarch. This began the tradition whereby the Speaker of the House of
Commons is dragged to the Speaker's Chair by other members once elected.
A member of either chamber could present a "bill" to parliament. Bills supported
by the monarch were often proposed by members of the Privy Council who sat in p
arliament. In order for a bill to become law it would have to be approved by a m
ajority of both Houses of Parliament before it passed to the monarch for royal a
ssent or veto. The royal veto was applied several times during the 16th and 17th
centuries and it is still the right of the monarch of the United Kingdom and Co
mmonwealth realms to veto legislation today, although it has not been exercised
since 1707 (today such exercise would presumably precipitate a constitutional cr
isis).
When a bill was enacted into law, this process gave it the approval of each esta
te of the realm: the King, Lords, and Commons. In reality, this was not a democr
atic process. The Parliament of England was far from being a democratically repr
esentative institution in this period. It was possible to assemble the entire pe
erage and senior clergy of the realm in one place to form the estate of the Uppe
r Chamber. However, the voting franchise for the House of Commons was small; som
e historians estimate that it was as little as three per cent of the adult male
population; and there was no secret ballot. This meant that elections could be c
ontrolled by local grandees, because in many boroughs a majority of voters were
in some way dependent on a powerful individual, or else could be bought by money
or concessions. If these grandees were supporters of the incumbent monarch, thi
s gave the Crown and its ministers considerable influence over the business of p
arliament. Many of the men elected to parliament did not relish the prospect of
having to act in the interests of others. So a law was enacted, still on the sta
tute book today, whereby it became unlawful for members of the House of Commons
to resign their seat unless they were granted a position directly within the pat
ronage of the monarchy (today this latter restriction leads to a legal fiction a
llowing de facto resignation despite the prohibition, but nevertheless it is a r
esignation which needs the permission of the Crown). However, it must be emphasi

sed that while several elections to parliament in this period were in some way c
orrupt by modern standards, many elections involved genuine contests between riv
al candidates, even though the ballot was not secret.
It was in this period that the Palace of Westminster was established as the seat
of the English Parliament. In 1548, the House of Commons was granted a regular
meeting place by the Crown, St Stephen's Chapel. This had been a royal chapel. I
t was made into a debating chamber after Henry VIII became the last monarch to u
se the Palace of Westminster as a place of residence and following the suppressi
on of the college there. This room became the home of the House of Commons until
it was destroyed by fire in 1834, although the interior was altered several tim
es up until then. The structure of this room was pivotal in the development of t
he Parliament of England. While most modern legislatures sit in a circular chamb
er, the benches of the British Houses of Parliament are laid out in the form of
choir stalls in a chapel, simply because this is the part of the original room t
hat the members of the House of Commons utilised when they were granted use of S
t Stephen's Chapel. This structure took on a new significance with the emergence
of political parties in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as the traditio
n began whereby the members of the governing party would sit on the benches to t
he right of the Speaker and the opposition members on the benches to the left. I
t is said that the Speaker's chair was placed in front of the chapel's altar. As
Members came and went they observed the custom of bowing to the altar and conti
nued to do so, even when it had been taken away, thus then bowing to the Chair,
as is still the custom today.[citation needed]
The numbers of the Lords Spiritual diminished under Henry VIII, who commanded th
e Dissolution of the Monasteries, thereby depriving the abbots and priors of the
ir seats in the Upper House. For the first time, the Lords Temporal were more nu
merous than the Lords Spiritual. Currently, the Lords Spiritual consist of the A
rchbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester,
and twenty-one other English diocesan bishops in seniority of appointment to a
diocese.
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 42 annexed Wales as part of England and this brough
t Welsh representatives into the Parliament of England, first elected in 1542.
Rebellion and revolution[edit]
Parliaments of England
1597 1689
Coat of arms of England
Parliament
Date
9th Parliament of Elizabeth I 1597
Final parliament of Elizabeth I 1601
1st parliament of King James I 1604
Addled Parliament
1614
3rd parliament of King James I 1621
Happy Parliament
1624
Useless Parliament
1625
2nd Parliament of King Charles I
3rd parliament of King Charles I
Short Parliament
1640 Apr
Long Parliament (1)
1640 Nov
Oxford Parliament
1644
Long Parliament (2)
1645
Rump Parliament (1)
1648
Barebone's Parliament 1653
First Protectorate Parliament 1654
Second Protectorate Parliament 1656
Third Protectorate Parliament 1659
Rump Parliament (2)
1659

1626
1628

Long Parliament (3)


1660
Convention Parliament 1660
Cavalier Parliament
1661
Habeas Corpus Parliament
1679
Exclusion Bill Parliament
1680
Oxford Parliament
1681
Loyal Parliament
1685
Convention Parliament 1689
List of Parliaments of England
v t e
Parliament had not always submitted to the wishes of the Tudor monarchs. But par
liamentary criticism of the monarchy reached new levels in the 17th century. Whe
n the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland c
ame to power as King James I, founding the Stuart monarchy.
In 1628, alarmed by the arbitrary exercise of royal power, the House of Commons
submitted to Charles I the Petition of Right, demanding the restoration of their
liberties. Though he accepted the petition, Charles later dissolved parliament
and ruled without them for eleven years. It was only after the financial disaste
r of the Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639 1640) that he was forced to recall Parliamen
t so that they could authorise new taxes. This resulted in the calling of the as
semblies known historically as the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliam
ent, which sat with several breaks and in various forms between 1640 and 1660.
The Long Parliament was characterised by the growing number of critics of the ki
ng who sat in it. The most prominent of these critics in the House of Commons wa
s John Pym. Tensions between the king and his parliament reached boiling point i
n January 1642 when Charles entered the House of Commons and tried, unsuccessful
ly, to arrest Pym and four other members for their alleged treason. The five mem
bers had been tipped off about this, and by the time Charles came into the chamb
er with a group of soldiers they had disappeared. Charles was further humiliated
when he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, to give their whereabouts, which L
enthall famously refused to do.
From then on relations between the king and his parliament deteriorated further.
When trouble started to brew in Ireland, both Charles and his parliament raised
armies to quell the uprisings by native Catholics there. It was not long before
it was clear that these forces would end up fighting each other, leading to the
English Civil War which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642: thos
e supporting the cause of parliament were called Parliamentarians (or Roundheads
).
Battles between Crown and Parliament would continue throughout the 17th and 18th
centuries, but parliament was no longer subservient to the English monarchy. Th
is change was symbolised in the execution of Charles I in January 1649. It is so
mewhat ironic that this event was not instigated by the elected representatives
of the realm. In Pride's Purge of December 1648, the New Model Army (which by th
en had emerged as the leading force in the parliamentary alliance) purged Parlia
ment of members that did not support them. The remaining "Rump Parliament", as i
t was later referred to by critics, enacted legislation to put the king on trial
for treason. This trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, led to
the execution of the king and the start of an 11 year republic. The House of Lo
rds was abolished and the purged House of Commons governed England until April 1
653, when army chief Oliver Cromwell dissolved it following disagreements over r
eligious policy and how to carry out elections to parliament. Cromwell later con
vened a parliament of religious radicals in 1653, commonly known as Barebone's P
arliament, followed by the unicameral First Protectorate Parliament that sat fro
m September 1654 to January 1655 and the Second Protectorate Parliament that sat
in two sessions between 1656 and 1658, the first session was unicameral and the
second session was bicameral.

Although it is easy to dismiss the English Republic of 1649-60 as nothing more t


han a Cromwellian military dictatorship, the events that took place in this deca
de were hugely important in determining the future of parliament. First, it was
during the sitting of the first Rump Parliament that members of the House of Com
mons became known as "MPs" (Members of Parliament). Second, Cromwell gave a huge
degree of freedom to his parliaments, although royalists were barred from sitti
ng in all but a handful of cases. His vision of parliament appears to have been
largely based on the example of the Elizabethan parliaments. However, he underes
timated the extent to which Elizabeth I and her ministers had directly and indir
ectly influenced the decision-making process of her parliaments. He was thus alw
ays surprised when they became troublesome. He ended up dissolving each parliame
nt that he convened. Yet it is worth noting that the structure of the second ses
sion of the Second Protectorate Parliament of 1658 was almost identical to the p
arliamentary structure consolidated in the Glorious Revolution Settlement of 168
9.
In 1653 Cromwell had been made head of state with the title Lord Protector of th
e Realm. The Second Protectorate Parliament offered him the crown. Cromwell reje
cted this offer, but the governmental structure embodied in the final version of
the Humble Petition and Advice was a basis for all future parliaments. It propo
sed an elected House of Commons as the Lower Chamber, a House of Lords containin
g peers of the realm as the Upper Chamber, and a constitutional monarchy, subser
vient to parliament and the laws of the nation, as the executive arm of the stat
e at the top of the tree, assisted in carrying out their duties by a Privy Counc
il. Oliver Cromwell had thus inadvertently presided over the creation of a basis
for the future parliamentary government of England. In 1657 he had the Parliame
nt of Scotland unified with the English Parliament.
In terms of the evolution of parliament as an institution, by far the most impor
tant development during the republic was the sitting of the Rump Parliament betw
een 1649 and 1653. This proved that parliament could survive without a monarchy
and a House of Lords if it wanted to. Future English monarchs would never forget
this. Charles I was the last English monarch ever to enter the House of Commons
. Even to this day, a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sent to
Buckingham Palace as a ceremonial hostage during the State Opening of Parliament
, in order to ensure the safe return of the sovereign from a potentially hostile
parliament. During the ceremony the monarch sits on the throne in the House of
Lords and signals for the Lord Great Chamberlain to summon the House of Commons
to the Lords Chamber. The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand of office
to signal to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who has been waiting in the c
entral lobby. Black Rod turns and, escorted by the doorkeeper of the House of Lo
rds and an inspector of police, approaches the doors to the chamber of the Commo
ns. The doors are slammed in his face
symbolising the right of the Commons to de
bate without the presence of the Queen's representative. He then strikes three t
imes with his staff (the Black Rod), and he is admitted.
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement[edit]
The revolutionary events that occurred between 1620 and 1689 all took place in t
he name of parliament. The new status of parliament as the central governmental
organ of the English state was consolidated during the events surrounding the Re
storation of the monarchy in 1660. Following the assassination attempt of Oliver
Cromwell in September 1658, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Lord Prot
ector, summoning the Third Protectorate Parliament in the process. When this par
liament was dissolved following pressure from the army in April 1659, the Rump P
arliament was recalled at the insistence of the surviving army grandees. This in
turn was dissolved in a coup led by army general John Lambert, leading to the f
ormation of the Committee of Safety, dominated by Lambert and his supporters. Wh
en the breakaway forces of George Monck invaded England from Scotland where they
had been stationed without Lambert's supporters putting up a fight Monck temporaril

y recalled the Rump Parliament and reversed Pride's Purge by recalling the entir
ety of the Long Parliament. They then voted to dissolve themselves and call new
elections, which were arguably the most democratic for 20 years although the fra
nchise was still very small. This led to the calling of the Convention Parliamen
t which was dominated by royalists. This parliament voted to reinstate the monar
chy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as king in May 1660.
The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union that Cromwell had established was dissolv
ed in 1661 when the Scottish Parliament resumed its separate meeting place in Ed
inburgh.
The Restoration began the tradition whereby all governments looked to parliament
for legitimacy. In 1681 Charles II dissolved parliament and ruled without them
for the last four years of his reign. This followed bitter disagreements between
the king and parliament that had occurred between 1679 and 1681. Charles took a
big gamble by doing this. He risked the possibility of a military showdown akin
to that of 1642. However he rightly predicted that the nation did not want anot
her civil war. Parliament disbanded without a fight. Events that followed ensure
d that this would be nothing but a temporary blip.
Charles II died in 1685 and he was succeeded by his brother James II. During his
lifetime Charles had always pledged loyalty to the Protestant Church of England
, despite his private Catholic sympathies. James was openly Catholic. He attempt
ed to lift restrictions on Catholics taking up public offices. This was bitterly
opposed by Protestants in his kingdom. They invited William of Orange,[2] a Pro
testant who had married Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde to invade Engla
nd and claim the throne. William assembled an army estimated at 15,000 soldiers
(11,000 foot and 4000 horse)[3] and landed at Brixham in southwest England in No
vember, 1688. When many Protestant officers, including James's close adviser, Jo
hn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defected from the English army to William
's invasion force, James fled the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to
his Protestant daughter Mary, instead of his son (James Francis Edward Stuart).
Mary refused the offer, and instead William and Mary ruled jointly, with both ha
ving the right to rule alone on the other's death. As part of the compromise in
allowing William to be King called the Glorious Revolution Parliament was able to ha
ve the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted. Later the 1701 Act of Settlement was approve
d. These were statutes that lawfully upheld the prominence of parliament for the
first time in English history. These events marked the beginning of the English
constitutional monarchy and its role as one of the three elements of parliament
.
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain[edit]
Main article: Parliament of Great Britain
Following the Treaty of Union in 1707, Acts of Parliament passed in the Parliame
nt of England and the Parliament of Scotland created a new Kingdom of Great Brit
ain and dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new Parliament of Grea
t Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. The Parliament of
Great Britain later became the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801 when the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed through the Act of Union
1800.
Places where Parliament has been held other than London[edit]
York, various
Lincoln, various
Oxford, 1258 (Mad Parliament), 1681
Kenilworth, 1266
Acton Burnell Castle, 1283[4]
Shrewsbury, 1283 (trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd)
Lincoln, 1301
Carlisle, 1307
Northampton 1328

New Sarum, 1330


Winchester, 1332
Leicester, 1414 (Fire and Faggot Parliament), 1426 (Parliament of Bats)
Reading Abbey, 1453
Coventry, 1459 (Parliament of Devils)
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles[edit]
Two European cities, both annexed from and later ceded to the Kingdom of France
were represented in the Parliament as borough constituencies while they were Eng
lish possessions:
Calais, between 1372 and 1558.
Tournai between 1513 and 1519. (Now in Belgium.)
See also[edit]
History of democracy
History of local government in England
List of Parliaments of England
List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1485 1601
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1603 1641
Witenagemot
Magnum Concilium
References[edit]
^ Jump up to: a b "A Brief Chronology of the House of Commons", Factsheet G3, Ge
neral Series, August 2010, House of Commons Information Office
Jump up ^ Wouter Troost, William III the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography
(2004) ISBN 0-7546-5071-5 p 191
Jump up ^ Troost, pp 204 205
Jump up ^ Virtual Shropshire
Sources[edit]
Blackstone, Sir William. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Cl
arendon Press.
Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings
of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron. (1896). Constitutional History of Englan
d since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. vol 1 online; vol 2 online
Maddicott, John. The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327. Oxford: Oxford
University Press; 2010. ISBN 0-19-958550-4.
Paul Brand. "Review of Maddicott, John Robert, _The Origins of the English Parli
ament, 924-1327_." in H-Albion, H-Net Reviews. September, 2011. online
Sayles, G. O. The King's Parliament of England (1974), brief survey
"Parliament." (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge Universi
ty Press.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of England.
Birth of the English Parliament. UK Parliament
Parliament and People. British Library
Origins and growth of Parliament. National Archives
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Curia Regis
1066 c. 1215
Parliament of England
c. 1215 1707
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
1707 1801
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Categories: Parliament of England1707 disestablishments in Great BritainDefunct
bicameral legislaturesHistorical legislaturesWestminster system parliaments

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Parliament of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the pre-1707 legislature. For the proposed reestablishment
, see Devolved English parliament. For the current combined UK body, see Parliam
ent of the United Kingdom.
Parliament of England
Coat of arms or logo
Royal coat of arms of England, 1558 1603

Type
Type
Unicameral
(1215 1341 / 1649 1657)
Bicameral
(1341 1649 / 1657 1707)1
Houses Upper house:
House of Lords
(1341 1649 / 1660 1707)
House of Peers
(1657 1660)
Lower house:
House of Commons
(1341 1707)
History
Established
15 June 1215
(Lords only)
20 January 1265
(Lords and elected Commons)
Disbanded
1 May 1707
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Leadership
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
William Cowper1
Since 1705
Speaker of the House of Commons
John Smith1
Since 1705
Elections
House of Lords voting system
Ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of an English peerage
House of Commons voting system
First past the post with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Westminster 16C.jpg
Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
Footnotes
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood in 1707.
See also: Parliament of Scotland,
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066
, William of Normandy introduced what, in later centuries, became referred to as
a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief
(a person who held land) and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the ten
ants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the kin
g may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were
hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which graduall
y developed into a parliament.
Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of th
e English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the tr
ial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy un
der Charles II, and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of
Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and later British sov
ereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited exec
utive authority. The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Pa
rliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliamen
t of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was

now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.


Contents [hide]
1
History
1.1
Parliament in the reign of Henry III
1.2
The emergence of parliament as an institution
1.3
King, Lords, and Commons
1.4
Rebellion and revolution
1.5
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement
1.6
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain
2
Places where Parliament has been held other than London
3
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles
4
See also
5
References
6
Sources
7
External links
History[edit]
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear becau
se it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by
introducing more precise citations. (February 2013)
Under a monarchical system of government, the monarch usually must consult and s
eek a measure of acceptance for his policies if he is to enjoy the broad coopera
tion of his subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, and
so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in eve
ry part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England
following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have bee
n upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had econ
omic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and t
he feudal obligations of their tenants (some of whom held lands on condition of
military service). The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as
it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clerg
y on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Council
s. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, bishops, abbots, barons
and earls, the pillars of the feudal system.
When this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossi
ble for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this
prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and
Henry II and between King John and the barons.
Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murder
ed following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the C
hurch. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many le
ading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refu
sal to adhere to this charter led to civil war (see First Barons' War).
The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term itself came i
nto use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words
for discussion and speaking. The word first appears in official documents in the
1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson,
it is widely believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a le
gislative function.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire
to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in
1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to p
arliament to advise the king on finance.[1]

Initially, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money
through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention. This was due
in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by hi
s young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until
he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling t
o relinquish. Among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaff
irmed by the young king.
Parliament in the reign of Henry III[edit]
Once the minority of Henry III ended and he took full control of the government,
leading peers became increasingly concerned with his style of government, speci
fically his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, and his seeming
patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects. Henry's support
of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven lea
ding barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, superseded
, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster. This effectively abolish
ed the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen ba
rons, and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their p
erformance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, mos
t notably at Oxford in 1258.
The French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the le
ader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the following years, those
supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each oth
er. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sid
es began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defea
ted and taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had in
itially supported Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his re
forming zeal. His support amongst the nobility rapidly declined. So in 1264, Mon
tfort summoned the first parliament in English history without any prior royal a
uthorisation. The archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons were summoned,
as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. Knights
had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs
was unprecedented. This was purely a move to consolidate Montfort's position as
the legitimate governor of the kingdom, since he had captured Henry and his son
Prince Edward (later Edward I) at the Battle of Lewes.
A parliament consisting of representatives of the realm was the logical way for
Montfort to establish his authority. In calling this parliament, in a bid to gai
n popular support, he summoned knights and burgesses from the emerging gentry cl
ass, thus turning to his advantage the fact that most of the nobility had abando
ned his movement. This parliament was summoned on 14 December 1264. It first met
on 20 January 1265 in Westminster Hall[1] and was dissolved on 15 February 1265
. It is not certain who actually attended this parliament. Nonetheless, Montfort
's scheme was formally adopted by Edward I in the so-called "Model Parliament" o
f 1295. The attendance at parliament of knights and burgesses historically becam
e known as the summoning of "the Commons", a term derived from the Norman French
word "commune", literally translated as the "community of the realm".
Following Edward's escape from captivity, Montfort was defeated and killed at th
e Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry's authority was restored and the Provisions o
f Oxford were forgotten, but this was nonetheless a turning point in the history
of the Parliament of England. Although he was not obliged by statute to do so,
Henry summoned the Commons to parliament three times between September 1268 and
April 1270. However, this was not a significant turning point in the history of
parliamentary democracy. Subsequently, very little is known about how representa
tives were selected because, at this time, being sent to parliament was not a pr
estigious undertaking. But Montfort's decision to summon knights of the shires a
nd burgesses to his parliament did mark the irreversible emergence of the landed

gentry as a force in politics. From then on, monarchs could not ignore them, wh
ich explains Henry's decision to summon the Commons to several of his post-1265
parliaments.
Even though many peers who had supported the Provisions of Oxford remained activ
e in English public life throughout Henry's reign, the conditions they had laid
down for regular parliaments were largely forgotten, as if to symbolise the hist
orical development of the English Parliament via convention rather than statutes
and written constitutions.
The emergence of parliament as an institution[edit]
Medieval parliament
During the reign of Edward I, which began in 1272, the role of Parliament in the
government of the English kingdom increased due to Edward's determination to un
ite England, Wales and Scotland under his rule by force. He was also keen to uni
te his subjects in order to restore his authority and not face rebellion as was
his father's fate. Edward therefore encouraged all sectors of society to submit
petitions to parliament detailing their grievances in order for them to be resol
ved. This seemingly gave all of Edward's subjects a potential role in government
and this helped Edward assert his authority.
As the number of petitions being submitted to parliament increased, they came to
be dealt with, and often ignored, more and more by ministers of the Crown so as
not to block the passage of government business through parliament. However the
emergence of petitioning is significant because it is some of the earliest evid
ence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of or
dinary people. Submitting a petition to parliament is a tradition that continues
to this day in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in most Commonwealth re
alms.
These developments symbolise the fact that parliament and government were by no
means the same thing by this point. If monarchs were going to impose their will
on their kingdom, they would have to control parliament rather than be subservie
nt to it.
From Edward's reign onwards, the authority of the English Parliament would depen
d on the strength or weakness of the incumbent monarch. When the king or queen w
as strong he or she would wield enough influence to pass their legislation throu
gh parliament without much trouble. Some strong monarchs even bypassed it comple
tely, although this was not often possible in the case of financial legislation
due to the post-Magna Carta convention of parliament granting taxes. When weak m
onarchs governed, parliament often became the centre of opposition against them.
Subsequently, the composition of parliaments in this period varied depending on
the decisions that needed to be taken in them. The nobility and senior clergy w
ere always summoned. From 1265 onwards, when the monarch needed to raise money t
hrough taxes, it was usual for knights and burgesses to be summoned too. However
, when the king was merely seeking advice, he often only summoned the nobility a
nd the clergy, sometimes with and sometimes without the knights of the shires. O
n some occasions the Commons were summoned and sent home again once the monarch
was finished with them, allowing parliament to continue without them. It was not
until the mid-14th century that summoning representatives of the shires and the
boroughs became the norm for all parliaments.
One of the moments that marked the emergence of parliament as a true institution
in England was the deposition of Edward II. Even though it is debatable whether
Edward II was deposed in parliament or by parliament, this remarkable sequence
of events consolidated the importance of parliament in the English unwritten con
stitution. Parliament was also crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the kin
g who replaced Edward II: his son Edward III.

In 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first ti
me, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the
knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as
the House of Lords from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament.
The authority of parliament grew under Edward III; it was established that no la
w could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses and the
Sovereign. This development occurred during the reign of Edward III because he w
as involved in the Hundred Years' War and needed finances. During his conduct of
the war, Edward tried to circumvent parliament as much as possible, which cause
d this edict to be passed.
The Commons came to act with increasing boldness during this period. During the
Good Parliament (1376), the Presiding Officer of the lower chamber, Sir Peter de
la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expendi
tures, and criticised the king's management of the military. The Commons even pr
oceeded to impeach some of the king's ministers. The bold Speaker was imprisoned
, but was soon released after the death of Edward III. During the reign of the n
ext monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant minister
s of the Crown. They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but als
o public expenditure. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons stil
l remained much less powerful than the House of Lords and the Crown.
This period also saw the introduction of a franchise which limited the number of
people who could vote in elections for the House of Commons. From 1430 onwards,
the franchise was limited to Forty Shilling Freeholders, that is men who owned
freehold property worth forty shillings or more. The Parliament of England legis
lated the new uniform county franchise, in the statute 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. The Chron
ological Table of the Statutes does not mention such a 1430 law, as it was inclu
ded in the Consolidated Statutes as a recital in the Electors of Knights of the
Shire Act 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), which amended and re-enacted the 1430 law to m
ake clear that the resident of a county had to have a forty shilling freehold in
that county to be a voter there.
King, Lords, and Commons[edit]
It was during the reign of the Tudor monarchs that the modern structure of the E
nglish Parliament began to be created. The Tudor monarchy was powerful and there
were often periods of several years when parliament did not sit at all. However
the Tudor monarchs were astute enough to realise that they needed parliament to
legitimise many of their decisions, mostly out of a need to raise money through
taxation legitimately without causing discontent. Thus they consolidated the st
ate of affairs whereby monarchs would call and close parliament as and when they
needed it.
By the time Henry Tudor (Henry VII) came to the throne in 1485 the monarch was n
ot a member of either the Upper Chamber or the Lower Chamber. Consequently, the
monarch would have to make his or her feelings known to Parliament through his o
r her supporters in both houses. Proceedings were regulated by the presiding off
icer in either chamber. From the 1540s the presiding officer in the House of Com
mons became formally known as the "Speaker", having previously been referred to
as the "prolocutor" or "parlour" (a semi-official position, often nominated by t
he monarch, that had existed ever since Peter de Montfort had acted as the presi
ding officer of the Oxford Parliament of 1258). This was not an enviable job. Wh
en the House of Commons was unhappy it was the Speaker who had to deliver this n
ews to the monarch. This began the tradition whereby the Speaker of the House of
Commons is dragged to the Speaker's Chair by other members once elected.
A member of either chamber could present a "bill" to parliament. Bills supported

by the monarch were often proposed by members of the Privy Council who sat in p
arliament. In order for a bill to become law it would have to be approved by a m
ajority of both Houses of Parliament before it passed to the monarch for royal a
ssent or veto. The royal veto was applied several times during the 16th and 17th
centuries and it is still the right of the monarch of the United Kingdom and Co
mmonwealth realms to veto legislation today, although it has not been exercised
since 1707 (today such exercise would presumably precipitate a constitutional cr
isis).
When a bill was enacted into law, this process gave it the approval of each esta
te of the realm: the King, Lords, and Commons. In reality, this was not a democr
atic process. The Parliament of England was far from being a democratically repr
esentative institution in this period. It was possible to assemble the entire pe
erage and senior clergy of the realm in one place to form the estate of the Uppe
r Chamber. However, the voting franchise for the House of Commons was small; som
e historians estimate that it was as little as three per cent of the adult male
population; and there was no secret ballot. This meant that elections could be c
ontrolled by local grandees, because in many boroughs a majority of voters were
in some way dependent on a powerful individual, or else could be bought by money
or concessions. If these grandees were supporters of the incumbent monarch, thi
s gave the Crown and its ministers considerable influence over the business of p
arliament. Many of the men elected to parliament did not relish the prospect of
having to act in the interests of others. So a law was enacted, still on the sta
tute book today, whereby it became unlawful for members of the House of Commons
to resign their seat unless they were granted a position directly within the pat
ronage of the monarchy (today this latter restriction leads to a legal fiction a
llowing de facto resignation despite the prohibition, but nevertheless it is a r
esignation which needs the permission of the Crown). However, it must be emphasi
sed that while several elections to parliament in this period were in some way c
orrupt by modern standards, many elections involved genuine contests between riv
al candidates, even though the ballot was not secret.
It was in this period that the Palace of Westminster was established as the seat
of the English Parliament. In 1548, the House of Commons was granted a regular
meeting place by the Crown, St Stephen's Chapel. This had been a royal chapel. I
t was made into a debating chamber after Henry VIII became the last monarch to u
se the Palace of Westminster as a place of residence and following the suppressi
on of the college there. This room became the home of the House of Commons until
it was destroyed by fire in 1834, although the interior was altered several tim
es up until then. The structure of this room was pivotal in the development of t
he Parliament of England. While most modern legislatures sit in a circular chamb
er, the benches of the British Houses of Parliament are laid out in the form of
choir stalls in a chapel, simply because this is the part of the original room t
hat the members of the House of Commons utilised when they were granted use of S
t Stephen's Chapel. This structure took on a new significance with the emergence
of political parties in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as the traditio
n began whereby the members of the governing party would sit on the benches to t
he right of the Speaker and the opposition members on the benches to the left. I
t is said that the Speaker's chair was placed in front of the chapel's altar. As
Members came and went they observed the custom of bowing to the altar and conti
nued to do so, even when it had been taken away, thus then bowing to the Chair,
as is still the custom today.[citation needed]
The numbers of the Lords Spiritual diminished under Henry VIII, who commanded th
e Dissolution of the Monasteries, thereby depriving the abbots and priors of the
ir seats in the Upper House. For the first time, the Lords Temporal were more nu
merous than the Lords Spiritual. Currently, the Lords Spiritual consist of the A
rchbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester,
and twenty-one other English diocesan bishops in seniority of appointment to a
diocese.

The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 42 annexed Wales as part of England and this brough
t Welsh representatives into the Parliament of England, first elected in 1542.
Rebellion and revolution[edit]
Parliaments of England
1597 1689
Coat of arms of England
Parliament
Date
9th Parliament of Elizabeth I 1597
Final parliament of Elizabeth I 1601
1st parliament of King James I 1604
Addled Parliament
1614
3rd parliament of King James I 1621
Happy Parliament
1624
Useless Parliament
1625
2nd Parliament of King Charles I
1626
3rd parliament of King Charles I
1628
Short Parliament
1640 Apr
Long Parliament (1)
1640 Nov
Oxford Parliament
1644
Long Parliament (2)
1645
Rump Parliament (1)
1648
Barebone's Parliament 1653
First Protectorate Parliament 1654
Second Protectorate Parliament 1656
Third Protectorate Parliament 1659
Rump Parliament (2)
1659
Long Parliament (3)
1660
Convention Parliament 1660
Cavalier Parliament
1661
Habeas Corpus Parliament
1679
Exclusion Bill Parliament
1680
Oxford Parliament
1681
Loyal Parliament
1685
Convention Parliament 1689
List of Parliaments of England
v t e
Parliament had not always submitted to the wishes of the Tudor monarchs. But par
liamentary criticism of the monarchy reached new levels in the 17th century. Whe
n the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland c
ame to power as King James I, founding the Stuart monarchy.
In 1628, alarmed by the arbitrary exercise of royal power, the House of Commons
submitted to Charles I the Petition of Right, demanding the restoration of their
liberties. Though he accepted the petition, Charles later dissolved parliament
and ruled without them for eleven years. It was only after the financial disaste
r of the Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639 1640) that he was forced to recall Parliamen
t so that they could authorise new taxes. This resulted in the calling of the as
semblies known historically as the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliam
ent, which sat with several breaks and in various forms between 1640 and 1660.
The Long Parliament was characterised by the growing number of critics of the ki
ng who sat in it. The most prominent of these critics in the House of Commons wa
s John Pym. Tensions between the king and his parliament reached boiling point i
n January 1642 when Charles entered the House of Commons and tried, unsuccessful
ly, to arrest Pym and four other members for their alleged treason. The five mem
bers had been tipped off about this, and by the time Charles came into the chamb
er with a group of soldiers they had disappeared. Charles was further humiliated
when he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, to give their whereabouts, which L

enthall famously refused to do.


From then on relations between the king and his parliament deteriorated further.
When trouble started to brew in Ireland, both Charles and his parliament raised
armies to quell the uprisings by native Catholics there. It was not long before
it was clear that these forces would end up fighting each other, leading to the
English Civil War which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642: thos
e supporting the cause of parliament were called Parliamentarians (or Roundheads
).
Battles between Crown and Parliament would continue throughout the 17th and 18th
centuries, but parliament was no longer subservient to the English monarchy. Th
is change was symbolised in the execution of Charles I in January 1649. It is so
mewhat ironic that this event was not instigated by the elected representatives
of the realm. In Pride's Purge of December 1648, the New Model Army (which by th
en had emerged as the leading force in the parliamentary alliance) purged Parlia
ment of members that did not support them. The remaining "Rump Parliament", as i
t was later referred to by critics, enacted legislation to put the king on trial
for treason. This trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, led to
the execution of the king and the start of an 11 year republic. The House of Lo
rds was abolished and the purged House of Commons governed England until April 1
653, when army chief Oliver Cromwell dissolved it following disagreements over r
eligious policy and how to carry out elections to parliament. Cromwell later con
vened a parliament of religious radicals in 1653, commonly known as Barebone's P
arliament, followed by the unicameral First Protectorate Parliament that sat fro
m September 1654 to January 1655 and the Second Protectorate Parliament that sat
in two sessions between 1656 and 1658, the first session was unicameral and the
second session was bicameral.
Although it is easy to dismiss the English Republic of 1649-60 as nothing more t
han a Cromwellian military dictatorship, the events that took place in this deca
de were hugely important in determining the future of parliament. First, it was
during the sitting of the first Rump Parliament that members of the House of Com
mons became known as "MPs" (Members of Parliament). Second, Cromwell gave a huge
degree of freedom to his parliaments, although royalists were barred from sitti
ng in all but a handful of cases. His vision of parliament appears to have been
largely based on the example of the Elizabethan parliaments. However, he underes
timated the extent to which Elizabeth I and her ministers had directly and indir
ectly influenced the decision-making process of her parliaments. He was thus alw
ays surprised when they became troublesome. He ended up dissolving each parliame
nt that he convened. Yet it is worth noting that the structure of the second ses
sion of the Second Protectorate Parliament of 1658 was almost identical to the p
arliamentary structure consolidated in the Glorious Revolution Settlement of 168
9.
In 1653 Cromwell had been made head of state with the title Lord Protector of th
e Realm. The Second Protectorate Parliament offered him the crown. Cromwell reje
cted this offer, but the governmental structure embodied in the final version of
the Humble Petition and Advice was a basis for all future parliaments. It propo
sed an elected House of Commons as the Lower Chamber, a House of Lords containin
g peers of the realm as the Upper Chamber, and a constitutional monarchy, subser
vient to parliament and the laws of the nation, as the executive arm of the stat
e at the top of the tree, assisted in carrying out their duties by a Privy Counc
il. Oliver Cromwell had thus inadvertently presided over the creation of a basis
for the future parliamentary government of England. In 1657 he had the Parliame
nt of Scotland unified with the English Parliament.
In terms of the evolution of parliament as an institution, by far the most impor
tant development during the republic was the sitting of the Rump Parliament betw
een 1649 and 1653. This proved that parliament could survive without a monarchy

and a House of Lords if it wanted to. Future English monarchs would never forget
this. Charles I was the last English monarch ever to enter the House of Commons
. Even to this day, a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sent to
Buckingham Palace as a ceremonial hostage during the State Opening of Parliament
, in order to ensure the safe return of the sovereign from a potentially hostile
parliament. During the ceremony the monarch sits on the throne in the House of
Lords and signals for the Lord Great Chamberlain to summon the House of Commons
to the Lords Chamber. The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand of office
to signal to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who has been waiting in the c
entral lobby. Black Rod turns and, escorted by the doorkeeper of the House of Lo
rds and an inspector of police, approaches the doors to the chamber of the Commo
ns. The doors are slammed in his face
symbolising the right of the Commons to de
bate without the presence of the Queen's representative. He then strikes three t
imes with his staff (the Black Rod), and he is admitted.
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement[edit]
The revolutionary events that occurred between 1620 and 1689 all took place in t
he name of parliament. The new status of parliament as the central governmental
organ of the English state was consolidated during the events surrounding the Re
storation of the monarchy in 1660. Following the assassination attempt of Oliver
Cromwell in September 1658, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Lord Prot
ector, summoning the Third Protectorate Parliament in the process. When this par
liament was dissolved following pressure from the army in April 1659, the Rump P
arliament was recalled at the insistence of the surviving army grandees. This in
turn was dissolved in a coup led by army general John Lambert, leading to the f
ormation of the Committee of Safety, dominated by Lambert and his supporters. Wh
en the breakaway forces of George Monck invaded England from Scotland where they
had been stationed without Lambert's supporters putting up a fight Monck temporaril
y recalled the Rump Parliament and reversed Pride's Purge by recalling the entir
ety of the Long Parliament. They then voted to dissolve themselves and call new
elections, which were arguably the most democratic for 20 years although the fra
nchise was still very small. This led to the calling of the Convention Parliamen
t which was dominated by royalists. This parliament voted to reinstate the monar
chy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as king in May 1660.
The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union that Cromwell had established was dissolv
ed in 1661 when the Scottish Parliament resumed its separate meeting place in Ed
inburgh.
The Restoration began the tradition whereby all governments looked to parliament
for legitimacy. In 1681 Charles II dissolved parliament and ruled without them
for the last four years of his reign. This followed bitter disagreements between
the king and parliament that had occurred between 1679 and 1681. Charles took a
big gamble by doing this. He risked the possibility of a military showdown akin
to that of 1642. However he rightly predicted that the nation did not want anot
her civil war. Parliament disbanded without a fight. Events that followed ensure
d that this would be nothing but a temporary blip.
Charles II died in 1685 and he was succeeded by his brother James II. During his
lifetime Charles had always pledged loyalty to the Protestant Church of England
, despite his private Catholic sympathies. James was openly Catholic. He attempt
ed to lift restrictions on Catholics taking up public offices. This was bitterly
opposed by Protestants in his kingdom. They invited William of Orange,[2] a Pro
testant who had married Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde to invade Engla
nd and claim the throne. William assembled an army estimated at 15,000 soldiers
(11,000 foot and 4000 horse)[3] and landed at Brixham in southwest England in No
vember, 1688. When many Protestant officers, including James's close adviser, Jo
hn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defected from the English army to William
's invasion force, James fled the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to
his Protestant daughter Mary, instead of his son (James Francis Edward Stuart).
Mary refused the offer, and instead William and Mary ruled jointly, with both ha

ving the right to rule alone on the other's death. As part of the compromise in
allowing William to be King called the Glorious Revolution Parliament was able to ha
ve the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted. Later the 1701 Act of Settlement was approve
d. These were statutes that lawfully upheld the prominence of parliament for the
first time in English history. These events marked the beginning of the English
constitutional monarchy and its role as one of the three elements of parliament
.
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain[edit]
Main article: Parliament of Great Britain
Following the Treaty of Union in 1707, Acts of Parliament passed in the Parliame
nt of England and the Parliament of Scotland created a new Kingdom of Great Brit
ain and dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new Parliament of Grea
t Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. The Parliament of
Great Britain later became the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801 when the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed through the Act of Union
1800.
Places where Parliament has been held other than London[edit]
York, various
Lincoln, various
Oxford, 1258 (Mad Parliament), 1681
Kenilworth, 1266
Acton Burnell Castle, 1283[4]
Shrewsbury, 1283 (trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd)
Lincoln, 1301
Carlisle, 1307
Northampton 1328
New Sarum, 1330
Winchester, 1332
Leicester, 1414 (Fire and Faggot Parliament), 1426 (Parliament of Bats)
Reading Abbey, 1453
Coventry, 1459 (Parliament of Devils)
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles[edit]
Two European cities, both annexed from and later ceded to the Kingdom of France
were represented in the Parliament as borough constituencies while they were Eng
lish possessions:
Calais, between 1372 and 1558.
Tournai between 1513 and 1519. (Now in Belgium.)
See also[edit]
History of democracy
History of local government in England
List of Parliaments of England
List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1485 1601
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1603 1641
Witenagemot
Magnum Concilium
References[edit]
^ Jump up to: a b "A Brief Chronology of the House of Commons", Factsheet G3, Ge
neral Series, August 2010, House of Commons Information Office
Jump up ^ Wouter Troost, William III the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography
(2004) ISBN 0-7546-5071-5 p 191
Jump up ^ Troost, pp 204 205
Jump up ^ Virtual Shropshire
Sources[edit]
Blackstone, Sir William. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Cl
arendon Press.
Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings

of the House of Lords, 19th ed.


Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron. (1896). Constitutional History of Englan
d since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. vol 1 online; vol 2 online
Maddicott, John. The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327. Oxford: Oxford
University Press; 2010. ISBN 0-19-958550-4.
Paul Brand. "Review of Maddicott, John Robert, _The Origins of the English Parli
ament, 924-1327_." in H-Albion, H-Net Reviews. September, 2011. online
Sayles, G. O. The King's Parliament of England (1974), brief survey
"Parliament." (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge Universi
ty Press.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of England.
Birth of the English Parliament. UK Parliament
Parliament and People. British Library
Origins and growth of Parliament. National Archives
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Curia Regis
1066 c. 1215
Parliament of England
c. 1215 1707
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
1707 1801
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Parliament of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the pre-1707 legislature. For the proposed reestablishment
, see Devolved English parliament. For the current combined UK body, see Parliam
ent of the United Kingdom.
Parliament of England
Coat of arms or logo
Royal coat of arms of England, 1558 1603
Type
Type
Unicameral
(1215 1341 / 1649 1657)
Bicameral
(1341 1649 / 1657 1707)1
Houses Upper house:
House of Lords
(1341 1649 / 1660 1707)
House of Peers
(1657 1660)
Lower house:
House of Commons
(1341 1707)
History
Established
15 June 1215
(Lords only)
20 January 1265
(Lords and elected Commons)
Disbanded
1 May 1707
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Leadership
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
William Cowper1
Since 1705
Speaker of the House of Commons
John Smith1
Since 1705
Elections

House of Lords voting system


Ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of an English peerage
House of Commons voting system
First past the post with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Westminster 16C.jpg
Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
Footnotes
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood in 1707.
See also: Parliament of Scotland,
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066
, William of Normandy introduced what, in later centuries, became referred to as
a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief
(a person who held land) and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the ten
ants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the kin
g may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were
hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which graduall
y developed into a parliament.
Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of th
e English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the tr
ial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy un
der Charles II, and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of
Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and later British sov
ereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited exec
utive authority. The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Pa
rliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliamen
t of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was
now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Contents [hide]
1
History
1.1
Parliament in the reign of Henry III
1.2
The emergence of parliament as an institution
1.3
King, Lords, and Commons
1.4
Rebellion and revolution
1.5
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement
1.6
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain
2
Places where Parliament has been held other than London
3
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles
4
See also
5
References
6
Sources
7
External links
History[edit]
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear becau
se it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by
introducing more precise citations. (February 2013)
Under a monarchical system of government, the monarch usually must consult and s
eek a measure of acceptance for his policies if he is to enjoy the broad coopera
tion of his subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, and
so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in eve
ry part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England
following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have bee
n upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had econ
omic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and t
he feudal obligations of their tenants (some of whom held lands on condition of

military service). The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as
it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clerg
y on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Council
s. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, bishops, abbots, barons
and earls, the pillars of the feudal system.
When this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossi
ble for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this
prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and
Henry II and between King John and the barons.
Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murder
ed following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the C
hurch. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many le
ading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refu
sal to adhere to this charter led to civil war (see First Barons' War).
The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term itself came i
nto use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words
for discussion and speaking. The word first appears in official documents in the
1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson,
it is widely believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a le
gislative function.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire
to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in
1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to p
arliament to advise the king on finance.[1]
Initially, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money
through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention. This was due
in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by hi
s young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until
he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling t
o relinquish. Among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaff
irmed by the young king.
Parliament in the reign of Henry III[edit]
Once the minority of Henry III ended and he took full control of the government,
leading peers became increasingly concerned with his style of government, speci
fically his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, and his seeming
patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects. Henry's support
of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven lea
ding barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, superseded
, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster. This effectively abolish
ed the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen ba
rons, and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their p
erformance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, mos
t notably at Oxford in 1258.
The French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the le
ader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the following years, those
supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each oth
er. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sid
es began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defea
ted and taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had in
itially supported Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his re
forming zeal. His support amongst the nobility rapidly declined. So in 1264, Mon

tfort summoned the first parliament in English history without any prior royal a
uthorisation. The archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons were summoned,
as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. Knights
had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs
was unprecedented. This was purely a move to consolidate Montfort's position as
the legitimate governor of the kingdom, since he had captured Henry and his son
Prince Edward (later Edward I) at the Battle of Lewes.
A parliament consisting of representatives of the realm was the logical way for
Montfort to establish his authority. In calling this parliament, in a bid to gai
n popular support, he summoned knights and burgesses from the emerging gentry cl
ass, thus turning to his advantage the fact that most of the nobility had abando
ned his movement. This parliament was summoned on 14 December 1264. It first met
on 20 January 1265 in Westminster Hall[1] and was dissolved on 15 February 1265
. It is not certain who actually attended this parliament. Nonetheless, Montfort
's scheme was formally adopted by Edward I in the so-called "Model Parliament" o
f 1295. The attendance at parliament of knights and burgesses historically becam
e known as the summoning of "the Commons", a term derived from the Norman French
word "commune", literally translated as the "community of the realm".
Following Edward's escape from captivity, Montfort was defeated and killed at th
e Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry's authority was restored and the Provisions o
f Oxford were forgotten, but this was nonetheless a turning point in the history
of the Parliament of England. Although he was not obliged by statute to do so,
Henry summoned the Commons to parliament three times between September 1268 and
April 1270. However, this was not a significant turning point in the history of
parliamentary democracy. Subsequently, very little is known about how representa
tives were selected because, at this time, being sent to parliament was not a pr
estigious undertaking. But Montfort's decision to summon knights of the shires a
nd burgesses to his parliament did mark the irreversible emergence of the landed
gentry as a force in politics. From then on, monarchs could not ignore them, wh
ich explains Henry's decision to summon the Commons to several of his post-1265
parliaments.
Even though many peers who had supported the Provisions of Oxford remained activ
e in English public life throughout Henry's reign, the conditions they had laid
down for regular parliaments were largely forgotten, as if to symbolise the hist
orical development of the English Parliament via convention rather than statutes
and written constitutions.
The emergence of parliament as an institution[edit]
Medieval parliament
During the reign of Edward I, which began in 1272, the role of Parliament in the
government of the English kingdom increased due to Edward's determination to un
ite England, Wales and Scotland under his rule by force. He was also keen to uni
te his subjects in order to restore his authority and not face rebellion as was
his father's fate. Edward therefore encouraged all sectors of society to submit
petitions to parliament detailing their grievances in order for them to be resol
ved. This seemingly gave all of Edward's subjects a potential role in government
and this helped Edward assert his authority.
As the number of petitions being submitted to parliament increased, they came to
be dealt with, and often ignored, more and more by ministers of the Crown so as
not to block the passage of government business through parliament. However the
emergence of petitioning is significant because it is some of the earliest evid
ence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of or
dinary people. Submitting a petition to parliament is a tradition that continues
to this day in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in most Commonwealth re
alms.

These developments symbolise the fact that parliament and government were by no
means the same thing by this point. If monarchs were going to impose their will
on their kingdom, they would have to control parliament rather than be subservie
nt to it.
From Edward's reign onwards, the authority of the English Parliament would depen
d on the strength or weakness of the incumbent monarch. When the king or queen w
as strong he or she would wield enough influence to pass their legislation throu
gh parliament without much trouble. Some strong monarchs even bypassed it comple
tely, although this was not often possible in the case of financial legislation
due to the post-Magna Carta convention of parliament granting taxes. When weak m
onarchs governed, parliament often became the centre of opposition against them.
Subsequently, the composition of parliaments in this period varied depending on
the decisions that needed to be taken in them. The nobility and senior clergy w
ere always summoned. From 1265 onwards, when the monarch needed to raise money t
hrough taxes, it was usual for knights and burgesses to be summoned too. However
, when the king was merely seeking advice, he often only summoned the nobility a
nd the clergy, sometimes with and sometimes without the knights of the shires. O
n some occasions the Commons were summoned and sent home again once the monarch
was finished with them, allowing parliament to continue without them. It was not
until the mid-14th century that summoning representatives of the shires and the
boroughs became the norm for all parliaments.
One of the moments that marked the emergence of parliament as a true institution
in England was the deposition of Edward II. Even though it is debatable whether
Edward II was deposed in parliament or by parliament, this remarkable sequence
of events consolidated the importance of parliament in the English unwritten con
stitution. Parliament was also crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the kin
g who replaced Edward II: his son Edward III.
In 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first ti
me, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the
knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as
the House of Lords from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament.
The authority of parliament grew under Edward III; it was established that no la
w could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses and the
Sovereign. This development occurred during the reign of Edward III because he w
as involved in the Hundred Years' War and needed finances. During his conduct of
the war, Edward tried to circumvent parliament as much as possible, which cause
d this edict to be passed.
The Commons came to act with increasing boldness during this period. During the
Good Parliament (1376), the Presiding Officer of the lower chamber, Sir Peter de
la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expendi
tures, and criticised the king's management of the military. The Commons even pr
oceeded to impeach some of the king's ministers. The bold Speaker was imprisoned
, but was soon released after the death of Edward III. During the reign of the n
ext monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant minister
s of the Crown. They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but als
o public expenditure. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons stil
l remained much less powerful than the House of Lords and the Crown.
This period also saw the introduction of a franchise which limited the number of
people who could vote in elections for the House of Commons. From 1430 onwards,
the franchise was limited to Forty Shilling Freeholders, that is men who owned
freehold property worth forty shillings or more. The Parliament of England legis
lated the new uniform county franchise, in the statute 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. The Chron

ological Table of the Statutes does not mention such a 1430 law, as it was inclu
ded in the Consolidated Statutes as a recital in the Electors of Knights of the
Shire Act 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), which amended and re-enacted the 1430 law to m
ake clear that the resident of a county had to have a forty shilling freehold in
that county to be a voter there.
King, Lords, and Commons[edit]
It was during the reign of the Tudor monarchs that the modern structure of the E
nglish Parliament began to be created. The Tudor monarchy was powerful and there
were often periods of several years when parliament did not sit at all. However
the Tudor monarchs were astute enough to realise that they needed parliament to
legitimise many of their decisions, mostly out of a need to raise money through
taxation legitimately without causing discontent. Thus they consolidated the st
ate of affairs whereby monarchs would call and close parliament as and when they
needed it.
By the time Henry Tudor (Henry VII) came to the throne in 1485 the monarch was n
ot a member of either the Upper Chamber or the Lower Chamber. Consequently, the
monarch would have to make his or her feelings known to Parliament through his o
r her supporters in both houses. Proceedings were regulated by the presiding off
icer in either chamber. From the 1540s the presiding officer in the House of Com
mons became formally known as the "Speaker", having previously been referred to
as the "prolocutor" or "parlour" (a semi-official position, often nominated by t
he monarch, that had existed ever since Peter de Montfort had acted as the presi
ding officer of the Oxford Parliament of 1258). This was not an enviable job. Wh
en the House of Commons was unhappy it was the Speaker who had to deliver this n
ews to the monarch. This began the tradition whereby the Speaker of the House of
Commons is dragged to the Speaker's Chair by other members once elected.
A member of either chamber could present a "bill" to parliament. Bills supported
by the monarch were often proposed by members of the Privy Council who sat in p
arliament. In order for a bill to become law it would have to be approved by a m
ajority of both Houses of Parliament before it passed to the monarch for royal a
ssent or veto. The royal veto was applied several times during the 16th and 17th
centuries and it is still the right of the monarch of the United Kingdom and Co
mmonwealth realms to veto legislation today, although it has not been exercised
since 1707 (today such exercise would presumably precipitate a constitutional cr
isis).
When a bill was enacted into law, this process gave it the approval of each esta
te of the realm: the King, Lords, and Commons. In reality, this was not a democr
atic process. The Parliament of England was far from being a democratically repr
esentative institution in this period. It was possible to assemble the entire pe
erage and senior clergy of the realm in one place to form the estate of the Uppe
r Chamber. However, the voting franchise for the House of Commons was small; som
e historians estimate that it was as little as three per cent of the adult male
population; and there was no secret ballot. This meant that elections could be c
ontrolled by local grandees, because in many boroughs a majority of voters were
in some way dependent on a powerful individual, or else could be bought by money
or concessions. If these grandees were supporters of the incumbent monarch, thi
s gave the Crown and its ministers considerable influence over the business of p
arliament. Many of the men elected to parliament did not relish the prospect of
having to act in the interests of others. So a law was enacted, still on the sta
tute book today, whereby it became unlawful for members of the House of Commons
to resign their seat unless they were granted a position directly within the pat
ronage of the monarchy (today this latter restriction leads to a legal fiction a
llowing de facto resignation despite the prohibition, but nevertheless it is a r
esignation which needs the permission of the Crown). However, it must be emphasi
sed that while several elections to parliament in this period were in some way c
orrupt by modern standards, many elections involved genuine contests between riv

al candidates, even though the ballot was not secret.


It was in this period that the Palace of Westminster was established as the seat
of the English Parliament. In 1548, the House of Commons was granted a regular
meeting place by the Crown, St Stephen's Chapel. This had been a royal chapel. I
t was made into a debating chamber after Henry VIII became the last monarch to u
se the Palace of Westminster as a place of residence and following the suppressi
on of the college there. This room became the home of the House of Commons until
it was destroyed by fire in 1834, although the interior was altered several tim
es up until then. The structure of this room was pivotal in the development of t
he Parliament of England. While most modern legislatures sit in a circular chamb
er, the benches of the British Houses of Parliament are laid out in the form of
choir stalls in a chapel, simply because this is the part of the original room t
hat the members of the House of Commons utilised when they were granted use of S
t Stephen's Chapel. This structure took on a new significance with the emergence
of political parties in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as the traditio
n began whereby the members of the governing party would sit on the benches to t
he right of the Speaker and the opposition members on the benches to the left. I
t is said that the Speaker's chair was placed in front of the chapel's altar. As
Members came and went they observed the custom of bowing to the altar and conti
nued to do so, even when it had been taken away, thus then bowing to the Chair,
as is still the custom today.[citation needed]
The numbers of the Lords Spiritual diminished under Henry VIII, who commanded th
e Dissolution of the Monasteries, thereby depriving the abbots and priors of the
ir seats in the Upper House. For the first time, the Lords Temporal were more nu
merous than the Lords Spiritual. Currently, the Lords Spiritual consist of the A
rchbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester,
and twenty-one other English diocesan bishops in seniority of appointment to a
diocese.
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 42 annexed Wales as part of England and this brough
t Welsh representatives into the Parliament of England, first elected in 1542.
Rebellion and revolution[edit]
Parliaments of England
1597 1689
Coat of arms of England
Parliament
Date
9th Parliament of Elizabeth I 1597
Final parliament of Elizabeth I 1601
1st parliament of King James I 1604
Addled Parliament
1614
3rd parliament of King James I 1621
Happy Parliament
1624
Useless Parliament
1625
2nd Parliament of King Charles I
3rd parliament of King Charles I
Short Parliament
1640 Apr
Long Parliament (1)
1640 Nov
Oxford Parliament
1644
Long Parliament (2)
1645
Rump Parliament (1)
1648
Barebone's Parliament 1653
First Protectorate Parliament 1654
Second Protectorate Parliament 1656
Third Protectorate Parliament 1659
Rump Parliament (2)
1659
Long Parliament (3)
1660
Convention Parliament 1660

1626
1628

Cavalier Parliament
1661
Habeas Corpus Parliament
1679
Exclusion Bill Parliament
1680
Oxford Parliament
1681
Loyal Parliament
1685
Convention Parliament 1689
List of Parliaments of England
v t e
Parliament had not always submitted to the wishes of the Tudor monarchs. But par
liamentary criticism of the monarchy reached new levels in the 17th century. Whe
n the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland c
ame to power as King James I, founding the Stuart monarchy.
In 1628, alarmed by the arbitrary exercise of royal power, the House of Commons
submitted to Charles I the Petition of Right, demanding the restoration of their
liberties. Though he accepted the petition, Charles later dissolved parliament
and ruled without them for eleven years. It was only after the financial disaste
r of the Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639 1640) that he was forced to recall Parliamen
t so that they could authorise new taxes. This resulted in the calling of the as
semblies known historically as the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliam
ent, which sat with several breaks and in various forms between 1640 and 1660.
The Long Parliament was characterised by the growing number of critics of the ki
ng who sat in it. The most prominent of these critics in the House of Commons wa
s John Pym. Tensions between the king and his parliament reached boiling point i
n January 1642 when Charles entered the House of Commons and tried, unsuccessful
ly, to arrest Pym and four other members for their alleged treason. The five mem
bers had been tipped off about this, and by the time Charles came into the chamb
er with a group of soldiers they had disappeared. Charles was further humiliated
when he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, to give their whereabouts, which L
enthall famously refused to do.
From then on relations between the king and his parliament deteriorated further.
When trouble started to brew in Ireland, both Charles and his parliament raised
armies to quell the uprisings by native Catholics there. It was not long before
it was clear that these forces would end up fighting each other, leading to the
English Civil War which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642: thos
e supporting the cause of parliament were called Parliamentarians (or Roundheads
).
Battles between Crown and Parliament would continue throughout the 17th and 18th
centuries, but parliament was no longer subservient to the English monarchy. Th
is change was symbolised in the execution of Charles I in January 1649. It is so
mewhat ironic that this event was not instigated by the elected representatives
of the realm. In Pride's Purge of December 1648, the New Model Army (which by th
en had emerged as the leading force in the parliamentary alliance) purged Parlia
ment of members that did not support them. The remaining "Rump Parliament", as i
t was later referred to by critics, enacted legislation to put the king on trial
for treason. This trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, led to
the execution of the king and the start of an 11 year republic. The House of Lo
rds was abolished and the purged House of Commons governed England until April 1
653, when army chief Oliver Cromwell dissolved it following disagreements over r
eligious policy and how to carry out elections to parliament. Cromwell later con
vened a parliament of religious radicals in 1653, commonly known as Barebone's P
arliament, followed by the unicameral First Protectorate Parliament that sat fro
m September 1654 to January 1655 and the Second Protectorate Parliament that sat
in two sessions between 1656 and 1658, the first session was unicameral and the
second session was bicameral.
Although it is easy to dismiss the English Republic of 1649-60 as nothing more t

han a Cromwellian military dictatorship, the events that took place in this deca
de were hugely important in determining the future of parliament. First, it was
during the sitting of the first Rump Parliament that members of the House of Com
mons became known as "MPs" (Members of Parliament). Second, Cromwell gave a huge
degree of freedom to his parliaments, although royalists were barred from sitti
ng in all but a handful of cases. His vision of parliament appears to have been
largely based on the example of the Elizabethan parliaments. However, he underes
timated the extent to which Elizabeth I and her ministers had directly and indir
ectly influenced the decision-making process of her parliaments. He was thus alw
ays surprised when they became troublesome. He ended up dissolving each parliame
nt that he convened. Yet it is worth noting that the structure of the second ses
sion of the Second Protectorate Parliament of 1658 was almost identical to the p
arliamentary structure consolidated in the Glorious Revolution Settlement of 168
9.
In 1653 Cromwell had been made head of state with the title Lord Protector of th
e Realm. The Second Protectorate Parliament offered him the crown. Cromwell reje
cted this offer, but the governmental structure embodied in the final version of
the Humble Petition and Advice was a basis for all future parliaments. It propo
sed an elected House of Commons as the Lower Chamber, a House of Lords containin
g peers of the realm as the Upper Chamber, and a constitutional monarchy, subser
vient to parliament and the laws of the nation, as the executive arm of the stat
e at the top of the tree, assisted in carrying out their duties by a Privy Counc
il. Oliver Cromwell had thus inadvertently presided over the creation of a basis
for the future parliamentary government of England. In 1657 he had the Parliame
nt of Scotland unified with the English Parliament.
In terms of the evolution of parliament as an institution, by far the most impor
tant development during the republic was the sitting of the Rump Parliament betw
een 1649 and 1653. This proved that parliament could survive without a monarchy
and a House of Lords if it wanted to. Future English monarchs would never forget
this. Charles I was the last English monarch ever to enter the House of Commons
. Even to this day, a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sent to
Buckingham Palace as a ceremonial hostage during the State Opening of Parliament
, in order to ensure the safe return of the sovereign from a potentially hostile
parliament. During the ceremony the monarch sits on the throne in the House of
Lords and signals for the Lord Great Chamberlain to summon the House of Commons
to the Lords Chamber. The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand of office
to signal to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who has been waiting in the c
entral lobby. Black Rod turns and, escorted by the doorkeeper of the House of Lo
rds and an inspector of police, approaches the doors to the chamber of the Commo
symbolising the right of the Commons to de
ns. The doors are slammed in his face
bate without the presence of the Queen's representative. He then strikes three t
imes with his staff (the Black Rod), and he is admitted.
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement[edit]
The revolutionary events that occurred between 1620 and 1689 all took place in t
he name of parliament. The new status of parliament as the central governmental
organ of the English state was consolidated during the events surrounding the Re
storation of the monarchy in 1660. Following the assassination attempt of Oliver
Cromwell in September 1658, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Lord Prot
ector, summoning the Third Protectorate Parliament in the process. When this par
liament was dissolved following pressure from the army in April 1659, the Rump P
arliament was recalled at the insistence of the surviving army grandees. This in
turn was dissolved in a coup led by army general John Lambert, leading to the f
ormation of the Committee of Safety, dominated by Lambert and his supporters. Wh
en the breakaway forces of George Monck invaded England from Scotland where they
had been stationed without Lambert's supporters putting up a fight Monck temporaril
y recalled the Rump Parliament and reversed Pride's Purge by recalling the entir
ety of the Long Parliament. They then voted to dissolve themselves and call new

elections, which were arguably the most democratic for 20 years although the fra
nchise was still very small. This led to the calling of the Convention Parliamen
t which was dominated by royalists. This parliament voted to reinstate the monar
chy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as king in May 1660.
The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union that Cromwell had established was dissolv
ed in 1661 when the Scottish Parliament resumed its separate meeting place in Ed
inburgh.
The Restoration began the tradition whereby all governments looked to parliament
for legitimacy. In 1681 Charles II dissolved parliament and ruled without them
for the last four years of his reign. This followed bitter disagreements between
the king and parliament that had occurred between 1679 and 1681. Charles took a
big gamble by doing this. He risked the possibility of a military showdown akin
to that of 1642. However he rightly predicted that the nation did not want anot
her civil war. Parliament disbanded without a fight. Events that followed ensure
d that this would be nothing but a temporary blip.
Charles II died in 1685 and he was succeeded by his brother James II. During his
lifetime Charles had always pledged loyalty to the Protestant Church of England
, despite his private Catholic sympathies. James was openly Catholic. He attempt
ed to lift restrictions on Catholics taking up public offices. This was bitterly
opposed by Protestants in his kingdom. They invited William of Orange,[2] a Pro
testant who had married Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde to invade Engla
nd and claim the throne. William assembled an army estimated at 15,000 soldiers
(11,000 foot and 4000 horse)[3] and landed at Brixham in southwest England in No
vember, 1688. When many Protestant officers, including James's close adviser, Jo
hn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defected from the English army to William
's invasion force, James fled the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to
his Protestant daughter Mary, instead of his son (James Francis Edward Stuart).
Mary refused the offer, and instead William and Mary ruled jointly, with both ha
ving the right to rule alone on the other's death. As part of the compromise in
allowing William to be King called the Glorious Revolution Parliament was able to ha
ve the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted. Later the 1701 Act of Settlement was approve
d. These were statutes that lawfully upheld the prominence of parliament for the
first time in English history. These events marked the beginning of the English
constitutional monarchy and its role as one of the three elements of parliament
.
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain[edit]
Main article: Parliament of Great Britain
Following the Treaty of Union in 1707, Acts of Parliament passed in the Parliame
nt of England and the Parliament of Scotland created a new Kingdom of Great Brit
ain and dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new Parliament of Grea
t Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. The Parliament of
Great Britain later became the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801 when the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed through the Act of Union
1800.
Places where Parliament has been held other than London[edit]
York, various
Lincoln, various
Oxford, 1258 (Mad Parliament), 1681
Kenilworth, 1266
Acton Burnell Castle, 1283[4]
Shrewsbury, 1283 (trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd)
Lincoln, 1301
Carlisle, 1307
Northampton 1328
New Sarum, 1330
Winchester, 1332

Leicester, 1414 (Fire and Faggot Parliament), 1426 (Parliament of Bats)


Reading Abbey, 1453
Coventry, 1459 (Parliament of Devils)
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles[edit]
Two European cities, both annexed from and later ceded to the Kingdom of France
were represented in the Parliament as borough constituencies while they were Eng
lish possessions:
Calais, between 1372 and 1558.
Tournai between 1513 and 1519. (Now in Belgium.)
See also[edit]
History of democracy
History of local government in England
List of Parliaments of England
List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1485 1601
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1603 1641
Witenagemot
Magnum Concilium
References[edit]
^ Jump up to: a b "A Brief Chronology of the House of Commons", Factsheet G3, Ge
neral Series, August 2010, House of Commons Information Office
Jump up ^ Wouter Troost, William III the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography
(2004) ISBN 0-7546-5071-5 p 191
Jump up ^ Troost, pp 204 205
Jump up ^ Virtual Shropshire
Sources[edit]
Blackstone, Sir William. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Cl
arendon Press.
Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings
of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron. (1896). Constitutional History of Englan
d since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. vol 1 online; vol 2 online
Maddicott, John. The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327. Oxford: Oxford
University Press; 2010. ISBN 0-19-958550-4.
Paul Brand. "Review of Maddicott, John Robert, _The Origins of the English Parli
ament, 924-1327_." in H-Albion, H-Net Reviews. September, 2011. online
Sayles, G. O. The King's Parliament of England (1974), brief survey
"Parliament." (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge Universi
ty Press.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of England.
Birth of the English Parliament. UK Parliament
Parliament and People. British Library
Origins and growth of Parliament. National Archives
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Curia Regis
1066 c. 1215
Parliament of England
c. 1215 1707
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
1707 1801
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Parliament of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the pre-1707 legislature. For the proposed reestablishment
, see Devolved English parliament. For the current combined UK body, see Parliam
ent of the United Kingdom.
Parliament of England
Coat of arms or logo
Royal coat of arms of England, 1558 1603
Type
Type
Unicameral

(1215 1341 / 1649 1657)


Bicameral
(1341 1649 / 1657 1707)1
Houses Upper house:
House of Lords
(1341 1649 / 1660 1707)
House of Peers
(1657 1660)
Lower house:
House of Commons
(1341 1707)
History
Established
15 June 1215
(Lords only)
20 January 1265
(Lords and elected Commons)
Disbanded
1 May 1707
Preceded by
Curia Regis
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Leadership
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
William Cowper1
Since 1705
Speaker of the House of Commons
John Smith1
Since 1705
Elections
House of Lords voting system
Ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of an English peerage
House of Commons voting system
First past the post with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Westminster 16C.jpg
Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
Footnotes
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood in 1707.
See also: Parliament of Scotland,
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066
, William of Normandy introduced what, in later centuries, became referred to as
a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief
(a person who held land) and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the ten
ants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the kin
g may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were
hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which graduall
y developed into a parliament.
Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of th
e English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the tr
ial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy un
der Charles II, and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of
Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and later British sov
ereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited exec
utive authority. The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Pa
rliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliamen
t of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was
now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Contents [hide]

1
History
1.1
Parliament in the reign of Henry III
1.2
The emergence of parliament as an institution
1.3
King, Lords, and Commons
1.4
Rebellion and revolution
1.5
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement
1.6
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain
2
Places where Parliament has been held other than London
3
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles
4
See also
5
References
6
Sources
7
External links
History[edit]
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear becau
se it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by
introducing more precise citations. (February 2013)
Under a monarchical system of government, the monarch usually must consult and s
eek a measure of acceptance for his policies if he is to enjoy the broad coopera
tion of his subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, and
so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in eve
ry part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England
following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have bee
n upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had econ
omic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and t
he feudal obligations of their tenants (some of whom held lands on condition of
military service). The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as
it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clerg
y on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Council
s. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, bishops, abbots, barons
and earls, the pillars of the feudal system.
When this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossi
ble for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this
prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and
Henry II and between King John and the barons.
Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murder
ed following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the C
hurch. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many le
ading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refu
sal to adhere to this charter led to civil war (see First Barons' War).
The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term itself came i
nto use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words
for discussion and speaking. The word first appears in official documents in the
1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson,
it is widely believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a le
gislative function.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire
to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in
1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to p
arliament to advise the king on finance.[1]
Initially, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money
through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention. This was due

in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by hi
s young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until
he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling t
o relinquish. Among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaff
irmed by the young king.
Parliament in the reign of Henry III[edit]
Once the minority of Henry III ended and he took full control of the government,
leading peers became increasingly concerned with his style of government, speci
fically his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, and his seeming
patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects. Henry's support
of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven lea
ding barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, superseded
, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster. This effectively abolish
ed the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen ba
rons, and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their p
erformance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, mos
t notably at Oxford in 1258.
The French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the le
ader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the following years, those
supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each oth
er. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sid
es began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defea
ted and taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had in
itially supported Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his re
forming zeal. His support amongst the nobility rapidly declined. So in 1264, Mon
tfort summoned the first parliament in English history without any prior royal a
uthorisation. The archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons were summoned,
as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. Knights
had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs
was unprecedented. This was purely a move to consolidate Montfort's position as
the legitimate governor of the kingdom, since he had captured Henry and his son
Prince Edward (later Edward I) at the Battle of Lewes.
A parliament consisting of representatives of the realm was the logical way for
Montfort to establish his authority. In calling this parliament, in a bid to gai
n popular support, he summoned knights and burgesses from the emerging gentry cl
ass, thus turning to his advantage the fact that most of the nobility had abando
ned his movement. This parliament was summoned on 14 December 1264. It first met
on 20 January 1265 in Westminster Hall[1] and was dissolved on 15 February 1265
. It is not certain who actually attended this parliament. Nonetheless, Montfort
's scheme was formally adopted by Edward I in the so-called "Model Parliament" o
f 1295. The attendance at parliament of knights and burgesses historically becam
e known as the summoning of "the Commons", a term derived from the Norman French
word "commune", literally translated as the "community of the realm".
Following Edward's escape from captivity, Montfort was defeated and killed at th
e Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry's authority was restored and the Provisions o
f Oxford were forgotten, but this was nonetheless a turning point in the history
of the Parliament of England. Although he was not obliged by statute to do so,
Henry summoned the Commons to parliament three times between September 1268 and
April 1270. However, this was not a significant turning point in the history of
parliamentary democracy. Subsequently, very little is known about how representa
tives were selected because, at this time, being sent to parliament was not a pr
estigious undertaking. But Montfort's decision to summon knights of the shires a
nd burgesses to his parliament did mark the irreversible emergence of the landed
gentry as a force in politics. From then on, monarchs could not ignore them, wh
ich explains Henry's decision to summon the Commons to several of his post-1265
parliaments.

Even though many peers who had supported the Provisions of Oxford remained activ
e in English public life throughout Henry's reign, the conditions they had laid
down for regular parliaments were largely forgotten, as if to symbolise the hist
orical development of the English Parliament via convention rather than statutes
and written constitutions.
The emergence of parliament as an institution[edit]
Medieval parliament
During the reign of Edward I, which began in 1272, the role of Parliament in the
government of the English kingdom increased due to Edward's determination to un
ite England, Wales and Scotland under his rule by force. He was also keen to uni
te his subjects in order to restore his authority and not face rebellion as was
his father's fate. Edward therefore encouraged all sectors of society to submit
petitions to parliament detailing their grievances in order for them to be resol
ved. This seemingly gave all of Edward's subjects a potential role in government
and this helped Edward assert his authority.
As the number of petitions being submitted to parliament increased, they came to
be dealt with, and often ignored, more and more by ministers of the Crown so as
not to block the passage of government business through parliament. However the
emergence of petitioning is significant because it is some of the earliest evid
ence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of or
dinary people. Submitting a petition to parliament is a tradition that continues
to this day in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in most Commonwealth re
alms.
These developments symbolise the fact that parliament and government were by no
means the same thing by this point. If monarchs were going to impose their will
on their kingdom, they would have to control parliament rather than be subservie
nt to it.
From Edward's reign onwards, the authority of the English Parliament would depen
d on the strength or weakness of the incumbent monarch. When the king or queen w
as strong he or she would wield enough influence to pass their legislation throu
gh parliament without much trouble. Some strong monarchs even bypassed it comple
tely, although this was not often possible in the case of financial legislation
due to the post-Magna Carta convention of parliament granting taxes. When weak m
onarchs governed, parliament often became the centre of opposition against them.
Subsequently, the composition of parliaments in this period varied depending on
the decisions that needed to be taken in them. The nobility and senior clergy w
ere always summoned. From 1265 onwards, when the monarch needed to raise money t
hrough taxes, it was usual for knights and burgesses to be summoned too. However
, when the king was merely seeking advice, he often only summoned the nobility a
nd the clergy, sometimes with and sometimes without the knights of the shires. O
n some occasions the Commons were summoned and sent home again once the monarch
was finished with them, allowing parliament to continue without them. It was not
until the mid-14th century that summoning representatives of the shires and the
boroughs became the norm for all parliaments.
One of the moments that marked the emergence of parliament as a true institution
in England was the deposition of Edward II. Even though it is debatable whether
Edward II was deposed in parliament or by parliament, this remarkable sequence
of events consolidated the importance of parliament in the English unwritten con
stitution. Parliament was also crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the kin
g who replaced Edward II: his son Edward III.
In 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first ti
me, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the

knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as
the House of Lords from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament.
The authority of parliament grew under Edward III; it was established that no la
w could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses and the
Sovereign. This development occurred during the reign of Edward III because he w
as involved in the Hundred Years' War and needed finances. During his conduct of
the war, Edward tried to circumvent parliament as much as possible, which cause
d this edict to be passed.
The Commons came to act with increasing boldness during this period. During the
Good Parliament (1376), the Presiding Officer of the lower chamber, Sir Peter de
la Mare, complained of heavy taxes, demanded an accounting of the royal expendi
tures, and criticised the king's management of the military. The Commons even pr
oceeded to impeach some of the king's ministers. The bold Speaker was imprisoned
, but was soon released after the death of Edward III. During the reign of the n
ext monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant minister
s of the Crown. They insisted that they could not only control taxation, but als
o public expenditure. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons stil
l remained much less powerful than the House of Lords and the Crown.
This period also saw the introduction of a franchise which limited the number of
people who could vote in elections for the House of Commons. From 1430 onwards,
the franchise was limited to Forty Shilling Freeholders, that is men who owned
freehold property worth forty shillings or more. The Parliament of England legis
lated the new uniform county franchise, in the statute 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. The Chron
ological Table of the Statutes does not mention such a 1430 law, as it was inclu
ded in the Consolidated Statutes as a recital in the Electors of Knights of the
Shire Act 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), which amended and re-enacted the 1430 law to m
ake clear that the resident of a county had to have a forty shilling freehold in
that county to be a voter there.
King, Lords, and Commons[edit]
It was during the reign of the Tudor monarchs that the modern structure of the E
nglish Parliament began to be created. The Tudor monarchy was powerful and there
were often periods of several years when parliament did not sit at all. However
the Tudor monarchs were astute enough to realise that they needed parliament to
legitimise many of their decisions, mostly out of a need to raise money through
taxation legitimately without causing discontent. Thus they consolidated the st
ate of affairs whereby monarchs would call and close parliament as and when they
needed it.
By the time Henry Tudor (Henry VII) came to the throne in 1485 the monarch was n
ot a member of either the Upper Chamber or the Lower Chamber. Consequently, the
monarch would have to make his or her feelings known to Parliament through his o
r her supporters in both houses. Proceedings were regulated by the presiding off
icer in either chamber. From the 1540s the presiding officer in the House of Com
mons became formally known as the "Speaker", having previously been referred to
as the "prolocutor" or "parlour" (a semi-official position, often nominated by t
he monarch, that had existed ever since Peter de Montfort had acted as the presi
ding officer of the Oxford Parliament of 1258). This was not an enviable job. Wh
en the House of Commons was unhappy it was the Speaker who had to deliver this n
ews to the monarch. This began the tradition whereby the Speaker of the House of
Commons is dragged to the Speaker's Chair by other members once elected.
A member of either chamber could present a "bill" to parliament. Bills supported
by the monarch were often proposed by members of the Privy Council who sat in p
arliament. In order for a bill to become law it would have to be approved by a m
ajority of both Houses of Parliament before it passed to the monarch for royal a

ssent or veto. The royal veto was applied several times during the 16th and 17th
centuries and it is still the right of the monarch of the United Kingdom and Co
mmonwealth realms to veto legislation today, although it has not been exercised
since 1707 (today such exercise would presumably precipitate a constitutional cr
isis).
When a bill was enacted into law, this process gave it the approval of each esta
te of the realm: the King, Lords, and Commons. In reality, this was not a democr
atic process. The Parliament of England was far from being a democratically repr
esentative institution in this period. It was possible to assemble the entire pe
erage and senior clergy of the realm in one place to form the estate of the Uppe
r Chamber. However, the voting franchise for the House of Commons was small; som
e historians estimate that it was as little as three per cent of the adult male
population; and there was no secret ballot. This meant that elections could be c
ontrolled by local grandees, because in many boroughs a majority of voters were
in some way dependent on a powerful individual, or else could be bought by money
or concessions. If these grandees were supporters of the incumbent monarch, thi
s gave the Crown and its ministers considerable influence over the business of p
arliament. Many of the men elected to parliament did not relish the prospect of
having to act in the interests of others. So a law was enacted, still on the sta
tute book today, whereby it became unlawful for members of the House of Commons
to resign their seat unless they were granted a position directly within the pat
ronage of the monarchy (today this latter restriction leads to a legal fiction a
llowing de facto resignation despite the prohibition, but nevertheless it is a r
esignation which needs the permission of the Crown). However, it must be emphasi
sed that while several elections to parliament in this period were in some way c
orrupt by modern standards, many elections involved genuine contests between riv
al candidates, even though the ballot was not secret.
It was in this period that the Palace of Westminster was established as the seat
of the English Parliament. In 1548, the House of Commons was granted a regular
meeting place by the Crown, St Stephen's Chapel. This had been a royal chapel. I
t was made into a debating chamber after Henry VIII became the last monarch to u
se the Palace of Westminster as a place of residence and following the suppressi
on of the college there. This room became the home of the House of Commons until
it was destroyed by fire in 1834, although the interior was altered several tim
es up until then. The structure of this room was pivotal in the development of t
he Parliament of England. While most modern legislatures sit in a circular chamb
er, the benches of the British Houses of Parliament are laid out in the form of
choir stalls in a chapel, simply because this is the part of the original room t
hat the members of the House of Commons utilised when they were granted use of S
t Stephen's Chapel. This structure took on a new significance with the emergence
of political parties in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as the traditio
n began whereby the members of the governing party would sit on the benches to t
he right of the Speaker and the opposition members on the benches to the left. I
t is said that the Speaker's chair was placed in front of the chapel's altar. As
Members came and went they observed the custom of bowing to the altar and conti
nued to do so, even when it had been taken away, thus then bowing to the Chair,
as is still the custom today.[citation needed]
The numbers of the Lords Spiritual diminished under Henry VIII, who commanded th
e Dissolution of the Monasteries, thereby depriving the abbots and priors of the
ir seats in the Upper House. For the first time, the Lords Temporal were more nu
merous than the Lords Spiritual. Currently, the Lords Spiritual consist of the A
rchbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester,
and twenty-one other English diocesan bishops in seniority of appointment to a
diocese.
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 42 annexed Wales as part of England and this brough
t Welsh representatives into the Parliament of England, first elected in 1542.

Rebellion and revolution[edit]


Parliaments of England
1597 1689
Coat of arms of England
Parliament
Date
9th Parliament of Elizabeth I 1597
Final parliament of Elizabeth I 1601
1st parliament of King James I 1604
Addled Parliament
1614
3rd parliament of King James I 1621
Happy Parliament
1624
Useless Parliament
1625
2nd Parliament of King Charles I
1626
3rd parliament of King Charles I
1628
Short Parliament
1640 Apr
Long Parliament (1)
1640 Nov
Oxford Parliament
1644
Long Parliament (2)
1645
Rump Parliament (1)
1648
Barebone's Parliament 1653
First Protectorate Parliament 1654
Second Protectorate Parliament 1656
Third Protectorate Parliament 1659
Rump Parliament (2)
1659
Long Parliament (3)
1660
Convention Parliament 1660
Cavalier Parliament
1661
Habeas Corpus Parliament
1679
Exclusion Bill Parliament
1680
Oxford Parliament
1681
Loyal Parliament
1685
Convention Parliament 1689
List of Parliaments of England
v t e
Parliament had not always submitted to the wishes of the Tudor monarchs. But par
liamentary criticism of the monarchy reached new levels in the 17th century. Whe
n the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland c
ame to power as King James I, founding the Stuart monarchy.
In 1628, alarmed by the arbitrary exercise of royal power, the House of Commons
submitted to Charles I the Petition of Right, demanding the restoration of their
liberties. Though he accepted the petition, Charles later dissolved parliament
and ruled without them for eleven years. It was only after the financial disaste
r of the Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639 1640) that he was forced to recall Parliamen
t so that they could authorise new taxes. This resulted in the calling of the as
semblies known historically as the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliam
ent, which sat with several breaks and in various forms between 1640 and 1660.
The Long Parliament was characterised by the growing number of critics of the ki
ng who sat in it. The most prominent of these critics in the House of Commons wa
s John Pym. Tensions between the king and his parliament reached boiling point i
n January 1642 when Charles entered the House of Commons and tried, unsuccessful
ly, to arrest Pym and four other members for their alleged treason. The five mem
bers had been tipped off about this, and by the time Charles came into the chamb
er with a group of soldiers they had disappeared. Charles was further humiliated
when he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, to give their whereabouts, which L
enthall famously refused to do.
From then on relations between the king and his parliament deteriorated further.

When trouble started to brew in Ireland, both Charles and his parliament raised
armies to quell the uprisings by native Catholics there. It was not long before
it was clear that these forces would end up fighting each other, leading to the
English Civil War which began with the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642: thos
e supporting the cause of parliament were called Parliamentarians (or Roundheads
).
Battles between Crown and Parliament would continue throughout the 17th and 18th
centuries, but parliament was no longer subservient to the English monarchy. Th
is change was symbolised in the execution of Charles I in January 1649. It is so
mewhat ironic that this event was not instigated by the elected representatives
of the realm. In Pride's Purge of December 1648, the New Model Army (which by th
en had emerged as the leading force in the parliamentary alliance) purged Parlia
ment of members that did not support them. The remaining "Rump Parliament", as i
t was later referred to by critics, enacted legislation to put the king on trial
for treason. This trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, led to
the execution of the king and the start of an 11 year republic. The House of Lo
rds was abolished and the purged House of Commons governed England until April 1
653, when army chief Oliver Cromwell dissolved it following disagreements over r
eligious policy and how to carry out elections to parliament. Cromwell later con
vened a parliament of religious radicals in 1653, commonly known as Barebone's P
arliament, followed by the unicameral First Protectorate Parliament that sat fro
m September 1654 to January 1655 and the Second Protectorate Parliament that sat
in two sessions between 1656 and 1658, the first session was unicameral and the
second session was bicameral.
Although it is easy to dismiss the English Republic of 1649-60 as nothing more t
han a Cromwellian military dictatorship, the events that took place in this deca
de were hugely important in determining the future of parliament. First, it was
during the sitting of the first Rump Parliament that members of the House of Com
mons became known as "MPs" (Members of Parliament). Second, Cromwell gave a huge
degree of freedom to his parliaments, although royalists were barred from sitti
ng in all but a handful of cases. His vision of parliament appears to have been
largely based on the example of the Elizabethan parliaments. However, he underes
timated the extent to which Elizabeth I and her ministers had directly and indir
ectly influenced the decision-making process of her parliaments. He was thus alw
ays surprised when they became troublesome. He ended up dissolving each parliame
nt that he convened. Yet it is worth noting that the structure of the second ses
sion of the Second Protectorate Parliament of 1658 was almost identical to the p
arliamentary structure consolidated in the Glorious Revolution Settlement of 168
9.
In 1653 Cromwell had been made head of state with the title Lord Protector of th
e Realm. The Second Protectorate Parliament offered him the crown. Cromwell reje
cted this offer, but the governmental structure embodied in the final version of
the Humble Petition and Advice was a basis for all future parliaments. It propo
sed an elected House of Commons as the Lower Chamber, a House of Lords containin
g peers of the realm as the Upper Chamber, and a constitutional monarchy, subser
vient to parliament and the laws of the nation, as the executive arm of the stat
e at the top of the tree, assisted in carrying out their duties by a Privy Counc
il. Oliver Cromwell had thus inadvertently presided over the creation of a basis
for the future parliamentary government of England. In 1657 he had the Parliame
nt of Scotland unified with the English Parliament.
In terms of the evolution of parliament as an institution, by far the most impor
tant development during the republic was the sitting of the Rump Parliament betw
een 1649 and 1653. This proved that parliament could survive without a monarchy
and a House of Lords if it wanted to. Future English monarchs would never forget
this. Charles I was the last English monarch ever to enter the House of Commons
. Even to this day, a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sent to

Buckingham Palace as a ceremonial hostage during the State Opening of Parliament


, in order to ensure the safe return of the sovereign from a potentially hostile
parliament. During the ceremony the monarch sits on the throne in the House of
Lords and signals for the Lord Great Chamberlain to summon the House of Commons
to the Lords Chamber. The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand of office
to signal to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who has been waiting in the c
entral lobby. Black Rod turns and, escorted by the doorkeeper of the House of Lo
rds and an inspector of police, approaches the doors to the chamber of the Commo
ns. The doors are slammed in his face
symbolising the right of the Commons to de
bate without the presence of the Queen's representative. He then strikes three t
imes with his staff (the Black Rod), and he is admitted.
Parliament from the Restoration to the Act of Settlement[edit]
The revolutionary events that occurred between 1620 and 1689 all took place in t
he name of parliament. The new status of parliament as the central governmental
organ of the English state was consolidated during the events surrounding the Re
storation of the monarchy in 1660. Following the assassination attempt of Oliver
Cromwell in September 1658, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Lord Prot
ector, summoning the Third Protectorate Parliament in the process. When this par
liament was dissolved following pressure from the army in April 1659, the Rump P
arliament was recalled at the insistence of the surviving army grandees. This in
turn was dissolved in a coup led by army general John Lambert, leading to the f
ormation of the Committee of Safety, dominated by Lambert and his supporters. Wh
en the breakaway forces of George Monck invaded England from Scotland where they
had been stationed without Lambert's supporters putting up a fight Monck temporaril
y recalled the Rump Parliament and reversed Pride's Purge by recalling the entir
ety of the Long Parliament. They then voted to dissolve themselves and call new
elections, which were arguably the most democratic for 20 years although the fra
nchise was still very small. This led to the calling of the Convention Parliamen
t which was dominated by royalists. This parliament voted to reinstate the monar
chy and the House of Lords. Charles II returned to England as king in May 1660.
The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union that Cromwell had established was dissolv
ed in 1661 when the Scottish Parliament resumed its separate meeting place in Ed
inburgh.
The Restoration began the tradition whereby all governments looked to parliament
for legitimacy. In 1681 Charles II dissolved parliament and ruled without them
for the last four years of his reign. This followed bitter disagreements between
the king and parliament that had occurred between 1679 and 1681. Charles took a
big gamble by doing this. He risked the possibility of a military showdown akin
to that of 1642. However he rightly predicted that the nation did not want anot
her civil war. Parliament disbanded without a fight. Events that followed ensure
d that this would be nothing but a temporary blip.
Charles II died in 1685 and he was succeeded by his brother James II. During his
lifetime Charles had always pledged loyalty to the Protestant Church of England
, despite his private Catholic sympathies. James was openly Catholic. He attempt
ed to lift restrictions on Catholics taking up public offices. This was bitterly
opposed by Protestants in his kingdom. They invited William of Orange,[2] a Pro
testant who had married Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde to invade Engla
nd and claim the throne. William assembled an army estimated at 15,000 soldiers
(11,000 foot and 4000 horse)[3] and landed at Brixham in southwest England in No
vember, 1688. When many Protestant officers, including James's close adviser, Jo
hn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defected from the English army to William
's invasion force, James fled the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to
his Protestant daughter Mary, instead of his son (James Francis Edward Stuart).
Mary refused the offer, and instead William and Mary ruled jointly, with both ha
ving the right to rule alone on the other's death. As part of the compromise in
allowing William to be King called the Glorious Revolution Parliament was able to ha
ve the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted. Later the 1701 Act of Settlement was approve

d. These were statutes that lawfully upheld the prominence of parliament for the
first time in English history. These events marked the beginning of the English
constitutional monarchy and its role as one of the three elements of parliament
.
Union: the Parliament of Great Britain[edit]
Main article: Parliament of Great Britain
Following the Treaty of Union in 1707, Acts of Parliament passed in the Parliame
nt of England and the Parliament of Scotland created a new Kingdom of Great Brit
ain and dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new Parliament of Grea
t Britain based in the former home of the English parliament. The Parliament of
Great Britain later became the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801 when the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed through the Act of Union
1800.
Places where Parliament has been held other than London[edit]
York, various
Lincoln, various
Oxford, 1258 (Mad Parliament), 1681
Kenilworth, 1266
Acton Burnell Castle, 1283[4]
Shrewsbury, 1283 (trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd)
Lincoln, 1301
Carlisle, 1307
Northampton 1328
New Sarum, 1330
Winchester, 1332
Leicester, 1414 (Fire and Faggot Parliament), 1426 (Parliament of Bats)
Reading Abbey, 1453
Coventry, 1459 (Parliament of Devils)
Representation on the English Parliament outside the British Isles[edit]
Two European cities, both annexed from and later ceded to the Kingdom of France
were represented in the Parliament as borough constituencies while they were Eng
lish possessions:
Calais, between 1372 and 1558.
Tournai between 1513 and 1519. (Now in Belgium.)
See also[edit]
History of democracy
History of local government in England
List of Parliaments of England
List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1485 1601
List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1603 1641
Witenagemot
Magnum Concilium
References[edit]
^ Jump up to: a b "A Brief Chronology of the House of Commons", Factsheet G3, Ge
neral Series, August 2010, House of Commons Information Office
Jump up ^ Wouter Troost, William III the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography
(2004) ISBN 0-7546-5071-5 p 191
Jump up ^ Troost, pp 204 205
Jump up ^ Virtual Shropshire
Sources[edit]
Blackstone, Sir William. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Cl
arendon Press.
Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings
of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron. (1896). Constitutional History of Englan
d since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. vol 1 online; vol 2 online

Maddicott, John. The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327. Oxford: Oxford
University Press; 2010. ISBN 0-19-958550-4.
Paul Brand. "Review of Maddicott, John Robert, _The Origins of the English Parli
ament, 924-1327_." in H-Albion, H-Net Reviews. September, 2011. online
Sayles, G. O. The King's Parliament of England (1974), brief survey
"Parliament." (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge Universi
ty Press.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parliament of England.
Birth of the English Parliament. UK Parliament
Parliament and People. British Library
Origins and growth of Parliament. National Archives
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Curia Regis
1066 c. 1215
Parliament of England
c. 1215 1707
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
1707 1801
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Parliament of Europe
Categories: Parliament of England1707 disestablishments in Great BritainDefunct
bicameral legislaturesHistorical legislaturesWestminster system parliaments
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