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The Honourable the Commons of the Kingdom of England in Parliament assembled
Royal coat of arms of England (1509-1554) with English lion and Welsh dragon
|Disbanded||1 May 1707|
|Preceded by||Parliament of England|
|Succeeded by||House of Commons of Great Britain|
|First past the post with limited suffrage|
|Various, but usually at the Palace of Westminster|
House of Commons of Great Britain
The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England (which incorporated Wales) from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain. In 1801, with the union of Great Britain and Ireland, that house was in turn replaced by the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.
The Parliament of England developed from the Magnum Concilium that advised the English monarch in medieval times. This royal council, meeting for short periods, included ecclesiastics, noblemen, and representatives of the counties (known as "knights of the shire"). The chief duty of the council was to approve taxes proposed by the Crown. In many cases, however, the council demanded the redress of the people's grievances before proceeding to vote on taxation. Thus, it developed legislative powers.
The first parliament to invite representatives of the major towns was Montfort's Parliament in 1265. At the "Model Parliament" of 1295, representatives of the boroughs (including towns and cities) were admitted. Thus, it became settled practice that each county send two knights of the shire, and that each borough send two burgesses. At first, the burgesses were almost entirely powerless; while the right to representation of each English county quickly became indisputable, the monarch could enfranchise or disfranchise boroughs at pleasure. Any show of independence by burgesses would thus be likely to lead to the exclusion of their towns from Parliament. The knights of the shire were in a better position, although less powerful than their noble and clerical counterparts in what was still a unicameral Parliament.
The division of the Parliament of England into two houses occurred during the reign of Edward III: in 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first time, creating in effect an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. They formed what became known as the House of Commons, while the clergy and nobility became the House of Lords. Although they remained subordinate to both the Crown and the Lords, the Commons did act with increasing boldness. During the Good Parliament of 1376, the Commons appointed Sir Peter de la Mare to convey to the Lords their complaints of heavy taxes, demands for an accounting of the royal expenditures, and criticism of the King's management of the military.The Commons even proceeded to impeach some of the King's ministers. Although Mare was imprisoned for his actions, the benefits of having a single voice to represent the Commons were recognized, and the office which became known as Speaker of the House of Commons was thus created. Mare was soon released after the death of King Edward III and in 1377 became the second speaker of the Commons.
During the reign of the next monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant ministers of the Crown. They began to insist that they could control both taxation and public expenditures. Despite such gains in authority, however, the Commons still remained much less powerful than the Lords and the Crown.
The influence of the Crown was increased by the civil wars of the late fifteenth century, which destroyed the power of the great noblemen. Both houses of Parliament held little power during the ensuing years, and the absolute supremacy of the Sovereign was restored. The domination of the monarch grew further under the House of Tudor in the early sixteenth century as Henry VII grew fiscally independent. The Reformation Parliament, called by Henry VIII after Cardinal Wolsey failed to secure a divorce from Catherine of Aragon and sitting from 1529 to 1536 made laws affecting all aspects of national life, but especially with regard to religious matters previously reserved to the church. Though acting at the behest and under the direction of the King and his leading minister, Thomas Cromwell, Parliament was acquiring universal legal competence and responsibility for all matters affecting the realm.
When the House of Stuart came to the English throne in 1603, the dependence of the Crown on Parliament for sufficient revenue to fund the operations of government returned as an issue and point of leverage. The first two Stuart monarchs, James I and Charles I, provoked conflicts with the Commons over issues such as taxation, religion, and royal powers.
The differences between Charles I and Parliament were great, and resulted in the English Civil War, in which the armed forces of Parliament were victorious. In December 1648 the House of Commons was purged by the New Model Army, which was supposed to be subservient to Parliament. Pride's Purge was the only military coup in English history. Subsequently, Charles I was beheaded and the Upper House was abolished. The unicameral Parliament that remained was later referred to by critics as the Rump Parliament, as it consisted only of a small selection of Members of Parliament approved by the army - some of whom were soldiers themselves. In 1653, when leading figures in this Parliament began to disagree with the army, it was dissolved by Oliver Cromwell. However, the monarchy and the House of Lords were both restored with the Commons in 1660. The influence of the Crown had been decreased, and was further diminished after James II was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the Bill of Rights 1689 was enacted.
The Commonwealth was the political structure during the period from 1649 to 1660 when England and Wales, later along with Ireland and Scotland, were governed as a republic after the end of the Second English Civil War and the trial and execution of Charles I. The republic's existence was declared through "An Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth", adopted by the Rump Parliament on 19 May 1649. Power in the early Commonwealth was vested primarily in the Parliament and a Council of State. During the period, fighting continued, particularly in Ireland and Scotland, between the parliamentary forces and those opposed to them, as part of what is now referred to as the Third English Civil War.
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British overseas territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the sovereign (Crown-in-Parliament), the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.
In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries. The term is similar to the idea of a senate, synod or congress, and is commonly used in countries that are current or former monarchies, a form of government with a monarch as the head. Some contexts restrict the use of the word parliament to parliamentary systems, although it is also used to describe the legislature in some presidential systems, even where it is not in the official name.
Richard Cromwell was an English statesman who was the second Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland and son of the first Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell.
The House of Commons is the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada and historically was the name of the lower houses of the Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Great Britain, Kingdom of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Southern Ireland. Roughly equivalent bodies in other countries which were once part of the British Empire include the United States House of Representatives, the Australian House of Representatives, the New Zealand House of Representatives, and India's Lok Sabha.
The Good Parliament is the name traditionally given to the English Parliament of 1376. Sitting in London from April 28 to July 10, it was the longest Parliament up until that time.
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. The Acts created a new unified Kingdom of Great Britain and dissolved the separate English and Scottish parliaments in favour of a single parliament, located in the former home of the English parliament in the Palace of Westminster, near the City of London. This lasted nearly a century, until the Acts of Union 1800 merged the separate British and Irish Parliaments into a single Parliament of the United Kingdom with effect from 1 January 1801.
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it united with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain.
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
The Politics of England forms the major part of the wider politics of the United Kingdom, with England being more populous than all the other countries of the United Kingdom put together. As England is also by far the largest in terms of area and GDP, its relationship to the UK is somewhat different from that of Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The English capital London is also the capital of the UK, and English is the dominant language of the UK. Dicey and Morris (p26) list the separate states in the British Islands. "England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark.... is a separate country in the sense of the conflict of laws, though not one of them is a State known to public international law." But this may be varied by statute.
The history of the British peerage, a system of nobility found in the United Kingdom, stretches over the last thousand years. The origins of the British peerage are obscure but while the ranks of baron and earl perhaps predate the British peerage itself, the ranks of duke and marquess were introduced to England in the 14th century. The rank of viscount came later, in the mid-15th century. Peers were summoned to Parliament, forming the House of Lords.
William Lenthall (1591–1662) was an English politician of the Civil War period. He served as Speaker of the House of Commons for a period of almost twenty years, both before and after the execution of King Charles I.
The Parliament of Ireland was the legislature of the Lordship of Ireland, and later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1297 until 1800. It was modelled on the Parliament of England and from 1537 comprised two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Lords were members of the Irish peerage and bishops. The Commons was directly elected, albeit on a very restricted franchise. Parliaments met at various places in Leinster and Munster, but latterly always in Dublin: in Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Chichester House (1661–1727), the Blue Coat School (1729–31), and finally a purpose-built Parliament House on College Green.
The Model Parliament is the term, attributed to Frederic William Maitland, used for the 1295 Parliament of England of King Edward I.
The Third Protectorate Parliament sat for one session, from 27 January 1659 until 22 April 1659, with Chaloner Chute and Thomas Bampfylde as the Speakers of the House of Commons. It was a bicameral Parliament, with an Upper House having a power of veto over the Commons.
The Parliament of Scotland was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The parliament, like other such institutions, evolved during the Middle Ages from the king's council of bishops and earls. It is first identifiable as a parliament in 1235, during the reign of Alexander II, when it was described as a "colloquium" and already possessed a political and judicial role. By the early 14th century, the attendance of knights and freeholders had become important, and from 1326 commissioners from the burghs attended. Consisting of the "three estates" of clergy, nobility and the burghs sitting in a single chamber, the parliament gave consent for the raising of taxation and played an important role in the administration of justice, foreign policy, war, and all manner of other legislation. Parliamentary business was also carried out by "sister" institutions, such as General Councils or Convention of Estates. These could carry out much business also dealt with by parliament – taxation, legislation and policy-making – but lacked the ultimate authority of a full parliament.
Knight of the shire was the formal title for a member of parliament (MP) representing a county constituency in the British House of Commons, from its origins in the medieval Parliament of England until the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 ended the practice of each county forming a single constituency. The corresponding titles for other MPs were burgess in a borough constituency and baron for a Cinque Ports constituency. Knights of the shire had more prestige than burgesses, and sitting burgesses often stood for election for the shire in the hope of increasing their standing in Parliament.
This article augments the List of parliaments of England to be found elsewhere and to precede Duration of English, British and United Kingdom parliaments from 1660, with additional information which could not be conveniently incorporated in them.
John Wilde was an English lawyer and politician. As a serjeant-at-law he was referred to as Serjeant Wilde before he was appointed judge. He was a judge, chief baron of the exchequer, and member of the Council of State of the Commonwealth period.