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The Oxford Parliament, also known as the Third Exclusion Parliament, was an English Parliament assembled in the city of Oxford for one week from 21 March 1681 until 28 March 1681 during the reign of Charles II of England.
Summoning Parliament to meet in Oxford, a Royalist stronghold which had been Charles I's capital during the Civil War, was designed to deprive the Whig opposition of the grassroots support from the London masses, which was an important factor in earlier stages of the Exclusion Crisis.
Succeeding the Exclusion Bill Parliament, this was the fifth and last parliament of the King's reign. Both Houses of Parliament met and the King delivered a speech to them on the first day. The Speaker was William Williams, who had been the Speaker in the previous Parliament. He was elected unanimously and delivered a speech on 22 March. The Oxford Parliament was dismissed after another Exclusion Bill was presented with popular support. Charles dissolved it after securing the necessary funds from King Louis XIV of France.
During the Glorious Revolution, surviving members of the Oxford Parliament met again in December 1688, following the flight of King James II - leading to the election of the irregular Convention Parliament which conferred the Throne jointly on William III and Mary II.
The events of the Oxford Parliament are described in the final part of Robert Neil's historical novel "The Golden Days".
The Whigs were a political faction and then a political party in the parliaments of England, Scotland, Great Britain, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Between the 1680s and the 1850s, the Whigs contested power with their rivals, the Tories. The Whigs merged into the new Liberal Party in the 1850s, and other Whigs left the Liberal Party in 1886 to form the Liberal Unionist Party, which merged into the Liberals' rival, the modern day Conservative Party, in 1912.
Charles II was King of Scotland from 1649 until 1651, and King of England, Scotland and Ireland from the 1660 Restoration of the monarchy until his death in 1685.
The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional form of government by which a hereditary sovereign reigns as the head of state of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952.
The Cavalier Parliament of England lasted from 8 May 1661 until 24 January 1679. It was the longest English Parliament, and longer than any Great British or UK Parliament to date, enduring for nearly 18 years of the quarter-century reign of Charles II of England. Like its predecessor, the Convention Parliament, it was overwhelmingly Royalist and is also known as the Pensioner Parliament for the many pensions it granted to adherents of the King.
William Sacheverell was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in two periods between 1670 and 1691.
Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury PC was a prominent English politician during the Interregnum and the reign of King Charles II. A founder of the Whig party, he was also the patron of John Locke.
John Somers, 1st Baron Somers, was an English Whig jurist and statesman. Somers first came to national attention in the trial of the Seven Bishops where he was on their defence counsel. He published tracts on political topics such as the succession to the crown, where he elaborated his Whig principles in support of the Exclusionists. He played a leading part in shaping the Revolution settlement. He was Lord High Chancellor of England under King William III and was a chief architect of the union between England and Scotland achieved in 1707 and the Protestant succession achieved in 1714. He was a leading Whig during the twenty-five years after 1688; with four colleagues he formed the Whig Junto.
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the creation and signing of the Magna Carta, which had established the rights of barons to serve as consultants to the king on governmental matters in his Great Council. In 1295, Parliament evolved to include nobles and bishops as well as two representatives from each of the counties and towns in England and, since 1542, Wales. This became the model for the composition of all future Parliaments. Over the course of the next century, the membership of Parliament was divided into the two houses it features today, with the noblemen and bishops encompassing the House of Lords and the knights of the shire and local representatives making up the House of Commons. During Henry IV's time on the throne, the role of Parliament expanded beyond the determination of taxation policy to include the "redress of grievances," which essentially enabled English citizens to petition the body to address complaints in their local towns and counties. By this time, citizens were given the power to vote to elect their representatives—the burgesses—to the House of Commons.
The Tories were a loosely organised political faction and later a political party, in the Parliaments of England, Scotland, Great Britain, Ireland and the United Kingdom. They first emerged during the 1679 Exclusion Crisis, when they opposed Whig efforts to exclude James, Duke of York from the succession on the grounds of his Catholicism. Despite their fervent opposition to state-sponsored Catholicism, Tories opposed exclusion in the belief inheritance based on birth was the foundation of a stable society.
The Exclusion Crisis ran from 1679 until 1681 in the reign of King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland. Three Exclusion bills sought to exclude the King's brother and heir presumptive, James, Duke of York, from the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland because he was Roman Catholic. None became law. Two new parties formed. The Tories were opposed to this exclusion while the "Country Party", who were soon to be called the Whigs, supported it. While the matter of James's exclusion was not decided in Parliament during Charles's reign, it would come to a head only three years after he took the throne, when he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Finally, the Act of Settlement 1701 decided definitively that Catholics were to be excluded from the English, Scottish and Irish thrones, now the British throne.
William Russell, Lord Russell, was an English politician. He was a leading member of the Country Party, forerunners of the Whigs, who during the reign of King Charles II, laid the groundwork for opposition in the House of Commons to the accession of an openly Catholic king in Charles's brother James. This ultimately resulted in Russell's execution for treason, almost two years before Charles died and James acceded to the throne.
Sir William Williams, 1st Baronet was a Welsh lawyer and politician. He served as a Member of Parliament for Chester and later Beaumaris, and was appointed Speaker for two English Parliaments during the reign of Charles II. He later served as Solicitor General during the reign of James II. Williams had a bitter personal and professional rivalry with Judge Jeffreys.
Lieutenant-General Thomas Erle PC of Charborough, Dorset, was a general in the English Army and, thereafter, the British Army. He was also a Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons of England and of Great Britain from 1678 to 1718. He was Governor of Portsmouth and a Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance.
Henry Bertie, JP, of Chesterton, Oxfordshire was an English soldier and Tory politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons between 1678 and 1715.
Sir John Maynard KS was an English lawyer and politician, prominent under the reigns of Charles I, the Commonwealth, Charles II, James II and William III.
Henry Powle was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1660 and 1690, and was Speaker of the House of Commons from January 1689 to February 1690. He was also Master of the Rolls.
Sir George Treby JP (1643–1700), of Plympton, Devon, and of Fleet Street in the City of London, was Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and six times Member of Parliament for the Rotten Borough of Plympton Erle, Devon, largely controlled by him and his descendants until abolished by the Great Reform Act of 1832.
The Habeas Corpus Parliament, also known as the First Exclusion Parliament, was a short-lived English Parliament which assembled on 6 March 1679 during the reign of Charles II of England, the third parliament of the King's reign. It is named after the Habeas Corpus Act, which it enacted in May 1679.
The Loyal Parliament was the only Parliament of England of King James II, in theory continuing from May 1685 to July 1687, but in practice sitting during 1685 only. It gained its name because at the outset most of its members were loyal to the new king. The Whigs, who had previously resisted James's inheriting the throne, were outnumbered both in the Commons and in the Lords.
The Exclusion Bill Parliament was a Parliament of England during the reign of Charles II of England, named after the long saga of the Exclusion Bill. Summoned on 24 July 1679, but prorogued by the king so that it did not assemble until 21 October 1680, it was dissolved three months later on 18 January 1680/81.