Talk:List of parliaments of England

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Reginald Bray[edit]

Speaker of the British House of Commons lists Reginald Bray as Speaker in 1496, yet this article shows no parliament nor speaker in that year. Which is correct? —Stormie 08:06, Oct 30, 2004 (UTC)

Interregnum Parliaments[edit]

I think there is a problem with the ordering of the Parliaments in this list at the end of the Interregnum. I think that there is one Parliament missing "Third Protectorate Parliament" 27 Jan- 22 Apr 1659 [1] and the ordering of the recall of the Rump and the Long Parliaments, "in May 1659, Richard was obliged to recall the Rump Parliament that his father had ousted in 1653"[2]. ". Monck arrived in London in February 1660 and secured the re-admission of MPs excluded since Pride's Purge. The restored Long Parliament voted to dissolve itself on 16 March 1660 and call new elections. [3]

Althougth I have used the same web site as a reference the ordering makes more sence than assuming that the long parliament was recalled and then the rump.

The List of Speakers of the British House of Commons gives these as the speakers between 1653 and 1661. I have put next to them what I think are the correct parliaments.

Unless anyone objects or has any more information on the subject I am going to change this page to reflect the above. Another souce which has more details of the speakers and confirms the ordering of the Parliaments [4]:

  • 3 Nov 1640 - 20 Apr 1653 Long Parliament (from 6 Dec 1648 Rump Parliament), London
  • 4 Jul 1653 - 12 Dec 1653 Supreme Authority, Nominated Parliament, London
  • 3 Sep 1654 - 22 Jan 1655 First Protectorate Parliament, London
  • 17 Sep 1656 - 26 Jun 1657 Second Protectorate Parliament, session I, London
  • 20 Jan 1658 - 4 Feb 1658 Second Protectorate Parliament, session II, London
  • 27 Jan 1659 - 22 Apr 1659 Third Protectorate Parliament, London
  • 7 May 1659 - 13 Oct 1659 Rump Parliament, London
  • 26 Dec 1659 - 16 Mar 1660 Rump Parliament (from Feb 1660 Long Parliament), London
  • 25 Apr 1660- 13 Sep 1660 Convention Parliament, London

--PBS 11:52, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Convention Parliament of 1689[edit]

Should this really be described as a parliament of James II? It was summoned after he left the country, and its first act was to pronounce him deposed and make William and Mary King and Queen. It seems that it is more appropriately assigned to William and Mary. john k 07:55, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

  • This is a good point. However I suppose in theory King James II was still the King until the Convention definitively decided he had abdicated (although I prefer the Scottish Convention's solution of themselves deposing the King rather than the English Convention's tortured constitutional reasoning). Other parliament's which changed the regime, such as the Convention Parliament of 1660, have in this list been placed under the old regime not the new one they created (or recognised). Similarly some Parliament's not summoned by the King himself (see DeMontfort's Parliament) have been included in the list of Parliaments for the King.
  • If we are going to change this then the 1660 Convention Parliament should be put under Charles II and the 1689 Convention Parliament in William and Mary's list, with footnotes to explain the monarchs did not themselves summon the body. --Gary J 12:53, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Older parliaments[edit]

Is there a reason why parliamnets older then 1485 are not listed? Is it because they are not so consequitive? If there is no particular reason I will probably add the likes of Wonderful Parliament, Model Parliament, Merciless Parliament and Good Parliament. MeltBanana 20:47, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

  • I'm pretty sure that there is no reason - if you look at the history of this page, it was originally a data dump of Parliaments back to 1485, and nobody has got around to adding the earlier ones yet. Warofdreams 09:34, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
You forgot the Parliament of Dunces. 03:49, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
And the Parliament of Bats and the Drunken Parliament and the Parliament of Devils... 03:53, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
And the Miraculous Parliament... 22:47, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
And the Useless Parliament (I have a suspicion that some of these are really the same under different names. Also see ). 22:52, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Fire and Faggot Parliament, Addled Parliament

3rd parliament under Charles II[edit]

The list gives two times a 3rd parliament under Charles II: one from 21 Oct 1680 to 18 Jan 1681 and one from 21 Mar 1681 to 28 Mar 1681 (the Oxford parliament). Is there any reaon why these two parliaments were given the same ordinal number? By the way, the article Oxford Parliament (1681) states that the parliament 21 to 28 Mar 1681 was the fifth and last parliament of the King's reign which I suppose would include the Convention Parliament of 1660. Could someone clarify this? -- 15:34, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Plt column[edit]

Is the Plt column really feasible? It refers to the parliament elected in 2005, the current parliament. But not that far away a new one will be elected and tho whole column would have to be renumbered. Str1977 (talk) 22:03, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

My opinion exactly. I've added this list onto my "things to do" list, hopefully to get it to Featured status (although it may need to broken down). Ironholds 00:09, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Better to put in the conventional counter of "Anno number of years of the current reign" This will help people who have old sources which often count the years that way, and would tie this table into legislation which also contains similar archaic way (see for example List of Acts of the Parliament of England to 1483).
There is one problem though, different chroniclers start the year in different ways. If a monarch comes to the throne in October 5th of a year some count the first year finishing on October 4th. Others start counting year 2 from the start of the Julian calendar year (25 March) and other January 1 (or some other arbitrary system). So a source for the counting of years from the first year of a reign is needed, if there is to be no confusion over the system used, as it is likely that we will need to use several sources to cover all of these pariaments -- PBS (talk) 10:31, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
I wrote up Regnal years of English monarchs, so that can be used as a reference. It's the officially-used dates. March 25 is only a problem if you're trying to square legal years, not regnal years. And parliaments are referred to by regnal years.
IMO, the problem is that the customary "anno" system is used to refer to parliamentary sessions, not parliaments as a whole. So a parliament that sat for several years over multiple sessions would have multiple references in statutes (for an e.g. see Cavalier Parliament, in revamping that article, I tracked the correspondence of calendar sessions to anno statute labels). Moreover, a parliament that didn't pass a statute would not have a legal reference at all. And Commonwealth parliaments would have to be treated distinctly, as they are not on the "official" record.
I suppose the best way would be to reference it by the Anno of the opening of the starting session. Focusing on the opening would also save you the trouble of trying to find out exact closing dates and making sure they didn't overlap regnal years (which would require double-listing, e.g. 2 & 3 Charles I, etc.) Two parliaments in one year could be distinguished (as customarily) by an extra suffix, e.g. Anno X St.1, Anno X St.2, etc. I am a little doubtful you'll be able to find the exact opening date for all the parliaments - I am assuming some of the earlier ones will be hard to pin down exactly (and here you have to be careful with March 25 - it can confuse). But as a rough guide, with some disclaimers and warnings, I think opening Anno is more useful than Plt. Walrasiad (talk) 19:05, 5 April 2012 (UTC)


What is the source for all of these lists? For example, it seems to disagree with this as regards number of sessions in the Parliament of 1572. Benjamin M. A'Lee (talk) 20:17, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Sir Edward Cokes names[edit]

  • The parliament holden at Oxford, an. 42. H 3. was called infanum parliamentum.
  • 12 E. 2. the parliament of whitebands, albarum fibularum or metellarum.
  • 5 E. 3. parliamentum bonum.
  • 10 R. 2. parliamentum quod fecit mirabila, that wrought wonders.
  • 21 R. 2. magnū parliamentū.
  • 6 H. 4. parliamentū indoc̄'lū, lack-learning parliament.
  • 4 H. 6. parliamentū fufliū the parliament of bats.
  • The session of parliament in an. 14. H. 8. called the black parliament.
  • The act of I E. 6. was called parliaments pium, the pious parliament.
  • And the said act of 1 Mar. parliamentū propitium., the merciful parliament.
  • The parliaments of queen Elizabeth stilled pia, justa, et provida.
  • The parliament holden anno 21 of king James, called fæalix parliamentum, the happy parliament.
  • And the parliament holden in the third yeare of our soveraigne lord king Charles, benedic̄'tum parliamentum, the blessed parliament.

NB There are other earlier editions of this text which credit just Coke as the author, but this source has a cleaner OCR. The source for this is:

  • Coke, Edward; Littleton, Thomas; Hargrave, Francis (1817), The ... Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England; Or, a Commentary Upon Littleton: Not the Name of the Author Only, But of the Law Itself : Including Also the Notes of Lord Chief Justice Hale and Lord Chancellor Nottingham, and an Analysis of Littleton, Written by an Unknown Hand ..., 3 (19 ed.), Clarke, p. ii

-- PBS (talk) 10:51, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

17th century convention parliaments[edit]

The notes make it clear that most sources include the 17th century convention parliaments under the reigns of Charles II and William III. The The History of Parliament Trust does so for both Charles II and William III (The 1st Parliament of Charles II The 2nd Parliament of William and Mary (from Dec. 1694 the 1st Parliament of William III)). Are there any modern authorities who do not? -- PBS (talk) 07:48, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Well, the 1660 Convention Parliament declared itself a parliament without ambiguity in their very first act (12 Charles II c.1). Cobbett's Parliamentary History (Hansard) considers them also such, calling the next parliament the "second" of Charles II. To sink any doubts, second parliament of Charles II (sat 1661-79) passed acts in its first session of 1661 reinforcing it, e.g. 13 Charles II c.1 declared it treason to even suggest that the 1640 Parliament might not be yet dissolved, and more firmly 13 Charles II c.7 unambiguously affirming that the convention parliament of 1660 was a proper parliament and the acts it passed were proper acts and fully valid.
The second parliament of W&M (which sat 1690-94) isn't a convention parliament. I take it you mean their first one, that is, the convention parliament assembled in February 1689 ("1688" in legal time) and dissolved in January 1690 ("1689" in legal time). The first act of that parliament (1 William & Mary c.1) also confirms itself. Just to make double sure, the first act of the second W&M parliament in February 1690 (2 William & Mary c.1) confirms the prior 1689-90 convention parliament as fully kosher. Again, Cobbett concurs.
Notwithstanding irrendentist Roundheads or Jacobites, I don't know of any modern authors who dispute it. Of course, they were not convened conventionally, that is, by king's writs and all that, so authors do like to point them out as exceptions to the norm. They themselves acknowledged their unusualness, and noted that their unorthodox manner of assembly "should not be made an example" for future parliaments. But the legitimacy of a parliament is not a historical question but a legal one, and their legal status was made pretty clear back then.
What seems pretty clear to me is that this list is defying convention in the parliamentary numberings (e.g. calling the Cavalier parliament "First" is against previaling usage, which, like Cobbett/Hansard, commonly refers to it as "Second".) Walrasiad (talk) 11:56, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Sorry I was not very clear in my opening statement. I was referring to the two convention parliaments and where they are placed in the list -- The stuff in brackets were citations to pages where the The History of Parliament Trust mentions the placement of the convention parliaments not that those pages represent names of convention parliaments. But putting that to one side, you seem to be confirming what I was pointing out. If so unless there are objections I suggest that we relist the convention parliaments an renumber the later parliaments so the follow usage in reliable sources. -- PBS (talk) 22:07, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
Oh ok. Yes, I tend to agree with you. But that is because I rely heavily on Cobbett and that's how he numbers them (well, he doesn't explicitly call them "first", but he does call the following ones "second" so renumbering the later is certainly warranted). I am not as sure if all modern historians follow his lead on this, but Cobbett is such a widely-cited authority that I would be surprised if they don't stick to his numbering. If they are included, they certainly must have a huge asterisk, as they were not assembled on the orders of the respective kings, but only retroactively. Walrasiad (talk) 08:35, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
I think we can take the History of the Parliament Trust (about) as a 21st century reliable source and it seems to use the same numbering as Cobbett. The simplest method and one that keeps the distinction clear is to move the table entries without integrating them. I'll do it now and see what you think. -- PBS (talk) 15:54, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
OK. Although it is rather wordy. Maybe some of it can be reduced to a note? There is an important adjustment for the William & Mary one, however, in that the convention didn't consider itself a parliament from the outset (Jan 22, 1689), but only voted later for it (February 20), and declared its official start date as February 13, 1689, that is, the day after it had concluded that James II had abdicated (Feb 12) and moments after the acclamation of William III & Mary II (February 13). So it was assembled as a non-parliament convention and converted to a parliament part of the way through. First session begins officially February 13 and not January 22. That should be the note. Walrasiad (talk) 19:51, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Please make whatever changes you think appropriate. -- PBS (talk) 15:40, 6 October 2013 (UTC)


Hi. Thank you to those who put in all that work for the list! One question, though: Are you sure that Sir James Pickering remained Speaker beyond March 1383 ? His biography in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421 simply says this of his second mandate as Speaker:

"He was serving a second term as escheator there when the county electors returned him to the February Parliament of 1383, a short-lived assembly which sat for little more than a fortnight, but which none the less proved hostile towards John of Gaunt’s plans for an expedition to Spain. Once again Sir James occupied the Speakership, being no doubt an enthusiastic advocate of the popular view that Gaunt should stay in England to defend the Scottish border from attack"...

It doesn't mention him being Speaker again after that brief parliament. Aridd (talk) 14:33, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

@Aridd: I've removed these now; I agree they don't seem correct. (HoP explicitly has 1386-93 as "not recorded") Andrew Gray (talk) 13:46, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

Parliament of April 1415?[edit]

On the list of parliaments of Henry V, there is one listed as "4th" given as summoned February 4, 1415 and assembled April 15, 1415, going through two sessions, with a precise note about the second session being April 17. I have been through several sources (official and unofficial) and I can't find any record or reference to this parliament. Does somebody have a source for this?

I do see references in secondary history books to a Great Council of Lords assembled on April 15, but not a parliament, so somebody may have been confusing this with a parliament. But before I remove it, I'd like to make sure nobody has a better source. In my records, the last parliament of Henry V was in November 1414 (given in statute records as 2 Henry V St.2), and the next one was in November 1415 (3 Henry V St.1 - assembled by regents in his absence). There is no record of a parliament in April, 1415. Walrasiad (talk) 14:10, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

@Walrasiad: I'd just spotted this and was going to query it as well, so glad to see I'm not the only one!
The History of Parliament is a bit cursory in this period, but doesn't list an early 1415 parliament. The notes on the Parliament Rolls for Nov 1415 seems to presume that the "previous Parliament" was Nov 1414, and the notes on Nov 1414 end fairly unambiguously: "The king's purpose was clear, however: on 5 December, two days before the parliament ended, ambassadors were appointed to return to Paris bearing Henry's latest demands, while in England preparations for an invasion of France gathered momentum. By the time parliament met again in November 1415, events at Harfleur and Agincourt would have quite transformed the mood of the commons.". Just on the strength of these two sources, I'd be inclined to remove it, but your checking the other material strengthens this as well.
It seems to have been added here as part of a string of edits; many of the others in that run gave references but unfortunately this did not, and the user wasn't logged in so we can't query it with them. Andrew Gray (talk) 12:51, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
@Walrasiad: I've removed this one now as well. Andrew Gray (talk) 21:50, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

Thanks. I am pretty confident it is right this way. At least it now conforms to all the records I've seen. Walrasiad (talk) 09:29, 30 January 2019 (UTC)