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De Montfort

Simon De Montfort's Parliament was the first Parliament to summon representatives from towns. Find out about the significance of Montfort's parliament here.


Borough representation was a target for reform in the 1830s. Discover why people thought it had become so corrupt

Rise of commons

The Commons became more self-confident in the 14th century. Why did contemporaries call some Parliaments "Good", "Wonderful" and "Merciless"?


Edward I is known as "Hammer of the Scots". Discover why he should also be called "the Founder of Parliament"


Most hereditary peers were removed from the House of Lords in 1999. Find out about the House's origins and membership


Parliament's role in Henry VIII's break with Rome, one of the most significant events in English history


Today, Parliament's main duties are making laws and setting taxes. Learn how the Commons gained their influence in these areas

Meeting places

Learn about the buildings and rooms of the medieval Parliament, lost forever after the fire of 1834 in Westminster


The earliest origins of Parliament grew out of the ancient government institutions of Anglo-Saxon and Norman England


Who were the knights of the shire in the medieval Commons? How were they elected? Who chose them?


How do we know what happened in Parliament? Find out about the records of Parliament, both then and now


Did the Civil War start during the reign of Elizabeth I? Learn about the differing interpretations of this important period


What was Magna Carta? How did Magna Carta affect the monarchy? Learn about the significance of Magna Carta here.