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Simon de Montfort's Parliament

Simon De Montfort's Parliament was the first instance of  a parliament in which representatives from towns and the shires were summoned together to discuss matters of national concern. This Parliament is seen as the earliest forerunner of the modern Parliament because of its inclusion of both knights and burgesses, for a reason other than the granting of taxation. This broadened the types of people represented at a high level who were participating in affairs of the nation.

In 2015 the Houses of Parliament, along with the people of the UK, commemorated 750 years since the Simon de Montfort Parliament (1265).

Who was Simon de Montfort?

Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, was a French noble who came to England in the 1230s and received lands from King Henry III who was around the same age. Simon controversially married the king's sister at a time when marriages of the aristocracy were strictly controlled by the king. Henry III however, accepted the marriage and Simon became one of King Henry's main advisers.


You can access biographies of

King John
Henry III
Simon de Montfort, 8th earl of Leicester
Edward I

from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for free, online, using your local library card number (includes nine out of ten public libraries in the UK) or from within academic library and other subscribing networks.


Parliament in the Making

2015: Parliament in the Making is a year-long programme of events, projects and resources recognising 800 years of democratic heritage. Further information can be found via the 2015 portal.

750 twitter

Parliament750 twitter

@Parliament750 is a new twitter account led by the Parliamentary Archives. The feed will run throughout 2015 to commemorate the 750th anniversary of Simon de Montfort's parliament.

Find out more