Outline Early History of the English (British) Parliament

<>0900s:+; Witanagemot, a customary or traditional gathering of wise elders, advised and supported Ango-Saxon monarchs

<>1066:1163; For a century the conquering Norman monarchical administration interrupted the tradition of witanagemot [ID]

<>1163:Council of Northampton forcefully demonstrated growing presumption of political prerogatives on the part of baronial councils and assemblies in their relationship to monarchical authority. Increasingly English deliberative assemblies gathered to "talk together" about great "national" issues, especially taxation

<>1200c:English political culture experienced shift in the balance of power between monarch and high-ranking subjects
*1215je15:Magna Carta issued, followed by further limitations on monarchical power [ID]
*1217:The Forest Charter expanded aristocratic independence from monarchical agencies in the use of the products from wooded estates
*--But were these episodic assemblies a rebirth or refurbishment of the witanagemot tradition [ID]? And =
"...Although they had grown teeth by the 1160s, it was not for a further century [ID] that these assemblies began to bite" [Vincent, below]
*--Thomas Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century
*--Peter Linebaugh, The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All (2008) strains overmuch to make the Magna Carta, Forest Charter and other early efforts to limit monarchical power into radically democratic efforts to assert popular rights (rather than rights of land-owning aristocrats).. Linebaugh feels all these democratic rights have been subverted in our own time. The work shows a powerful influence of anti-G.W. Bush sentiment

<>1220s:Parliamentary debates cited Roman-law principle "Quod omnes tangit" (IE=what touches all requires the assent of all). In other words the roots of parliamentarianism can be found in "Anglo-Saxon tradition" and in Roman law

<>1236no:English King Henry III's great council was first called "parlement" [original Norman French spelling of later "parliament"]

<>1250s:1260s; Provincial resistance to central authority intensified
*--Still, Parliament might be considered an "occasion" and not yet an "institution" [F.W.Maitland]
*--Over the next 75 years that all changed =

<>1254:For the first time, county aristocrats ("gentry" or "knights") were invited to join grandees in parliament
*--Resistance to royal and papal taxation forced parliament to accept into its ranks a wider representation of notables of the realm
*--Parliament was now exercising limited legislative functions

<>1265:For the first time, representatives from boroughs [ID] were asked to join in parliamentary deliberations

<>1270s:Parliament now received petitions against royal power [metropol] and in defense of local interests [peripheries]

<>1300:King Edward I regularized division of Parliament into House of Lords and House of Commons

<>1318:Parliamentary representatives received significant wages for their political service to the nation

<>1327:Parliament was now clearly an "institution" at center of English political culture, but a long rocky road still lay ahead [EG]

*--J.R.Maddicott, The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327
*2010no12:TLS:9-10| Nicholas Vincent writes the following = "Provided we do not attempt to invest them with a precocious degree of institutionalized autonomy, or suppose that they were in any way intended to 'challenge' royal sovereignty, there is no problem in allowing for a degree of continuity between the pre-Conquest 'meetings of wise men' (the 'witenagemot'), the councils of Henry I or Henry II, and the meetings that under King Henry III began to be described as 'parliaments' with, or perhaps better without, a capital 'p'."