A Short History of Parliament

A Short History of Parliament

England, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Scotland

Edited by Clyve Jones


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A comprehensive history of parliament in the British Isles from the earliest times, covering all aspects of parliament as an institution.
A Short History of Parliament is a comprehensive institutional history, not a political history of parliament, though politics is included where, as frequently occurred, institutional changes resulted from particular political events. It covers the English parliament from its origins, the pre-1707 Scottish parliament and the pre-1800 Irish parliament, the parliament of Great Britain from 1707 and the parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801, together with sections on the post-devolution parliaments and assemblies set up in the 1990s and on parliaments in the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the Irish Republic. It considers all aspects of parliament as an institution: membership of both the Lords and the Commons; constituencies, elections and franchises; where the Lords and the Commons met; how business was arranged and managed, including Speakers, the use of committees, the development of parties, lobbying and voting procedures; legal cases in the House of Lords; official recording of and reporting of business and debates; the conflict and balance of power between the two Houses; and the position of the monarch in parliament. Each section contains a chronology listing key events, suggestions for further reading and "inserts" - short anecdotes or accounts of particular figures or episodes which provide lively illustrations of parliament at work in different periods. Clyve Jones is an honorary fellow of the Institute of Historical Research. He has been editor of the journal Parliamentary History since 1986. Previously he was reader in modern history in the University of London and collection development librarian in the Institute of Historical Research. He has published extensively on the history of the House of Lords and of the peerage in the early eighteenth century.

Table of Contents

Prologue -
Origins and Beginnings to 1215 - John R. Maddicott
The Development of Parliament 1215-1307 - Paul Brand
The House of Lords 1307-1529 - Christopher Given-Wilson
The House of Lords 1529-1629 - David L Smith
The House of Lords and the 'Other House' 1640-1660 - Jason Peacey
The House of Lords 1660-1707 -
The House of Commons 1307-1529 - Simon J. Payling
The House of Commons 1529-1601 - Alasdair Hawkyard
The House of Commons 1603-1629 - P M Hunneyball
The House of Commons 1640-1660 - Stephen K Roberts
The House of Commons 1660-1707 - Paul Seaward
The House of Lords 1707-1800 - Stephen Farrell
The House of Commons 1707-1800 - Bob Harris
The House of Lords 1801-1911 - Richard W. Davis
The House of Lords 1911-1949 - William Frame
The House of Lords since 1949 - Peter Dorey
The House of Commons 1801-1911 - Philip Salmon
The House of Commons 1911-1949 - Philip Norton
The House of Commons since 1949 - Paul Seaward
The Parliament of Scotland to 1707 -
The Parliament of Ireland to 1800 - Ivar McGrath
The Northern Ireland Parliament and Assembly at Stormont - Graham Walker
Other Legislatures within the British Isles -
The Post-Devolution Legislatures -
Epilogue -


A well-organized, professionally produced, and highly informative work. [It] will be a valuable point of reference for those working on the British parliament in any period. JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY

The essays assembled here are a rich source of anecdote and oddity. They also set out, clearly and concisely, the institutional framework and the general ground rules under which the Westminster Parliament as well as various other British parliaments have operated. [...] Most of the contributors rise to heights of excellence, supplying the very best summaries of their field. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
A scholarly and very informative history, A Short History of Parliament is a top and must have [addition] to any college history collection. BOOKWATCH

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