Politics and legislation in England in the early fifteenth century : the Parliament of 1406
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This thesis examines the 'Long Parliament' of 1406 as an example of politics and legislation in England during the early fifteenth century. It is based on a wide range of government sources, including manuscripts from the Public Record Office and the British Library, chronicles, printed chancery rolls and literary works. The idea behind this thesis is to shed light both on some aspects of Henry IV's rule and on the significance of the English parliament during the later middle ages. It also takes into account England's relations with France and its other neighbours in Henry IV's reign. As will be seen, these had a more significant effect on the course of the 1406 parliament than has previously been realized. They also influenced one of the most famous legislative acts of the 1406 parliament, the act for the inheritance of the throne. The thesis begins with an introduction analysing the main events of Henry IV's early years and the most important issues raised in his early parliaments (1399 to 1404). Without this analysis, the significance of the 1406 parliament cannot be understood. The first section of the thesis then discusses the backgrounds, political affiliations and connections of the members of the 1406 parliament and the factors that might have influenced their attitudes. The second part of the thesis establishes the chronology of the parliament and examines the main issues debated during its course. The third part of the thesis is directed towards an examination of the petitions and the petitioning process, and of the legislation enacted by this parliament. This section is largely based on the class of Ancient Petitions (SC 8) in the Public Record Office, London, which is the major primary source for unenrolled parliamentary petitions. Fifty-four additional private petitions submitted to/or during the parliament of 1406 have been discovered, and these are used to analyse the process of parliamentary petitioning. The final chapter discusses the consequences and aftermath of the 1406 parliament, to see the extent to which Henry's concessions in 1406 were implemented during the first ten months of 1407, and why the king was able to resume power during the Gloucester parliament of October 1407.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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