The 15th century Parliament in the System of Public Institutions

Publication type Article
Status Published
EditionVolume 5 Issue 6 (29)
AbstractThe paper considers a question about contacts between Parliament of the 15th century and state offices such as Chancery, Exchequer, courts of different levels, municipalities and King’s Household (if it can be called a ‘state office’). It is the author’s opinion that despite multiplicity and ambiguousness of these contacts they are consolidated in one thing: the position of Parliament at the centre of the state system. Whatever organization or office can be discussed and we will see that Parliament, firstly, controlled (or tried to control) its activity and, secondly, was the instance where one could get a solution to a problem developed during that activity. Parliament tended to strengthen this position. Articles, submitted by the second chamber during 1405—1406 session, regimented activity of upper offices: Minor Council, chancery, office of Lord Keeper of the Minor Seal, treasury, Household, both central courts and partly Parliament; tasks and responsibilities of officials with different ranks were formulated. Article № 24 stated that members of Magnum Concilium and upper officials (Chanceller, Tresorer d’Engleterre, Seneschall, Chamberein, Gardein de Prive Seal, Tresorer et Countrollour d’Ostiel le Roy) were bound to swear an oath before Parliament to obey a law and carry out their duties honestly . Perhaps if these articles were really keeping up, we could speak about Parliament situated not only ‘at the centre’ of state offices but ‘at the head’. But they contained only a trend in the early 15th century which due to terms of history was delayed for more than two centuries.
Keywordsmedieval history of England, medieval English parliament, medieval English government
Publication date10.11.2014
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