Duration of English Parliaments before 1660

Duration Of English Parliaments Before 1660

Duration of English Parliaments before 1660

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This article augments the List of Parliaments of England to be found elsewhere (see link below) and to precede Duration of English, British and United Kingdom Parliaments from 1660, with additional information which could not be conveniently incorporated in them.

The definition of which bodies should be classified as Parliaments becomes increasingly problematic before the accession of the Tudor monarchs, starting with King Henry VII. Different sources may vary in the number of Parliaments in a particular reign.

The -Plt columns in the tables below count backwards from the Parliament elected in 2005. This is not the conventional way of numbering Parliaments. The No. column contains the number counting forward from the accession of particular monarchs of England before 1660 (or the Commonwealth and Protectorate regimes of the 1650s).

The duration column is calculated from the date of the first meeting of the Parliament, to that of dissolution, using a year-month-day format.

Origin of Parliament

Parliament grew out of the Curia Regis, which was a body which advised the King on legislative matters. It had come into existence after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It replaced the earlier Anglo-Saxon institution of the Witenagemot, which had a similar mix of important clerical and lay members, but different powers.

The Curia Regis (known in English as the Council or Court) was composed of prominent church leaders (Archbishops, Bishops and some Abbots) and the King's feudal...
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