Writing the history of parliament in Tudor and early Stuart England

Edited by Paul Cavill and Alexandra Gajda

Writing the history of parliament in Tudor and early Stuart England

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1591-1
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: July 2018
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century, Humanities / Historiography, Parliamentary & Legislative Practice, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Humanities / British & Irish history, Early Modern History, History, History & Archaeology, HISTORY / Modern / 16th Century, POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory, Humanities / Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700


This volume of essays explores the rise of parliament in the historical imagination of early modern England. The enduring controversy about the nature of parliament informs nearly all debates about the momentous religious, political and governmental changes of the period - most significantly, the character of the Reformation and the causes of the Revolution. Meanwhile, scholars of ideas have emphasised the historicist turn that shaped political culture. Religious and intellectual imperatives from the sixteenth century onwards evoked a new interest in the evolution of parliament, framing the ways that contemporaries interpreted, legitimised and contested Church, state and political hierarchies.

Parliamentary 'history' is explored through the analysis of chronicles, more overtly 'literary' texts, antiquarian scholarship, religious polemic, political pamphlets, and of the intricate processes that forge memory and tradition.


'No book can solve all our problems in understanding the role of the past in early modern politics. But this volume makes a significant contribution to that project by its combination of wide argument and fine-grained detail.'
Parliamentary History


Introduction - Alexandra Gajda and Paul Cavill
1. Polydore Vergil and the first English parliament - Paul Cavill
2. 'The consent of the body of the whole realme': Edward Hall's parliamentary history - Scott Lucas
3. The Elizabethan Church and the antiquity of parliament - Alexandra Gajda
4. Parliament and the principle of elective succession in Elizabethan England - Paulina Kewes
5. Elizabethan chroniclers and parliament - Ian W. Archer
6. The significance (and insignificance) of precedent in early Stuart parliaments - Simon Healy
7. The politic history of early Stuart parliaments - Noah Millstone
8. 'That memorable parliament': medieval history in parliamentarian polemic, 1641-42 - Jason Peacey
9. Institutional memory and contemporary history in the House of Commons, 1547-1640 - Paul Seaward
10. Afterword - Peter Lake


Paul Cavill is a Lecturer in Early Modern British History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Pembroke College

Alexandra Gajda is Associate Professor in History at the University of Oxford and John Walsh Fellow and Tutor at Jesus College

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