The MODEL PARLIAMENT is the term, attributed to Frederic William
Maitland , used for the 1295
Parliament of England
This assembly included members of the clergy and the aristocracy, as well as representatives from the various counties and boroughs . Each county returned two knights , two burgesses were elected from each borough, and each city provided two citizens. This composition became the model for later parliaments, hence the name.
A similar scheme had been used in summoning Simon de Montfort\'s Parliament in 1265. That Parliament, however, had been called by Simon de Montfort in the midst of the Second Barons\' War against Henry III of England ; that the same scheme should be adopted by a king (Henry's son and heir, who had quelled Montfort's uprising) was remarkable.
Edward I summoned the parliament on 13 November 1295. In calling the
parliament, Edward proclaimed in his writ of summons, "what touches
all, should be approved of all, and it is also clear that common
dangers should be met by measures agreed upon in common." At the
time, Parliament's legislative authority was limited and its primary
role was to levy taxes. Edward's paramount goal in summoning the
parliament was to raise funds for his wars, specifically planned
campaigns against the French and the Scots for the upcoming year, and
countering an insurgency in
However, the resulting parliament became a model for a new function as well: the addressing of grievances with the king. "The elected members were far more anxious to establish the second function: to discuss grievances. A kind of quid pro quo was looked for: money for the Scottish campaign of 1296 would be forthcoming if certain grievances were addressed. This consciousness was growing, even if all was still in an embryonic state." The concept of "Parliament" was, in fact, such that the division into House of Commons and House of Lords had not yet taken place; the Model Parliament was unicameral , summoning 49 lords to sit with 292 representatives of the Commons.
The Model Parliament created a precedent , whereby each "successor of a baron" (which includes Lords Spiritual ) who received a writ to the parliament of 1295 "had a legal right to receive a writ." However, that strictly hereditary right was not recognised formally until 1387.
* ^ A B C D Powicke, Maurice, Medieval England: 1066-1485, pp. 96-97 (London: Oxford University Press paperback edition 1969). * ^ "Edward I," Encyclopædia Britannica (1911). * ^ Michael L. Nash, "Crown, Woolsack and Mace: the model Parliament of 1295." Contemporary Review, November 1995. * ^ Nash mentions these figures in discussing separate houses, but the Parliament website "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-01. indicates that the Commons did not deliberate apart until 1341. This article accepts the Parliament's