Richard III and the Parliament of 1484

The History of Parliament

As Richard III is today reburied in Leicester Cathedral, Dr Hannes Kleineke, Senior Research Fellow on the Commons 1422-1504 section, discusses the importance of Richard’s only Parliament…

As the bones of King Richard III are laid to rest at Leicester this week, there has been much renewed debate over the kind of King he might have been, had he reigned for longer. Richard’s apologists in particular have pored over the records of Richard’s only Parliament in search of evidence in support of their hero. But what really happened?

Richard’s only Parliament opened at Westminster on 23 January 1484 and sat for less than a month before being dissolved again on 20 February. But this was only part of the story.

A Parliament had originally been summoned to Westminster to meet on 25 June 1483, three days after the date set for the young Edward V’s coronation. Although the…

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