Fall 2017 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for fall 2017 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

The Irish Parliament in the Middle Ages

H. G. Richardson and G. O. Sayles

408 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Cloth 1952 | ISBN 9781512806007 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512806014 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

Based largely on manuscript material, this comprehensive account of the Irish Parliament in the Middle Ages shows that early Irish parliaments cannot be identified either in form or function with their modern namesake and, consequently, demonstrates that the concept of governmental democracy had a much slower, more gradual development than historians have heretofore believed.

The history of the Irish Parliaments proper begins with that held at Castledermot in mid-June 1264. During the reign of Edward II and the early years of Edward III significant changes took place—changes, the authors, point out, similar to those taking place in the development of the English Parliament, though there were important differences.

The book continues with a description of the Irish Parliament in the middle years of Edward III's reign and concludes with an account of the parliament at Drogheda held in 1494, when the passing of Poyning's Law brought the period of medieval parliaments to a close. The appendices include an almost complete list of the meetings convened between 1264 and 1494, as well as copies of documents that, the authors say, are the only means whereby a close glimpse may be had of the personnel and deliberations of the Privy Council.

G. O. Sayles was Professor of Modern History at Queen's University in Belfast and the author of numerous works, including The Medieval Foundations of England. H. G. Richardson was a lifelong student of parliamentary institutions. They were recognized, in England and America, as the outstanding experts in the field of constitutional history of medieval England.

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