Parliament and Baronial Reform, 1258–1272
This chapter assesses the impact of the baronial reform movement of 1258–65 on the development of parliament. It argues that the reforming barons saw parliament as a public forum and the appropriate setting for political decision‐making. The extensive legislative programme through which reform was enacted also served to establish parliament as the proper venue for large‐scale legislation, foreshadowing the parliamentary legislation of Edward I. In another major development the knights whose support was needed by Simon de Montfort, the reformers' leader, began to play a central part in parliamentary business, not in consenting to taxation, as hitherto, but in general discussion of political matters. Although the reforming enterprise was overthrown in 1265, Henry III continued the reformers' policy of working through parliament and continued too to respect the newfound place of the knights in parliamentary life.
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