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In 1261 Simon de Montfort called his first parliament. Parliaments started with the Anglo-Saxon Kings of England the first of which was King Athelstan who was recognised as the King of All England in 927 AD. In Anglo-Saxon England all were subject to the law and to parliament including the King and the Church. This was not true of the feudal parliaments started by William I in 1067. Simon was continuing a struggle, started with Magna Carta in 1215, to reinstitute this Anglo-Saxon principle, a struggle not finally won until the English Bill of Rights of 1689.
He followed the precedents, already set by the King, Henry III, of including elected Knights from the Shires, Burgesses from the towns as well as the Prelates (Bishops) and the Earls and Barons. The parliament was to meet in St Albans.
Summoning a Parliament was the prerogative of the King, not of one of his subjects. The reaction of the King was extraordinary. The King summoned his own Parliament to meet at Westminster on the same day. For good measure he sent a message to the Shire courts telling them to ensure that the Knights came to his own Parliament and not Simon’s.
In doing this the King conceded the principle that subjects of the King could call their own Parliament, especially if sufficiently upset with the King’s governance.
It is this ancient precedent that the English Democrats followed at their National Conference in September 2012.
First we approved The Great Democracy Charter of St Albans 2013 to commemorate the fact that in 1213 the Barons had gone to the Abbot of St Albans to ask what could be done about the King, John I. This was the first step leading to the sealing of Magna Carta by King John in 1215.
Second we then approved the summoning of a Parliament for England. In these pages you can read about and watch and listen to:
- The Charter
- The Summoning of the Parliament,
- The work of the Parliament for England: The English Bill of Rights 2015
- The Closing of Parliament
- About the Golden Chain that led
- from the first English law code of AD602
- to the Anglo-Saxon parliaments of nearly 1,100 years ago
- through to the Magna Carta of 1215, 800 years ago
- to the English Bill of Rights of 1689
- to the American Declaration of Independence that led to the Doctrine of Self-Determination
- and finally to Abraham Lincoln’s unforgettable formulation of the definition of democratic government at the Gettysburg battlefield
- Download a FREE ebook on the Golden Chain.
The Golden Chain is England’s Gift to the world. A gift that animates and gives form and structure to peoples still struggling for their freedom; that allows us to identify when politicians have forgotten about their core role of protecting democracy, preferring instead to promote their own agendas at the expense of the people’s rights to democratic government.
Exactly the situation we have in England today.
That is what our Charter is about and that is why we have summoned The Parliament for England.