Abbey Marks 750th Anniversary of Simon de Montfort Parliament
Friday, 23rd January 2015
The 750th anniversary of the Simon de Montfort Parliament was remembered at Evensong in Westminster Abbey at 5.00 pm on Thursday 22nd January 2015.
The Right Honourable John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, read Leviticus 11: 1-8, 13-19, 41-45 and The Right Honourable The Baroness D'Souza CMG, Lord Speaker, read Acts 10: 9-16. Prayers were said by the Venerable Andrew Tremlett, Sub-Dean and Rector of St Margaret's Church. The Speaker and Lord Speaker laid wreaths at the tablet commemorating Simon de Montfort's contribution to the Abbey in the North Quire Aisle.
A special event with the United Kingdom Parliament had been held earlier in the Abbey's Chapter House when sixty members from both Houses of Parliament, representing the whole of the UK, with representatives from the UK Youth Parliament, met to recall the de Montfort Parliament, which met there from January to mid-March 1265. That Parliament had brought together for the first time burgesses from the towns and knights from the shires to discuss matters of national concern. Though it proved short-lived, that Parliament is seen as having paved the way for the emergence of the House of Commons.
The commemorations were part of Parliament's public programme, Parliament in the Making, which commemorates two anniversaries in 2015: 750 years since the Simon de Montfort parliament (20th January 1265) and 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta (15th June 1215).