According to Radcliffe and Cross, ‘few matters in English history are more controverted than the origins of Parliament’, although it seems to be reasonably clear that it was initially ‘some sort of special and formal gathering about the King… an occasion… rather than a body or an institution’. (The English Legal System, 6th edn, 1977, p. 53.) Additionally, at least two further things are reasonably clear. First, Parliament dates from very shortly after Magna Carta. Secondly, as the French origins of the term itself clearly denote, Parliament began life as a talking-shop.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.