History of Britain - Rulers & Ruled


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4.First Parliaments

When, and why, did Commoners first play a part in the political process? (5.5 mins)

5.Peasants Revolt
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1381 next video 5/17next

iconChapter Breakdown

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1. When did ordinary people - 'commoners' - first sit in Parliament?
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2. Kings needed commoners on side, because their taxes paid for his wars.
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3. Who were these 'commoners'? ... The story of Laurence of Ludlow, a country squire in the reign of Edward I.
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4. How Edward 1 used Parliament to pay for his Conquest of Wales.

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iconLocation details


The opening sequence was shot in Parliament Square. Most of the Palace of Westminster was rebuilt after the fire of 1834; only Westminster Hall (behind the statue to Oliver Cromwell) is original. It was built by William II (who apparently complained on its completion that it was disappointingly small).


The rest of the module was shot at Stokesay Castle in Shropshire, one of my favourite places in England.

We visit Stokesay again in the resource, exploring life on the manor in the days of the Domesday Book - see 'The Medieval Manor'. It's well worth a visit - a real gem.


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