IN THE GENERAL election of 1265, historians estimate that approximately 8 freeholders were eligible to vote for the 3 seats in Parliament.

The famous “Model Parliament” of 1295 was carved from a single bath-size bar of soap.

Charles I, in spite of his considerable command of the English language, was never able to understand the distinction between a hung Parliament and a hanged Parliament.

By the late 1700s, the two members from the “rotten borough” of Cheesewick in Dumpcestershire were elected by three red squirrels and a badger. It was notorious that the squirrels could all be bribed for the price of a chestnut each.

The Filthy Selfish Rich Snobs Party made considerable gains in the election of 1879 by changing its name to “Conservative Party.”

In 1923, the Mayfly Party won 378 seats, giving them an absolute majority; but the members were all dead before they could form a government, and another election had to be called.

A recent survey of 119 randomly chosen Labour MPs found that 89% were unable to articulate any explanation of the origin of the name of their party.

Every year on Guy Fawkes Day, the Queen sends each member of Parliament an ornate greeting card with a gentle reminder that she could, constitutionally speaking, squash them all like bugs.


  1. Jared says:

    Lord Sidmouth originally drafted eight acts in response to the Peterloo Massacre, but the Lord Speaker left two on the cutting room floor, citing the short attention spans of the contemporary riot-goer. Long-standing plans to issue a definitive collectors edition were eventually scrapped by Sir Anthony Eden.

    Although the House of Lords is reportedly comprised of Lords Spiritual and Temporal, most parliamentary observers dismiss belief in the existence of Lords Spiritual as mere superstition.

    While Earl Grey’s name is known to the masses as the man behind the Great Reform Act of 1832, historians like to point out his role in the introduction of a blend of tea in that same decade.

    Although the Queen’s intent to dissolve parliament in May has been reported widely, and monarchs have exercised their authority to dissolve parliament countless times over the centuries, the nature of the solvent employed remains a closely guarded trade secret.

  2. Sean says:

    “In 1845, Parliament voted to abolish Ireland, but was only 25% successful.”

    “Thanks to the efforts of the 4th Earl of Sandwich, Parliament was able to eat and legislate simultaneously beginning in 1742.”

  3. Jared says:

    In 1641, members of the Long Parliament first articulated the theory of government by the consent of the governing, a notion that would undergo further revision in subsequent years.

    The tactics pioneered in the Midlothian campaign birthed the most harrowing political weapon yet devised, the stump speech. Wracked with guilt over his most unfortunate innovation, William Gladstone often found himself capable of only fitful sleep thereafter and was often observed taking to the streets at night, a practice his colleagues found only slightly less distasteful than his incessant quotations from Vivian Grey, intended as an act of penance.

    Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the British Sovereign. Her Majesty’s Least Honourable Privy Council, a feeder league, was based in Ottawa until the adoption of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, and is now retained chiefly as a tourist attraction.

  4. Sean says:

    In 1791, Parliament voted unanimously to have John “Mad Jack” Byron put down. Unfortunately, his malady had already spread to his son.

    In 1758, the first Earl of Chatham was astonished to receive correspondence from settlers at the Forks of the Ohio stating that “We want named after you. We promise to redd the place up n’at if yinz’ll let us.” With the letter was sent a black and gold robe and 20 lb of chip chopped ham, slightly worse for its 4 months of travel.

  1. […] April, appropriately, brought us Highlights of British Parliamentary History. […]

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