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date: 05 July 2020


A Dictionary of British History

John Cannon,

Robert Crowcroft

Parliament is a servant which became a master. It originated with three royal needs; the need of monarchs to obtain advice and information; the realization that subjects were more likely to pay taxes if they knew what they were for; and the need to find some way of dealing with grievances and petitions. The third function of Parliament gradually atrophied as, in the Middle Ages, an elaborate network of local and national courts was established, though the concept of the High Court of Parliament survived in the appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords.... ...

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