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Along with the Rolls of Parliament, the returns of Members of the House of Commons surviving among the records of the royal Chancery in the Public Record Office have long formed part of the staple diet of historians of the pre-modern Parliament. In combination with evidence for disputed elections found in the archives of the royal law courts, they have been much studied by scholars interested in local and national politics, as well as questions of representative theory. In this, the reign of Henry VI, which witnessed much of the statutory regulation of the election process, played a pivotal role. The completion of the History of Parliament’s volumes for King Henry’s reign provided an opportunity to take stock of this material afresh, and to reconsider in what way these records relate to the election process they appear to document.

Dr Hannes Kleineke is editor of the House of Commons 1461-1504 section at the History of Parliament. He is a historian of late medieval England, with a particular interest in political, legal and administrative history. His publications include Edward IV (2009) and The Yorkist Age (2013). He is currently working on a monograph on Parliament under the Yorkist kings.

The seminar will take the form of a question and answer session based on a pre-circulated paper. The paper will be available to download here and History of Parliament website two weeks prior to the seminar, and will be sent to everyone who has signed up to this event.

If you have any further questions, or you have not received a copy of the paper ahead of the seminar, please contact the conveners at

We acknowledge that work commitments, caring responsibilities and time zones may make attendance at the seminar difficult. If you find that you can only attend part of the session, please contact the convenors and we will do our best to prioritise your involvement. Likewise, if you find that you are unable to attend you can submit a question to and the convenors will put you in touch with the speaker.