'Merciless Parliament' meets in England (131 words)

Historical Context Note

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The 'Merciless Parliament' was so called because of the hostile measures it took towards the young King Richard II's counsellors. In 1386, a previous parliament, the 'Wonderful Parliament', had blamed Richard and his advisors for the apparently futile expenditure on the Hundred Years' War, and insisted that governmental powers be transferred over by a commission of nobles, the 'Lords Appellant'. The following year, Richard fought back against this policy by declaring the appellants guilty of treason, and raising an army led by Robert de Vere. However, at the Battle of Radcot Bridge on 19th December 1287, de Vere was defeated by the King's opponents. In the ensuing Parliament, many of Richard's closest advisors, including Robert de Vere, …

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