The house rose in a great commotion, every Member shouting louder than his neighbour and calling his opponents all manner of terrible names and calls. After an hour of this, the motion which we had been debating had largely been forgotten, giving way to a discussion of the comparative virtues of Sir Roderick Eames, and old Henry Flooters finally awoke with gleaming eyes. When he was satisfied little had occured, he was once again asleep and the argument continued…
– Alfred Billiers recording the events of a day in the 1588 Parliament (Commons)

The Parliament is a powerful instrument of state, having been built up and developed slowly over several centuries. Many of the knights and burgesses sitting in the House of Commons consider it a right and indelible part of English government, one of the great pillars of state. King Matthew needs Parliament to vote taxes. Almost all his finances are drawn from the taxes approved by Parliament and though he could potentially find other legitimate and semi-legitimate ways, there is no knowing what this would do to Crown-Parliament relations.

Since the Civil Wars when Parliament supported the Queen and her son, the powers it bore steadily grew. Under the influence of reform and change initiated by Lord Thomas Wriothesly during those years, the necessity of Parliament and the clear reliance of it and the Monarchy on each other grew. Now Parliament is an even more integral part of the government of Albion. Doubtless power could still be wrested from it by a strong King wishing to be an absolute monarch, but this has not been the way of English Kings and Queens.

The Parliament is divided into two chambers which now sit separately. The Commons is the chamber to which MPs are elected by their constituents from boroughs and counties (though to stand and vote a minimum of wealth is required). The Lords contains every peer and episcopal minister of the country - those ranking Viscount/Bishop and above sit in it and make the final decision on Acts to become full laws.

Getting Elected

At the beginning of the game, only those with the the MP or Important MP quirks sit in the Commons and can vote on motions. This does not necessarily mean that others cannot influence both motion and vote - influential individuals can gather support by bribes or other means, and through other MPs have their say.

In subsequent Parliaments, if elections are called anybody who is not already in the House of Lords can stand for Parliament. It is relatively easy to get elected, but this will still only get you one vote and a direct say initially - it would be up to you to either join, build a faction or find allies to have a more marked effect. You must be an English Knight, Baron or Commoner with Wealth 3 or above.

The House of Commons

The Commons are charged with tabling motions and debating the bills they wish to become laws. Anybody can propose a motion, speak for or against it, propose amendments and finally vote to have it passed.

Speaker of the House

The Speaker is perhaps the most important MP to sit in the Commons. Appointed by the King from the elected MPs, he leads the Commons and chooses those to speak and table motions as well keeping order and regulating procedure. The Speaker cannot simply ignore proposers or speakers, but he can select an order and favour the supporters of the King.

Player Speaker: If a player is chose by the King to be the Speaker of the House they have a say in which motions are proposed and argued in Parliament. They can reject one motion per turn, though they cannot reject the same motion twice in two consecutive turns.

The House of Lords

The Lords Spiritual and Temporal review any motions passed by the House of Commons and vote to reject or approve them. If they are passed by the House of Lords, Bills become laws, Acts of Parliament that have immediate and full effect. An amendment to a law can be suggested by the Lords though the Commons do not have to heed it, but it is often the path required for compromise.

Typically the Lords follow the lead of the King, or pursue a moderating stance on anything too radical proposed by the Commons.


The Commons, and to some extent the Lords contain various divisions which can loosely be termed factions. These are rarely as coherent and solid as they might like to believe, but groupings around cerain principles have become entrenched. The most famous of these is the Wry Faction, begun under the leadership of Parliamentary reformer Lord Thomas Wriothesley before the Civil Wars.

It is possible to form, influence and take control of factions.

Tabling Motions

Players with a character who is a member of either the Houses of Commons or Lords may submit one or more motions with their turnsheets, along with any actions they will be taking to further promote (or undermine) their votes. Motions must be submitted by Midnight on Thursday, they will then be then passed on to the players and those eligible to vote must do so by Midnight Saturday.


Voting itself is only a Housekeeping action; encouraging others to vote may take more AP.

parliament.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/03 19:00 by innokenti