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Title: Parliament Lost - Parliament Regained? The Three Estates in the Reign of David II, 1329-1371
Author(s): Penman, Michael A
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Editor(s): Brown, Keith M
Mann, A J
MacDonald, Alan R
Tanner, Roland J
Citation: Penman MA (2004) Parliament Lost - Parliament Regained? The Three Estates in the Reign of David II, 1329-1371. In: Brown KM, Mann AJ, MacDonald AR & Tanner RJ (eds.) The History of the Scottish Parliament: Parliament and Politics in Scotland, 1235-1560. The Edinburgh History of the Scottish Parliament, Volume 1, 1. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 74-101.
Keywords: David II, King of Scotland, 1323 or 4-1370 or 1
Scotland Kings and rulers
Scotland Politics and government 14th century
Parliamentary practice Scotland History To 1500
Issue Date: 2004
Date Deposited: 20-Oct-2011
Series/Report no.: The Edinburgh History of the Scottish Parliament, Volume 1, 1
Abstract: First paragraph: Perhaps like no other king of Scots’ reign, the long rule of the second and last Bruce monarch, David II (1329-71), has left striking proof that parliament or general council could be an extremely difficult and disputatious arena for the crown. These were assemblies which could be fueled at once by the factional agendas and animosities of king and key magnates as well as by the developing political outlook of the three estates. Admittedly, much of the evolving nature of this point of governmental contact sprang from David’s unpredictable and dramatic personal circumstances.1 Not only did David accede to the throne as a child faced with a lengthy minority but on at least two occasions following the king’s capture in battle against England in 1346 a Scottish parliament would record a point-blank refusal to countenance his plans for the admission of an English Prince to the Scottish succession. Faced instead with the treaty obligation of paying off an onerous ransom of 100,000 merks to Edward III in just ten years, David - after his release in 1357 - could be said to have found himself repeatedly in front of his subjects with crown-in-hand in search of revenues and approval of his diplomacy.2 In return for his subjects’ ‘consent and assent’ over these matters parliament or council seemed able, throughout the 1360s especially, to extract numerous statutory concessions with regard to their expectations and concerns for royal justice, the behaviour of crown officers, taxation assessment and expenditure, the royal demesne, prise, hospitality and foreign relations. Robert Rait, reading all of this in the fragmentary extant record of acts, was thus convinced that David was a ‘worthless man’ whose reign was an opportunity for ‘the development of a Parliamentary influence comparable to that exercised by the English Parliament in the later fourteenth century’: in Rait’s view, through the exchange of redress of subjects’ grievances for regular subsidy, by 1371 ‘Parliament or General Council succeeded in placing important restrictions upon the power of the sovereign….[and] the constitutional progress of the reign of David II was therefore the development of baronial rule over a weak monarch…the only possible leaders made an honest effort to prevent the king from wasting the revenues required for administrative purposes and for the payment of the ransom’.3
Rights: The publisher has granted permission for use of this book chapter in this Repository. The chapter, 'Parliament Lost - Parliament Regained? The Three Estates in the Reign of David II, 1329-1371' by Michael A. Penman, was first published in The History of the Scottish Parliament: Parliament and Politics in Scotland, 1235-1560, ed by Keith M Brown, A. J. Mann, Alan R. MacDonald and Ronald J Tanner and published by Edinburgh University Press.

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