Off With You, Now!

On 19 March 1649, to the surprise of probably nobody, an Act of Parliament abolished the House of Lords, declaring that ‘the Commons of England [find] by too long experience that the House of Lords is useless and dangerous to the people of England.’ The abolition of the House of Lords came on the heels of the execution of Charles I on 30 January; presumably the Lords saw something like this coming down the pipeline. The upper house had been reduced to a largely powerless body anyway, and a fair number of its members had probably already fled or were ready to book tickets. The members cooled their heels until the monarchy was restored in 1660. That year, the Convention Parliament reinstated the House of Lords as well, and it remains in place to this day.

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