Locality, Polity and the Politics of Counsel: Royal and Urban Councils in England, 1420-1429

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Abstract

In her article of 1988 on ‘Community, Council and Representation’ for the Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought, Jeannine Quillet draws a distinction between the functions exercised by monarchical and municipal councils in medieval Europe. The former, characterised by the royal councils of France and England, are depicted as less formal bodies that advise the king and provide moral guidance for his political actions. They have no authority independent of the king, and cannot make decisions of their own accord. Municipal councils, exemplified by the northern Italian communes, are another animal entirely. These bodies are defined by their executive and representative functions—council members, acting on behalf of the community of the city as a whole, make decisions for the common welfare and elect civic officials. While royal councils counsel and do not act, municipal councils act but do not counsel.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286-1707
EditorsJacqueline Rose
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter5
Pages101-116
Volume204
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-726603-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the British Academy
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN (Print)0068-1202

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