1960: Oliviu Beldeanu, for the Berne incident 1388: Robert Tresilian, former Chief Justice

Daily Double: The Merciless Parliament

February 19th, 2010 Headsman

“Politics is a blood sport.”

-Aneurin Bevan

Not in every era do yesterday’s defeated political factions get to retire to write their memoirs or snipe from the comfort of the parliamentary minority.

Certainly not in the 1380s, when the teenage King Richard II and a confederation of nobles fought one another for control of England.

After gaining an early upper hand in 1386, Richard soon found himself defeated on the battlefield and politically encircled — leading to the memorable seating of the “Merciless Parliament”, which proceeded to attaint Richard’s advisors of treason.

A certain archbishop of York, Alexander Nevill by name, Robert de Vere, duke of Ireland, Robert Tresilian, chief justice of the lord king, and Nicholas Brembre, knight and former mayor of the citizens of London, were governors and close councillors of the king, living in vice, deluding the said king, concerned neither with the king’s nor the kingdom’s business but embracing the mammon of iniquity for themselves through much wickedness.

Two of them (not the only two by any stretch) suffered accordingly these next two dates in 1388.

Now that is politics as bloodsport.

On this day..

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