On General Election day here’s a look at medieval elections

We tend to think that elections are a relatively modern Medieval elction of a Popeoccurrence, but in fact they were used frequently going right back into history.  

We have quite a bit of evidence of elections in medieval times, from Kings to Abbots and Bishops, but those elections, of course, did not have to take notice of any Representation of the People Act or its Corrupt and Illegal Practices! King Henry II of England is said to have written to the canons of Winchester, who were about to elect a new Bishop: “I command you to hold a free election, but I do not want you to accept anyone but my clerk Richard, archdeacon of Poitiers.”   And it would be a brave man who would disregard an order like that from a medieval King.

Here’s an interesting article by Professor Björn Weiler of Aberystwyth University in which he looks at some of these elections.

Published in: on May 7, 2015 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment