Description

This is the earliest representation of the House of Commons sitting in the former St Stephen’s Chapel in the Palace of Westminster. Originally published as a print in 1624, it is unlikely to be accurate in all its details, but it gives a reasonable impression of the tall, narrow and cramped chamber in which the House met, and in which the debates leading to the Petition of Right took place. It seems to show an offender kneeling at the bar to receive the censure of the House from the Speaker, who presides in his chair. The clerks write in their draft journals at a table in front of the Speaker. However, the print in question probably does not refer to any specific incident. This copy was kept by Sir Simonds d’Ewes (1602–50), an antiquary and Member of Parliament during the English Civil Wars.

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