By David Dean

David Dean's publication deals the 1st designated account of the final Elizabethan parliaments. reading quite a lot of social and financial concerns, legislation reform, spiritual and political matters, Law-Making and Society in past due Elizabethan England addresses the significance of parliament either as a political occasion and as a legislative establishment. David Dean attracts on an array of neighborhood, company and private data to reinterpret the legislative historical past of the interval and in doing so, succeed in a deeper realizing of many features of Elizabethan historical past.

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HLRO, 39 Eliz. OA 9; SR, IV, 910. See b e l o w , chapter 8. BL, Lans. MS 43, f. 165v; BL, Cotton MS Titus Fii, ff. 79, 80v-l; D'Ewes, p. 630; Townshend, Hist. , pp. 196-7. Initiation and procedure 17 A draft bill on drunkenness noted that it was a feature of 'the woorst and inferior sort of people'. 40 Of course, this is not to say that all perspectives were the same. Debates on bastardy, the poor law and taxation reveal a range of attitudes and a variety of opinions. Indeed, in the later parliaments several MPs voiced concerns that they were pushing the poor towards social unrest.

Most were simply handed to the Speaker in the Commons or the Lord Chancellor (or Lord Keeper as he often was in Elizabeth's reign) in the Lords. The clerks (the Lords' clerk had pre-eminence and was officially called the Clerk of the Parliament) were entrusted with the keeping of bills but the Speaker or Lord Chancellor were responsible for the order in which they were read. By the Elizabethan period virtually all bills went through three readings before passing the house. On the first only the title was read and some outline of the content given.

In a study of the major procedural innovations in the early Stuart parliaments, Sheila Lambert found little evidence for a political motive in their making; procedural change related more directly to problems in the legislative process, chiefly the ever-increasing number of bills which confronted both houses. 50 For Elton, Elizabethan procedural innovations and development depended on the need to transact business quickly and efficiently; it had nothing to do with the political aspirations of an organised puritan opposition.

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