Great Britain: Mum's 700th

In 1265, after defeating King Henry III at the battle of Lewes, Simon de Montfort, the ambitious French-born Earl of Leicester, summoned the barons, bishops and warrior knights of England to a national colloquy in London. To muster popular support for his cause among the new commercial classes, Montfort also took the unprecedented step of inviting each of the young nation's townships to send "two of their more discreet, lawful and trustworthy citizens or burgesses." By thus giving commoners a voice in government for the first time, Montfort, as Winston Churchill wrote, "lighted a fire never to be quenched in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!