Quiz: history of the House

Lord Norton

The House of Lords has its origin in the King’s court, which comprised the leading churchmen and landowners.  In the 13th Century, some knights from the shires and later burgesses from towns were summoned and the court developed into a parliament.  Later, the churchmen along with earls and barons sat separately from those drawn from the shires and boroughs, creating what we now recognise as the House of Lords and the House of Commons.  This week’s quiz is on the history of the House.  As usual, the first two readers to provide the correct answers will be the winners.

1.  In what year did the House of Lords and House of Commons first sit separately?

2. Parliament was destroyed in a great fire in 1834, resulting in the building of the current Palace of Westminster, which was recognised as a great architectural wonder.   The chambers of the two Houses were completed and opened on different dates.  In what year did Queen Victoria open the new Lords Chamber?

3.  Hereditary peers were not able to disclaim their titles and consequently their seats in the House of Lords.  Some heirs who sat in the House of Commons would have preferred to remain in the Commons and not move to the Lords on the death of their fathers.  Their number in post-war years included Quintin Hogg, but it was Tony Benn who campaigned vigorously, and successfully, for a change in the law.   In what year was the Peerages Act, enabling peers to disclaim their titles, passed?

4.  What was the title to which Tony Benn succeeded and which he fought to disclaim?

12 comments for “Quiz: history of the House

  1. Jason Lower
    17/12/2011 at 11:46 am

    1. 1341
    2. 1847
    3. 1963
    4. Viscount Stansgate

  2. Chris K
    17/12/2011 at 1:57 pm

    3) 1963
    4) Viscount Stansgate

  3. 17/12/2011 at 6:48 pm

    I am sure this is very late as Christmas activities are increasing in pace and intensity here at Big Woods but here goes:

    1. My answer is 1341. I believe this is evolutionary with a sort of Estates General sliding into an elected Commons and twith Magna Carta complicating evolution but yet an answer of 1341 is possible as a simple fact nonetheless.
    2.This is a guess. I could not find an answer.The chamber was completed in 1847 and it could have been that year the next or after the later completion of C0mmons. So I merely guess 1847.
    4.Viscount Stansgate

  4. Michael
    18/12/2011 at 12:16 am

    I’ll be a latecomer for this one but still…

    1) 1341

    2) 1847

    3) 1963

    4) Viscount Stansgate

  5. John T
    18/12/2011 at 3:26 pm

    1. 1341

    2. 1852

    3. 1963

    4. Viscount Stansgate

  6. Twm O'r Nant
    19/12/2011 at 9:43 am

    1) 1341
    4) Viscount Stansgate

  7. Princeps Senatus
    19/12/2011 at 10:50 am

    As others have given the asnwers to the other questions, I’ll desist. However, as everybody has appeared to give a different answer to (2), I’ll give it a go.
    2) There is a potrait of Queen Victoria using the new Chamber for a State Opening in 1851, so I’ll go with 1851.

  8. Twm O'r Nant
    19/12/2011 at 11:11 am

    heh! heh!

  9. John T
    19/12/2011 at 12:00 pm

    On further investigation, I’m changing my answer to (2) to 1847. 1852 was when the Commons was completed.

  10. Madam Butterfly
    20/12/2011 at 9:22 am

    This is going to be interesting!

  11. Lord Norton
    Lord Norton
    23/12/2011 at 10:38 am

    Many thanks to all those who responded. Another impressive set of entries.

    I can confirm that the answers are indeed 1341, 1847 (April), 1963, and Viscount Stansgate.

    The two readers who were first to submit the correct answers are therefore Jason Lower and Frank Wynerth Summers III. Commendations to everyone who contributed.

    • Frank W. Summers III
      23/12/2011 at 1:55 pm

      Lord Norton and all,

      Happy Christmas. I hope the teas will yet be going on if I ever garner that third win. I suppose it will be on another question in which burning of the Palaces of Parliament is mentioned. Not sure what that trend says for international relations. I assure you that I personally was not even alive or on site in 1834.

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