On this day in history : 19th March 1649 – The House of Commons passes an Act abolishing the House of Lords, declaring it “useless and dangerous to the people of England”….
During the reigns of the Tudor monarchs the Crown had steadily grown in power, reaching its height with the reign of King Henry VIII…. The House of Lords continued to be more powerful than the House of Commons – but the Commons was growing in its influence….
When King Charles I came to power he clashed with Parliament over tax revenues and this eventually led to the English Civil Wars…. Charles lost both the first and second Civil War and after his execution the country fell under the control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland…. On the 17th of March 1649 the Monarchy was abolished….
Now the Parliamentarians turned their attention to the House of Lords…. Although its power had diminished with the Bishops Exclusion Act of 1642 there were still enough royal sympathisers to be a nuisance…. So, two days after getting rid of the Monarchy the House of Lords was abolished by an Act of Parliament declaring “The Commons of England by too long experience that the House of Lords is useless and dangerous to the people of England”….
The House of Lords did not reassemble until 1660, once the Monarchy had been restored and King Charles II had taken the throne….