Henry III - Origin of Parliament

John, at his death in 1216, was succeeded by his son, HENRY III, a weak and worthless prince, who ascended the throne in his boyhood, and reigned fifty six years, without having performed one worthy act of sufficient consequence to be detailed. In his reign was held the first assemblage approaching to the character of a Parliament. It was first called in 1225, in order to give supplies for carrying on a war against France. The money was only granted on condition that the Great Charter should be confirmed; and thus the example was set at the very first, for rendering supplies a check upon the prerogative of the king, and gradually reducing that power to its present comparatively moderate level. Under the earlier Norman kings, and even, it is believed, under the Saxons, an assembly called the Great Council had shared with the sovereign the power of framing laws but it was only now that the body had any power to balance that of the sovereign, and it was not till 1265 that representatives from the inhabitants of towns were introduced.