This article is from the September 2011 issue of Total Politics

Although Parliament grew in importance under the Tudor monarchs, royal power could easily influence the business and manipulate the opinions of both Houses of Parliament.

In 1572, Queen Elizabeth I prorogued Parliament in order to avoid giving her assent to a Bill that had been passed to deprive Mary Queen of Scots of the right of succession to the English Crown. This document from the Parliamentary Archives is the Royal Commission continuing that prorogation in October 1573, with Elizabeth’s large and splendid signature in the top left corner. Appended on a strip of parchment is the Great Seal, which was used to authenticate important documents such as this.

Parliament did not meet again until 1576, by which time the feeling against Mary had temporarily subsided.

For more information, visit www.parliament.uk/archives

Tags: Elizabeth I, History of one object, Parliament, Royal Commission of Queen Elizab