Writ authorising payment of expenses to Walter de Thorne,
knight of the shire for Kent, 1318

Payment of expenses for attending Parliament started in 1258, but fees were not set until 1327 when knights of the shire were awarded 4s a day and burgesses 2s a day, including travelling expenses. A knight's fees were to be levied, by the sheriff, on the shire (county) that the knight represented. The writ of expenses was issued to the knight of the shire when he attended Parliament. Its endorsement is evidence that he actually attended the parliament to which he had been elected.

In the medieval period Parliament normally met at Westminster - the commons in the Chapterhouse of Westminster Abbey, and the lords and clergy with the king in the White Hall of Westminster Palace. It could also meet wherever the king decided, and both Edward II and Edward III called representatives to York in the early 14th century as the realm focused on fighting the Scots. For the parliaments held at York, Kentish MPs like Walter de Thorne had to endure a much longer journey than usual.
Catalogue reference: C 219/330/7 (1318)


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