William Catesby appointed as the speaker

On 24 January 1483 William Catesby was appointed as the speaker.  At the beginning of each session of a medieval Parliament, a speaker was elected by the commons. The tradition was that the speaker would then protest that they were not capable, then be confirmed to the role with an agreement that the actions of Parliament would not be held against them.

William Catesby appointed as Speaker of the Commons

At the beginning of the only Parliament held during the reign of King Richard III, the commons elected Sir William Catesby to the role of speaker.

Catesby was the son of Sir William Catesby, a knight with landholdings in Northamptonshire. He trained in law at the inner bar before gaining employment in the service of William, Lord Hastings.

Following the death of his father, he inherited several estates in the Midlands. He also managed land for other lords, a common practice at the time as this allowed those lords to focus on other issues.

Through this work, he became acquainted with Richard, Duke of Gloucester and became close friends with the Duke. When Edward IV died, Catesby was one of the men entrusted with a position on the Regency Council. Closely allied to Richard, he secured the position of speaker when Parliament sat.

Catesby also held the role of Chancellor of the Exchequer under Richard and was a key advisor to him during his reign.

Catesby fought alongside Richard at the Battle of Bosworth. Captured following the battle, he was beheaded in Leicester on 25 August 1485.


Leave a Reply