nThe English Parliament stems from a 13th century dispute between King Henry III and the feudal lords.
nBy the 14th century Parliament heard petitions from aggrieved subjects and presided over abdications of kings. Later in the century, Parliament was divided into
two chambers: the House of Lords and
the House of Commons.
Parliament came to play a significant role in the formation of the law by adopting statutes that revised and supplemented the common law.
nFor example, in 1540 Parliament enacted the Statute of Wills, which allowed people to will real estate to their
heirs. Prior to that enactment, the
common law recognized only the
right to will personal property. Numerous
other enactments followed, modifying, extending or superceding the common law in many ways.