Published in 1993
There were 135 constituencies represented in Parliament during this period. All of the 37 counties (except the two palatinate counties of Chester and Durham) returned two knights each. The number of towns represented fluctuated. In 1384, for example, 88 towns sent burgesses; in 1399 81 towns did; in 1421, it was 87 towns. All towns sent two burgesses, except London, which returned four.
Shire elections were held at meetings of the county court. The conduct of elections in the towns varied according to the system of government adopted in each town. The sheriff, as the chief royal official in the county had a powerful role in elections, and was able to influence their outcome. The writs of summons sent out from the royal chancery were normally addressed to him, and he was responsible for making the 'returns' showing who had been