On the18th February 1426 the first session of the 'Parliament of Bats' held at Leicester Castle.
The young King Henry VI at just 4 years old and was not old enough to rule in his own right. This led to a struggle for power between the Chancellor of England, Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, and the king’s uncle and protector, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. When the John, Duke of Bedford, (kings older uncle) returned from France, he called a parliament.
Unfortunately in October 1425 confrontation between Gloucester and the Bishop had already occurred on London Bridge and violence threatened to spill over into the parliament, Bedford ordered that no one attending the parliament could enter carrying arms. Instead of bringing their swords, the politicians and their men hid stones and lumps of lead up their long sleeves, as well as staves and wooden bats that could be used as weapons, giving the parliament the name of the ‘Parliament of Bats’. But despite this less-than-promising start, not a bat was swung nor a stone thrown.