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Database: Houses of Parliament

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ACS DB Houses of Parliament

Also known was the Palace of Westminster, the Houses of Parliament were built and remodelled around one of the first royal residences. The Great Hall inside Parliament is the last remnant of the palace built by William II at the end of the eleventh century.

The Old Palace remained a royal residence for just over 400 years, until Henry VIII moved to Whitehall Palace in 1530. The Old Palace became the permanent location for the country's two houses of parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. To call Henry VIII's relationship with the Catholic Church "turbulent" would be an understatement. It's like saying that in the 1940s, Britain's relationship with Germany was "a little fraught." This conflict with the church put the King's lawyers hard at work, and they situated themselves at the Old Palace making the building the home of the Courts of Law as well.

Two of the most notable people to be tried in the Palace of Westminster are Guy Fawkes, the Catholic extremist who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1606, and King Charles I, who was tried and executed for treason at the height of the English Civil War. Prime Minister Spencer Percival was assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons in 1812.

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