an assembly of representatives of a nation or people having authority to make laws.
The assembly of the three estates of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, viz., the lords spiritual, lords temporal, and the representatives of the commons, sitting in the House of Lords and the House of Commons, constituting the legislature, when summoned by the royal authority to consult on the affairs of the nation, and to enact and repeal laws.
Representative assembly first defined in the Magna Carta in the 13th century. First comprised of the king's officers and the peers of the realm, the assembly gradually grew beyond the Barons to include knights of shires who were summoned by the sheriff. During the 14th century the English parliament split into two houses, the House of Lords, comprised of the Barons and Preates, overseen by the King, and the House of Commons, made up of the knights from the boroughs and shires that elected their own speaker to take their point of view before the King.