The mother of parliaments (expression)

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Not to be confused with Mother of Parliament.

The mother of parliaments is an expression coined by the British politician and reformer John Bright in a speech at Birmingham on 18 January 1865.

It was a reference to England. His actual words were: England is the mother of parliaments. This was reported in The Times of the following day. [1]

The expression is often misapplied[clarification needed] to the Parliament of the United Kingdom because of the adoption of the Westminster Model of Parliamentary Democracy by many countries of the former Empire.


  1. ^ Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, revised 4th ed, 1996, p. 141