胡適日記全集: 1923-27 Google Books Result : 參觀過 不過不知道其歷史
- A sack for wool.
- The official seat of the Lord Chancellor in the House of Lords.
The Woolsack is the seat of the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords, the Upper House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. From the Middle Ages until 2006, the presiding officer in the House of Lords was the Lord Chancellor and the Woolsack was usually mentioned in association with the office of Lord Chancellor. In July 2006, the function of Lord Speaker was split from that of Lord Chancellor.
Introduced in the fourteenth century, the seat was originally a wool bale, which was a symbol of the nation's prosperity due to the importance of the wool trade. Indeed it was largely to protect the vital English wool trade routes with continental Europe that the Battle of Crécy was fought with the French in 1346. When the Woolsack was remade after damage in the Second World War, wool from the various nations of the Commonwealth was used, in order to symbolise the Commonwealth's unity.
The Lord Speaker may speak from the Woolsack when speaking in his or her capacity as Speaker of the House, but must, if he or she seeks to debate, deliver his or her remarks either from the left side of the Woolsack, or from the normal seats of the Lords.
If a Deputy Speaker presides in the absence of the Lord Speaker, then that individual uses the Woolsack. However, when the House meets in the "Committee of the Whole", the Woolsack remains unoccupied, and the presiding officer, the Chairman or Deputy Chairman, occupies a Chair at the front of the table of the House.
In front of the Woolsack is an even larger cushion known as the Judges' Woolsack. During the State Opening of Parliament, the Judges' Woolsack was historically occupied by the Law Lords; now that the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has ended the judicial functions of the House of Lords, it is unclear what will happen to the Judges' Woolsack, but it is possible that the Justices of the Supreme Court will sit on it. The seat, however, is by no means restricted to judges only; during normal sittings, any Lord may occupy it.
- The Woolsack at the UK Parliament site. URL accessed 30 April 2011
- The Judges' Woolsack at the UK Parliament site. URL accessed 30 April 2011
- The Interior of the House of Lords at an archived version of the Explore Parliament website. URL accessed 28 February 2011. See also the image at full resolution. The woolsacks are the large, low, rectangular objects in front of the throne, surrounded by ropes.