649. Seating in the House of Lords.

The right hand side of the Woolsack1 is known as the spiritual side, and the left hand side the temporal. The distinction is embodied the House of Lords Precedence Act 1539 which provided that when the monarch is seated on the Throne the bishops of the Church of England should sit on his right hand side2.

In modern practice, peers who support the government of the day sit on the spiritual side of the House, with the exception of the first two benches nearest the Throne which are occupied by the bishops, the front one being reserved for the two