Welcome to the History of Parliament blog!

Here we share posts about our current research projects, wider parliamentary history, highlights from our events, seminars and conferences, and future publications. The History of Parliament’s core work lies in researching and writing series of volumes depicting Parliamentary life and proceedings throughout the past 700 years. These academically rigorous works contain detailed biographies of parliamentarians, studies of constituencies and introductory surveys. The Sections currently underway … Continue reading Welcome to the History of Parliament blog!

A Trojan horse in the House of Lords? The South Sea Company and the peerage

2020 marks the 300th anniversary of one of the most spectacular stock market crashes in British history when the South Sea Bubble burst. Dr Charles Littleton re-examines the way in which the scheme was guided through Parliament and the impact it had on some members of the House of Lords On 22 January 1720 the chancellor of the exchequer, John Aislabie, presented to the House … Continue reading A Trojan horse in the House of Lords? The South Sea Company and the peerage

Sitting at Christmas: getting business done, 1643

In a previous blog our director, Dr Stephen Roberts, explored legislation by which parliamentarians of the 1640s tried to promote what they saw as more appropriate ways of celebrating Christmas; contrary to popular historical myth, Oliver Cromwell was not the driving force. As Dr Vivienne Larminie of our Commons 1640-1660 section explains, Parliament itself began cutting back on the Yuletide festivities some years before Cromwell … Continue reading Sitting at Christmas: getting business done, 1643

A turning-point in the Wars of the Roses: the attainders of the Coventry Parliament

In our latest blog Dr Simon Payling, Senior Research Fellow in our 1461-1504 project, discusses the short Lancastrian parliament of 1459 and an Act that would have a lasting impact in the Wars of the Roses… The brief Parliament, which met at Coventry between 20 November and 20 December, 1459, marked a determining moment in the Wars of the Roses. The Lancastrian regime, in the … Continue reading A turning-point in the Wars of the Roses: the attainders of the Coventry Parliament

Oral History at the History of Parliament Trust: new volunteers needed!

Dr Emma Peplow is the new lead coordinator for our Oral History Project. Today she is announcing a new round of training for oral history volunteers. For more information about the project, click here. As many of you know, our oral history project interviews former MPs about their lives and experiences both inside and outside of the House of Commons. Since 2011 we have interviewed … Continue reading Oral History at the History of Parliament Trust: new volunteers needed!

A new beginning? Stubbs’s ‘Model’ Parliament of 1295

The final piece in our Named Parliaments series represents the earliest Parliament we’ve discussed, the ‘Model’ Parliament of 1295. Dr Simon Payling of our House of Commons 1461-1504 project explores the significance of this early Parliament and the Victorian historian who named it… It is impossible to discern and date accurately the birth of any institution that goes on to last centuries and, in its … Continue reading A new beginning? Stubbs’s ‘Model’ Parliament of 1295

“Windy music & heat in the House” The failure to reform the House of Lords in 1719

In the spring of 1719 the government introduced a measure for reforming the House of Lords. By its provisions the size of the peerage of Great Britain was to be frozen, while the Scots were to be allotted 25 hereditary peerages in place of the 16 elected ones they currently held. It failed but in the following session the same measure was brought back again. … Continue reading “Windy music & heat in the House” The failure to reform the House of Lords in 1719