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!

1421: a troubled royal Christmas

As the festive season draws to a close and a New Year commences, in today’s blog Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 section, looks back at the news met by Henry V during the Christmas of 1421-2. King Henry V spent the Christmas season of 1421-2 in France, as he had done for every one of the preceding four Christmases. It had been … Continue reading 1421: a troubled royal Christmas

Double Dutch: two Dutch courtiers and the British dynasties they founded

In this latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton considers the histories of two Dutch families who went on to produce some of the most influential noble houses in Britain through the 18th and 19th centuries. Until the extinction of the line in 1990, one of the grandest titles in the British nobility was the dukedom of Portland. Their principal seat of Welbeck … Continue reading Double Dutch: two Dutch courtiers and the British dynasties they founded

Review of the Year 2021

Despite everything that was thrown at us this year, 2021 was as busy as ever for the History of Parliament! With online outreach, multiple events, and even an in-person celebration or two, here’s Connie Jeffery with a round-up of 2021 at the HPT… 2021 began with the long-anticipated publication of our House of Lords 1604-29 volumes, edited by Dr Andrew Thrush. Based on detailed manuscript … Continue reading Review of the Year 2021

Top of the Blogs 2021

Those of you who follow us on Twitter will be familiar with our regular Friday feature: #TopOfTheBlogs. As the title suggests, this is our weekly countdown of our most popular blogs from the past week. But as 2021 draws to a close, on our blog today we’re counting down not just the top blogs from the last seven days, but from the last twelve months! … Continue reading Top of the Blogs 2021

Henry Clinton, earl of Lincoln: a peer governed by the underworld?

What’s your image of an Elizabethan nobleman? A grave elder statesmen with a long beard, perhaps, or a dashing young courtier in a large ruff. How about a pantomime villain? Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section considers a peer whose bad behaviour shocked even his contemporaries… According to the conventional narrative of English history, medieval peers lived in castles, employed private armies, oppressed … Continue reading Henry Clinton, earl of Lincoln: a peer governed by the underworld?

Oliver the red-nosed protector: Cromwell’s physiognomy revisited

In today’s blog we hear from Patrick Little, senior research fellow in our Commons 1640-1660 project, who is looking into one of Oliver Cromwell’s more famous assets… Oliver Cromwell is famous for his warts. In the Horrible Histories series, the volume devoted to the lord protector is called Oliver Cromwell and his Warts; a Google search of ‘Cromwell warts’ yields 1.4 million results; ‘warts and … Continue reading Oliver the red-nosed protector: Cromwell’s physiognomy revisited

Speaking about Animal Rights in the History of Parliament Oral History Project

As two animal welfare Bills progress through the stages of debate in Parliament, in our latest blog Emme Ledgerwood looks through our Oral History Project archive to explore former MPs’ responses to animal rights issues during their careers… The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill and the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill are currently making their way through Parliament, the latest additions to the UK legislation which … Continue reading Speaking about Animal Rights in the History of Parliament Oral History Project

Plots, petitions, prelates and popery: Parliament and the ‘tumults’ of December 1641

December 1641 was a month of high tension in Parliament, as Dr Vivienne Larminie from our Commons 1640-1660 project explores… It was after fierce debate that on 9 December 1641 MPs expelled three of their number from Parliament. After months of leaks, rumours and investigations, the Commons finally resolved that Henry Wilmot, William Ashbournham and Sir Hugh Pollarde stood accused of misprision of treason, a … Continue reading Plots, petitions, prelates and popery: Parliament and the ‘tumults’ of December 1641

Recovering Europe’s Parliamentary Culture, 1500-1700

Since late September, we’ve been working with a new project at the University of Oxford, called ‘Recovering Europe’s Parliamentary Culture, 1500-1700’, and the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Oxford to put together series of blogs that explore European Parliamentary Culture. The series is focused on the Early Modern period – roughly 1500-1700 – but they have ranged more widely, seeking to bring … Continue reading Recovering Europe’s Parliamentary Culture, 1500-1700

Death of a Queen: the tragic end of Caroline of Ansbach

In the latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Robin Eagles, considers the grisly end of Queen Caroline of Ansbach, the botched efforts of her physicians to assist her and her wider importance to the Hanoverian regime. On 20 November 1737 Queen Caroline of Ansbach, who reigned alongside George II for just over a decade, died after an agonizing last illness. Caroline’s final days pointed … Continue reading Death of a Queen: the tragic end of Caroline of Ansbach