Recording speech in early modern England: Parliament, preachers and the Putney debates

In his work on the 1624 Parliamentary Diaries, Philip Baker deals with the difficulties in deciphering 17th Century record keeping on a daily basis. In this blog he discusses how techniques for recording speech developed over the century from Parliament to the Putney debates, which began today in 1647… Today, thanks to Hansard, speeches in Parliament can be read online within hours of them being … Continue reading Recording speech in early modern England: Parliament, preachers and the Putney debates

The legend of Agincourt in Parliament

On the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, Dr Hannes Kleineke discusses how the memories and growing legends surrounding the battle were used in medieval Parliaments… This day is called the feast of Crispian: He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named, And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall … Continue reading The legend of Agincourt in Parliament

Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: Parliamentary oratory and images – a new approach to the study of late medieval and early modern political culture

Our ‘Parliaments, politics and people’ seminar returned for a new term with a paper given by three German scholars. Professor Dr Johannes Helmrath, Dr Jörg Feuchter and Anna-Maria Blank from Humbolt University, Berlin and Konstanz University are part of a collaborative project about late medieval and early modern political assemblies and representations of socio-political order in parliamentary oratory and images of European assemblies. Professor Helmrath, … Continue reading Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: Parliamentary oratory and images – a new approach to the study of late medieval and early modern political culture

Burning the House down: The Fire of 1834

Today in 1834 a huge fire swept through the old Palace of Westminster, destroying most of the medieval buildings. Caroline Shenton, of the Parliamentary Archives at Westminster and author of ‘The Day Parliament Burned Down’, has written a new article for the ‘Explore’ section of our website to mark the anniversary. Here is an extract from her article on the events of that dramatic night: … Continue reading Burning the House down: The Fire of 1834

Protesting MPs: Peterloo and its aftermath

The Green Party MP Caroline Lucas is due to appear in court tomorrow after her involvement in anti-fracking protests during August.  In a public statement Lucas argued that she ‘firmly believe[s] in the right to peaceful protest.’ She is, of course, not the first MP whose commitment to a cause has led to arrest and prosecution. Among the most famous cases are those associated with … Continue reading Protesting MPs: Peterloo and its aftermath

17th-century Oxford: Parliament goes back to school…

With Universities now back in the swing of a new term, Dr Robin Eagles takes a look at the disruption caused in 17th Century Oxford when Parliament came to stay… The past few weeks have witnessed the beginning of a new academic year in universities across the country. For many it is an exciting if unsettling time: getting used to a new environment, knuckling down … Continue reading 17th-century Oxford: Parliament goes back to school…

Poetry in Parliament

Today is National Poetry Day, a chance to celebrate poetry across the country (for more, visit http://www.forwardartsfoundation.org/national-poetry-day/). You may not know that over the centuries many poets also sat in the House of Commons. Some were the greats, such as Geoffrey Chaucer  (MP for Kent  in the ‘Wonderful Parliament’ of 1386) or the metaphysical poet John Donne (elected in 1601 and 1614). Others history has … Continue reading Poetry in Parliament