Seventeenth-century calls for English devolution

With the publication today of the Smith Commission recommending further powers for the Scottish Parliament, Philip Baker, Research Fellow on the 1624 Parliamentary Diaries project, discusses proposals for English devolution during the 1640s… The current demands for greater devolution and decentralisation of power from central government raise the prospect, as some commentators have acknowledged, of the most significant constitutional changes since the Glorious Revolution of 1688-9. … Continue reading Seventeenth-century calls for English devolution

‘You have behaved like a man of honour’: the duel between John Wilkes and Samuel Martin

Last night the London Record Society held a launch event for ‘The Diaries of John Wilkes, 1770-1797‘ edited by our own Dr Robin Eagles. Here, Dr Eagles relates one of Wilkes’s extra-parliamentary duels… The St James’s Chronicle of 15-17 November 1763 carried a story of a duel fought between two unnamed persons of distinction. The account confined itself to reporting the fact that the duel … Continue reading ‘You have behaved like a man of honour’: the duel between John Wilkes and Samuel Martin

The History of Parliament’s Annual Lecture 2014: Professor Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch

On 5th November our annual lecture was delivered in Portcullis House by Professor Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch. Professor MacCulloch has published widely on the Reformation, including a recent biography of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and Reformation: Europe’s House Divided, not to mention featuring in many television and radio programmes. He lectured on ‘Parliament and the Reformation of Edward VI.’ Professor MacCulloch began with a letter written to … Continue reading The History of Parliament’s Annual Lecture 2014: Professor Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch

Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: Philip Loft, ‘Litigation, agency and oligarchy: the transformation and role of the Lords as High Court, 1689-1720’

Dr Paul Hunneyball, Senior Research Fellow on the Lords 1603-1660 section, reports back on our last ‘Parliaments, Politics and People’ seminar. Philip Loft of UCL spoke on ‘Litigation, agency and oligarchy: the transformation and role of the Lords as High Court, 1689-1720’… Philip’s doctoral research has involved a detailed study of the huge body of legal papers preserved from this period at the Parliamentary Archives, … Continue reading Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: Philip Loft, ‘Litigation, agency and oligarchy: the transformation and role of the Lords as High Court, 1689-1720’

A perpetual disturbance? The history of the previous question

After ‘chaos’ in the House of Commons on Monday night, our Director, Dr Paul Seaward, discusses the ‘previous question’ motion… The confusion over the debate on Monday 10th November on the Criminal Justice and Data Protection (Protocol No. 36) Regulations 2014 – or on the European Arrest Warrant, depending on which view you take – has provoked headlines referring to ‘chaos’ or ‘a shambles’ in … Continue reading A perpetual disturbance? The history of the previous question

A tribute to Gerald L. Harriss, FBA

Dr Simon Payling, Senior Fellow of the Commons 1422-1504 section, pays tribute to the influential medieval historian and his own supervisor Gerald L. Harriss FBA, who unfortunately passed away recently… With the death on All Souls’ day of Gerald Harriss (b.1925), medieval and parliamentary history has lost one of its greatest names. As an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford, in the late 1940s, he came … Continue reading A tribute to Gerald L. Harriss, FBA

‘The first M.P. to fall’: the Hon. Arthur Edward Bruce O’Neill (1876-1914)

Over the next four years, we’ll be blogging short biographies of the MPs who died fighting in the First World War. Dr Kathryn Rix, of the Victorian Commons, looks at the ‘first to fall’, 100 years ago today: the Hon. Arthur O’Neill… Reporting on 11 November 1914 at the start of a new parliamentary session, The Times observed that, It will be an unfamiliar House … Continue reading ‘The first M.P. to fall’: the Hon. Arthur Edward Bruce O’Neill (1876-1914)