Parliaments, politics and people seminar: Paul Seaward, Mr Marvell goes to Westminster: the poet as parliament-man

At our latest ‘Parliaments, Politics and People’ Seminar, our Director, Dr Paul Seaward, spoke on ‘Mr Marvell goes to Westminster: the poet as parliament-man.’ Here he gives an overview of his paper… If poets are the unacknowledged legislators of mankind, it comes as a surprise how many acknowledged poets have been proper legislators. In the seventeenth century, John Donne, Edmund Waller, Sir John Denham and … Continue reading Parliaments, politics and people seminar: Paul Seaward, Mr Marvell goes to Westminster: the poet as parliament-man

The parties and Europe 2: Conservatives and Maastricht

Earlier this week we delved in to our oral history archive to discover the divisions within the Labour Party over Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community (EEC) in the 1970s. In today’s blogpost, we’ve returned to our archive to uncover memories of the struggle to ratify the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, and the resulting impact on the Conservative Party. The Maastricht Treaty was agreed in … Continue reading The parties and Europe 2: Conservatives and Maastricht

The Parties and Europe 1: Labour and the 1975 Referendum

The European Referendum campaign is now in full swing, creating heated political debate and causing some unusual alliances. In British politics, however, the issue of Europe and Britain’s role in it has been long-running and divisive for both the Labour and Conservative parties. The issue features prominently in our interviews with former MPs for our oral history archive. In the first of two blogs on … Continue reading The Parties and Europe 1: Labour and the 1975 Referendum

Peers on Parade: A Sartorial History of the State Opening of Parliament

Today’s guestblog is from Dr Charles Farris, University of Westminster, who discusses the history of the ceremonial attire worn at the State Opening of Parliament… Today is the State Opening of Parliament, an event which, for over 500 years, has served as a symbolic reminder of the unity of Parliament’s three parts: the Sovereign; the House of Lords; and the House of Commons. The ceremony … Continue reading Peers on Parade: A Sartorial History of the State Opening of Parliament

Parliaments, politics and people seminar: Chris Kyle, ‘A Dog, a Butcher and a Puritan’: The Politics of Lent in Early Modern England

At our latest ‘Parliaments, Politics and People’ Seminar, Chris Kyle, of Syracuse University, spoke on  ‘‘A Dog, a Butcher and a Puritan’: The Politics of Lent in Early Modern England’. Here he gives an overview of his paper… John Taylor, the Water Poet, named three Lenten enemies – a dog, a butcher and a Puritan. Taylor was no doubt correct but the the truth of … Continue reading Parliaments, politics and people seminar: Chris Kyle, ‘A Dog, a Butcher and a Puritan’: The Politics of Lent in Early Modern England

Impeachment in the early seventeenth century

After an all-night debate, the Brazilian Senate voted today to begin impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. Impeachment was once a powerful tool for MPs in our own parliament. Here Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of the House of Lords 1603-1660 section, discusses the 17th century revival of impeachment… Impeachment was a judicial procedure, carried out in the name of the king, whereby those suspected of … Continue reading Impeachment in the early seventeenth century

Electioneering in Sheffield Brightside… in 1897

Today voters across the country go to the polls. In Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, electors will choose their new MP after the death of Harry Harpham in February. Dr Kathryn Rix, of the Victorian Commons, discusses the Sheffield Brightside by-election of 1897 and the electoral culture of the late Victorian and early Edwardian period… With numerous election contests taking place around the country today – … Continue reading Electioneering in Sheffield Brightside… in 1897