Ellen Wilkinson’s search for social justice in 1936

As #WomensHistoryMonth draws to a close we hear from guest blogger Laura Beers, Associate Professor of History at American University, about the subject of her latest book, Ellen Wilkinson. In this piece Laura discusses a significant year in Ellen’s career, 1936, as an example of her quest for social justice… In 1940, when Ellen Wilkinson was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the minister of pensions, … Continue reading Ellen Wilkinson’s search for social justice in 1936

Fasting and political crises in the 1640s: no beer ‘till the publike exercises and religious duties … be past and over’

As Parliament engages in momentous decision-making about the future of the country, Dr Vivienne Larminie of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section marks the season of Lent with consideration of the solemn and austere approach of early modern Parliaments to periods of political and social crisis… After the feasting of ‘Pancake Day’ (Shrove Tuesday, this year on 5 March), the six weeks of Lent – … Continue reading Fasting and political crises in the 1640s: no beer ‘till the publike exercises and religious duties … be past and over’

The Speaker and the same question: a view from the Victorian Commons

In today’s blog Dr Philip Salmon, editor of the 1832-1945 House of Commons project, explores some of the historical background behind recent Parliamentary rulings relating to Brexit. The rules governing UK parliamentary procedure, not surprisingly, don’t often get much public attention. However, some of the recent decisions by Speaker Bercow serve as an important reminder that the practices of the past can have an important … Continue reading The Speaker and the same question: a view from the Victorian Commons

Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington: a Restoration Politician

Our last Parliaments, Politics and People seminar at the IHR was given by Alan Marshall from Bath Spa University, and considered the political role of the important Restoration politician and key member of the CABAL ministry, Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington This paper dealt with aspects of the political life of Sir Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington, who has been frequently criticized as a statesman. … Continue reading Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington: a Restoration Politician

MP of the Month: Geoffrey Paynell, accusations of incest and the fall of the house of Paynell

For March’s medieval MP of the month we hear about Geoffrey Paynell and accusations of incest amid the family’s land dispute in fifteenth century Lincolnshire, brought to you by Senior Research Fellow, Dr Simon Payling of the House of Commons 1422-1504 project. Be sure to keep your eye on our Twitter page for information of the Section’s forthcoming publication… The human stories behind the lives … Continue reading MP of the Month: Geoffrey Paynell, accusations of incest and the fall of the house of Paynell

When is a Parliament not a Parliament?

Dr Robin Eagles, Editor of the House of Lords 1660-1832 project kicks off our new series, ‘Named Parliaments’. Here, whilst highlighting a number of Named Parliaments in the seventeenth century, he explores the debate of parliament versus convention or assembly in the early modern period… The question of what is and is not a Parliament might seem a simple one, but on two occasions during … Continue reading When is a Parliament not a Parliament?

Bolingbroke’s Reflections upon Exile

For our latest blog @GeorgianLords welcomes Dr Max Skjönsberg (St Andrews) offering some insights into the early philosophical writings of Viscount Bolingbroke, written during the period of his first exile from Britain and after his unhappy involvement with the Jacobite court. Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751) was one of the most prominent public figures in Britain in the first half of the eighteenth century, … Continue reading Bolingbroke’s Reflections upon Exile