‘A name of an ill sound’: The Officers’ Parliament of 1690-95

Today we continue with our ‘Named Parliament’ series. Charles Littleton of the Lords 1660-1832 project discusses the Officers’ Parliament of 1690-95 and the enactment of legislation to regulate parliamentary sessions thereafter… To many contemporaries the Parliament which first met in March 1690 later became vilified as ‘The Officers’ Parliament’. Bishop Gilbert Burnet, watching events from the House of Lords, described the origin of the term … Continue reading ‘A name of an ill sound’: The Officers’ Parliament of 1690-95

Parliaments, Politics and People: Patriotic Labour 1918

In the last session of our IHR seminar, Parliaments, Politics and People, we enjoyed a paper from Professor Emeritus of Politics from the University of York, David Howell. Below he summarises his paper on patriotic Labour in the wake of the Great War… Lloyd George rapidly called an election following the signing of an armistice on 11 November 1918. Three days later an already scheduled … Continue reading Parliaments, Politics and People: Patriotic Labour 1918

Commission impossible? Deciphering job titles in History of Parliament biographies (part 1)

In the first of an occasional series, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section considers some of the unlikely-sounding posts held by MPs in the early seventeenth century… All published History of Parliament biographies, currently covering periods up to the nineteenth century, begin with a highly compressed digest of information about the life of the man in question. The first paragraph mostly contains genealogical … Continue reading Commission impossible? Deciphering job titles in History of Parliament biographies (part 1)

‘I am a political animal, but I am not a politician’: Leah Manning as a sponsored parliamentary candidate in the 1930s.

Next up in the Women and Parliament series we hear from Dr James Parker of the University of Exeter. He explores the sponsorship of Leah Manning’s candidature by the National Union of Teachers… Leah Manning (1886-1977) was the thirteenth woman to be elected as a Labour Member of Parliament, representing Islington East in the House of Commons from February to October 1931 and later serving … Continue reading ‘I am a political animal, but I am not a politician’: Leah Manning as a sponsored parliamentary candidate in the 1930s.

Medieval MP of the Month: George Ashby

For this month’s installment from our House of Commons 1422-1461 Section we hear from Dr Simon Payling about poet and long-time servant to the Lancastrians, George Ashby of Warwickshire… George Ashby, MP for Warwick in the Parliament of 1459, is worthy of notice as the only known poet among the MPs of Henry VI’s reign. His poetry reflected his own troubled times and the personal … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: George Ashby

Parliament and Superstition: A Jackdaw in the House of Commons, 1604

Today we hear from the Editor of our House of Lords 1604-29 Section, Dr Andrew Thrush about a curious incident in the House of Commons in 1604 involving a Jackdaw. How superstitious was the House of Commons? Three months ago an owl flew into the Parliament building in Dodoma, Tanzania, where it perched near the ceiling and observed the proceedings, to the alarm of MPs … Continue reading Parliament and Superstition: A Jackdaw in the House of Commons, 1604

The Origins of a Father of the House

This week as part of our Mothers and Fathers of the House series, Paul Seaward, British Academy/Wolfson research professor at the History of Parliament Trust, explores the origins of the parliamentary tradition of the Father of the House… The origins of the idea of a ‘father of the House’ are, like so many parliamentary traditions, deeply obscure, which is scarcely surprising for a role which … Continue reading The Origins of a Father of the House