Averting the prorogation of Parliament, May 1641

In light of the attempt of the current government to prorogue Parliament, we thought it would be appropriate to offer examples of prorogation or the aversion thereof in Parliament’s past. Today, Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons 1640-1660 project explains how prorogation was narrowly avoided in 1641 during a crisis in the early months of the Long Parliament. In an earlier … Continue reading Averting the prorogation of Parliament, May 1641

The Cavalier Parliament

Our ‘Named Parliaments’ series continues. Today Paul Seaward, British Academy/Wolfson Research Professor at the History of Parliament Trust explores the Cavalier Parliament, the first Parliament after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660… The Parliament elected in April 1661 was designed to sweep away the last vestiges of the English Revolution and restore the monarchy to its pre-Civil War glory. It was the Convention of … Continue reading The Cavalier Parliament

Conversations with a medieval MP: Serjeant Billing and the Pastons

This month’s medieval MP of the Month is highly esteemed fifteenth century lawyer, Sir Thomas Billing. Here’s Dr Simon Payling of our House of Commons 1422-1461 Section with more… It is rare to have any insight into the personality of a fifteenth-century MP, yet alone one as important as Thomas Billing, MP for Northamptonshire and then for London in the 1440s.  Educated at Gray’s Inn, … Continue reading Conversations with a medieval MP: Serjeant Billing and the Pastons

Sex in the Long Parliament

In our latest blog, Dr David Scott of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section looks at the extra-curricular activities of some Members of a supposedly puritan Parliament – at least according to newspaper reports… Sexual licence and parliamentary politics have always enjoyed an intimate relationship, and not even the great puritan preachers of the seventeenth century ( who regularly addressed assembled MPs in the adjacent … Continue reading Sex in the Long Parliament

The Six Acts and Censorship of the Press

Today we round off our Peterloo blog series with Dr Katie Carpenter’s second post about the legislation that was rushed through Parliament following the Peterloo Massacre on 16 August 1819. Today she discusses its aim of censoring the press… After the Peterloo Massacre, Lord Liverpool’s government quickly passed six pieces of oppressive legislation in late 1819. These new laws, which became known as the Six … Continue reading The Six Acts and Censorship of the Press

Protest Against the Six Acts

On this day in 1819 the massacre that was soon dubbed ‘Peterloo’ by the press occurred on St Peter’s Field in Manchester. The Manchester and Salford Yeomanry and the 15th Hussars, a British Army cavalry regiment, killed at least 18 people and injured a further 600+ after being called to disperse a crowd of over 60,000 people who were meeting on the site to peacefully protest … Continue reading Protest Against the Six Acts

After Peterloo: From Repression to Reform

As we prepare to commemorate the bicentenary of Peterloo Massacre this Friday – 16 August – we hear from editor of our 1832-68 project for the second time in our Peterloo blog series. Dr Philip Salmon discusses the aftermath of the Massacre, and the public protest and parliamentary reform that followed in the nineteenth century… Public opinion was shocked by the murder of so many … Continue reading After Peterloo: From Repression to Reform