The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs: Selection Troubles

Out this month, The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs explores the fascinating interviews with former MPs hidden in our oral history project archive. In this post the book’s authors, Dr Emma Peplow and Dr Priscila Pivatto, explore one of the most crucial times of an MP’s career: getting selected for a parliamentary seat… One topic which our oral history interviews heavily focus on – … Continue reading The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs: Selection Troubles

Those pesky deliveries: delivering the King’s writs across 15th century England

In recent months, easily talking to friends and colleagues on the other side of the country, or even world, has become essential. But we shouldn’t take our Zoom, Teams, Hangout, Skype (etc.) calls for granted . In the 15th c. delivering a message from the King across England was quite a difficult endeavour, as Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, explores… One … Continue reading Those pesky deliveries: delivering the King’s writs across 15th century England

The perils of foreign travel in the early modern era

With holidays abroad still a major challenge due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of our Lords 1558-1603 project, considers the risks associated with travel overseas four hundred years ago… One of the standard clichés of life a few centuries ago is that people tended not to travel very far. While this was broadly true for the bulk of the population, … Continue reading The perils of foreign travel in the early modern era

From duelling to sharing the representation: Northumberland’s electoral politics in the nineteenth century

Continuing this month’s focus on Northumberland, Dr. Kathryn Rix, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons, 1832-68 project, explores the county’s elections in the nineteenth century. In 1826 Northumberland experienced its first contested election since 1774, with four candidates vying for the county’s two seats. For the previous fifty years, electors had not had the opportunity to cast their votes, as the representation had been … Continue reading From duelling to sharing the representation: Northumberland’s electoral politics in the nineteenth century

Out this month: ‘The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs: An Oral History of Parliament’

Later this month the very first book based on our Oral History Project Archive is published by Bloomsbury Academic. Today, the book’s authors, Dr Emma Peplow and Dr Priscila Pivatto, give a preview of what you can expect in the book… A publication based on our oral history project archive has been some time coming – as readers of this blog will know, we have … Continue reading Out this month: ‘The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs: An Oral History of Parliament’

The Mayflower: The New England men at Westminster, 1640-1660

In September 1620, the ship Mayflower set sail, transporting the first Puritan separatists to the ‘New World’. But, even thousands of miles across the sea, ‘New England’ would not be unfamiliar to many of those in Westminster, as our director Dr Stephen Roberts explores… Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, Devon, in September 1620, reaching what became New Plymouth, on the eastern coast of America, in November. … Continue reading The Mayflower: The New England men at Westminster, 1640-1660

A tribute to John M. H. Lee

In the fifth blog of this sombre series that pays tribute to interviewees from our Oral History Project, Emma Peplow looks back on the life and career of John Lee, Labour MP for Reading (1966-70) and Birmingham Handsworth (Feb 1974-79), who we interviewed in 2013… John Lee was born in Bagshot, Surrey. His comfortable background (his father worked in the City) might be a surprise … Continue reading A tribute to John M. H. Lee

A revolting pocket borough: Morpeth in the late eighteenth century

In our latest Georgian Lords blog, in keeping with our general focus for the month on the county of Northumberland, Dr Charles Littleton considers the case of the pocket borough of Morpeth and its uneasy relations with the earls of Carlisle. The Northumbrian borough of Morpeth had returned representatives to Parliament since 1553. From 1601 the Howards of Naworth were lords of the manor, and … Continue reading A revolting pocket borough: Morpeth in the late eighteenth century

Northumberland in the British Civil Wars

This month’s local history focus is Northumberland and we’re kicking things off with a look at the county during the British Civil Wars. Dr David Scott, senior research fellow in our Commons 1640-1660 project, explores the county torn between Scotland to the North and the rest of England to the South. Northumberland in the eyes of Stuart England’s not-so-liberal elite was one of ‘the dark … Continue reading Northumberland in the British Civil Wars