Richard, duke of York’s last Christmas: the Battle of Wakefield, 30 Dec. 1460

Today on the blog senior research fellow for our 1461-1504 project Dr Simon Payling regales us with Richard, duke of York’s final Christmas and the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460… 1460 saw some dramatic fluctuations in the fortunes of the house of York.  At its beginning the Yorkist lords were in exile and their estates confiscated; in the summer their victory at the … Continue reading Richard, duke of York’s last Christmas: the Battle of Wakefield, 30 Dec. 1460

Did the Puritans ban Christmas dinner?

The Puritans are often accused of banning Christmas, and although the House of Commons did sit on Christmas Day during the English Republic, Dr Stephen Roberts felt the need to do a little myth-busting about the wholesale cancellation of Christmas during the interregnum, by way of the Christmas dinner table… Two images of the mid-17th century Christmas stick in the mind. The documented one is … Continue reading Did the Puritans ban Christmas dinner?

Taking back control of a ‘disordered and distracted nation’: the Provisional Government 11-25 December 1688

As many of us face a very unusual and unsettled Christmas due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are reminded that Christmases of past have also been observed during periods of great uncertainty. In today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles of our House of Lords 1715-90 project explores the Provisional Government that followed the so-called Glorious Revolution of 1688… In the winter of 1688, the country briefly … Continue reading Taking back control of a ‘disordered and distracted nation’: the Provisional Government 11-25 December 1688

Collaborative Doctoral Award with Keele University and the University of Manchester: ‘A manly place? The experiences of female MPs at Westminster, 1970-2010’

We’re delighted to announce that the History of Parliament Trust will be collaborating with Keele University and the University of Manchester in a doctoral studentship based in part on our Oral History project. Applications are now invited for a collaborative doctoral award, funded by the AHRC North West Consortium, titled ‘A manly place? The experiences of female MPs at Westminster, 1970-2010’. The studentship will be … Continue reading Collaborative Doctoral Award with Keele University and the University of Manchester: ‘A manly place? The experiences of female MPs at Westminster, 1970-2010’

Cancelling Christmas? William Prynne, kill-joy and martyr, and the onslaught on ‘pagan Saturnalia’

With the government currently recommending scaled-back Christmas celebrations, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-60 project, considers a man who advocated scrapping Yuletide festivities for a quite different reason… The idea that ‘the puritans cancelled Christmas’ has widespread acceptance. Indeed it surfaced in the House of Commons recently in debate over what kind of celebration might be prudent … Continue reading Cancelling Christmas? William Prynne, kill-joy and martyr, and the onslaught on ‘pagan Saturnalia’

‘An Auld Sang with a New Tune’: Devolution to Scotland in the 1970s

Today’s blog is from guest blogger Tom Chidwick. Tom is writing a history of the 1979 referendum in Scotland and here he discusses the vote, the Scotland Act and the considerations for the location of the Scottish Parliament… In its first ever referendum, on a snowy St David’s Day in 1979, Scotland went to the polls in arguably the most important ballot in the country’s … Continue reading ‘An Auld Sang with a New Tune’: Devolution to Scotland in the 1970s

Discourses of Freedom and Slavery, 1640-60

Today we return to our recent series from History of Parliament director Dr Stephen Roberts, who has been discussing parliamentary involvement in the 17th century transatlantic slave trade. In the latest post Dr Roberts turns his attention to the uses of the terms ‘slavery’ and ‘liberty’ within years surrounding the English Civil Wars. It is a remarkable enough paradox that while an ever-increasing number of … Continue reading Discourses of Freedom and Slavery, 1640-60

The ‘lost statute’ of 1427-8: how to solve a problem like Queen Katherine

In today’s blog Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow for our Commons 1461-1504 project, returns to our recent blog theme of marriage. When Henry V died in 1422, making his infant son and namesake king, the romantic attachments of his widow, Katherine of Valois, became of chief parliamentary concern… Amongst the many problems bequeathed to the English government by the premature death of Henry V … Continue reading The ‘lost statute’ of 1427-8: how to solve a problem like Queen Katherine

Asleep on the job? Prime Minister Lord North 250 years on

Accompanying the publication of a new collection covering 300 years of British Prime Ministers, the book’s editor compiled a list assessing the 55 premiers in order of their significance. Frederick, Lord North, who became Prime Minister in 1770 and is probably best known as the man who lost America, came towards the bottom of the pile at number forty. Dr Robin Eagles reassesses North’s early … Continue reading Asleep on the job? Prime Minister Lord North 250 years on