‘Restless, turbulent, and bold’: Radical MPs and the opening of the reformed Commons in 1833

MPs and peers returned to Westminster earlier this month after over a year of upheaval, disruption, and online chambers. In today’s blog Dr Stephen Ball from our Commons 1832-1868 project looks into another eagerly awaited return to Parliament; the first session following the 1832 Reform Act… When the reformed Parliament first met on Tuesday 29 January 1833 many people speculated about the way the reconfigured … Continue reading ‘Restless, turbulent, and bold’: Radical MPs and the opening of the reformed Commons in 1833

The History of Parliament Trust and St James’s House: Publication Collaborations

On 22nd September we, the History of Parliament Trust, came together with St James’s House to celebrate the publication of our latest collaboration: 300 Years of Leadership and Innovation. The publication, released to mark the 300th anniversary of Sir Robert Walpole becoming the first so-called Prime Minister, celebrates leadership across the full spectrum of British society: from Parliament and Crown to captains of industry and innovation. Volume … Continue reading The History of Parliament Trust and St James’s House: Publication Collaborations

‘He knewe the slaightes, stratagems, and the pollecies of warlike affaires’: Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, and the battle of Blore Heath

On 23 September 1459 the battle of Blore Heath took place. In today’s blog, marking the anniversary of the battle, Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project looks into the events of the encounter, as the earl of Salisbury’s Yorkist forces faced up to those led by the Lancastrian Lord Audley. The battle of Blore Heath, two miles from Market Drayton, near the border … Continue reading ‘He knewe the slaightes, stratagems, and the pollecies of warlike affaires’: Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, and the battle of Blore Heath

Early women MPs: Margaret Wintringham and Parliament

In September 1921, Margaret Wintringham (1879-1955) was elected to the House of Commons as the first ever Liberal woman MP.  Dr Mari Takayanagi, Senior Archivist at the Parliamentary Archives, discusses Wintringham, her election, and the issues she supported in Parliament. Margaret Wintringham was born in Keighley, Yorkshire in 1879. She was a teacher by background, and headmistress at a school in Grimsby before marrying Tom Wintringham, a timber merchant, in 1903.   Wintringham was a suffragist, a non-militant supporter … Continue reading Early women MPs: Margaret Wintringham and Parliament

Immigrants and refugees at Westminster: the foreign ancestry of mid-17th century MPs

With refugee crises and immigration back in the news, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 section, considers how these issues impacted on the character of the House of Commons nearly 400 years ago… Business involving immigrants and refugees was not uncommon in mid-seventeenth century Parliaments. Petitions for naturalization, the trading rights of ‘stranger’ merchants, provision for destitute fugitives arriving in England and … Continue reading Immigrants and refugees at Westminster: the foreign ancestry of mid-17th century MPs

300 Years of Leadership and Innovation: Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first ‘Prime Minister’ and the History of Parliament Online

On 3 April 1721 Robert Walpole was appointed First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. This was not the first time that he had occupied these roles, however it was from this point that he is generally regarded as becoming the first ever ‘Prime Minister’. The title was initially bestowed upon Walpole as an insult, used to criticise Walpole’s improper rise to … Continue reading 300 Years of Leadership and Innovation: Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first ‘Prime Minister’ and the History of Parliament Online

Parliament and the Naval Review

In today’s blog our director Dr Paul Seaward is casting his eyes out to sea, with a look into the popularity of the Naval Review in the late 19th century. However, these displays of British maritime power weren’t always smooth sailing… There had been irregular naval reviews since the 1770s, sometimes with mock sea-battles, laid on to entertain the royal family and to display the … Continue reading Parliament and the Naval Review

We’re all going on a summer … staycation: sightseeing in medieval England

The post-lockdown staycation has proven popular this year and in today’s blog Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks into the popular sites that could be visited a little closer to home in medieval England… Holidays and sightseeing have long traditions. If a pilgrimage could offer a convenient excuse for a medieval Englishman or -woman to abandon home, family, and day to … Continue reading We’re all going on a summer … staycation: sightseeing in medieval England

William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, ‘the real Prime Minister’ and ‘the strangest cabinet in British history’

2021 is the 300th anniversary of the birth of one of British history’s most controversial characters: William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, younger son of George II and the brutal victor of the battle of Culloden. Dr Robin Eagles, editor of the Lords 1715-1790 section, reconsiders Cumberland’s longer career and how he was – for a brief while – effectively the only royal ever to have … Continue reading William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, ‘the real Prime Minister’ and ‘the strangest cabinet in British history’