Top of the Blogs 2021

Those of you who follow us on Twitter will be familiar with our regular Friday feature: #TopOfTheBlogs. As the title suggests, this is our weekly countdown of our most popular blogs from the past week. But as 2021 draws to a close, on our blog today we’re counting down not just the top blogs from the last seven days, but from the last twelve months! Here’s Connie Jeffery with the chart

*Cue theme tune!*

6. The hunting down of Queen Margaret: the battle of Tewkesbury 4 May 1471 (Dr Simon Payling)

We’re kicking off Top of the Blogs 2021 with the blog in the number six spot, and for this we’re going back to 14 April 1471! 550 years ago the battle of Tewkesbury took place and proved to be a key battle within the Wars of the Roses. In this popular blog Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project explored the events of the battle and the significance of one person: Margaret of Anjou. Read what happened, as depicted in the blog, here.

5. Party in eighteenth-Century Politics (Dr Max Skjönsberg: Institute of Historical Research Parliaments, Politics and People seminar blog)

Number five in our Top of the Blogs 2021 chart is unusual, as it is not from our History of Parliament colleagues at all. In fact, this blog was written by Dr Max Skjönsberg from the University of Liverpool, who in February 2021 presented a paper as part of the Institute of Historical Research Parliaments, Politics and People seminar. Organised by members of the History of Parliament, this seminar provides a national forum for new research on all aspects of parliamentary and electoral politics, from the people and processes to the records and physical settings. Each paper is circulated, alongside an accompanying blog, ahead of an online Q&A session with the author. You can read Dr Skjönsberg’s incredibly popular blog here, and all of our other seminar blogs can be found on our blog site here. If you would like to join us online for next term’s seminars, head to the IHR website here.

4. Whispers on a landscape- Palatine migration to England, Ireland and beyond (Claire McCormick: Guest blogger)

Coming in at number four in this year’s chart is another guest blog, this time from Claire McCormick, a PhD student at the University of Limerick. In April this blog looked into the fortunes of the eighteenth century migrants who quit Europe for Britain and the New World. Read the blog which covers some very timely themes, by clicking here.

3. From Chicken House to Palace: 10 Downing Street in the 18th century (Dr Robin Eagles)

A View of the West Front Horse Guards, with the Treasury and Downing Street Beyond; Samuel Wale; National Army Museum via Art UK

Number three in our Top of the Blogs 2021 chart is a regular name in our weekly charts, Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project2021 marked the 300th anniversary of Robert Walpole becoming the first ‘Prime Minister’. In this blog Dr Eagles looked into the history of the PM’s historic residence, Number 10 Downing Street. In the 1730s Walpole was gifted the residence by George II, but it required a lot of work to become the building that we recognise today. Read about the early history of the Prime Minister’s official residence here, and find out more about how we marked Walpole’s anniversary in this earlier blog.

2. ‘Without any wordly pompe’: the burial of a 15th-century royal consort at Windsor (Dr Hannes Kleineke)

Just missing out on the top spot and coming in at number two in our Top of the Blogs 2021 chart is a topical blog written by our Commons 1461-1504 editor Dr Hannes Kleineke back in April. As the nation mourned the passing of Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, in this blog Dr Kleineke looked into the burial of another royal consort. Queen Elizabeth Wydeville, consort of Edward IV, died in June 1492, but her death in the midst of a pandemic and burial at Windsor suggests many comparisons to the modern day bereavement. Read the blog by clicking here.

1.  Vaccination and the Vote: a Victorian dilemma (Philip Salmon)

But number one and our top blog of 2021 is actually taken from our sister site, The Victorian Commons. In March the editor of our House of Commons 1832-1868 project Dr Philip Salmon looked into a fascinating dilemma that emerged in the mid-19th century. As smallpox swept the nation, electors found themselves at risk of losing the right to vote if they chose to get vaccinated. But how did this happen? And what was the fallout? Dr Salmon’s blog explains all…

Read 2021’s Top of the Blogs here!

All of the blogs in our 2021 chart countdown were published this year, but we couldn’t miss the opportunity to highlight our overall number 1 and the most read blog from our complete blog archive: Dr Paul Hunneyball’s 2019 blog James I and the duke of Buckingham: love, power and betrayal. In fact, this was the Top of the Blogs not just in 2021, but 2020 as well! Find out why this has been our top blog for the last two years by reading it for yourself here, and keep an eye out for more LGBTQ+ history blogs on our site in February’s LGBT History Month.


Click here to read our review of blogs and videos exploring the 300th anniversary of Robert Walpole, and here to watch our countdown of our Parliamentary Leadership Youtube series.

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