The ‘Answer Answerless’ and Elizabeth I’s attitude towards the Parliament of 1586-7

In the latest blog from our First Elizabethan Age series Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, discusses the words- or lack of- given by Elizabeth I on this day 1586, and some of the more unusual features of the monarch’s sixth Parliament… At Richmond Palace on 24 November 1586, four hundred and twenty-six years ago to the day, Elizabeth I delivered a … Continue reading The ‘Answer Answerless’ and Elizabeth I’s attitude towards the Parliament of 1586-7

‘A very disagreeable situation’: the brief premiership of William Cavendish, 4th duke of Devonshire

Following Liz Truss’s record-breaking short tenure as Prime Minister, recently much attention has turned towards some of the historical figures who held the post of Premier for only a short period of time. William Cavendish, 4th duke of Devonshire, is amongst this list, serving only 255 days in office. But as Charles Littleton from our Lords 1715-1790 project explores, it was never Devonshire’s intention to … Continue reading ‘A very disagreeable situation’: the brief premiership of William Cavendish, 4th duke of Devonshire

Profile of an 18th century Black Voter: George John Scipio Africanus

In a second blog for this year’s Black History Month, we are once again hearing from Helen Wilson, PhD candidate with the History of Parliament and the Open University. Within Helen’s research she has been uncovering the previously overlooked presence of Black voters in 18th century Britain, including figures like George Africanus, profiled below… The eighteenth century saw many geo-political expansions and retractions for the … Continue reading Profile of an 18th century Black Voter: George John Scipio Africanus

The Presence of Black Voters in the 18th and 19th Centuries

October is Black History Month in the UK, as institutions like the History of Parliament attempt to re-insert and highlight the Black experience into fields of history previously overlooking this. Here, we hear from Helen Wilson, PhD candidate with the History of Parliament and Open University, who is researching the Black and Mixed Ethnicity Presence in British Politics, 1750-1850. As Helen explains, despite significant barriers … Continue reading The Presence of Black Voters in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Publication Announcement: ‘Big Ben: An Icon of Democracy and Leadership’

The History of Parliament are excited to announce the upcoming release of our newest publication in collaboration with St James’s House publishing. ‘Big Ben: An Icon of Democracy and Leadership‘ will be published in December. St James’s House has shared the following information about the publication… The History of Parliament Trust and publisher St James’s House are celebrating the long-awaited reopening of Big Ben and … Continue reading Publication Announcement: ‘Big Ben: An Icon of Democracy and Leadership’

History of Parliament Annual Reports

The History of Parliament Trust’s Review of the Year 2021-22 is now available here. The review summarises the activities of the Trust over the year from April 2021 to March 2022, including brief sketches of some of the biographies and constituency articles completed during that time and a description of our engagement activities. It also includes for the first time a summary of the academic … Continue reading History of Parliament Annual Reports

‘You just become a tiny little speck of history’: First Impressions of the Palace of Westminster

When newly elected MPs first enter the Palace of Westminster, it is hard to ignore the hundreds of years of history that surrounds them. And as Dr Emma Peplow, Head of Oral History at the History of Parliament explores, this legacy could prove inspirational, impressive, or even overwhelming… Find out more about the history of the Palace of Westminster and its famous Elizabeth Tower, home … Continue reading ‘You just become a tiny little speck of history’: First Impressions of the Palace of Westminster

Levelling the Lords

In the inaugural blog of our Revolutionary Stuart Parliaments series, the editor of our new House of Lords 1640-60 section Dr David Scott, and Dr Sarah Mortimer of Christ Church, Oxford, consider the politics behind the abolition of the House of Lords in 1649… In November 1648, after a summer and autumn of hard-fought victories against royalist insurgents and Scottish invaders, the New Model Army … Continue reading Levelling the Lords

The Last Burial of a King in Westminster Abbey

The death of Queen Elizabeth II has meant the revival of a practice that had in effect been suspended for over two centuries: the funeral of a monarch in Westminster Abbey. The last king to have his funeral there was George II on 11 November 1760, and even though this was technically a ‘private funeral’, thereafter more private – though still very public – ceremonies … Continue reading The Last Burial of a King in Westminster Abbey

The termination of medieval Parliaments on the demise of the reigning monarch

As much of the nation, and the world, continues to reflect on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and accession of King Charles III, here Dr Hannes Kleineke from our Commons 1461-1504 project explores the now retired practice of terminating Parliaments following the death of the monarch. By modern convention, the death of a sovereign and the accession of their successor do not … Continue reading The termination of medieval Parliaments on the demise of the reigning monarch