Wigs on roundheads: puritans, peruques and powder under Oliver Cromwell

In our latest blog, Dr Patrick Little of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section challenges one of the lingering stereotypes associated with the era of puritan rule… The fashion for wearing periwigs is commonly thought to have been brought into England by Charles II and his court after their return from the continent in 1660, but there is plenty of evidence to show that the … Continue reading Wigs on roundheads: puritans, peruques and powder under Oliver Cromwell

Commission impossible? Deciphering job titles in History of Parliament biographies (part 1)

In the first of an occasional series, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section considers some of the unlikely-sounding posts held by MPs in the early seventeenth century… All published History of Parliament biographies, currently covering periods up to the nineteenth century, begin with a highly compressed digest of information about the life of the man in question. The first paragraph mostly contains genealogical … Continue reading Commission impossible? Deciphering job titles in History of Parliament biographies (part 1)

‘A gentleman but stumbling in here!’: an impostor in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament

In our latest post, Dr Patrick Little of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section revisits the Parliament of 1659, which opened in such confusion that its membership was unclear and a stranger could sit undetected – with disquieting implications… On 8 February 1659 the journalist Gilbert Mabbott reported the latest developments in Parliament to Henry Cromwell, the lord deputy of Ireland based in Dublin. Among … Continue reading ‘A gentleman but stumbling in here!’: an impostor in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament

Top tips for Christmas at the Jacobean court

As History of Parliament staff prepare for their Christmas break, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section ponders the pleasures and pitfalls that might have awaited a Jacobean courtier 400 years ago… Tip 1: No partying on Christmas Day In the early 17th century, unlike today, 25 December was primarily a time for solemn religious observance. The entire royal household was expected to attend … Continue reading Top tips for Christmas at the Jacobean court

The early Stuart judiciary – independent or subservient?

In the wake of recent events in America, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section considers the role of the judiciary in early Stuart political controversies… Much of the recent storm surrounding the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh as a judge in the United States Supreme Court was generated by allegations of sexual misconduct in his earlier life. However, the political partisanship which marked the … Continue reading The early Stuart judiciary – independent or subservient?

Peace at Last?

Earlier this autumn saw the 80th anniversary of the Munich agreement, marked by a ‘Peace for our Time’ blog from our assistant director, Dr Emma Peplow.  As the first of a series from the House of Commons 1640-1660 section looking at events over the winter of 1648-1649, Dr Vivienne Larminie examines another occasion on which lasting peace seemed within the grasp of politicians at Westminster.  … Continue reading Peace at Last?

Parliament and medicine in the early 17th century

Continuing the theme of health, medicine and Parliament, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 Section considers how medical practices and language impacted on parliamentary proceedings under the early Stuarts… History of Parliament biographies contain many incidental details about medicine in the early 17th century, though the picture that emerges is very different from the modern clinical experience. Although anatomical knowledge was improving, the human … Continue reading Parliament and medicine in the early 17th century