Review of the Year 2020

2020 was a year like no other, a statement to which we can all attest. The Covid-19 pandemic created many new challenges from an operational perspective at the History of Parliament Trust. Despite this, we managed to publish research, offer events, run competitions for students, and more. Here’s Sammy Sturgess with a round-up of 2020 at the HPT… In April 2020 we published the long-awaited … Continue reading Review of the Year 2020

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’

Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916): the social life of a queer MP at the time of the Second Reform Act

Originally posted on The Victorian Commons:
In the second of his blog series on Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916), Dr Martin Spychal explores Gower’s London social life during his first year in Parliament, including a brief summer romance with the son of the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Albumen print of Ronald Gower by Camille Silvy (1865) CC NPG One of the most privileged men in… Continue reading Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916): the social life of a queer MP at the time of the Second Reform Act

Face to Face with the Abbot

The news this week is shaping up to be full of Abbots and of particular interest to the History of Parliament is a certain Abbot of St Albans cathedral who was also a long-serving parliamentarian in the fifteenth century, John Wheathampstead. The editor of our 1461-1504 project, Dr Hannes Kleineke, explains… Central to the work of colleagues at the History of Parliament is the pursuit … Continue reading Face to Face with the Abbot

Pride of place: chief ministers and their houses in early modern England

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent convalescence at Chequers, his official rural retreat, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1558-1603 project considers a time when senior government figures were expected to possess their own country houses… It’s almost a hundred years since Arthur Lee, Viscount Lee presented Chequers, his Buckinghamshire country seat, to the nation for the use of future prime ministers. This Tudor mansion, … Continue reading Pride of place: chief ministers and their houses in early modern England

Towards the Restoration of the Monarchy, 1-8 May 1660

Today’s blog from Dr Andrew Barclay, senior research fellow for our Commons 1640-1660 project, is the second in a three-part series about the parliament that would restore the monarchy in 1660 (part one available here). In this piece he explores the process that led to the accession of Charles II on 8 May 1660… When the new Parliament met on 25 April 1660 few doubted … Continue reading Towards the Restoration of the Monarchy, 1-8 May 1660

Children and Parliament in Medieval England

Continuing the theme of children and Parliament following Helen Sunderland’s blog about schoolgirls’ visits to the House of Parliament, 1880-1918 from earlier this week, senior research fellow for our Commons 1461-1504 project, Dr Simon Payling, explores the relationship between children and Parliament in the later middle ages… It is not surprising that children, whether as individuals or a group, appear very rarely in the records … Continue reading Children and Parliament in Medieval England