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

The ‘Convention’ that wasn’t: the Opening of the 1660 Parliament

Today we hear from Dr Andrew Barclay, senior research fellow for our Commons 1640-1660 project. He explores the accuracy of the naming of the so-called Convention of 1660 in the first of a three-part series about the Parliament that would end the English Republic… Prior to dissolving itself on 16 March 1660, the Long Parliament had agreed that a new Parliament should meet on 25 … Continue reading The ‘Convention’ that wasn’t: the Opening of the 1660 Parliament

ANCIENT BRITAIN, THE MOTHER OF PARLIAMENTS?

St George’s Day seems an appropriate moment to invoke John Bright’s famous, and much misunderstood, statement of 1865 that ‘England is the Country of Parliament… England is the Mother of Parliaments’. But to some in the seventeenth century and before, as British Academy and Wolfson Research Professor at the History of Parliament, Paul Seaward, explores, it was the ancient Britons who had invented parliaments, in … Continue reading ANCIENT BRITAIN, THE MOTHER OF PARLIAMENTS?

Isolation, Containment and Financial Assistance: Parliament’s response to epidemics in the 1640s

In today’s blog Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, considers self-isolation, social distancing and containing disease in 1640s London. Some of the below may sound quite familiar… As revealed in our recent blog, when MP and diarist Sir Simonds D’Ewes was faced with the plague in mid-1640s London, he and his wife agreed that she would retreat to the safer countryside … Continue reading Isolation, Containment and Financial Assistance: Parliament’s response to epidemics in the 1640s

Port’s indelible mark on British history

We’re sure that, just like the History of Parliament’s staff who are all working from home, the reality of the government imposed lock down due to the Covid-19 outbreak is starting to set in for you. In an effort to provide some light relief to brighten your day at home, today’s blog offering from Dr Paul Hunneyball, Assistant Editor of our Lords 1558-1603 project, is … Continue reading Port’s indelible mark on British history

Exiting the English Republic part 2: the end of the Long Parliament

In the second half of her series on exiting the English Republic (part one available here) Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of the Commons 1640-1660 project, explores the dissolution of the Long Parliament… On 16 March 1660 the Parliament which had begun nearly twenty years earlier, on 3 November 1640, agreed to dissolve itself.   After well over 3,000 days of sitting, several forcible interruptions and … Continue reading Exiting the English Republic part 2: the end of the Long Parliament

Ourselves alone? The General Convention of Ireland of 1660

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today’s Irish themed blog from Dr Patrick Little of our House of Commons 1640-60 project considers the difficulties of governing Ireland during the restoration of the Monarchy and the General Convention of Ireland … The restoration of the Rump Parliament in May 1659 had thrown Ireland into disarray. The long-established settlers, known as the ‘Old Protestants’, had generally been supporters of … Continue reading Ourselves alone? The General Convention of Ireland of 1660