Ball Lightning in Early Modern England: The Curious Case of Nicholas Walsh, MP

In their work our researchers have discovered many strange and unusual causes of the death that have befallen parliamentarians over the centuries; one such case is the subject of Dr Andrew Thrush‘s new blog. Here, the editor of our Lords 1558-1603 project describes the unexpected fate of the unfortunate Walsh family in 1556… It’s probably no surprise that by the time they sat in Parliament, … Continue reading Ball Lightning in Early Modern England: The Curious Case of Nicholas Walsh, MP

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

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?

Thomas Sackville, 1st earl of Dorset: an overlooked Jacobean statesman?

Continuing our preview of the History of Parliament’s forthcoming volumes on the House of Lords 1604-29, Dr Ben Coates of our new Lords 1558-1603 section considers a major figure in Jacobean government who is today less well known… Historians of the Elizabethan and early Jacobean periods have long been familiar with the vast trove of documents at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, created during more than half … Continue reading Thomas Sackville, 1st earl of Dorset: an overlooked Jacobean statesman?

Women in early modern parliamentary politics

Over the last few weeks we have been marking Women’s History Month. Continuing the discussion of women’s parliamentary history, Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of the new House of Lords 1558-1603 project, has turned his attention to the relationship between women and politics in the early modern era. Despite being excluded from Parliament, women still found ways to be involved… During the early modern period women … Continue reading Women in early modern parliamentary politics

New project: the Elizabethan House of Lords

A new year at the History of Parliament Trust sees the start of a new project. Research on the House of Lords 1558-1603 will complement our Commons project during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I by exploring the members of the upper chamber. Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of the project, explains more… The History of Parliament is delighted to announce the creation of a new, … Continue reading New project: the Elizabethan House of Lords

The ‘Other’ House of Windsor

As our House of Lords 1604-1629 project nears completion, Dr Paul Hunneyball takes a look at one of the lesser-known peers who feature in the forthcoming volumes… When we use the term ‘House of Windsor’ nowadays, we’re referring to the royal family, who adopted this name in 1917, thereby celebrating their long-standing association with Windsor Castle. However, back in the early 17th century, the ruling … Continue reading The ‘Other’ House of Windsor

Parliaments, Politics and People Seminar: The Political and Religious Origins of the 1563 Witchcraft Act

Ahead of this evening’s session of the IHR’s Parliaments, Politics, and People seminar, Lewis Brennen, PhD candidate at the University of Southampton, summarises the themes that he covered in his paper, ‘The Political and Religious Origins of the 1563 Witchcraft Act’, at our last session… The 1563 Witchcraft Act, formally titled an ‘Act agaynst Conjuracons Inchantments and Witchecraftes’, was one of the most significant pieces … Continue reading Parliaments, Politics and People Seminar: The Political and Religious Origins of the 1563 Witchcraft Act

The House of Lords Outside Parliament Time, 1604-1629

Continuing our theme of alternative functions once served by the palace of Westminster, Dr Andrew Thrush of the Lords 1604-29 section considers activities at the southern end of the complex in the early seventeenth century… During the early modern period parliaments were neither regular nor particularly frequent but sat at the whim of the monarch. Consequently, for most of the time the old palace of … Continue reading The House of Lords Outside Parliament Time, 1604-1629

The Origins of a Father of the House

This week as part of our Mothers and Fathers of the House series, Paul Seaward, British Academy/Wolfson research professor at the History of Parliament Trust, explores the origins of the parliamentary tradition of the Father of the House… The origins of the idea of a ‘father of the House’ are, like so many parliamentary traditions, deeply obscure, which is scarcely surprising for a role which … Continue reading The Origins of a Father of the House