‘Seldom… disturbed by the bustle of trade or the affairs of Government’: Lymington from Restoration to Reform

As we gear up for May’s Local and Community History Month, today Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, begins our look at port constituencies. Hubs of trade and industry, historically ports have been central to both national economy and military defence, making their representation in Parliament very important. Here Dr Eagles casts an eye on the town of Lymington on the south … Continue reading ‘Seldom… disturbed by the bustle of trade or the affairs of Government’: Lymington from Restoration to Reform

Publication of the 1604-29 House of Lords volumes

The publication in January this year of The House of Lords, 1604-29 represents the culmination of ten years of writing and research by a dedicated team of four scholars led by Dr Andrew Thrush. Comprising two volumes of biographies extending in length to more than 1,600,000 words, and a separate Introductory Survey, this latest addition to the History of Parliament series complements and enhances the … Continue reading Publication of the 1604-29 House of Lords volumes

Three degrees of separation: alternatives to divorce in early modern England

As part of the History of Parliament’s blog series on marriage, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of the Lords 1558-1603 project, considers the options available four centuries ago to those whose marriages had broken down… Contrary to popular belief, Henry VIII never got divorced. In sixteenth-century England, the option of divorce as we now understand it didn’t exist. The only way to end a marriage … Continue reading Three degrees of separation: alternatives to divorce in early modern England

Customs duties, political grievances and cross-border relations: an early Stuart perspective

In today’s blog Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, takes a look at the debates over customs and trading duties during the reign of Charles I. Clearly it is not just in the 21st century that cross-border trade was a contentious issue… Customs have long been at the heart of political debate. In the early seventeenth century, tariffs on trade, and in … Continue reading Customs duties, political grievances and cross-border relations: an early Stuart perspective

Oliver Cromwell’s Western Designer

In today’s blog Dr David Scott, senior research fellow for our Commons 1640-1660 project, continues our look at parliamentary links to the trade of enslaved people and colonial expansion in the seventeenth century. The name Martin Noell may not be familiar nowadays, but this notorious merchant trader rose to prominence during the interregnum and his legacy ought not to be overlooked when considering Parliament’s colonial … Continue reading Oliver Cromwell’s Western Designer

‘Death-bed disinherison by so foul a practice’: Parliament, the Vanlore heiresses and an early modern whodunnit

In Women’s History month, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 section, looks at how petitions to Parliament can lift the lid on the private lives of privileged women and, in the struggle to secure property rights, reveal a dark underside of manipulation, prejudice, violence, the desperation of the childless and even murder … Throughout the turmoil of the civil wars and interregnum, … Continue reading ‘Death-bed disinherison by so foul a practice’: Parliament, the Vanlore heiresses and an early modern whodunnit

Parliament and Forced Colonial Labour in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament, 1659

In today’s blog Dr Stephen Roberts concludes his three-part blog series discussing parliamentary reactions to the 17th century transatlantic slave trade. Here Dr Roberts considers the case of a group of political prisoners who had been transported as indentured servants in 1655. As noted in the first blog, the transportation of slaves from West Africa grew proportionally with the development of the Caribbean as an … Continue reading Parliament and Forced Colonial Labour in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament, 1659

Benjamin Valentine and the politics of protest

Prompted by the recent assault on the United States Congress, and the passions which fuelled that incident, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, considers an English MP of the early 17th century who similarly refused to accept defeat… Benjamin Valentine is remembered today almost entirely for his part in the 1629 ‘riot’ in the House of Commons which helped to precipitate … Continue reading Benjamin Valentine and the politics of protest

A History of Parliamentary Cucumbers

Our friends at Hansard at Huddersfield provide a great tool for tracking the popularity of certain words in parliamentary debate. It is unsurprising that the use of ‘deal’ and ‘Brexit’ have been common over the last few years, but, as Dr Patrick Little from our Commons 1640-1660 project explores below, there is one word little used in the chamber… cucumbers. Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-84) is … Continue reading A History of Parliamentary Cucumbers

Anglo-Dutch Fishing Disputes and the Sovereignty of the Seas, 1558-1640

Recent trade negotiations between the UK and the EU have shone a spotlight on European fishing rights in British territorial waters. While Britain sought to control access to her waters, arguing that her sovereignty was at stake, the EU expected to continue large-scale fishing in these same seas. Historians of early modern England might be forgiven for thinking that we have been here before, as … Continue reading Anglo-Dutch Fishing Disputes and the Sovereignty of the Seas, 1558-1640