The Madness of the Mohuns

Violence was not uncommon among the early modern aristocracy, but the behaviour of the Mohun (pronounced ‘Moon’) family – Barons Mohun of Okehampton – was shocking even to contemporaries. In the next blog for our Revolutionary Stuart Parliaments series, Dr Patrick Little from our Lords 1640-1660 project explores the family weakness for mindless violence… John Mohun, 1st Baron Mohun, was proud of his ancestry, boasting … Continue reading The Madness of the Mohuns

Heraldry, Pomp and Power: The Use of Parliamentary Symbols on Coats of Arms, c.1527-2006

Ahead of next Tuesday’s hybrid Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Duncan Sutherland. On 15 November, between 5.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Duncan will discuss the longstanding connection between Parliament and heraldry from the 16th century to the modern day. Continue reading Heraldry, Pomp and Power: The Use of Parliamentary Symbols on Coats of Arms, c.1527-2006

Levelling the Lords

In the inaugural blog of our Revolutionary Stuart Parliaments series, the editor of our new House of Lords 1640-60 section Dr David Scott, and Dr Sarah Mortimer of Christ Church, Oxford, consider the politics behind the abolition of the House of Lords in 1649… In November 1648, after a summer and autumn of hard-fought victories against royalist insurgents and Scottish invaders, the New Model Army … Continue reading Levelling the Lords

Sir Job Charlton and the Declaration of Indulgence 1672-3

As we continue our recent blog series exploring the careers of notable people to occupy the role of Speaker, here History of Parliament director Dr Paul Seaward examines the debates behind appointing this influential job in the 17th century and a Speaker often forgotten about… Speakers of the Commons in the seventeenth century were, though notionally elected by the House, effectively government appointees. At the … Continue reading Sir Job Charlton and the Declaration of Indulgence 1672-3

‘Never ending war’ and ‘the enriching of Parliament-men’: MPs and corruption in the 1640s

In the second of two blogs from Dr Vivienne Larminie, editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, here attention is turned to accusations of corruption and financial incentives in the Parliaments of the 1640s… In the 1630s the venom-filled pen of pamphleteer William Prynne had excoriated the court of Charles I for what he regarded as immorality and corruption. But by the later 1640s, a seemingly … Continue reading ‘Never ending war’ and ‘the enriching of Parliament-men’: MPs and corruption in the 1640s

Charles I in search of friends: government in crisis and the rewards of loyalty, 1640-1644

Today we hear from Dr Vivienne Larminie, editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, who discusses Charles I’s attempts to secure loyalty by giving out peerages and other honours in the early 1640s… By late 1640 the government of Charles I was in deep trouble. A treaty signed at Ripon on 26 October signalled the end of three years of war against his Scottish subjects – the … Continue reading Charles I in search of friends: government in crisis and the rewards of loyalty, 1640-1644

William Herbert, 3rd earl of Pembroke: the ‘nearly man’ of early Stuart politics

As we wait to hear who has triumphed in the latest contest to become prime minister, Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section considers a leading 17th-century courtier who seemed destined for the top, but never quite made it… It’s tempting to assume that present-day politics has little in common with government 400 years ago, but in fact there are quite strong parallels.  Then … Continue reading William Herbert, 3rd earl of Pembroke: the ‘nearly man’ of early Stuart politics

A month in politics: the fall of Protector Richard Cromwell, 1659

As we ponder the abrupt end to Boris Johnson’s premiership, Dr Vivienne Larminie of our Commons 1640-60 section offers a salutary reminder that the sudden collapse of a government is far from unprecedented in British history… Reporting on events at Whitehall palace on 6 April 1659, weekly newspaper The Publick Intelligencer depicted a harmonious outcome to a potentially dangerous political confrontation. That evening, ‘in one … Continue reading A month in politics: the fall of Protector Richard Cromwell, 1659

New Project: The House of Lords 1640-1660

In exciting news for the History of Parliament, 2022 sees the winding down of our long-running House of Commons 1640-1660 project and with it the launch of a new section: the House of Lords 1640-1660. Here the section leader, Dr David Scott, introduces the project and the status of Peers in the mid-17th century… In April of this year the History of Parliament launched the … Continue reading New Project: The House of Lords 1640-1660

Before Big Ben there was Old Tom

As the restoration of the Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower reaches its final stages this summer, Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our House of Lords 1715-1790 project, takes a look at the clock tower that existed before ‘Big Ben’… The story of the at times fraught development of the clock tower of the palace of Westminster is well known. A late addition to Charles Barry’s … Continue reading Before Big Ben there was Old Tom