Four Scots Lords: One line in a Poem

Inspired by a reference in an early eighteenth-century poem, in the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley considers the interlinked careers of four Scots peers, who all sat in the House of Lords. The early eighteenth-century poem, Advice to a Painter, by Alexander Robertson of Struan contains a line grouping four Scots peers: Rothes, Ross, Buchan and Belhaven, who were all part … Continue reading Four Scots Lords: One line in a Poem

The Last Peer Hanged for Murder

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Robin Eagles re-examines the trial and execution of Laurence Shirley, 4th Earl Ferrers, the last British peer to be hanged for murder. Long before he came to the scaffold on 5 May 1760, Laurence Shirley, 4th Earl Ferrers, had made quite a name for himself as a notorious member of the House of Lords. Ferrers had … Continue reading The Last Peer Hanged for Murder

‘Why not you?’ Sir John Cust, reluctant Speaker of the House of Commons

It is one of Westminster’s many traditions that, when an MP is elected to the role of Speaker of the House of Commons, they must show reluctance to accept the title and even be ceremonially dragged to the chair. However as Dr Robin Eagles from our Lords 1715-1790 project explores, Sir John Cust, Speaker 1761-1770, may not have been faking his lack of enthusiasm for … Continue reading ‘Why not you?’ Sir John Cust, reluctant Speaker of the House of Commons

The true premier? Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland

300 years ago, on 19 April 1722, Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland, Walpole’s rival for the premiership, died following his stakhanovite efforts during that year’s general election. Dr Robin Eagles reconsiders Sunderland’s legacy and his claim to have been George I’s first premier. Sunderland had been under enormous pressure for well over two years before, having been caught up in the South Sea Bubble, … Continue reading The true premier? Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland

Comings and goings: the other houses of Downing Street

Previously on the History of Parliament blog we looked into the history of No.10 Downing Street, the infamous residence of the Prime Minister since the mid-18th century. But who called the other houses of this well-known street home? Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our House of Lords 1715-1790 project, investigates… In 1742 Sir Robert Walpole left 10 Downing Street for the last time. His tenure … Continue reading Comings and goings: the other houses of Downing Street

After the Levellers: On the Non-Mysterious Disappearance of Parliamentary Reform in England

In our latest blog we’re returning to the ‘Recovering Europe’s Parliamentary Culture, 1500-1700’ project. Since late September, we’ve been working with the University of Oxford and the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Oxford to put together series of blogs that explore European Parliamentary Culture. The series is focused on the Early Modern period – roughly 1500-1700 – but they have ranged more widely, seeking to bring in some scholars of the … Continue reading After the Levellers: On the Non-Mysterious Disappearance of Parliamentary Reform in England

Female Dukes

In the latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley considers the cases of peerages held by women in the 18th century, and the way in which they were able to exercise political influence even though denied a seat in Parliament. In a note on page 4 of his biography of Winston Churchill, published in 2001, Roy Jenkins allows himself a somewhat waspish comment … Continue reading Female Dukes

Portraits, patrons, and political networks in late Stuart and early Georgian England

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Amy Lim of St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford. On 8 March 2022, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Amy will be discussing her research on portraits, patrons, and political networks in late Stuart and early Georgian England. Ahead of the session, read about Amy’s research in this short paper. Details … Continue reading Portraits, patrons, and political networks in late Stuart and early Georgian England

‘Do you know where this miserable wretch lives?’: Challenging votes in Eighteenth-Century England

As the Government looks set to make the introduction of voter ID requirements a flagship policy for 2022, parallels can be drawn with the eighteenth-century electoral process. We welcome guest blogger, James Harris, post-doctoral research associate at the University of Newcastle, to tell us more. The requirement for every elector to justify their right to vote at the hustings was a routine part of Georgian … Continue reading ‘Do you know where this miserable wretch lives?’: Challenging votes in Eighteenth-Century England

Double Dutch: two Dutch courtiers and the British dynasties they founded

In this latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton considers the histories of two Dutch families who went on to produce some of the most influential noble houses in Britain through the 18th and 19th centuries. Until the extinction of the line in 1990, one of the grandest titles in the British nobility was the dukedom of Portland. Their principal seat of Welbeck … Continue reading Double Dutch: two Dutch courtiers and the British dynasties they founded