Ich bin in meinem Herzen Englisch: Could George I speak English?

George I’s linguistic weakness was supposedly the reason for the preference shown to his German advisors over most English politicians, who were for the most part similarly limited in their knowledge of foreign languages. Continue reading Ich bin in meinem Herzen Englisch: Could George I speak English?

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

“Hymen’s war terrific”: George III’s younger sons and the succession crisis of 1817-20

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of a new member of the royal family, Dr Charles Littleton, senior research fellow in the House of Lords 1660-1832 section, considers the circumstances surrounding the birth of Queen Victoria, whose 200th anniversary is celebrated later this month. Two events this May 2019 provide an interesting light on the history of the royal succession. We are expecting (or … Continue reading “Hymen’s war terrific”: George III’s younger sons and the succession crisis of 1817-20

The will of the people? The Middlesex elections of 1769

250 years ago, in April 1769, the electors of Middlesex went to the polls: the third by-election they had experienced that year since one of their two MPs, John Wilkes, had been expelled from Parliament. Dr Robin Eagles, Editor of the House of Lords 1660-1832 Section, examines the background to the election and how Parliament resolved the crisis. John Wilkes had originally been returned as … Continue reading The will of the people? The Middlesex elections of 1769

When is a Parliament not a Parliament?

Dr Robin Eagles, Editor of the House of Lords 1660-1832 project kicks off our new series, ‘Named Parliaments’. Here, whilst highlighting a number of Named Parliaments in the seventeenth century, he explores the debate of parliament versus convention or assembly in the early modern period… The question of what is and is not a Parliament might seem a simple one, but on two occasions during … Continue reading When is a Parliament not a Parliament?

Bolingbroke’s Reflections upon Exile

For our latest blog @GeorgianLords welcomes Dr Max Skjönsberg (St Andrews) offering some insights into the early philosophical writings of Viscount Bolingbroke, written during the period of his first exile from Britain and after his unhappy involvement with the Jacobite court. Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751) was one of the most prominent public figures in Britain in the first half of the eighteenth century, … Continue reading Bolingbroke’s Reflections upon Exile

Legislating for the United Kingdom’s four nations in the age of reform, 1830-1852

Ahead of tonight’s Parliaments, Politics and People seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, we hear from James Smith, a doctoral candidate at the University of York. He spoke at our previous session on 5 February about his research into a four nations history of Westminster. In 2003, Joanna Innes published her ground-breaking Neale lecture, ‘Legislating for the three kingdoms: how the Westminster parliament legislated for England, … Continue reading Legislating for the United Kingdom’s four nations in the age of reform, 1830-1852