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

Hansard at Huddersfield: Making democracy more searchable

Today’s post is a guest blog from Lesley Jeffries of the University of Huddersfield. Lesley explains the Hansard at Huddersfield project which aims to provide some interesting search facilities and visualisations of the results from the record of the UK parliament. I am a linguist working on the language of texts – from poetry to politics – and I sometimes work on what we linguists … Continue reading Hansard at Huddersfield: Making democracy more searchable

The Speaker and the same question: a view from the Victorian Commons

In today’s blog Dr Philip Salmon, editor of the 1832-1945 House of Commons project, explores some of the historical background behind recent Parliamentary rulings relating to Brexit. The rules governing UK parliamentary procedure, not surprisingly, don’t often get much public attention. However, some of the recent decisions by Speaker Bercow serve as an important reminder that the practices of the past can have an important … Continue reading The Speaker and the same question: a view from the Victorian Commons

Towards a sonic history of Chartism: Music, sound and politics in mid-nineteenth-century Britain

Ahead of tonight’s Parliaments, Politics and People seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, we hear from Dr David Kennerley, a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London. He spoke at our previous session on 19 February about his research into the sound of Chartism… For many decades, historians haven’t really thought about sound. It’s easy to see why, since unlike text, visual images … Continue reading Towards a sonic history of Chartism: Music, sound and politics in mid-nineteenth-century Britain

Legislating Homosexuality: Codification, Empire and the Commonwealth

The final blog in our trio for LGBT+ History Month comes from our Public Engagement Officer, Sammy Sturgess. She considers how nineteenth century legal reform in the British Empire impacted the regulation of homosexuality and its Commonwealth legacy… 2019 is the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth so it seems appropriate to consider the legacy of British colonial-era legislation on Commonwealth nations. Specifically, given that it’s … Continue reading Legislating Homosexuality: Codification, Empire and the Commonwealth

From celebrity to outcast: William Bankes MP (1786-1855)

Today’s blog is the second of three posts to celebrate LGBT+ History Month. In this blog we hear from Dr Philip Salmon, Editor of the House of Commons 1832-1868 project, about William Bankes who fled the country to avoid prosecution for homosexual offences … William Bankes was one of the most famous explorers of Regency England. A swashbuckling early 19th-century ‘Indiana Jones’, his discovery of … Continue reading From celebrity to outcast: William Bankes MP (1786-1855)