Oxfordshire Local History: Abingdon in the nineteenth century

This month’s local history focus has been Oxfordshire. In today’s blog Dr Philip Salmon, editor of the House of Commons 1832-1945 project, looks at the constituency of Abingdon, since 1974 within Oxfordshire, but historically part of the adjacent county of Berkshire. Abingdon was widely regarded as an easily managed ‘pocket’ or ‘nomination’ borough during the 19th century. For a while at least it certainly had … Continue reading Oxfordshire Local History: Abingdon in the nineteenth century

The West India Interest and the Parliamentary Defence of Slavery, 1823-33

Ahead of Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Michael Taylor, the author of The Interest: How the British Establishment Resisted the Abolition of Slavery (2020). He will be responding to your questions about his research on the parliamentary resistance to the abolition of slavery between 5:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on 3 November 2020. Details on how to join the discussion … Continue reading The West India Interest and the Parliamentary Defence of Slavery, 1823-33

Book Review: Peterloo: The English Uprising by Robert Poole

Dr Martin Spychal, research fellow on the Commons 1832-1868, reviews Robert Poole’s Peterloo: The English Uprising (Oxford, 2019) What drove 400 volunteer soldiers and special constables to murder 18 and maim nearly 700 of their fellow Lancastrians? This is the key question that Robert Poole’s definitive and illuminating Peterloo sets out to answer. As Poole states in his prologue, ‘two hundred years on, it is … Continue reading Book Review: Peterloo: The English Uprising by Robert Poole

Representing Glamorgan, 1832-85: Mr. Talbot and his colleagues

Continuing our Local History focus on Glamorgan, Dr. Kathryn Rix, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons, 1832-68 project looks at the constituency’s elections after the 1832 Reform Act, when the long-serving MP, Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot, exerted a strong influence over the county. Described in 1841 as ‘the Lancashire of Wales’, Glamorgan was Wales’s wealthiest and most industrialised county. Coal mining employed almost one … Continue reading Representing Glamorgan, 1832-85: Mr. Talbot and his colleagues

From duelling to sharing the representation: Northumberland’s electoral politics in the nineteenth century

Continuing this month’s focus on Northumberland, Dr. Kathryn Rix, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons, 1832-68 project, explores the county’s elections in the nineteenth century. In 1826 Northumberland experienced its first contested election since 1774, with four candidates vying for the county’s two seats. For the previous fifty years, electors had not had the opportunity to cast their votes, as the representation had been … Continue reading From duelling to sharing the representation: Northumberland’s electoral politics in the nineteenth century

York: exploring the local history of a Victorian constituency

Alongside biographies of 2,591 MPs, our House of Commons 1832-68 project is also researching and writing articles on the 401 English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh constituencies in existence during this period. Following on from this month’s earlier local history post on York, this blog takes this constituency as an example to explain some of the key features of our constituency articles, and how they might … Continue reading York: exploring the local history of a Victorian constituency

The queen and the chemist’s son: Matthew Wood MP and the radical defence of Queen Caroline

A hop merchant and former Lord Mayor, Wood brought Caroline out of exile in June 1820 and housed her at his Mayfair residence at the beginning of the national crisis. As the affair gathered steam Wood became a prime target for loyalist vitriol, a prime example being Theodore Hooke’s malicious pamphlet Solomon Logwood: A Radical Tale. Continue reading The queen and the chemist’s son: Matthew Wood MP and the radical defence of Queen Caroline

Exploring parliamentary history through art

Today’s blog contains details of the Art UK online exhibitions that our researchers have curated during lockdown… The History of Parliament’s researchers have been trying out the Curations tool recently launched by Art UK, which enables anyone to create a digital exhibition from the artworks on its site. With art galleries and museums currently closed, it is an excellent way to visit their collections online. … Continue reading Exploring parliamentary history through art

The royal scandal that helped change British politics: the 1820 Queen Caroline affair

On 5 June 1820 Caroline of Brunswick returned to England to take her place as Queen Consort to George IV. But the breakdown in the couple’s relationship would become a matter of parliamentary and national importance. This blog from Dr Philip Salmon, editor of our Commons 1832-68 project, explores the impact of the Queen Caroline Affair on British politics. Two hundred years ago the Prince … Continue reading The royal scandal that helped change British politics: the 1820 Queen Caroline affair

‘The power of returning our members will henceforth be in our own hands’: parliamentary reform and its impact on Exeter, 1820-1868

Dr Martin Spychal, research fellow for the Commons 1832-68, uses polling and voter registration data to explore the 1832 Reform Act’s impact on elections in Exeter. Continue reading ‘The power of returning our members will henceforth be in our own hands’: parliamentary reform and its impact on Exeter, 1820-1868