Category Archives: 20th century history

Parliament & World War I

In partnership with the Parliamentary Archives alongside their current exhibition on Parliament and the First World War, we recently held events in Parliament exploring the institution during the war years… The Parliamentary Archives exhibition on Parliament and the First World … Continue reading

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When every vote counted: what minority government in the 1970s meant for MPs

With Parliament back and Theresa May’s government trying to pass controversial legislation, Emmeline Ledgerwood, one of our oral history project volunteers and PhD student at the British Library/University of Leicester, blogs on the periods of minority government during the 1970s, … Continue reading

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‘A youth of radiant promise’: the Hon. Francis Walter Stafford McLaren (1886-1917)

Continuing our series on MPs killed in the First World War, Dr. Kathryn Rix marks the centenary of the death of Francis McLaren, who had a close connection with the History of Parliament’s founder, Josiah Wedgwood. On 30 August 1917, … Continue reading

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Big Ben and the British

With Big Ben – possibly – due to fall silent next week, our Director, Dr Paul Seaward, discusses the history of the famous bell… The reaction in some quarters to the news that Big Ben will cease to strike from … Continue reading

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50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, 1957

On 12 July we brought together parliamentarians, activists and historians to mark 50 years since the passing of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales. Here we report back from the event… We were … Continue reading

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First steps in the chamber: making a maiden speech

For the one hundred or so new MPs who were elected in June, many have already achieved one of the major milestones of their Commons’ careers: the maiden speech. Here we share some of our oral history project interviewees’ memories … Continue reading

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The State Opening of Parliament: When dissident acts become established acts

Today, the new Parliament will be officially opened. In his guest blog Steven Franklin (Royal Holloway, University of London) discusses the origins and development of the pageantry involved… In 1863 Queen Victoria refused to open parliament, citing her ‘total inability…to … Continue reading

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