Wigs on roundheads: puritans, peruques and powder under Oliver Cromwell

In our latest blog, Dr Patrick Little of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section challenges one of the lingering stereotypes associated with the era of puritan rule… The fashion for wearing periwigs is commonly thought to have been brought into England by Charles II and his court after their return from the continent in 1660, but there is plenty of evidence to show that the … Continue reading Wigs on roundheads: puritans, peruques and powder under Oliver Cromwell

‘A name of an ill sound’: The Officers’ Parliament of 1690-95

Today we continue with our ‘Named Parliament’ series. Charles Littleton of the Lords 1660-1832 project discusses the Officers’ Parliament of 1690-95 and the enactment of legislation to regulate parliamentary sessions thereafter… To many contemporaries the Parliament which first met in March 1690 later became vilified as ‘The Officers’ Parliament’. Bishop Gilbert Burnet, watching events from the House of Lords, described the origin of the term … Continue reading ‘A name of an ill sound’: The Officers’ Parliament of 1690-95

Commission impossible? Deciphering job titles in History of Parliament biographies (part 1)

In the first of an occasional series, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section considers some of the unlikely-sounding posts held by MPs in the early seventeenth century… All published History of Parliament biographies, currently covering periods up to the nineteenth century, begin with a highly compressed digest of information about the life of the man in question. The first paragraph mostly contains genealogical … Continue reading Commission impossible? Deciphering job titles in History of Parliament biographies (part 1)

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

The Grand Old Man of the Long Parliament

In earlier centuries politics might be seen as a young man’s game, but here Dr Andrew Barclay of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section looks at a veteran Member of the 1640s who had first sat in the 1570s… MPs in the seventeenth century tended to be rather younger than they are today. The median age of those elected to the Long Parliament in 1640 … Continue reading The Grand Old Man of the Long Parliament

St George’s day in York: an invitation from Charles I, 1642

Continuing with our patron saints blog series, Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons 1640-1660 project, explores the loyalty of peers to Charles I during St George’s Day celebrations at York in April 1642… A spring break in the north.  Easter solemnities and rejoicing in York Minster.  Celebrating the feast day of the nation’s patron saint with the king’s court.  Under other … Continue reading St George’s day in York: an invitation from Charles I, 1642

‘A gentleman but stumbling in here!’: an impostor in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament

In our latest post, Dr Patrick Little of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section revisits the Parliament of 1659, which opened in such confusion that its membership was unclear and a stranger could sit undetected – with disquieting implications… On 8 February 1659 the journalist Gilbert Mabbott reported the latest developments in Parliament to Henry Cromwell, the lord deputy of Ireland based in Dublin. Among … Continue reading ‘A gentleman but stumbling in here!’: an impostor in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament