How to expel an MP from Parliament: The ejection of John Wilkes in 1764

John Wilkes was well known for treading a fine line in his outspoken comments against the government, but in 1763 Parliament decided he had gone too far. Here Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our House of Lords 1715-1790 project, reflects on the case Parliament built against him and how they finally expelled Wilkes from the Chamber… On 19 November 1763 Colonel Bate, reporting affairs in … Continue reading How to expel an MP from Parliament: The ejection of John Wilkes in 1764

Politics before Democracy Conference

Call for Papers, deadline – 17 February 2023 The History of Parliament and the School of History, University of East Anglia, would like to invite proposals for papers for ‘Politics Before Democracy: Britain and its world, c.1750-1914’. This two-day conference, hosted at UEA on 19-20 April 2023, will bring together established academics, early career researchers and postgraduate students working in the field of British political … Continue reading Politics before Democracy Conference

Of Pretenders and Prime Ministers: Robert Walpole and the Atterbury Plot 300 years on

As 2022 draws to an end Dr Charles Littleton considers the tercentenary of the Atterbury Plot, the failed plan for a Jacobite insurrection in England in 1722. The investigation of the conspiracy by Parliament in 1722-23 had far-reaching effects, as it consolidated the incoming premiership of Robert Walpole and contributed to the weakening of English Jacobitism. As its name suggests, the direction of the ‘Plot’ … Continue reading Of Pretenders and Prime Ministers: Robert Walpole and the Atterbury Plot 300 years on

‘Buff and Blue’: dance and factional politics in London’s West End, 1780-89

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Hillary Burlock of Newcastle University. On 29 November, between 5.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Hillary will discuss the connections between dance and factional politics in London’s West End, 1780-89. The seminar takes place on 29 November 2022, between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. You can attend online via Zoom. Details of how to join the discussion are … Continue reading ‘Buff and Blue’: dance and factional politics in London’s West End, 1780-89

The Secret Ballot: The Secret to Reducing Electoral Violence?

In July 1872, 150 years ago this month, the Ballot Act introduced the secret ballot to all UK parliamentary and local elections. Here guest blogger Dr Gary Hutchison, of the Causes and Consequences of Electoral Violence project, discusses how the secret ballot affected violence at elections. An Interactive Map of over 3,000 violent events, from individual assaults to riots, can be found on their website. … Continue reading The Secret Ballot: The Secret to Reducing Electoral Violence?

Ballot boxes, bills and unions: Harriet Grote (1792-1878) and the public campaign for the ballot, 1832-9

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the 1872 Ballot Act, which introduced secret voting at general elections in the UK. In this extended blog, Dr Martin Spychal, research fellow in our House of Commons 1832-68 project, explores the role of Harriet Grote (1792-1878) in the popular and parliamentary campaign for the ballot during the 1830s. On 18 July we will be marking the anniversary of the Ballot … Continue reading Ballot boxes, bills and unions: Harriet Grote (1792-1878) and the public campaign for the ballot, 1832-9

Four Scots Lords: One line in a Poem

Inspired by a reference in an early eighteenth-century poem, in the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley considers the interlinked careers of four Scots peers, who all sat in the House of Lords. The early eighteenth-century poem, Advice to a Painter, by Alexander Robertson of Struan contains a line grouping four Scots peers: Rothes, Ross, Buchan and Belhaven, who were all part … Continue reading Four Scots Lords: One line in a Poem

The Union in Peril: The British Government and the Scottish Question in the Shadow of the Oil Crisis, c. 1973-1975.

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Robbie Johnston of the University of Edinburgh. On 10 May 2022, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Robbie will be responding to your questions about his paper on Parliament and the Scottish question in the 1970s. Robbie’s full-length paper is available by signing up to his seminar and contacting seminar@histparl.ac.uk. Details of how to join the discussion are … Continue reading The Union in Peril: The British Government and the Scottish Question in the Shadow of the Oil Crisis, c. 1973-1975.

Local polls and national politics: a 19th century perspective

As much of the UK prepares to vote in local elections this week, in this blog (adapted from our Victorian Commons site), Dr Philip Salmon discusses the origins of 19th century council elections and how they quickly became guides to national polls. As barometers of political opinion, local elections have long had a special place in British politics, offering useful (though not necessarily accurate) guides … Continue reading Local polls and national politics: a 19th century perspective

The true premier? Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland

300 years ago, on 19 April 1722, Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland, Walpole’s rival for the premiership, died following his stakhanovite efforts during that year’s general election. Dr Robin Eagles reconsiders Sunderland’s legacy and his claim to have been George I’s first premier. Sunderland had been under enormous pressure for well over two years before, having been caught up in the South Sea Bubble, … Continue reading The true premier? Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland