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

Review of the Year 2022

2022 has been a bumper year for the History of Parliament, as we settled into a ‘new normal’ of events both online and in person, launched new projects and publications, and continued to grow our online outreach. Here’s our Public Engagement Manager Connie Jeffery with a round-up of another busy twelve months… After two years of uncertainty and unsettled working, for the History of Parliament … Continue reading Review of the Year 2022

The Mince Pie Administration or Plum Pudding Billy

Every December mince pies fly off the shelf, but our love for them never seems to last past Christmas. In 1783, William Pitt’s government was disparagingly nicknamed after this ‘phenomenon’. Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our House of Lords 1715-1790 project, reflects on whether the label of the ‘Mince Pie Administration’ was a fair prophecy for Pitt’s government. On 19 December 1783 William Pitt accepted … Continue reading The Mince Pie Administration or Plum Pudding Billy

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

Spending a penny in the old palace of Westminster

The human side of working in Parliament can often be forgotten, but in today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our House of Lords 1715-1790 project, explores where parliamentarians went when in need of ‘relief’ in the old palace of Westminster… It is easy to forget when studying Parliament, but members of both Houses and other visitors to the old palace of Westminster spent long … Continue reading Spending a penny in the old palace of Westminster

‘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

“contagion lies in a wainscot”: the tragic history of the dukes of Bolton & 37, Grosvenor Square

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Robin Eagles considers the tragic history of the family of the dukes of Bolton and the strange coincidence that brought about the deaths of two peers in the same house in London… Trigger Warning: This post deals with themes of suicide. Writing in July 1765, Horace Walpole was at pains to insist that there could not … Continue reading “contagion lies in a wainscot”: the tragic history of the dukes of Bolton & 37, Grosvenor Square

‘A very disagreeable situation’: the brief premiership of William Cavendish, 4th duke of Devonshire

Following Liz Truss’s record-breaking short tenure as Prime Minister, recently much attention has turned towards some of the historical figures who held the post of Premier for only a short period of time. William Cavendish, 4th duke of Devonshire, is amongst this list, serving only 255 days in office. But as Charles Littleton from our Lords 1715-1790 project explores, it was never Devonshire’s intention to … Continue reading ‘A very disagreeable situation’: the brief premiership of William Cavendish, 4th duke of Devonshire

“he, who surpass’d all the Heroes of Antiquity”: John Churchill, 1st duke of Marlborough

2022 marks the 300th anniversary of the death of John Churchill, 1st duke of Marlborough. Dr Robin Eagles reconsiders the career, and end, of one of the country’s most successful military commanders, the victor of Blenheim, Ramillies and Malplaquet, but also a hugely important political figure. The young John Churchill had had to make his own way in the world. Although his father, Sir Winston … Continue reading “he, who surpass’d all the Heroes of Antiquity”: John Churchill, 1st duke of Marlborough

The Aftermath of the Impeachment of Thomas Parker, earl of Macclesfield

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley reassesses the impeachment, and later career, of Thomas Parker, earl of Macclesfield, the last victim of a political impeachment prior to that of Warren Hastings. Corruption and impeachment are terms that have been much in the news, especially with regard to former President Donald Trump, who was impeached, and former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, … Continue reading The Aftermath of the Impeachment of Thomas Parker, earl of Macclesfield