‘The dearest friend I ever had’: Richard Lumley, 2nd earl of Scarbrough

This week (10-16 May 2021) marks Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. Mental illness is often hidden or misidentified in the historical record, and at the History of Parliament we’re trying to do our bit to correct this. Our research staff often identify cases of parliamentarians who suffered with their mental health, and today, Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, considers … Continue reading ‘The dearest friend I ever had’: Richard Lumley, 2nd earl of Scarbrough

The First British Royal Consort: Prince George of Denmark, duke of Cumberland

In the latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton considers the career of Prince George of Denmark, consort of Queen Anne, who proved an important support for one of Britain’s unfairly underrated sovereigns. The recent tributes to HRH Prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh, have emphasized that, at 69 years, he was the longest-serving royal consort in British history, with an active life of … Continue reading The First British Royal Consort: Prince George of Denmark, duke of Cumberland

Whispers on a landscape – Palatine migration to England, Ireland and beyond

We are delighted to welcome a guest blog from Claire McCormick, a PhD student at the University of Limerick, working on the Irish Palatines in the eighteenth century and the fortunes of the migrants who quit Europe for Britain and the New World in the early years of the eighteenth century. In 1709 more than 13,500 people left their homelands in Southwest Germany, Switzerland and … Continue reading Whispers on a landscape – Palatine migration to England, Ireland and beyond

A family affair? Sir Robert Walpole and the ‘Robinocracy’, 1721-1742

April 3 marks the 300th anniversary of Robert Walpole becoming first lord of the treasury and, with it, assuming the title ‘Prime Minister’ for the first time. In today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, explores Walpole’s rise to power and the familiarity of his surname within the walls of Westminster… On 3 April 1721, 300 years ago today, Robert Walpole … Continue reading A family affair? Sir Robert Walpole and the ‘Robinocracy’, 1721-1742

From Chicken House to Palace: 10 Downing Street in the 18th century

In February 1742, Sir Robert Walpole, newly ennobled as earl of Orford quit 10 Downing Street for the last time. It was expected that his successor, the earl of Wilmington, would replace him there, but in the event it was the chancellor of the exchequer who took up residence instead. As part of our posts marking the 300th anniversary of Walpole becoming Prime Minister, Dr … Continue reading From Chicken House to Palace: 10 Downing Street in the 18th century

‘Great Quarrels and Disputes’ or A Bun in the Oven? The Penshurst Claimant and the earldom of Leicester

In today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our House of Lords 1715-1790 project, continues our look into the marriages of parliamentarians past. When, in 1781, a man emerged calling himself the earl of Leicester, rumours began to swirl about the origins of his birth… In October 1781, George Selwyn, conveyed the latest society gossip to the earl of Carlisle. He took evident pleasure in … Continue reading ‘Great Quarrels and Disputes’ or A Bun in the Oven? The Penshurst Claimant and the earldom of Leicester

Party in Eighteenth-Century Politics

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Max Skjönsberg, of the University of Liverpool. On 2 March 2021, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Max will be responding to your questions about his pre-circulated paper, based on his recently published book: The Persistence of Party: Ideas of Harmonious Discord in Eighteenth-Century Britain and we will also be welcoming … Continue reading Party in Eighteenth-Century Politics

The Death of Stanhope

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley reconsiders the career of Earl Stanhope, one half of the Stanhope-Sunderland duumvirate that dominated politics in the early years of George I, and who died 300 years ago. James Stanhope, Earl Stanhope, died on 5 February 1721 – 300 years ago – aged 48, and at the height of his powers. He was a … Continue reading The Death of Stanhope

The 18th-century aristocracy and an early experiment in immunology

This year there will be much talk of vaccinations, a word derived from Edward Jenner’s use of cowpox to immunize humans against smallpox, but the groundwork for the science of immunology in Britain was laid 300 years ago by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and her noble patrons of the new practice of inoculation. Dr Charles Littleton investigates further… The New Year will see a large-scale … Continue reading The 18th-century aristocracy and an early experiment in immunology

Taking back control of a ‘disordered and distracted nation’: the Provisional Government 11-25 December 1688

As many of us face a very unusual and unsettled Christmas due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are reminded that Christmases of past have also been observed during periods of great uncertainty. In today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles of our House of Lords 1715-90 project explores the Provisional Government that followed the so-called Glorious Revolution of 1688… In the winter of 1688, the country briefly … Continue reading Taking back control of a ‘disordered and distracted nation’: the Provisional Government 11-25 December 1688