Red Streak: cider-making and drinking in Cromwellian Herefordshire

As we contemplate the further lifting of Covid restrictions on hospitality venues, Dr Patrick Little of our Commons 1640-1660 project looks at the pleasures and pitfalls of drinking a native beverage in the seventeenth century, and the science behind its production… Cider has been produced in England since Norman times, if not before, with different traditions emerging in the east (notably East Anglia and Kent) … Continue reading Red Streak: cider-making and drinking in Cromwellian Herefordshire

Exploring the roots of a regicide: Sir John Danvers, the University of Oxford and gardens

As we look forward to warmer weather and fewer Covid-related restrictions, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 section, considers the complex and contradictory career of a noted seventeenth-century horticulturalist… This week the Bodleian Library in Oxford launched an exhibition marking the quatercentenary of the foundation in 1621 of the city’s Botanic Garden. ‘Roots to Seeds’ explores the development of the physic garden, … Continue reading Exploring the roots of a regicide: Sir John Danvers, the University of Oxford and gardens

Joseph Ablett and the treatment of mental illness in early Victorian Wales

Last week (10-16 May 2021) marked Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. Today Dr Stephen Ball from our Commons 1832-1868 project looks into the career and legacy of Joseph Ablett (1773-1848), a wealthy cotton manufacturer and country squire. Although never technically an MP, Ablett was returned at a parliamentary election in 1826, and later made a significant contribution to the treatment of mental illness … Continue reading Joseph Ablett and the treatment of mental illness in early Victorian Wales

‘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

‘Without any worldly pompe’: the burial of a 15th-century royal consort at Windsor

As the nation mourns the passing of Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, today Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, reflects on the burial of another royal consort in the midst of an epidemic, some six centuries prior. When the late Duke of Edinburgh is laid to rest at Windsor on Saturday, 17 April 2021, he will become the latest in a … Continue reading ‘Without any worldly pompe’: the burial of a 15th-century royal consort at Windsor

‘Death-bed disinherison by so foul a practice’: Parliament, the Vanlore heiresses and an early modern whodunnit

In Women’s History month, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 section, looks at how petitions to Parliament can lift the lid on the private lives of privileged women and, in the struggle to secure property rights, reveal a dark underside of manipulation, prejudice, violence, the desperation of the childless and even murder … Throughout the turmoil of the civil wars and interregnum, … Continue reading ‘Death-bed disinherison by so foul a practice’: Parliament, the Vanlore heiresses and an early modern whodunnit

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

Gap years and study abroad: 17th century MPs and the legacy of a foreign education

As international travel continues to be unpredictable and as universities and colleges start a new academic year in uncertain times, Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of the Commons 1640-1660, considers MPs who went abroad to complete their education and the effect of that on their parliamentary service… As Dr Paul Hunneyball observed in a previous post from James I to Restoration, more than a quarter … Continue reading Gap years and study abroad: 17th century MPs and the legacy of a foreign education

‘Going into the country’: leave, holidays and political intrigue in the 1640s

As the easing of lockdown encourages many of us to seize opportunities to go on holiday, and especially take ‘staycations’, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of the Commons 1640-1660 section, looks at the positive and (arguably) negative uses to which civil war MPs put their leave… The widespread perception that the Parliaments of the mid-seventeenth century cut down on holidays is not inaccurate. As has … Continue reading ‘Going into the country’: leave, holidays and political intrigue in the 1640s