The Graphic Parliament: Picturing the House of Commons 1880-1920

At the end of June, History of Parliament Director Dr Paul Seaward joined House of Commons photographer Jess Taylor to take part in a British Academy summer showcase event about picturing the House of Commons, comparing her work to the innovative and evocative illustrations published in a generation of illustrated magazines published from the 1880s to around 1920. You can see a recording of the … Continue reading The Graphic Parliament: Picturing the House of Commons 1880-1920

Do as you will? Behind the scenes of ‘the Hellfire Club’

As hospitality venues and social spaces in much of the UK reopen after lockdown this week, in today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, looks into the parliamentarians possessing memberships to a notorious 18th century social group… Pray remember the ghost for me to-night, and next Monday we meet at Medmenham. On 15 June 1762 John Wilkes sent this apparently rather … Continue reading Do as you will? Behind the scenes of ‘the Hellfire Club’

Religion, relief and the ‘slaughtered saints’: foreign aid in the seventeenth century

As modern-day discussions on how best to help nations across the world fight the COVID-19 pandemic continue, in today’s blog Dr Vivienne Larminie from our Commons 1640-1660 project looks into the notion of foreign aid in the 17th century. When, in 1655, a Protestant group faced religious persecution in Europe, the government rushed to their aid… ‘Avenge, o Lord, thy slaughtered saints/ Whose bones lie … Continue reading Religion, relief and the ‘slaughtered saints’: foreign aid in the seventeenth century

Mine’s a mine: the pre-industrial mining industry of Cornwall and Devon

Whilst in modern times Devon and Cornwall may be known as popular tourist destinations, in the 14th and 15th centuries the counties were central hubs of the mining industry. In today’s blog Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks into the industrial roots of these localities and their impact on parliamentary representation… If in the present day the south-west of England seems … Continue reading Mine’s a mine: the pre-industrial mining industry of Cornwall and Devon

Parliamentary Leadership: YouTube Round-up

During the Covid-19 pandemic, like many others we moved more of our work online and as part of that we took to YouTube! In today’s blog we’re looking back at one of our most successful pandemic projects: our YouTube series, ‘Parliamentary Leadership’. As for most of you, the last 18 months have been strange for the History of Parliament team as COVID-19 lockdowns saw us … Continue reading Parliamentary Leadership: YouTube Round-up

England’s Return to Protestantism, 1559

In the first of a new series of blogs on the Elizabethan period, Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our 1558-1603 House of Lords project, discusses the last-minute attempts by the bench of Catholic bishops to thwart Elizabeth I’s reintroduction of Protestantism. He also draws attention to an important, if little appreciated, date in the re-establishment of the English Protestant state, as it was on 24 … Continue reading England’s Return to Protestantism, 1559

The Imperial Afterlife of Warren Hastings, 1818-1947

In today’s blog we hear from Alfie Banks formerly of the University of Southampton, winner of the History of Parliament Undergraduate Dissertation Competition 2020. Here Alfie has adapted his winning essay, exploring the legacy of the controversial figure Warren Hastings and the insights that his afterlife can provide into imperial thought in 19th and 20th century Britain. The History of Parliament’s 2021 Undergraduate Dissertation Competition … Continue reading The Imperial Afterlife of Warren Hastings, 1818-1947

‘leaping and creeping’: Honours in the early 18th century

Ahead of the Queen’s official birthday this weekend and its accompanying honours list, in today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, looks at the ways that parliamentarians were rewarded in the 18th century… In the 18th century newspapers frequently contained reports on honours that were expected to be conferred on leading parliamentarians. Sometimes the reports were accurate, sometimes not, and occasionally … Continue reading ‘leaping and creeping’: Honours in the early 18th century

An Indispensable Member? Legal expertise in the Long Parliament, ‘an ancient lawyer’ and civil war intimidation

In the past, as with now, it was not uncommon to find those trained in the practice of law seated on the benches of Parliament. In today’s blog Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, looks into the tumultuous political career of one such lawyer in the 17th century, John Whistler. With their expertise at a premium in the drafting of legislation, … Continue reading An Indispensable Member? Legal expertise in the Long Parliament, ‘an ancient lawyer’ and civil war intimidation

‘What a theatre is the House of Commons!’

In today’s blog we hear from the History of Parliament’s director Dr Paul Seaward, continuing our recent theme of Parliament and theatre. However, as Dr Seaward explains, sometimes Parliament is a theatre all of its own.. Although the English parliament had existed for centuries already, the first descriptions we have of either chamber come after the sittings of the house of commons were relocated to … Continue reading ‘What a theatre is the House of Commons!’