‘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

‘London’s Latest Ordeal’: the Blitz and rebuilding of the House of Commons Chamber

On the evening of the 10/11 May 1941 the House of Commons Chamber was destroyed during the Blitz. In today’s blog, 80 years on, our Public Engagement Assistant Connie Jeffery explores the event and how Parliament rebuilt and recovered from the destruction… Like much of the United Kingdom’s home front, Westminster was no stranger to the effects of the Second World War. Parliament’s recognisable home … Continue reading ‘London’s Latest Ordeal’: the Blitz and rebuilding of the House of Commons Chamber

Adapting the chambers of Parliament: from the galleries of the 18th-century Lords to the division lobbies of the 19th-century Commons

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Robin Eagles and Dr Kathryn Rix, of the History of Parliament. On 4 May 2021, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., they will each be giving a 15 minute presentation, followed by a joint Q & A session, looking at adaptations to parliamentary architecture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Details … Continue reading Adapting the chambers of Parliament: from the galleries of the 18th-century Lords to the division lobbies of the 19th-century Commons

Life as an MP: a recipe for marital bliss?

In today’s blog Dr Emma Peplow, coordinator of the History of Parliament’s Oral History Project, picks up our recent theme of marriage and Parliament. As many former MPs discussed in their interviews, a parliamentary career wasn’t always a friend to marital life… Our oral history project interviewers make sure to ask former MP not just about formal politics, but how political life impacted on personal … Continue reading Life as an MP: a recipe for marital bliss?

Publication of the 1604-29 House of Lords volumes

The publication in January this year of The House of Lords, 1604-29 represents the culmination of ten years of writing and research by a dedicated team of four scholars led by Dr Andrew Thrush. Comprising two volumes of biographies extending in length to more than 1,600,000 words, and a separate Introductory Survey, this latest addition to the History of Parliament series complements and enhances the … Continue reading Publication of the 1604-29 House of Lords volumes

Customs duties, political grievances and cross-border relations: an early Stuart perspective

In today’s blog Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, takes a look at the debates over customs and trading duties during the reign of Charles I. Clearly it is not just in the 21st century that cross-border trade was a contentious issue… Customs have long been at the heart of political debate. In the early seventeenth century, tariffs on trade, and in … Continue reading Customs duties, political grievances and cross-border relations: an early Stuart perspective

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

‘Decided on by men’: International Women’s Day lecture

On 17 March Dr Emma Peplow and Dr Priscila Pivatto gave the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art’s 8th annual International Woman’s Day lecture. Created by the committee to help address the need for more artwork of female MPs in Parliament’s collection, Emma and Priscila discussed women’s experiences in Parliament based on interviews in our Oral History Project. Here Dr Peplow reflects on the … Continue reading ‘Decided on by men’: International Women’s Day lecture

Elizabeth I, the ‘estate of marriage’, and the 1559 Parliament

To mark Women’s History Month, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, recalls the first public statement by the ‘Virgin Queen’ that she had no plans to marry, and the incomprehension with which her (male) subjects reacted… The first Parliament summoned by Elizabeth I opened on 25 January 1559 with a packed agenda. Urgent business in the opening days included a new … Continue reading Elizabeth I, the ‘estate of marriage’, and the 1559 Parliament

Parliament and Forced Colonial Labour in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament, 1659

In today’s blog Dr Stephen Roberts concludes his three-part blog series discussing parliamentary reactions to the 17th century transatlantic slave trade. Here Dr Roberts considers the case of a group of political prisoners who had been transported as indentured servants in 1655. As noted in the first blog, the transportation of slaves from West Africa grew proportionally with the development of the Caribbean as an … Continue reading Parliament and Forced Colonial Labour in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament, 1659