Yorkist Parliaments, but not at York

At the beginning of this week, the government sparked debate by announcing the possibility of relocating the House of Lords away from Westminster to the city of York. But this is not the first time that the city has been considered as a parliamentary host, as Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 section, explains… In the light of suggestions that the House of … Continue reading Yorkist Parliaments, but not at York

A Trojan horse in the House of Lords? The South Sea Company and the peerage

2020 marks the 300th anniversary of one of the most spectacular stock market crashes in British history when the South Sea Bubble burst. Dr Charles Littleton re-examines the way in which the scheme was guided through Parliament and the impact it had on some members of the House of Lords On 22 January 1720 the chancellor of the exchequer, John Aislabie, presented to the House … Continue reading A Trojan horse in the House of Lords? The South Sea Company and the peerage

Hansard at Huddersfield: Making democracy more searchable

Today’s post is a guest blog from Lesley Jeffries of the University of Huddersfield. Lesley explains the Hansard at Huddersfield project which aims to provide some interesting search facilities and visualisations of the results from the record of the UK parliament. I am a linguist working on the language of texts – from poetry to politics – and I sometimes work on what we linguists … Continue reading Hansard at Huddersfield: Making democracy more searchable

The Speaker and the same question: a view from the Victorian Commons

In today’s blog Dr Philip Salmon, editor of the 1832-1945 House of Commons project, explores some of the historical background behind recent Parliamentary rulings relating to Brexit. The rules governing UK parliamentary procedure, not surprisingly, don’t often get much public attention. However, some of the recent decisions by Speaker Bercow serve as an important reminder that the practices of the past can have an important … Continue reading The Speaker and the same question: a view from the Victorian Commons

James I and his favourites: sex and power at the Jacobean court

As LGBT History Month draws to a close Dr Paul M. Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-1629 Section discusses the nature of relationships between James I and his favourite courtiers, his sexuality and how this affected his ability to maintain unquestionable dominance as the monarch… ‘James I slobbered at the mouth and had favourites; he was thus a Bad King.’ This line from Sellar and Yeatman’s … Continue reading James I and his favourites: sex and power at the Jacobean court

A medieval MP’s Valentine’s Day Letters

Dr Hannes Kleineke of the 1422-1504 Commons explains how the commercial holiday we now recognise as St Valentine’s Day was observed by a young lover in the fifteenth century… It is a little known fact that the earliest known Valentine’s letter was in fact addressed to an MP, albeit a future one. In February 1477 Margery Brewes, soon to be married to the Norfolk gentleman John … Continue reading A medieval MP’s Valentine’s Day Letters

Women and Parliament in the Fifteenth Century

2018 is the centennial anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 under the terms of which, for the first time in the history of the British Politics, some women were permitted to vote in Parliamentary elections. In order to mark this step in the progression of equality for women in our country’s political system we will be publishing a series of blogs about … Continue reading Women and Parliament in the Fifteenth Century