Bristol and the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI

This winter marks the 550th anniversary of the Readeption Parliament of 1470-1, the circumstances and proceedings of which are the subject of a recent blog. Today Dr Charles Moreton from our Commons 1461-1504 project looks closer at the Parliament’s impact in Bristol and the period of the short-lived restoration of Henry VI in which this assembly sat. There are no extant election returns for the Parliament, and the names of just 41 of its MPs survive. Forty, if not all of these men, sat for urban constituencies, the archives of which preserve their election. As it happens, the … Continue reading Bristol and the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI

Violence at the Door of Parliament, 1640-48

Over the past few weeks the eyes of the world have been on Washington. As the United States prepares to swear in its 46th President, Joe Biden, after what has been a tumultuous transition of power, Dr Stephen Roberts examines the threat of violence against the seat of power in 17th century Britain in our latest blog… The great achievement of the English Parliament between … Continue reading Violence at the Door of Parliament, 1640-48

Bayntun v. Hungerford: rival perspectives on puritan marriage in civil war Wiltshire

In our latest blog Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, continues with our recent theme of marriage. She considers two mid-17th century Wiltshire MPs and their opposing personalities by way of their family lives… By late 1642, as the confrontation between king and Parliament escalated, personal rivalries between two leading local gentlemen threatened to undermine fatally the parliamentarian war effort in … Continue reading Bayntun v. Hungerford: rival perspectives on puritan marriage in civil war Wiltshire

Discourses of Freedom and Slavery, 1640-60

Today we return to our recent series from History of Parliament director Dr Stephen Roberts, who has been discussing parliamentary involvement in the 17th century transatlantic slave trade. In the latest post Dr Roberts turns his attention to the uses of the terms ‘slavery’ and ‘liberty’ within years surrounding the English Civil Wars. It is a remarkable enough paradox that while an ever-increasing number of … Continue reading Discourses of Freedom and Slavery, 1640-60

The ‘lost statute’ of 1427-8: how to solve a problem like Queen Katherine

In today’s blog Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow for our Commons 1461-1504 project, returns to our recent blog theme of marriage. When Henry V died in 1422, making his infant son and namesake king, the romantic attachments of his widow, Katherine of Valois, became of chief parliamentary concern… Amongst the many problems bequeathed to the English government by the premature death of Henry V … Continue reading The ‘lost statute’ of 1427-8: how to solve a problem like Queen Katherine

Asleep on the job? Prime Minister Lord North 250 years on

Accompanying the publication of a new collection covering 300 years of British Prime Ministers, the book’s editor compiled a list assessing the 55 premiers in order of their significance. Frederick, Lord North, who became Prime Minister in 1770 and is probably best known as the man who lost America, came towards the bottom of the pile at number forty. Dr Robin Eagles reassesses North’s early … Continue reading Asleep on the job? Prime Minister Lord North 250 years on

Turning back the clock: the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI, 1470-71

In today’s blog Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks back to the winter of 1470, as Henry VI found himself on the throne once more… On 26 November 1470 a Parliament assembled at Westminster. This was in itself no remarkable event, even if there had been no such assembly for over two years. What was remarkable was that for the first … Continue reading Turning back the clock: the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI, 1470-71

Slavery, the Caribbean and English Liberties, 1620-40

Today’s blog is the first in a three-part series from History of Parliament director Dr Stephen Roberts about parliamentary involvement in the development of slavery in the Atlantic World in the seventeenth century… During the 400th anniversary year of the voyage of the Mayflower, much attention has focused on English migration to the colonies of New England. By 1640, Massachusetts was the largest of the … Continue reading Slavery, the Caribbean and English Liberties, 1620-40

A Farewell to Arms, Kilts and Sporrans: banning Scottish Highland dress in the aftermath of Culloden

Continuing with November’s local history look at the Scottish presence in Parliament, today Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 section, casts his eye over attempts to regulate traditional Scottish dress in the eighteenth century. In the winter of 1745, the people of the north and midlands of England were gripped with panic. The rebel Jacobite army led by Charles Edward Stuart had left Scotland earlier in the … Continue reading A Farewell to Arms, Kilts and Sporrans: banning Scottish Highland dress in the aftermath of Culloden

‘None can sit here but a natural liegeman’: Scots at Westminster in the Jacobean era

As a prelude to this month’s spotlight on politics in Scotland to mark St Andrew’s Day, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of the House of Lords 1558-1603 project, examines one of the most sensitive questions in early 17th century politics – should Scots be allowed to sit in English parliaments?…  Historical perceptions can be deceptive. The year 1603 is now primarily remembered as the moment when … Continue reading ‘None can sit here but a natural liegeman’: Scots at Westminster in the Jacobean era