Plague, prorogation and the suspension of the courts in fifteenth-century England

In another timely blog from our History of Parliament researchers, today Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow for the Commons 1461-1504 project, discusses Parliament’s response to another plague outbreak as the courts of justice were suspended in June 1464. On Wednesday 6 June 1464, at the beginning of Trinity term, a small piece of theatre was played out in Westminster Hall. Three justices of the … Continue reading Plague, prorogation and the suspension of the courts in fifteenth-century England

Pubs, Publicans and Parliament in the later Middle Ages

Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, is one of many people celebrating parliament’s decision to allow the re-opening of pubs, bars and watering holes in England from today. But in our latest blog he looks back to the later middle ages, when parliament’s influence on pubs and publicans was a common aspect of the industry… For many of us, one of the … Continue reading Pubs, Publicans and Parliament in the later Middle Ages

The Mystery of the ‘Black Box’ and the ‘true’ heirs of Charles II

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Robin Eagles probes the mysteries of the ‘black box’ that was supposed to contain proof of Charles II’s marriage to his mistress, Lucy Walters, and how the family of the duke of Monmouth eventually made its way back into the House of Lords. In February 1735 Parliament was faced with a petition lodged by the Scots … Continue reading The Mystery of the ‘Black Box’ and the ‘true’ heirs of Charles II

The Horticultural Heroism of Sir Walter Erle

As Britain continues to take advantage of the great outdoors during Covid-19 lockdown, this week Dr Patrick Little, senior research fellow for our Commons 1640-1660 project, explores the unusual garden of Sir Walter Erle, who used horticulture to mimic his military experiences. Of the seventeenth century MPs and peers who created gardens to adorn their country estates, perhaps the most unlikely was Sir Walter Erle. … Continue reading The Horticultural Heroism of Sir Walter Erle

ANCIENT BRITAIN, THE MOTHER OF PARLIAMENTS?

St George’s Day seems an appropriate moment to invoke John Bright’s famous, and much misunderstood, statement of 1865 that ‘England is the Country of Parliament… England is the Mother of Parliaments’. But to some in the seventeenth century and before, as British Academy and Wolfson Research Professor at the History of Parliament, Paul Seaward, explores, it was the ancient Britons who had invented parliaments, in … Continue reading ANCIENT BRITAIN, THE MOTHER OF PARLIAMENTS?

Making the most of a parhelion: the earl of March and the battle of Mortimer’s Cross

In our latest blog Dr Simon Payling, Senior Research Fellow for the Commons 1461-1504 project, looks back to this date in 1461, when a natural phenomenon appeared to the future King Edward IV on the eve of battle… The battle of Mortimer’s Cross has two claims to uniqueness among medieval British battles: it was preceded by the appearance of the meteorological phenomenon of a parhelion and … Continue reading Making the most of a parhelion: the earl of March and the battle of Mortimer’s Cross

New project: the Elizabethan House of Lords

A new year at the History of Parliament Trust sees the start of a new project. Research on the House of Lords 1558-1603 will complement our Commons project during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I by exploring the members of the upper chamber. Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of the project, explains more… The History of Parliament is delighted to announce the creation of a new, … Continue reading New project: the Elizabethan House of Lords

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