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

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