“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”: holidays by the sea in the 18th century

In the course of the 18th century a variety of spas and seaside resorts became popular destinations for busy Georgians seeking cures for a variety of chronic conditions, as well as for relaxation from the dramas of high politics. Dr Robin Eagles, Editor of the House of Lords 1715-90 project, considers the experiences of some of the high-profile individuals who took their holidays at two … Continue reading “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”: holidays by the sea in the 18th century

The Graphic Parliament: Picturing the House of Commons 1880-1920

At the end of June, History of Parliament Director Dr Paul Seaward joined House of Commons photographer Jess Taylor to take part in a British Academy summer showcase event about picturing the House of Commons, comparing her work to the innovative and evocative illustrations published in a generation of illustrated magazines published from the 1880s to around 1920. You can see a recording of the … Continue reading The Graphic Parliament: Picturing the House of Commons 1880-1920

Religion, relief and the ‘slaughtered saints’: foreign aid in the seventeenth century

As modern-day discussions on how best to help nations across the world fight the COVID-19 pandemic continue, in today’s blog Dr Vivienne Larminie from our Commons 1640-1660 project looks into the notion of foreign aid in the 17th century. When, in 1655, a Protestant group faced religious persecution in Europe, the government rushed to their aid… ‘Avenge, o Lord, thy slaughtered saints/ Whose bones lie … Continue reading Religion, relief and the ‘slaughtered saints’: foreign aid in the seventeenth century

Mine’s a mine: the pre-industrial mining industry of Cornwall and Devon

Whilst in modern times Devon and Cornwall may be known as popular tourist destinations, in the 14th and 15th centuries the counties were central hubs of the mining industry. In today’s blog Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks into the industrial roots of these localities and their impact on parliamentary representation… If in the present day the south-west of England seems … Continue reading Mine’s a mine: the pre-industrial mining industry of Cornwall and Devon

Parliamentary Leadership: YouTube Round-up

During the Covid-19 pandemic, like many others we moved more of our work online and as part of that we took to YouTube! In today’s blog we’re looking back at one of our most successful pandemic projects: our YouTube series, ‘Parliamentary Leadership’. As for most of you, the last 18 months have been strange for the History of Parliament team as COVID-19 lockdowns saw us … Continue reading Parliamentary Leadership: YouTube Round-up

England’s Return to Protestantism, 1559

In the first of a new series of blogs on the Elizabethan period, Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our 1558-1603 House of Lords project, discusses the last-minute attempts by the bench of Catholic bishops to thwart Elizabeth I’s reintroduction of Protestantism. He also draws attention to an important, if little appreciated, date in the re-establishment of the English Protestant state, as it was on 24 … Continue reading England’s Return to Protestantism, 1559

‘leaping and creeping’: Honours in the early 18th century

Ahead of the Queen’s official birthday this weekend and its accompanying honours list, in today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, looks at the ways that parliamentarians were rewarded in the 18th century… In the 18th century newspapers frequently contained reports on honours that were expected to be conferred on leading parliamentarians. Sometimes the reports were accurate, sometimes not, and occasionally … Continue reading ‘leaping and creeping’: Honours in the early 18th century

‘What a theatre is the House of Commons!’

In today’s blog we hear from the History of Parliament’s director Dr Paul Seaward, continuing our recent theme of Parliament and theatre. However, as Dr Seaward explains, sometimes Parliament is a theatre all of its own.. Although the English parliament had existed for centuries already, the first descriptions we have of either chamber come after the sittings of the house of commons were relocated to … Continue reading ‘What a theatre is the House of Commons!’

‘Better affected to Mars and Neptune, than to Mercury’: docks, diversity and the representation of Portsmouth in the civil wars and interregnum

In our latest blog Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, continues our local history look at port constituencies. Today’s focus is the naval city of Portsmouth, but were its maritime origins echoed in its 17th century parliamentary representation? The antiquarian and topographer William Camden characterised Portsmouth as ‘a place alwaies in time of warre well frequented, otherwise little resort there is … Continue reading ‘Better affected to Mars and Neptune, than to Mercury’: docks, diversity and the representation of Portsmouth in the civil wars and interregnum

Joseph Ablett and the treatment of mental illness in early Victorian Wales

Last week (10-16 May 2021) marked Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. Today Dr Stephen Ball from our Commons 1832-1868 project looks into the career and legacy of Joseph Ablett (1773-1848), a wealthy cotton manufacturer and country squire. Although never technically an MP, Ablett was returned at a parliamentary election in 1826, and later made a significant contribution to the treatment of mental illness … Continue reading Joseph Ablett and the treatment of mental illness in early Victorian Wales