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
In the spring of 1719 the government introduced a measure for reforming the House of Lords. By its provisions the size of the peerage of Great Britain was to be frozen, while the Scots were to be allotted 25 hereditary peerages in place of the 16 elected ones they currently held. It failed but in the following session the same measure was brought back again. … Continue reading “Windy music & heat in the House” The failure to reform the House of Lords in 1719
In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley, senior research fellow in the Lords 1715-90 section, considers how an unexpected prorogation around the time of the Union was employed to attempt to secure the passage of much-needed legislation Prorogations have been much in the news of late, but they are a common occurrence in parliamentary history. Parliament is prorogued at the end … Continue reading Tobacco Fraud and the Prorogation of April 1707
George I’s linguistic weakness was supposedly the reason for the preference shown to his German advisors over most English politicians, who were for the most part similarly limited in their knowledge of foreign languages. Continue reading Ich bin in meinem Herzen Englisch: Could George I speak English?
Our last Parliaments, Politics and People seminar at the IHR was given by Alan Marshall from Bath Spa University, and considered the political role of the important Restoration politician and key member of the CABAL ministry, Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington This paper dealt with aspects of the political life of Sir Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington, who has been frequently criticized as a statesman. … Continue reading Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington: a Restoration Politician
In this latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton offers some insights into the political background of the world presented in the award-winning movie The Favourite. The critical reception that has greeted Yorgos Lanthimos’s film provides an excellent opportunity to re-examine the role of politics and the court in the reign of Queen Anne, a critical time in the development of the British … Continue reading The politics of the royal bedchamber: what The Favourite does (and does not) tell us about party, Parliament and the court of Queen Anne
In this latest blog post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton, senior research fellow on the Lords 1715-1790 section, considers a surprise find among the personal papers of a Whig peer in the early years of the eighteenth century. Historical gems can turn up in unexpected places and in initially unpromising sources. Charles Bennet, 2nd Baron Ossulston, is a case in point. In the … Continue reading From ‘my charming angel’ to ‘a fool and tool of a party’: The love letters of Mrs Sarah Sidney to Baron Ossulston