Electoral change in South-East Wales in the 1640s: the Recruiter Elections in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire

This month, as part of our local history blog series, we’re looking into the parliamentary history of a number of Welsh constituencies. The country first started returning members to Westminster in the 16th century, and in today’s post our History of Parliament director, Dr Stephen Roberts, discusses the electoral changes that occurred in South-East Wales in the century that followed. The topography of Glamorgan and … Continue reading Electoral change in South-East Wales in the 1640s: the Recruiter Elections in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire

Parliament and the Mayflower: the case of Samuel More’s children

This month marks the 400 year anniversary of the voyage of Mayflower, the ship that transported 102 passengers to begin their lives in ‘New England’. Last month the History of Parliament’s Director, Dr Stephen Roberts, explored the men who during the 1640s and 50s made the return journey from America to take up seats in Westminster. Today Stephen casts his attention to the MP Samuel … Continue reading Parliament and the Mayflower: the case of Samuel More’s children

Of Puritans and Pilchards

In recent years, following the impact of Brexit, fishing regulation has become a recurring topic in the UK’s political discussions. Similarly, in the 17th century control over piscatorial exports was controversial. In our latest blog Dr Patrick Little, from our Commons 1640-1660 section, looks to the Cornish coast and the politicisation of their local delicacy, pilchards… In the Parliaments of the 1650s it is rare … Continue reading Of Puritans and Pilchards

The perils of foreign travel in the early modern era

With holidays abroad still a major challenge due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of our Lords 1558-1603 project, considers the risks associated with travel overseas four hundred years ago… One of the standard clichés of life a few centuries ago is that people tended not to travel very far. While this was broadly true for the bulk of the population, … Continue reading The perils of foreign travel in the early modern era

The Mayflower: The New England men at Westminster, 1640-1660

In September 1620, the ship Mayflower set sail, transporting the first Puritan separatists to the ‘New World’. But, even thousands of miles across the sea, ‘New England’ would not be unfamiliar to many of those in Westminster, as our director Dr Stephen Roberts explores… Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, Devon, in September 1620, reaching what became New Plymouth, on the eastern coast of America, in November. … Continue reading The Mayflower: The New England men at Westminster, 1640-1660

Northumberland in the British Civil Wars

This month’s local history focus is Northumberland and we’re kicking things off with a look at the county during the British Civil Wars. Dr David Scott, senior research fellow in our Commons 1640-1660 project, explores the county torn between Scotland to the North and the rest of England to the South. Northumberland in the eyes of Stuart England’s not-so-liberal elite was one of ‘the dark … Continue reading Northumberland in the British Civil Wars

‘Going into the country’: leave, holidays and political intrigue in the 1640s

As the easing of lockdown encourages many of us to seize opportunities to go on holiday, and especially take ‘staycations’, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of the Commons 1640-1660 section, looks at the positive and (arguably) negative uses to which civil war MPs put their leave… The widespread perception that the Parliaments of the mid-seventeenth century cut down on holidays is not inaccurate. As has … Continue reading ‘Going into the country’: leave, holidays and political intrigue in the 1640s

The Bonfire Night Coup: power politics at the Putney debates

In March we hosted the final Parliaments, Politics and People Seminar before lockdown forced the temporary closure of the Institute of Historical Research. Today Dr Sean Kelsey, senior research fellow at the University of Buckingham, looks back at his paper discussing the Putney Bonfire Night Coup of 1647. This paper revisits the circumstances surrounding the adjournment, and effective dissolution of the General Council, the representative … Continue reading The Bonfire Night Coup: power politics at the Putney debates

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

Exploring parliamentary history through art

Today’s blog contains details of the Art UK online exhibitions that our researchers have curated during lockdown… The History of Parliament’s researchers have been trying out the Curations tool recently launched by Art UK, which enables anyone to create a digital exhibition from the artworks on its site. With art galleries and museums currently closed, it is an excellent way to visit their collections online. … Continue reading Exploring parliamentary history through art