Sex in the Long Parliament

In our latest blog, Dr David Scott of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section looks at the extra-curricular activities of some Members of a supposedly puritan Parliament – at least according to newspaper reports… Sexual licence and parliamentary politics have always enjoyed an intimate relationship, and not even the great puritan preachers of the seventeenth century ( who regularly addressed assembled MPs in the adjacent … Continue reading Sex in the Long Parliament

Alternative uses for the palace of Westminster: the early 17th-century picture

With the palace of Westminster requiring a major restoration programme, and some people suggesting that Parliament should permanently relocate to a new home, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section considers some of the uses to which the old Palace was put 400 years ago… Since the 19th century, the palace of Westminster has been synonymous with Parliament – but that wasn’t always the … Continue reading Alternative uses for the palace of Westminster: the early 17th-century picture

Wigs on roundheads: puritans, peruques and powder under Oliver Cromwell

In our latest blog, Dr Patrick Little of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section challenges one of the lingering stereotypes associated with the era of puritan rule… The fashion for wearing periwigs is commonly thought to have been brought into England by Charles II and his court after their return from the continent in 1660, but there is plenty of evidence to show that the … Continue reading Wigs on roundheads: puritans, peruques and powder under Oliver Cromwell

Commission impossible? Deciphering job titles in History of Parliament biographies (part 1)

In the first of an occasional series, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section considers some of the unlikely-sounding posts held by MPs in the early seventeenth century… All published History of Parliament biographies, currently covering periods up to the nineteenth century, begin with a highly compressed digest of information about the life of the man in question. The first paragraph mostly contains genealogical … Continue reading Commission impossible? Deciphering job titles in History of Parliament biographies (part 1)

Parliament and Superstition: A Jackdaw in the House of Commons, 1604

Today we hear from the Editor of our House of Lords 1604-29 Section, Dr Andrew Thrush about a curious incident in the House of Commons in 1604 involving a Jackdaw. How superstitious was the House of Commons? Three months ago an owl flew into the Parliament building in Dodoma, Tanzania, where it perched near the ceiling and observed the proceedings, to the alarm of MPs … Continue reading Parliament and Superstition: A Jackdaw in the House of Commons, 1604

The Grand Old Man of the Long Parliament

In earlier centuries politics might be seen as a young man’s game, but here Dr Andrew Barclay of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section looks at a veteran Member of the 1640s who had first sat in the 1570s… MPs in the seventeenth century tended to be rather younger than they are today. The median age of those elected to the Long Parliament in 1640 … Continue reading The Grand Old Man of the Long Parliament

St George’s day in York: an invitation from Charles I, 1642

Continuing with our patron saints blog series, Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons 1640-1660 project, explores the loyalty of peers to Charles I during St George’s Day celebrations at York in April 1642… A spring break in the north.  Easter solemnities and rejoicing in York Minster.  Celebrating the feast day of the nation’s patron saint with the king’s court.  Under other … Continue reading St George’s day in York: an invitation from Charles I, 1642