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)

Medieval MP of the Month: ‘Please Sir, can I have one more?’ The marriages and murders of the Harcourt brothers of Oxfordshire 

Further tales of murder and scandal from Dr Hannes Kleineke for April’s medieval MP, or rather MPs of the Month. Today we hear of the murderous Harcourt brothers … Among the most distinguished families in late medieval Oxfordshire, the Harcourts were able to trace their pedigree back at least to the reign of Henry I, and by the end of the 12th century had acquired … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: ‘Please Sir, can I have one more?’ The marriages and murders of the Harcourt brothers of Oxfordshire 

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

Legislating Homosexuality: Codification, Empire and the Commonwealth

The final blog in our trio for LGBT+ History Month comes from our Public Engagement Officer, Sammy Sturgess. She considers how nineteenth century legal reform in the British Empire impacted the regulation of homosexuality and its Commonwealth legacy… 2019 is the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth so it seems appropriate to consider the legacy of British colonial-era legislation on Commonwealth nations. Specifically, given that it’s … Continue reading Legislating Homosexuality: Codification, Empire and the Commonwealth

From celebrity to outcast: William Bankes MP (1786-1855)

Today’s blog is the second of three posts to celebrate LGBT+ History Month. In this blog we hear from Dr Philip Salmon, Editor of the House of Commons 1832-1868 project, about William Bankes who fled the country to avoid prosecution for homosexual offences … William Bankes was one of the most famous explorers of Regency England. A swashbuckling early 19th-century ‘Indiana Jones’, his discovery of … Continue reading From celebrity to outcast: William Bankes MP (1786-1855)

Legislating for the United Kingdom’s four nations in the age of reform, 1830-1852

Ahead of tonight’s Parliaments, Politics and People seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, we hear from James Smith, a doctoral candidate at the University of York. He spoke at our previous session on 5 February about his research into a four nations history of Westminster. In 2003, Joanna Innes published her ground-breaking Neale lecture, ‘Legislating for the three kingdoms: how the Westminster parliament legislated for England, … Continue reading Legislating for the United Kingdom’s four nations in the age of reform, 1830-1852

The early Stuart judiciary – independent or subservient?

In the wake of recent events in America, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section considers the role of the judiciary in early Stuart political controversies… Much of the recent storm surrounding the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh as a judge in the United States Supreme Court was generated by allegations of sexual misconduct in his earlier life. However, the political partisanship which marked the … Continue reading The early Stuart judiciary – independent or subservient?