Local polls and national politics: a 19th century perspective

As much of the UK prepares to vote in local elections this week, in this blog (adapted from our Victorian Commons site), Dr Philip Salmon discusses the origins of 19th century council elections and how they quickly became guides to national polls. As barometers of political opinion, local elections have long had a special place in British politics, offering useful (though not necessarily accurate) guides … Continue reading Local polls and national politics: a 19th century perspective

‘Am I not your uncle?’: John of Gaunt, the murder of Friar Latimer and the Salisbury Parliament of 1384

Recently on the History of Parliament blog we have been looking into some of the occasions when Parliament met away from Westminster. In April 1384 they gathered in Salisbury, but it was not the location that made the events of this session so interesting, as Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project describes… The Parliament which was summoned to meet on 29 April 1384 … Continue reading ‘Am I not your uncle?’: John of Gaunt, the murder of Friar Latimer and the Salisbury Parliament of 1384

‘Do you know where this miserable wretch lives?’: Challenging votes in Eighteenth-Century England

As the Government looks set to make the introduction of voter ID requirements a flagship policy for 2022, parallels can be drawn with the eighteenth-century electoral process. We welcome guest blogger, James Harris, post-doctoral research associate at the University of Newcastle, to tell us more. The requirement for every elector to justify their right to vote at the hustings was a routine part of Georgian … Continue reading ‘Do you know where this miserable wretch lives?’: Challenging votes in Eighteenth-Century England

Henry Clinton, earl of Lincoln: a peer governed by the underworld?

What’s your image of an Elizabethan nobleman? A grave elder statesmen with a long beard, perhaps, or a dashing young courtier in a large ruff. How about a pantomime villain? Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section considers a peer whose bad behaviour shocked even his contemporaries… According to the conventional narrative of English history, medieval peers lived in castles, employed private armies, oppressed … Continue reading Henry Clinton, earl of Lincoln: a peer governed by the underworld?

Seven Jobs for Seven Brothers

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley considers the case of Bishop Reynolds of Lincoln, one of a minority in the episcopate to stand out against Walpole, possibly because of frustration both at his own lack of promotion, but also his endless efforts to find employment for his children. Richard Reynolds (1674-1744), was chancellor of the diocese of Peterborough (1704-1718), rector … Continue reading Seven Jobs for Seven Brothers

Conference Report: Bath 250

On 29 and 30 September the opening of Bath’s historic (Upper) Assembly Rooms was marked with a conference over Zoom, followed by a live event in the Assembly Rooms where conference participants were able to experience a display of dances from the Ridotto, which had opened the Rooms precisely 250 years before in 1771. We welcome back one of the speakers, Jemima Hubberstey, a doctoral … Continue reading Conference Report: Bath 250

The power of the (silk) purse: electioneering in nineteenth-century Macclesfield

In today’s blog Dr Kathryn Rix, assistant editor of our House of Commons, 1832-1868 project, takes a local history look at the political representation of 19th century Macclesfield, where one particular industry made its presence known… One of the most significant aspects of the 1832 Reform Act was its redrawing of the electoral map, taking seats away from ‘rotten boroughs’ such as Dunwich and Old … Continue reading The power of the (silk) purse: electioneering in nineteenth-century Macclesfield

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

‘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

The shipping and the railway interests: Whitby’s electoral politics, 1832-1868

In today’s blog Dr Kathryn Rix, assistant editor of our Commons 1832-1868 project, continues our look at port constituencies for local history month. Here, she explores the electoral politics of Whitby after it was first granted the right to elect one MP in 1832… In July 1832 the ‘blues’ (Liberals) and ‘pinks’ (Conservatives) in the port of Whitby each held lavish celebrations to mark the … Continue reading The shipping and the railway interests: Whitby’s electoral politics, 1832-1868