Medieval MP of the Month: The sea hawk – Robert Wenyngton alias Cane

June’s medieval MP of the month is the swashbuckling Robert Wenyngton of Dartmouth. Dr Hannes Kleineke, of our House of Commons 1422-1504 Section, discusses this fifteenth century pirate (and politician) below… Long before Queen Elizabeth’s sea hawks (popularised by Michael Curtiz’s eponymous film of 1940 with Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s rousing score) threatened foreign shipping on the Spanish main, England, and particularly its south-western counties, produced … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: The sea hawk – Robert Wenyngton alias Cane

Medieval MP of the Month: George Ashby

For this month’s installment from our House of Commons 1422-1461 Section we hear from Dr Simon Payling about poet and long-time servant to the Lancastrians, George Ashby of Warwickshire… George Ashby, MP for Warwick in the Parliament of 1459, is worthy of notice as the only known poet among the MPs of Henry VI’s reign. His poetry reflected his own troubled times and the personal … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: George Ashby

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 

MP of the Month: Geoffrey Paynell, accusations of incest and the fall of the house of Paynell

For March’s medieval MP of the month we hear about Geoffrey Paynell and accusations of incest amid the family’s land dispute in fifteenth century Lincolnshire, brought to you by Senior Research Fellow, Dr Simon Payling of the House of Commons 1422-1504 project. Be sure to keep your eye on our Twitter page for information of the Section’s forthcoming publication… The human stories behind the lives … Continue reading MP of the Month: Geoffrey Paynell, accusations of incest and the fall of the house of Paynell

Medieval MP of the Month: Walter Rich – a tryst gone wrong?

Rather appropriately on Valentine’s Day, February’s Medieval MP of the month blog is concerned with affairs of the heart (among other less romantic things). Hannes Kleineke of our House of Commons 1422-1461 Section tells of the MPs, marriage and murder in medieval Bath… The literary figure of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Wife of Bath is familiar to many: she was a little hard of hearing, and her … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: Walter Rich – a tryst gone wrong?

A Speaker-Elect Makes a Quick Escape from the Parliamentary Turmoil caused by England’s Precipitous Exit from Europe

In light of the recent controversy surrounding the current Speaker of the House of Commons and his position on Brexit, Dr Linda Clark, Editor of the House of Commons 1422-1504 Section discusses how Agincourt veteran, Sir John Popham narrowly escaped assuming the daunting task of Speaker nearing the turbulent end of the Hundred Years’ War… A chronicler laconically remarked of 1449 that ‘This yere the … Continue reading A Speaker-Elect Makes a Quick Escape from the Parliamentary Turmoil caused by England’s Precipitous Exit from Europe

Medieval MP of the Month: Santa Claus in Parliament

Here’s a seasonal offering from Hannes Kleineke of the House of Commons 1422-1504 Section for our Medieval MP of Month… While much has rightly been made this year of the career and legacy of Col. Josiah Wedgwood, MP, the founder of the History of Parliament, his pioneering biographical volumes were not without their quirks, and, at times, a degree of involuntary humour. A seasonal example … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: Santa Claus in Parliament