The Mystery of the ‘Black Box’ and the ‘true’ heirs of Charles II

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Robin Eagles probes the mysteries of the ‘black box’ that was supposed to contain proof of Charles II’s marriage to his mistress, Lucy Walters, and how the family of the duke of Monmouth eventually made its way back into the House of Lords. In February 1735 Parliament was faced with a petition lodged by the Scots … Continue reading The Mystery of the ‘Black Box’ and the ‘true’ heirs of Charles II

Exiting the English Republic part 2: the end of the Long Parliament

In the second half of her series on exiting the English Republic (part one available here) Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of the Commons 1640-1660 project, explores the dissolution of the Long Parliament… On 16 March 1660 the Parliament which had begun nearly twenty years earlier, on 3 November 1640, agreed to dissolve itself.   After well over 3,000 days of sitting, several forcible interruptions and … Continue reading Exiting the English Republic part 2: the end of the Long Parliament

A new beginning? Stubbs’s ‘Model’ Parliament of 1295

The final piece in our Named Parliaments series represents the earliest Parliament we’ve discussed, the ‘Model’ Parliament of 1295. Dr Simon Payling of our House of Commons 1461-1504 project explores the significance of this early Parliament and the Victorian historian who named it… It is impossible to discern and date accurately the birth of any institution that goes on to last centuries and, in its … Continue reading A new beginning? Stubbs’s ‘Model’ Parliament of 1295

The ‘Barebones Parliament’: an assembly of the saints, 1653

Today, Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons 1640-1660 Section, continues our Named Parliaments series with the ‘Barebones Parliament’ of July-December 1653. Strictly speaking, the body which convened on 4 July 1653 in the council chamber at Whitehall was not a Parliament at all.  Rather, having relocated to the Commons chamber at Westminster, it resolved to give itself that title two days … Continue reading The ‘Barebones Parliament’: an assembly of the saints, 1653

Bats and Devils: Henry VI’s ‘seasonally-named’ parliaments

Rather appropriately for our Halloween blog offering, we hear from Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our House of Commons 1461-1504 project, on the fifteenth century Parliaments of Bats and Devils as part of our Named Parliaments series… The long reign of Henry VI was not short of high political drama, and so it is perhaps not surprising that is has also given us two of … Continue reading Bats and Devils: Henry VI’s ‘seasonally-named’ parliaments

The Exclusion Parliaments

This blog from Paul Seaward, British Academy/Wolfson Research Professor at the History of Parliament Trust, is part of our Named Parliaments series. He explores the so-called exclusion crisis of the late seventeenth century. You might also be interested in Paul’s recent blog on the Cavalier Parliament. Three short Parliaments – those that assembled in March 1679, in October 1680, and March 1681 – are collectively … Continue reading The Exclusion Parliaments

‘A blank in the History of the country’: The ‘Unreported Parliament’ 1768-74

Today Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our House of Lords 1715-1790 section continues with our Named Parliaments blog theme… Throughout the early part of the 18th century Parliament periodically enforced its jealously guarded right of secrecy by prosecuting printers for publishing details of debates and occasionally turning out ‘strangers’ from the galleries. The response was, though, inconsistent and there were periods during which publishers were … Continue reading ‘A blank in the History of the country’: The ‘Unreported Parliament’ 1768-74

The Cavalier Parliament

Our ‘Named Parliaments’ series continues. Today Paul Seaward, British Academy/Wolfson Research Professor at the History of Parliament Trust explores the Cavalier Parliament, the first Parliament after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660… The Parliament elected in April 1661 was designed to sweep away the last vestiges of the English Revolution and restore the monarchy to its pre-Civil War glory. It was the Convention of … Continue reading The Cavalier Parliament

Too few lawyers? The ‘Unlearned Parliament’ of October 1404

Following Dr Hannes Kleineke’s two part piece on the Good, the Bad, the Wonderful and the Merciless Parliaments of the late fourteenth century in June, Dr Simon Payling of our House of Commons 1422-1504 project discusses the ‘Unlearned Parliament’ of 1404… In the modern Parliament lawyers are the best represented of the professions with between about 10% and 15% of MPs qualified as barristers or … Continue reading Too few lawyers? The ‘Unlearned Parliament’ of October 1404

The Good, the Bad and the Wonderful: The dramatic Parliaments of the late 14th century (Part Two)

Welcome back to our Named Parliaments series for June’s second installment from Senior Research Fellow, Dr Hannes Kleineke of our House of Commons 1422-1504 Section. Today Hannes continues with part two of ‘The Good, the Bad and the Wonderful’ focusing on the Wonderful and the Merciless Parliaments of 1386 and 1388… Perhaps richer in colourfully named parliaments than any other period in English history is … Continue reading The Good, the Bad and the Wonderful: The dramatic Parliaments of the late 14th century (Part Two)