From Chicken House to Palace: 10 Downing Street in the 18th century

In February 1742, Sir Robert Walpole, newly ennobled as earl of Orford quit 10 Downing Street for the last time. It was expected that his successor, the earl of Wilmington, would replace him there, but in the event it was the chancellor of the exchequer who took up residence instead. As part of our posts marking the 300th anniversary of Walpole becoming Prime Minister, Dr … Continue reading From Chicken House to Palace: 10 Downing Street in the 18th century

Party in Eighteenth-Century Politics

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Max Skjönsberg, of the University of Liverpool. On 2 March 2021, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Max will be responding to your questions about his pre-circulated paper, based on his recently published book: The Persistence of Party: Ideas of Harmonious Discord in Eighteenth-Century Britain and we will also be welcoming … Continue reading Party in Eighteenth-Century Politics

Benjamin Valentine and the politics of protest

Prompted by the recent assault on the United States Congress, and the passions which fuelled that incident, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, considers an English MP of the early 17th century who similarly refused to accept defeat… Benjamin Valentine is remembered today almost entirely for his part in the 1629 ‘riot’ in the House of Commons which helped to precipitate … Continue reading Benjamin Valentine and the politics of protest

Three Bog-Standard Cromwellian Elections: Co. Cork and its boroughs in 1654

We’re continuing our monthly local history case-studies in 2021 and for the first locality this year we’re turning our attention to Ireland. In this first instalment, Dr Patrick Little, senior research fellow in our Commons 1640-1660 project, explores electioneering in County Cork during the first Cromwellian Protectorate… When studying parliamentary elections, historians naturally concentrate on those that went wrong. Electoral contests, faction-fights, even outbreaks of … Continue reading Three Bog-Standard Cromwellian Elections: Co. Cork and its boroughs in 1654

Catholic Forfeitures during the English Revolution: Parliament and the Role of Sequestration Agents

Ahead of Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Eilish Gregory at the University of Reading. She will be responding to your questions about her research on Catholic Forfeitures during the English Revolution on Zoom between 5:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on 20 October 2020. Details on how to join the discussion are available here or by contacting seminar@histparl.ac.uk. This blog is … Continue reading Catholic Forfeitures during the English Revolution: Parliament and the Role of Sequestration Agents

Book Review: Peterloo: The English Uprising by Robert Poole

Dr Martin Spychal, research fellow on the Commons 1832-1868, reviews Robert Poole’s Peterloo: The English Uprising (Oxford, 2019) What drove 400 volunteer soldiers and special constables to murder 18 and maim nearly 700 of their fellow Lancastrians? This is the key question that Robert Poole’s definitive and illuminating Peterloo sets out to answer. As Poole states in his prologue, ‘two hundred years on, it is … Continue reading Book Review: Peterloo: The English Uprising by Robert Poole

A revolting pocket borough: Morpeth in the late eighteenth century

In our latest Georgian Lords blog, in keeping with our general focus for the month on the county of Northumberland, Dr Charles Littleton considers the case of the pocket borough of Morpeth and its uneasy relations with the earls of Carlisle. The Northumbrian borough of Morpeth had returned representatives to Parliament since 1553. From 1601 the Howards of Naworth were lords of the manor, and … Continue reading A revolting pocket borough: Morpeth in the late eighteenth century

‘Going into the country’: leave, holidays and political intrigue in the 1640s

As the easing of lockdown encourages many of us to seize opportunities to go on holiday, and especially take ‘staycations’, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of the Commons 1640-1660 section, looks at the positive and (arguably) negative uses to which civil war MPs put their leave… The widespread perception that the Parliaments of the mid-seventeenth century cut down on holidays is not inaccurate. As has … Continue reading ‘Going into the country’: leave, holidays and political intrigue in the 1640s

Friends reunited? The end of the Whig Schism

In the summer of 1720 a schism that had divided the Whig Party into competing factions was finally healed. Dr Charles Littleton, senior research fellow in the House of Lords 1715-90 section, considers how this came about and how those involved were compensated or rewarded to help reunite them. A previous blog has described the origins of the Whig Schism of 1717, as an example … Continue reading Friends reunited? The end of the Whig Schism

Pride of place: chief ministers and their houses in early modern England

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent convalescence at Chequers, his official rural retreat, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1558-1603 project considers a time when senior government figures were expected to possess their own country houses… It’s almost a hundred years since Arthur Lee, Viscount Lee presented Chequers, his Buckinghamshire country seat, to the nation for the use of future prime ministers. This Tudor mansion, … Continue reading Pride of place: chief ministers and their houses in early modern England