‘Cakes, Cheese and Zeal’: Puritan Banbury, the Fiennes family and civil war radicalism

In today’s blog Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, returns to our local history exploration of political representation in Oxfordshire. First enfranchised in 1554, the constituency of Banbury developed strong Puritan representation in the 17th century, but it wasn’t always welcome… In the mid-seventeenth century the small north Oxfordshire market town of Banbury punched above its weight. Situated at the centre of … Continue reading ‘Cakes, Cheese and Zeal’: Puritan Banbury, the Fiennes family and civil war radicalism

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

The Mayflower: The New England men at Westminster, 1640-1660

In September 1620, the ship Mayflower set sail, transporting the first Puritan separatists to the ‘New World’. But, even thousands of miles across the sea, ‘New England’ would not be unfamiliar to many of those in Westminster, as our director Dr Stephen Roberts explores… Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, Devon, in September 1620, reaching what became New Plymouth, on the eastern coast of America, in November. … Continue reading The Mayflower: The New England men at Westminster, 1640-1660

Breaching the guidelines: clerical MPs in the mid-seventeenth century

As the country grapples with interpreting the rules of the Covid-19 lockdown, Dr Vivienne Larminie of our Commons 1640-1660 section considers another situation where a seemingly clear-cut ban proved difficult to enforce… Uncertainty has long surrounded the eligibility of clergy to sit as MPs. Only in 2001 was legislation passed explicitly permitting all ministers of religion to stand for election. This repealed the Clergy Disqualification … Continue reading Breaching the guidelines: clerical MPs in the mid-seventeenth century

‘Our London’: Exeter and the Glorious Revolution

For the next instalment in our Local and Community History Month study of Exeter, Dr Robin Eagles, editor of the House of Lords 1715-90, explores the constituency during the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Despite the changes on the throne, Exeter’s leaders were still concerned with familiar issues… In the 1690s the indefatigable traveller, Celia Fiennes, made a point of visiting Exeter several times during an … Continue reading ‘Our London’: Exeter and the Glorious Revolution

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

A Queen in Isolation: Mary Beatrice of Modena

On 7 May 1718, James II’s widow, Mary of Modena, died in exile at the palace of St Germain-en-Laye. Displaced as a result of the ‘Glorious Revolution’ Mary had been an important figure for Jacobites and thanks to her good relations with Louis XIV had also established for herself a prominent role in the court of Versailles, where she was granted precedence over all the … Continue reading A Queen in Isolation: Mary Beatrice of Modena

Archbishop Laud’s secret ‘misfortunes’: decoding sexual identity in the seventeenth century

Continuing the theme of LGBTQ+ History Month, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of the Lords 1558-1603 section, explores the problem of interpreting evidence from the early modern period… ‘I dreamed that K.B. sent to me in Westminster church, that he was now as desirous to see me, as I him, and that he was then entering into the church. I went with joy, but met … Continue reading Archbishop Laud’s secret ‘misfortunes’: decoding sexual identity in the seventeenth century

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

Fasting and political crises in the 1640s: no beer ‘till the publike exercises and religious duties … be past and over’

As Parliament engages in momentous decision-making about the future of the country, Dr Vivienne Larminie of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section marks the season of Lent with consideration of the solemn and austere approach of early modern Parliaments to periods of political and social crisis… After the feasting of ‘Pancake Day’ (Shrove Tuesday, this year on 5 March), the six weeks of Lent – … Continue reading Fasting and political crises in the 1640s: no beer ‘till the publike exercises and religious duties … be past and over’