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 This repealed the Clergy Disqualification … Continue reading Breaching the guidelines: clerical MPs in the mid-seventeenth century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’

Bolingbroke’s Reflections upon Exile

For our latest blog @GeorgianLords welcomes Dr Max Skjönsberg (St Andrews) offering some insights into the early philosophical writings of Viscount Bolingbroke, written during the period of his first exile from Britain and after his unhappy involvement with the Jacobite court. Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751) was one of the most prominent public figures in Britain in the first half of the eighteenth century, … Continue reading Bolingbroke’s Reflections upon Exile

Samuel Peploe: scourge of the Jacobites?

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley, examines the career of the fierce anti-Jacobite clergyman, Samuel Peploe, whose tub-thumping sermons against the rebels in 1715 helped gain him promotion in the early Georgian church. Samuel Peploe was baptized in 1667, and after attending Oxford University, he was ordained a priest in 1692. In 1700 he was named as vicar of Preston … Continue reading Samuel Peploe: scourge of the Jacobites?

When is a degree, not a degree?

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley, senior research fellow for the Lords 1715-90 section, considers the topical issue of university degrees and the need for appropriate qualifications in the early eighteenth century. University degrees are the preoccupation of many students at this time of year. They are a passport to employment. It was ever thus, with the tenure of certain … Continue reading When is a degree, not a degree?