The jubilee tour of King James VI and I

In the 21st century, royal visits are often quite brief events, with high-speed travel, and an emphasis on public appearances and social events, rather than affairs of state. Four hundred years ago the picture was very different, as Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section explains… In March 1603, following the death of Elizabeth I, her cousin James VI of Scotland became James I … Continue reading The jubilee tour of King James VI and I

Queen Victoria and parliamentary ceremony

During her record-breaking 70 years of service, Queen Elizabeth II has become no stranger to parliamentary traditions like the State Opening of Parliament, and next weekend her milestone as the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated with four days of festivities. But Her Majesty the Queen’s predecessor as a female monarch, Queen Victoria, also witnessed many ceremonies during her own … Continue reading Queen Victoria and parliamentary ceremony

The execution of Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk

As the 450th anniversary of the execution of the Elizabethan duke of Norfolk approaches, Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, considers both the background to his trial for treason and the queen’s reluctance to carry out the sentence of the court … Shortly before seven in the morning on Monday, 2 June 1572, Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk, was led the … Continue reading The execution of Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk

Double Dutch: two Dutch courtiers and the British dynasties they founded

In this latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton considers the histories of two Dutch families who went on to produce some of the most influential noble houses in Britain through the 18th and 19th centuries. Until the extinction of the line in 1990, one of the grandest titles in the British nobility was the dukedom of Portland. Their principal seat of Welbeck … Continue reading Double Dutch: two Dutch courtiers and the British dynasties they founded

Death of a Queen: the tragic end of Caroline of Ansbach

In the latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Robin Eagles, considers the grisly end of Queen Caroline of Ansbach, the botched efforts of her physicians to assist her and her wider importance to the Hanoverian regime. On 20 November 1737 Queen Caroline of Ansbach, who reigned alongside George II for just over a decade, died after an agonizing last illness. Caroline’s final days pointed … Continue reading Death of a Queen: the tragic end of Caroline of Ansbach

William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, ‘the real Prime Minister’ and ‘the strangest cabinet in British history’

2021 is the 300th anniversary of the birth of one of British history’s most controversial characters: William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, younger son of George II and the brutal victor of the battle of Culloden. Dr Robin Eagles, editor of the Lords 1715-1790 section, reconsiders Cumberland’s longer career and how he was – for a brief while – effectively the only royal ever to have … Continue reading William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, ‘the real Prime Minister’ and ‘the strangest cabinet in British history’

“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”: holidays by the sea in the 18th century

In the course of the 18th century a variety of spas and seaside resorts became popular destinations for busy Georgians seeking cures for a variety of chronic conditions, as well as for relaxation from the dramas of high politics. Dr Robin Eagles, Editor of the House of Lords 1715-90 project, considers the experiences of some of the high-profile individuals who took their holidays at two … Continue reading “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”: holidays by the sea in the 18th century

‘leaping and creeping’: Honours in the early 18th century

Ahead of the Queen’s official birthday this weekend and its accompanying honours list, in today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, looks at the ways that parliamentarians were rewarded in the 18th century… In the 18th century newspapers frequently contained reports on honours that were expected to be conferred on leading parliamentarians. Sometimes the reports were accurate, sometimes not, and occasionally … Continue reading ‘leaping and creeping’: Honours in the early 18th century

The First British Royal Consort: Prince George of Denmark, duke of Cumberland

In the latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton considers the career of Prince George of Denmark, consort of Queen Anne, who proved an important support for one of Britain’s unfairly underrated sovereigns. The recent tributes to HRH Prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh, have emphasized that, at 69 years, he was the longest-serving royal consort in British history, with an active life of … Continue reading The First British Royal Consort: Prince George of Denmark, duke of Cumberland

Elizabeth I, the ‘estate of marriage’, and the 1559 Parliament

To mark Women’s History Month, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, recalls the first public statement by the ‘Virgin Queen’ that she had no plans to marry, and the incomprehension with which her (male) subjects reacted… The first Parliament summoned by Elizabeth I opened on 25 January 1559 with a packed agenda. Urgent business in the opening days included a new … Continue reading Elizabeth I, the ‘estate of marriage’, and the 1559 Parliament