How to expel an MP from Parliament: The ejection of John Wilkes in 1764

John Wilkes was well known for treading a fine line in his outspoken comments against the government, but in 1763 Parliament decided he had gone too far. Here Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our House of Lords 1715-1790 project, reflects on the case Parliament built against him and how they finally expelled Wilkes from the Chamber… On 19 November 1763 Colonel Bate, reporting affairs in … Continue reading How to expel an MP from Parliament: The ejection of John Wilkes in 1764

Review of the Year 2022

2022 has been a bumper year for the History of Parliament, as we settled into a ‘new normal’ of events both online and in person, launched new projects and publications, and continued to grow our online outreach. Here’s our Public Engagement Manager Connie Jeffery with a round-up of another busy twelve months… After two years of uncertainty and unsettled working, for the History of Parliament … Continue reading Review of the Year 2022

Of Pretenders and Prime Ministers: Robert Walpole and the Atterbury Plot 300 years on

As 2022 draws to an end Dr Charles Littleton considers the tercentenary of the Atterbury Plot, the failed plan for a Jacobite insurrection in England in 1722. The investigation of the conspiracy by Parliament in 1722-23 had far-reaching effects, as it consolidated the incoming premiership of Robert Walpole and contributed to the weakening of English Jacobitism. As its name suggests, the direction of the ‘Plot’ … Continue reading Of Pretenders and Prime Ministers: Robert Walpole and the Atterbury Plot 300 years on

Heraldry, Pomp and Power: The Use of Parliamentary Symbols on Coats of Arms, c.1527-2006

Ahead of next Tuesday’s hybrid Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Duncan Sutherland. On 15 November, between 5.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Duncan will discuss the longstanding connection between Parliament and heraldry from the 16th century to the modern day. Continue reading Heraldry, Pomp and Power: The Use of Parliamentary Symbols on Coats of Arms, c.1527-2006

The Aftermath of the Impeachment of Thomas Parker, earl of Macclesfield

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley reassesses the impeachment, and later career, of Thomas Parker, earl of Macclesfield, the last victim of a political impeachment prior to that of Warren Hastings. Corruption and impeachment are terms that have been much in the news, especially with regard to former President Donald Trump, who was impeached, and former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, … Continue reading The Aftermath of the Impeachment of Thomas Parker, earl of Macclesfield

Sir Job Charlton and the Declaration of Indulgence 1672-3

As we continue our recent blog series exploring the careers of notable people to occupy the role of Speaker, here History of Parliament director Dr Paul Seaward examines the debates behind appointing this influential job in the 17th century and a Speaker often forgotten about… Speakers of the Commons in the seventeenth century were, though notionally elected by the House, effectively government appointees. At the … Continue reading Sir Job Charlton and the Declaration of Indulgence 1672-3

‘Robin the trickster’ versus ‘Stiff Dick’: the election of Robert Harley as Speaker of the Commons in 1701

In the latest in our series discussing some of the notable figures to occupy the role of Speaker of the House Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, discusses the contested election that led Robert Harley to the chair… From 1704 to the spring of 1705 Robert Harley was both Speaker of the House of Commons and one of the secretaries of state. … Continue reading ‘Robin the trickster’ versus ‘Stiff Dick’: the election of Robert Harley as Speaker of the Commons in 1701

A Speakership that never was: Sir Thomas Hungerford and the Parliament of 1378

Throughout 2022 we have been looking into the careers of some of the people to occupy the role of Speaker- a title first recorded as being attributed to Sir Thomas Hungerford in 1377. But this did not mean that Hungerford’s place in the House of Commons was guaranteed, as Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, explores… There is a modern-day convention that … Continue reading A Speakership that never was: Sir Thomas Hungerford and the Parliament of 1378

‘Why not you?’ Sir John Cust, reluctant Speaker of the House of Commons

It is one of Westminster’s many traditions that, when an MP is elected to the role of Speaker of the House of Commons, they must show reluctance to accept the title and even be ceremonially dragged to the chair. However as Dr Robin Eagles from our Lords 1715-1790 project explores, Sir John Cust, Speaker 1761-1770, may not have been faking his lack of enthusiasm for … Continue reading ‘Why not you?’ Sir John Cust, reluctant Speaker of the House of Commons

Sir William Oldhall, Speaker in the Parliament of 1450-1

In recent months we have been looking into some of the more notable parliamentarians to hold the post of ‘Speaker’ throughout history. In today’s blog Charles Moreton from our Commons 1461-1504 project discusses Sir William Oldhall, a long-term ally to Richard, duke of York… One of the better known fifteenth-century Speakers, Sir William Oldhall owed his political career to his association with Richard, duke of … Continue reading Sir William Oldhall, Speaker in the Parliament of 1450-1