‘The only place that can heighten my enjoyment of my friends’: The literary coterie at Wrest Park

In 1740, the duke of Kent unusually made his granddaughter, Jemima Campbell, the benefactor of his estate at Wrest Park on the condition that she married his choice of husband, Philip Yorke (later 2nd earl of Hardwicke). Despite being an arranged marriage, it was a highly successful union. Upon inheriting Wrest, Jemima, Philip and their friends went on to form their own literary group, ‘Wrestiana’, … Continue reading ‘The only place that can heighten my enjoyment of my friends’: The literary coterie at Wrest Park

Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916): the life of a queer MP at the time of the Second Reform Act

Originally posted on The Victorian Commons:
Dr Martin Spychal introduces his new series of blogs for the Victorian Commons on Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916), who was elected as MP for Sutherland in 1867. N. Sarony, Lord Ronald Charles Sutherland-Leveson-Gower (c. 1884) CC NPG Born into ‘the inner circle of English aristocratic life’, Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916) is best known as the likely inspiration for the… Continue reading Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916): the life of a queer MP at the time of the Second Reform Act

Stand and deliver: sex, scandal and the Beaufort divorce case

In the middle of the 18th century polite society was both shocked and entertained by the lurid details following on from the breakdown of the marriage of the 3rd duke and duchess of Beaufort. Dr Robin Eagles considers how the case first came to light and the effects it had on those caught up in it. In 1746 the artist Thomas Gainsborough married Margaret Burr, … Continue reading Stand and deliver: sex, scandal and the Beaufort divorce case

“Windy music & heat in the House” The failure to reform the House of Lords in 1719

In the spring of 1719 the government introduced a measure for reforming the House of Lords. By its provisions the size of the peerage of Great Britain was to be frozen, while the Scots were to be allotted 25 hereditary peerages in place of the 16 elected ones they currently held. It failed but in the following session the same measure was brought back again. … Continue reading “Windy music & heat in the House” The failure to reform the House of Lords in 1719

Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: On Writing the History of Parliament

This evening Dr Henry Miller of Durham University will give this term’s final paper to the IHR seminar Parliaments, Politics and People. Ahead of the session Paul Seaward, British Academy/Wolfson Foundation Research Professor at the History of Parliament Trust, revisits his paper on writing the history of parliament… Parliament has been in the middle of narratives of the institutional development of the British state since … Continue reading Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: On Writing the History of Parliament

Tobacco Fraud and the Prorogation of April 1707

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley, senior research fellow in the Lords 1715-90 section, considers how an unexpected prorogation around the time of the Union was employed to attempt to secure the passage of much-needed legislation Prorogations have been much in the news of late, but they are a common occurrence in parliamentary history. Parliament is prorogued at the end … Continue reading Tobacco Fraud and the Prorogation of April 1707

Political Prorogations: a view from the Victorian Commons

Originally posted on The Victorian Commons:
It’s been a long time since the business of suspending Parliament and starting a new session has generated so much political controversy. Throughout most of the 20th century prorogations invariably tallied with the expectations of most parliamentarians, neatly book-ending a government’s legislative programme. Scroll back a little further into the 19th century, however, and a rather different picture emerges… Continue reading Political Prorogations: a view from the Victorian Commons