‘Restless, turbulent, and bold’: Radical MPs and the opening of the reformed Commons in 1833

MPs and peers returned to Westminster earlier this month after over a year of upheaval, disruption, and online chambers. In today’s blog Dr Stephen Ball from our Commons 1832-1868 project looks into another eagerly awaited return to Parliament; the first session following the 1832 Reform Act… When the reformed Parliament first met on Tuesday 29 January 1833 many people speculated about the way the reconfigured … Continue reading ‘Restless, turbulent, and bold’: Radical MPs and the opening of the reformed Commons in 1833

Victorian MPs and holidays

With the summer holiday season well under way, our blog today looks at how nineteenth-century MPs spent their vacations, and the role some of them played in the creation of Victorian seaside resorts. An earlier version of this post from Dr James Owen appeared on the Victorian Commons blog; it has been updated with additional material by the assistant editor of our House of Commons, … Continue reading Victorian MPs and holidays

‘Covent Garden was lit up by a lucid light’: an MP’s account of the fire at Her Majesty’s Theatre, 6 December 1867

In the first of our blog series on theatre and Parliament, Dr Martin Spychal, research fellow for our Commons 1832-1868 project, looks at an MP’s first-hand account of the fire that burnt down Her Majesty’s Theatre in December 1867… On Friday 6 December 1867, the Commons adjourned at 7 p.m. The Whig MP for Sutherlandshire, Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916), took the opportunity to see The … Continue reading ‘Covent Garden was lit up by a lucid light’: an MP’s account of the fire at Her Majesty’s Theatre, 6 December 1867

The shipping and the railway interests: Whitby’s electoral politics, 1832-1868

In today’s blog Dr Kathryn Rix, assistant editor of our Commons 1832-1868 project, continues our look at port constituencies for local history month. Here, she explores the electoral politics of Whitby after it was first granted the right to elect one MP in 1832… In July 1832 the ‘blues’ (Liberals) and ‘pinks’ (Conservatives) in the port of Whitby each held lavish celebrations to mark the … Continue reading The shipping and the railway interests: Whitby’s electoral politics, 1832-1868

Joseph Ablett and the treatment of mental illness in early Victorian Wales

Last week (10-16 May 2021) marked Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. Today Dr Stephen Ball from our Commons 1832-1868 project looks into the career and legacy of Joseph Ablett (1773-1848), a wealthy cotton manufacturer and country squire. Although never technically an MP, Ablett was returned at a parliamentary election in 1826, and later made a significant contribution to the treatment of mental illness … Continue reading Joseph Ablett and the treatment of mental illness in early Victorian Wales

Portraits, Plates and Pigs: Representations of National Leaders within the Material Culture of Scottish Radical Procession 1832-1884

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Sonny Angus, of the University of Edinburgh. On 18 May 2021, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Sonny will be responding to your questions about his pre-circulated paper on the material culture of Scottish radical politics, 1832-1884. Details of how to join the discussion are available here, or by contacting seminar@histparl.ac.uk. … Continue reading Portraits, Plates and Pigs: Representations of National Leaders within the Material Culture of Scottish Radical Procession 1832-1884

The geography of voting behaviour: towards a roll-call analysis of England’s reformed electoral map, 1832-68

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Martin Spychal, of the History of Parliament. On 16 March 2021, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Martin will be responding to your questions about his pre-circulated paper on the geography of voting behaviour in Parliament between 1832 and 1868. Details of how to join the discussion are available here, or by contacting  seminar@histparl.ac.uk. … Continue reading The geography of voting behaviour: towards a roll-call analysis of England’s reformed electoral map, 1832-68

A Highland canvass in a ‘pocket county’: Ronald Gower (1845-1916) and the 1867 Sutherland by-election

Continuing our series on Scotland, Dr Martin Spychal, research fellow for the House of Commons 1832-1868 project, uses Ronald Gower’s diaries to provide some rare insights into mid-Victorian electioneering in the ‘pocket county’ of Sutherland. If there was a History of Parliament award for ‘constituency most under the thumb of an aristocratic patron’, the Highland county of Sutherland would be a top contender. Following the … Continue reading A Highland canvass in a ‘pocket county’: Ronald Gower (1845-1916) and the 1867 Sutherland by-election

Oxfordshire Local History: Abingdon in the nineteenth century

This month’s local history focus has been Oxfordshire. In today’s blog Dr Philip Salmon, editor of the House of Commons 1832-1945 project, looks at the constituency of Abingdon, since 1974 within Oxfordshire, but historically part of the adjacent county of Berkshire. Abingdon was widely regarded as an easily managed ‘pocket’ or ‘nomination’ borough during the 19th century. For a while at least it certainly had … Continue reading Oxfordshire Local History: Abingdon in the nineteenth century

Representing Glamorgan, 1832-85: Mr. Talbot and his colleagues

Continuing our Local History focus on Glamorgan, Dr. Kathryn Rix, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons, 1832-68 project looks at the constituency’s elections after the 1832 Reform Act, when the long-serving MP, Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot, exerted a strong influence over the county. Described in 1841 as ‘the Lancashire of Wales’, Glamorgan was Wales’s wealthiest and most industrialised county. Coal mining employed almost one … Continue reading Representing Glamorgan, 1832-85: Mr. Talbot and his colleagues