Mo Mowlam and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement

25 years ago this month the basis for peace in Northern Ireland – the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement – was signed after years of painstaking negotiations. Although nothing would have been achieved without the hard work of politicians and activists of all parties from Northern Ireland, mainland Britain and the Republic of Ireland, one of the crucial figures was Mo Mowlam, Secretary of State for Northern … Continue reading Mo Mowlam and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement

2023 KS3 Schools Competition: How can political campaigns of the past inspire those of the present?

In collaboration with the Letters of Richard Cobden Online, the History of Parliament Trust is excited to announce their Key Stage 3 (11-14 y/o) History and Citizenship Competition: ‘How can political campaigns of the past inspire those of the present?’ ‘How can political campaigns of the past inspire those of the present?’ The History of Parliament is excited to once again be running its history … Continue reading 2023 KS3 Schools Competition: How can political campaigns of the past inspire those of the present?

St Edward’s Crown: a Restoration gift from Parliament

During the coronation of King Charles III this May, he will be crowned with the St Edward’s Crown. Dr Andrew Barclay, senior research fellow of our House of Lords 1640-1660 project, reflects on the origin of this crown and its purpose as a gift to an earlier King Charles. The central act of King Charles III’s coronation on 6 May will be his crowning with the … Continue reading St Edward’s Crown: a Restoration gift from Parliament

What is in a role: differing views about MPs’ focus

For many MPs beginning their career before 2005, they started their job with no induction process or job description. Volunteer interviewer Peter Reilly reflects on his recent interview with David Howarth, MP for Cambridge 2005-2010, and asks the question: what is the role of an MP? What is the role of an MP? It must be a question many new MPs ask themselves. Yet, as … Continue reading What is in a role: differing views about MPs’ focus

A Tribute to Professor Robert Palmer

In today’s blog we pay tribute to Professor Robert C. Palmer who’s work has had a large impact on the History of Parliament. Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project reflects on Professor Palmer’s incredible career. News has reached us of the death at the age of 76 of Professor Robert C. Palmer of the university of Houston, Texas. A specialist in medieval English legal history, … Continue reading A Tribute to Professor Robert Palmer

A Forgotten Elizabethan Noblewoman: Katherine Bertie, Dowager Duchess of Suffolk and Baroness Willoughby de Eresby

With the notable exception of ‘Bess of Hardwick’ (Elizabeth Talbot (née Cavendish), countess of Shrewsbury), most Elizabethan noblewomen are barely remembered today. Among those who deserve to be better known is Katherine Bertie (née Willoughby), dowager duchess of Suffolk, as Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our Elizabethan House of Lords section, explains… Katherine Willoughby was the only child of Lincolnshire’s leading magnate, William, eleventh Baron … Continue reading A Forgotten Elizabethan Noblewoman: Katherine Bertie, Dowager Duchess of Suffolk and Baroness Willoughby de Eresby

‘Oh! Earl of Lancaster! Where is your power, where are your riches, with which you hoped to subdue all?’ Thomas of Lancaster’s defeat at the battle of Boroughbridge, 16 March 1322

On this day 1322, Thomas, earl of Lancaster was defeated at the battle of Boroughbridge. Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project discusses the events that led to Lancaster’s defeat and how his execution prompted a cult-like following for Lancaster. Thomas, earl of Lancaster (b. c.1278), cousin of Edward II and for much of that King’s reign the leader of opposition to him, has proved … Continue reading ‘Oh! Earl of Lancaster! Where is your power, where are your riches, with which you hoped to subdue all?’ Thomas of Lancaster’s defeat at the battle of Boroughbridge, 16 March 1322

Women, Petitions and Parliament in the Twentieth Century

To mark Women’s History Month 2023, guest blogger Henry Miller, Associate Professor (Research) at Durham University, explores how women continued to utilise petitioning as a medium for political activity even after they won the vote. There is a long tradition of women appealing to Parliament through petitions dating back to at least the late medieval period. In the nineteenth century, petitions to the House of … Continue reading Women, Petitions and Parliament in the Twentieth Century

Parliament’s Committees of Privileges

The House of Commons Committee of Privileges has its origins in 1995 when, in the light of scandals such as ‘cash for questions’, a Committee of Standards and Privileges was established to monitor and regulate the conduct of MPs. In 2012 it was divided into separate committees, one for Standards and the other for Privileges, and the latter has been in the news recently over … Continue reading Parliament’s Committees of Privileges

 “I have got rid of all the fateague, all the mortification that attends the fruitless endeavours to serve ones country”: The struggle of being an MP in the 18th century

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Maria Tauber of the University of Warwick. On 14 March, between 5.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Maria will discuss MPs and political communication in the eighteenth century The seminar takes place on 14 March 2023, between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. You can attend online via Zoom. Details of how to join the discussion … Continue reading  “I have got rid of all the fateague, all the mortification that attends the fruitless endeavours to serve ones country”: The struggle of being an MP in the 18th century