The Mystery of the ‘Black Box’ and the ‘true’ heirs of Charles II

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Robin Eagles probes the mysteries of the ‘black box’ that was supposed to contain proof of Charles II’s marriage to his mistress, Lucy Walters, and how the family of the duke of Monmouth eventually made its way back into the House of Lords. In February 1735 Parliament was faced with a petition lodged by the Scots … Continue reading The Mystery of the ‘Black Box’ and the ‘true’ heirs of Charles II

The Horticultural Heroism of Sir Walter Erle

As Britain continues to take advantage of the great outdoors during Covid-19 lockdown, this week Dr Patrick Little, senior research fellow for our Commons 1640-1660 project, explores the unusual garden of Sir Walter Erle, who used horticulture to mimic his military experiences. Of the seventeenth century MPs and peers who created gardens to adorn their country estates, perhaps the most unlikely was Sir Walter Erle. … Continue reading The Horticultural Heroism of Sir Walter Erle

‘Our London’: Exeter and the Glorious Revolution

For the next instalment in our Local and Community History Month study of Exeter, Dr Robin Eagles, editor of the House of Lords 1715-90, explores the constituency during the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Despite the changes on the throne, Exeter’s leaders were still concerned with familiar issues… In the 1690s the indefatigable traveller, Celia Fiennes, made a point of visiting Exeter several times during an … Continue reading ‘Our London’: Exeter and the Glorious Revolution

Rights, Privileges and Just Liberty: Exeter and Parliament, 1600-1660

In today’s blog we return to our Local and Community History Month exploration of the historic constituency of Exeter. This week our director Dr Stephen Roberts looks at the city’s 17th century representation and civil war religious divisions. Like their medieval predecessors, visitors to Exeter in the seventeenth century would have been struck by the contrasting colours of red sandstone city walls and white limestone … Continue reading Rights, Privileges and Just Liberty: Exeter and Parliament, 1600-1660

A Queen in Isolation: Mary Beatrice of Modena

On 7 May 1718, James II’s widow, Mary of Modena, died in exile at the palace of St Germain-en-Laye. Displaced as a result of the ‘Glorious Revolution’ Mary had been an important figure for Jacobites and thanks to her good relations with Louis XIV had also established for herself a prominent role in the court of Versailles, where she was granted precedence over all the … Continue reading A Queen in Isolation: Mary Beatrice of Modena

The Missing Duchess

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley, senior research fellow on the Lords 1715-90 section, considers the significance of one of the central characters of the court of Queen Anne who failed to make it into the film, The Favourite The Oscar and BAFTA winning film, The Favourite, brought Queen Anne’s reign to the attention of the nation. The more observant … Continue reading The Missing Duchess

Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington: a Restoration Politician

Our last Parliaments, Politics and People seminar at the IHR was given by Alan Marshall from Bath Spa University, and considered the political role of the important Restoration politician and key member of the CABAL ministry, Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington This paper dealt with aspects of the political life of Sir Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington, who has been frequently criticized as a statesman. … Continue reading Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington: a Restoration Politician

Parliaments, Politics and People Seminar: Philip Baker, ‘But private notes for my owne memory’? Parliamentary diaries in seventeenth-century England

Philip Baker writes about his ‘Parliaments, politics and people’ seminar paper last week, ‘‘But private notes for my owne memory’? Parliamentary diaries in seventeenth-century England.’ In an age before the open reporting of parliamentary proceedings, when even the official journals of the houses normally contain no record of debate, we are fortunate for certain periods to have surviving parliamentary diaries. Written by members themselves and … Continue reading Parliaments, Politics and People Seminar: Philip Baker, ‘But private notes for my owne memory’? Parliamentary diaries in seventeenth-century England