Discourses of Freedom and Slavery, 1640-60

Today we return to our recent series from History of Parliament director Dr Stephen Roberts, who has been discussing parliamentary involvement in the 17th century transatlantic slave trade. In the latest post Dr Roberts turns his attention to the uses of the terms ‘slavery’ and ‘liberty’ within years surrounding the English Civil Wars. It is a remarkable enough paradox that while an ever-increasing number of … Continue reading Discourses of Freedom and Slavery, 1640-60

‘None can sit here but a natural liegeman’: Scots at Westminster in the Jacobean era

As a prelude to this month’s spotlight on politics in Scotland to mark St Andrew’s Day, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of the House of Lords 1558-1603 project, examines one of the most sensitive questions in early 17th century politics – should Scots be allowed to sit in English parliaments?…  Historical perceptions can be deceptive. The year 1603 is now primarily remembered as the moment when … Continue reading ‘None can sit here but a natural liegeman’: Scots at Westminster in the Jacobean era

‘Cakes, Cheese and Zeal’: Puritan Banbury, the Fiennes family and civil war radicalism

In today’s blog Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, returns to our local history exploration of political representation in Oxfordshire. First enfranchised in 1554, the constituency of Banbury developed strong Puritan representation in the 17th century, but it wasn’t always welcome… In the mid-seventeenth century the small north Oxfordshire market town of Banbury punched above its weight. Situated at the centre of … Continue reading ‘Cakes, Cheese and Zeal’: Puritan Banbury, the Fiennes family and civil war radicalism

Electoral change in South-East Wales in the 1640s: the Recruiter Elections in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire

This month, as part of our local history blog series, we’re looking into the parliamentary history of a number of Welsh constituencies. The country first started returning members to Westminster in the 16th century, and in today’s post our History of Parliament director, Dr Stephen Roberts, discusses the electoral changes that occurred in South-East Wales in the century that followed. The topography of Glamorgan and … Continue reading Electoral change in South-East Wales in the 1640s: the Recruiter Elections in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire

Parliament and the Mayflower: the case of Samuel More’s children

This month marks the 400 year anniversary of the voyage of Mayflower, the ship that transported 102 passengers to begin their lives in ‘New England’. Last month the History of Parliament’s Director, Dr Stephen Roberts, explored the men who during the 1640s and 50s made the return journey from America to take up seats in Westminster. Today Stephen casts his attention to the MP Samuel … Continue reading Parliament and the Mayflower: the case of Samuel More’s children

Of Puritans and Pilchards

In recent years, following the impact of Brexit, fishing regulation has become a recurring topic in the UK’s political discussions. Similarly, in the 17th century control over piscatorial exports was controversial. In our latest blog Dr Patrick Little, from our Commons 1640-1660 section, looks to the Cornish coast and the politicisation of their local delicacy, pilchards… In the Parliaments of the 1650s it is rare … Continue reading Of Puritans and Pilchards

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