The 18th-century aristocracy and an early experiment in immunology

This year there will be much talk of vaccinations, a word derived from Edward Jenner’s use of cowpox to immunize humans against smallpox, but the groundwork for the science of immunology in Britain was laid 300 years ago by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and her noble patrons of the new practice of inoculation. Dr Charles Littleton investigates further… The New Year will see a large-scale … Continue reading The 18th-century aristocracy and an early experiment in immunology

Asleep on the job? Prime Minister Lord North 250 years on

Accompanying the publication of a new collection covering 300 years of British Prime Ministers, the book’s editor compiled a list assessing the 55 premiers in order of their significance. Frederick, Lord North, who became Prime Minister in 1770 and is probably best known as the man who lost America, came towards the bottom of the pile at number forty. Dr Robin Eagles reassesses North’s early … Continue reading Asleep on the job? Prime Minister Lord North 250 years on

A Farewell to Arms, Kilts and Sporrans: banning Scottish Highland dress in the aftermath of Culloden

Continuing with November’s local history look at the Scottish presence in Parliament, today Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 section, casts his eye over attempts to regulate traditional Scottish dress in the eighteenth century. In the winter of 1745, the people of the north and midlands of England were gripped with panic. The rebel Jacobite army led by Charles Edward Stuart had left Scotland earlier in the … Continue reading A Farewell to Arms, Kilts and Sporrans: banning Scottish Highland dress in the aftermath of Culloden

‘Manifest injustice and glaring violation of all truth’: Disputing controverted elections in the 18th-century Parliament

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton considers the way in which 18th-century elections were frequently decided on the results of petitions in Parliament, after the initial returns were challenged. The weeks before this year’s election in the USA have been marked with commentary considering the potential for voter fraud, disenfranchisement, and the role of the courts. Although on a much … Continue reading ‘Manifest injustice and glaring violation of all truth’: Disputing controverted elections in the 18th-century Parliament

‘Reflections on the Revolution in France’ and political representation

On the 230th anniversary of the publication of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, we hear from guest blogger Dr Ian Harris from the University of Leicester on the theme of political representation, then and now… The 1st November this year is the two-hundred-and-thirtieth anniversary of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. A 230th may not seem the most noteworthy of … Continue reading ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France’ and political representation

Town v. Gown? Attempting to lock down early eighteenth-century Oxford

Today we’re heading back to Oxfordshire and this month’s local history focus. In our latest blog, Dr Robin Eagles, editor of the Lords 1715-1790 project, looks into the political leanings of the inhabitants of 18th century Oxford… At the time of George I’s accession, Oxford had a clear reputation as a hive of Toryism. The city’s perceived loyalty to the Stuarts had been one of … Continue reading Town v. Gown? Attempting to lock down early eighteenth-century Oxford

A Catholic Borough Patron: Anthony Browne, 6th Viscount Montague

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley, examines the case of the Viscounts Montague, who in spite of being unable to sit in the Lords, retained their influence over their Sussex borough of Midhurst. The Browne family were ennobled as viscounts Montague in the mid-sixteenth century, the first Viscount taking his seat in the House of Lords in 1554. The 3rd … Continue reading A Catholic Borough Patron: Anthony Browne, 6th Viscount Montague

‘A few slight alterations would make it picturesque’: Glamorgan and Monmouthshire in the 18th century

In our latest blog we return to Glamorgan and Monmouthshire as part of our local history blog series. Part one, discussing the constituencies in the mid-17th century can be read here. But today Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, takes a look into the 18th century, as leading gentry families tussled for control… In his 1776 tour of Wales, Arthur Young thought … Continue reading ‘A few slight alterations would make it picturesque’: Glamorgan and Monmouthshire in the 18th century

All over in 4 ½ minutes? The battle of Prestonpans, 21 September 1745

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Robin Eagles considers some of the Members of Parliament involved in the battle of Prestonpans along with some of the other personalities caught up in the first major action of the 1745 Rebellion. Early in the morning of 21 September 1745 government forces commanded by General Sir John Cope, encamped about ten miles east of Edinburgh, … Continue reading All over in 4 ½ minutes? The battle of Prestonpans, 21 September 1745

A revolting pocket borough: Morpeth in the late eighteenth century

In our latest Georgian Lords blog, in keeping with our general focus for the month on the county of Northumberland, Dr Charles Littleton considers the case of the pocket borough of Morpeth and its uneasy relations with the earls of Carlisle. The Northumbrian borough of Morpeth had returned representatives to Parliament since 1553. From 1601 the Howards of Naworth were lords of the manor, and … Continue reading A revolting pocket borough: Morpeth in the late eighteenth century