The Presence of Black Voters in the 18th and 19th Centuries

October is Black History Month in the UK, as institutions like the History of Parliament attempt to re-insert and highlight the Black experience into fields of history previously overlooking this. Here, we hear from Helen Wilson, PhD candidate with the History of Parliament and Open University, who is researching the Black and Mixed Ethnicity Presence in British Politics, 1750-1850. As Helen explains, despite significant barriers … Continue reading The Presence of Black Voters in the 18th and 19th Centuries

To attend or not to attend: state trials during an outbreak of smallpox

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Robin Eagles considers the dilemma facing some peers summoned to attend the trials of the Jacobite peers after Culloden as London faced an outbreak of smallpox in the summer of 1746. On 28 July 1746 the House of Lords convened in Westminster Hall for the trials of three Scots peers, who had been arrested following the … Continue reading To attend or not to attend: state trials during an outbreak of smallpox

The true premier? Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland

300 years ago, on 19 April 1722, Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland, Walpole’s rival for the premiership, died following his stakhanovite efforts during that year’s general election. Dr Robin Eagles reconsiders Sunderland’s legacy and his claim to have been George I’s first premier. Sunderland had been under enormous pressure for well over two years before, having been caught up in the South Sea Bubble, … Continue reading The true premier? Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland

‘Do you know where this miserable wretch lives?’: Challenging votes in Eighteenth-Century England

As the Government looks set to make the introduction of voter ID requirements a flagship policy for 2022, parallels can be drawn with the eighteenth-century electoral process. We welcome guest blogger, James Harris, post-doctoral research associate at the University of Newcastle, to tell us more. The requirement for every elector to justify their right to vote at the hustings was a routine part of Georgian … Continue reading ‘Do you know where this miserable wretch lives?’: Challenging votes in Eighteenth-Century England

Conference Report: Bath 250

On 29 and 30 September the opening of Bath’s historic (Upper) Assembly Rooms was marked with a conference over Zoom, followed by a live event in the Assembly Rooms where conference participants were able to experience a display of dances from the Ridotto, which had opened the Rooms precisely 250 years before in 1771. We welcome back one of the speakers, Jemima Hubberstey, a doctoral … Continue reading Conference Report: Bath 250

William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, ‘the real Prime Minister’ and ‘the strangest cabinet in British history’

2021 is the 300th anniversary of the birth of one of British history’s most controversial characters: William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, younger son of George II and the brutal victor of the battle of Culloden. Dr Robin Eagles, editor of the Lords 1715-1790 section, reconsiders Cumberland’s longer career and how he was – for a brief while – effectively the only royal ever to have … Continue reading William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, ‘the real Prime Minister’ and ‘the strangest cabinet in British history’

‘Seldom… disturbed by the bustle of trade or the affairs of Government’: Lymington from Restoration to Reform

As we gear up for May’s Local and Community History Month, today Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, begins our look at port constituencies. Hubs of trade and industry, historically ports have been central to both national economy and military defence, making their representation in Parliament very important. Here Dr Eagles casts an eye on the town of Lymington on the south … Continue reading ‘Seldom… disturbed by the bustle of trade or the affairs of Government’: Lymington from Restoration to Reform

From Chicken House to Palace: 10 Downing Street in the 18th century

In February 1742, Sir Robert Walpole, newly ennobled as earl of Orford quit 10 Downing Street for the last time. It was expected that his successor, the earl of Wilmington, would replace him there, but in the event it was the chancellor of the exchequer who took up residence instead. As part of our posts marking the 300th anniversary of Walpole becoming Prime Minister, Dr … Continue reading From Chicken House to Palace: 10 Downing Street in the 18th century

The Death of Stanhope

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley reconsiders the career of Earl Stanhope, one half of the Stanhope-Sunderland duumvirate that dominated politics in the early years of George I, and who died 300 years ago. James Stanhope, Earl Stanhope, died on 5 February 1721 – 300 years ago – aged 48, and at the height of his powers. He was a … Continue reading The Death of Stanhope

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