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

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

‘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 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