Levelling the Lords

In the inaugural blog of our Revolutionary Stuart Parliaments series, the editor of our new House of Lords 1640-60 section Dr David Scott, and Dr Sarah Mortimer of Christ Church, Oxford, consider the politics behind the abolition of the House of Lords in 1649… In November 1648, after a summer and autumn of hard-fought victories against royalist insurgents and Scottish invaders, the New Model Army … Continue reading Levelling the Lords

Charles I in search of friends: government in crisis and the rewards of loyalty, 1640-1644

Today we hear from Dr Vivienne Larminie, editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, who discusses Charles I’s attempts to secure loyalty by giving out peerages and other honours in the early 1640s… By late 1640 the government of Charles I was in deep trouble. A treaty signed at Ripon on 26 October signalled the end of three years of war against his Scottish subjects – the … Continue reading Charles I in search of friends: government in crisis and the rewards of loyalty, 1640-1644

William Herbert, 3rd earl of Pembroke: the ‘nearly man’ of early Stuart politics

As we wait to hear who has triumphed in the latest contest to become prime minister, Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section considers a leading 17th-century courtier who seemed destined for the top, but never quite made it… It’s tempting to assume that present-day politics has little in common with government 400 years ago, but in fact there are quite strong parallels.  Then … Continue reading William Herbert, 3rd earl of Pembroke: the ‘nearly man’ of early Stuart politics

New Project: The House of Lords 1640-1660

In exciting news for the History of Parliament, 2022 sees the winding down of our long-running House of Commons 1640-1660 project and with it the launch of a new section: the House of Lords 1640-1660. Here the section leader, Dr David Scott, introduces the project and the status of Peers in the mid-17th century… In April of this year the History of Parliament launched the … Continue reading New Project: The House of Lords 1640-1660

One of our seals is missing! How a summer vacation brought Charles I’s government to a grinding halt

During the coronavirus pandemic we have grown used to government interventions disrupting our travel plans. However, in 1625 the government itself was disrupted by a holiday in Wales, as Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section explains… In the context of contemporary British government, the office of lord privy seal – more correctly lord keeper of the privy seal – is a non-job, a … Continue reading One of our seals is missing! How a summer vacation brought Charles I’s government to a grinding halt

‘Queen Mary’, Queen Elizabeth and Parliament in the 1640s: suspicion, solidarity and nostalgia

As Queen Elizabeth II celebrates a milestone 70 years on the throne this month, we have been thinking about the relationships that other Queens throughout history had with Parliament. In 1625 Charles I married French Princess Henrietta Maria, but his Consort faced heavy comparison to other female monarchs, as Dr Vivienne Larminie from our Commons 1640-1660 project explains… The breakdown in relations between Charles I … Continue reading ‘Queen Mary’, Queen Elizabeth and Parliament in the 1640s: suspicion, solidarity and nostalgia

Legislature meets library: Parliament at Oxford in 1625

As part of our Parliament away from Westminster series, Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section explores the factors which led to England’s oldest university hosting Parliament for the first time since 1258… In July 1625 Charles I faced the first crisis of his reign. England was currently at war with Spain, and the king urgently needed money to fund a fresh campaign. Parliament … Continue reading Legislature meets library: Parliament at Oxford in 1625

Sitting at Oxford: the convening of Charles I’s ‘Mongrel Parliament’, January 1644

Throughout its history, Parliament has been no stranger to meeting in Oxford. Dr Vivienne Larminie, editor of our Commons 1640-1660, continues our look at Parliaments away from Westminster by exploring the unusual so-called ‘Mongrel Parliament’, which gathered in January 1644… As has been noted previously, four times in the seventeenth century alone, a Parliament met at Oxford. Epidemic or the threat of popular unrest led … Continue reading Sitting at Oxford: the convening of Charles I’s ‘Mongrel Parliament’, January 1644

Plots, petitions, prelates and popery: Parliament and the ‘tumults’ of December 1641

December 1641 was a month of high tension in Parliament, as Dr Vivienne Larminie from our Commons 1640-1660 project explores… It was after fierce debate that on 9 December 1641 MPs expelled three of their number from Parliament. After months of leaks, rumours and investigations, the Commons finally resolved that Henry Wilmot, William Ashbournham and Sir Hugh Pollarde stood accused of misprision of treason, a … Continue reading Plots, petitions, prelates and popery: Parliament and the ‘tumults’ of December 1641

Disability at Court in Early Modern England

As the UK marks Disability History Month over the next few weeks, in today’s blog Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our Lords 1558-1603 project, looks into the prominent early modern figures who had physical disabilities and their treatment at court… Writing in the late 1590s to his sister-in-law, the dowager Lady Stourton, Secretary of State Sir Robert Cecil observed that it was ‘the fashion of … Continue reading Disability at Court in Early Modern England