Top tips for Christmas at the Jacobean court

As History of Parliament staff prepare for their Christmas break, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section ponders the pleasures and pitfalls that might have awaited a Jacobean courtier 400 years ago… Tip 1: No partying on Christmas Day In the early 17th century, unlike today, 25 December was primarily a time for solemn religious observance. The entire royal household was expected to attend … Continue reading Top tips for Christmas at the Jacobean court

Medieval MP of the Month: Santa Claus in Parliament

Here’s a seasonal offering from Hannes Kleineke of the House of Commons 1422-1504 Section for our Medieval MP of Month… While much has rightly been made this year of the career and legacy of Col. Josiah Wedgwood, MP, the founder of the History of Parliament, his pioneering biographical volumes were not without their quirks, and, at times, a degree of involuntary humour. A seasonal example … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: Santa Claus in Parliament

‘A good preparation for Christmas’: Revolution and Augustan Yuletides

Christmas cheer at times came a distant second to political intrigue for those featured in our recently published volumes, The House of Lords 1660-1715. Dr Robin Eagles and Dr Charles Littleton tell us more… Christmas was not always a time of mirth and celebration at the English royal court in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Christmas of 1688 was marked by a severe political … Continue reading ‘A good preparation for Christmas’: Revolution and Augustan Yuletides

Christmas-Day in the Commons, 1656

For those of you still working in Christmas week, Dr Stephen Roberts, editor of the Commons 1640-60 section, discusses the Commons’ debates on Christmas day, 1656: still sitting, of course, and rather disappointed that the rest of the country seemed to have taken the day off… On Christmas day 1656, the second parliament of Oliver Cromwell’s protectorate met as usual to transact business. Some years … Continue reading Christmas-Day in the Commons, 1656