The power of the (silk) purse: electioneering in nineteenth-century Macclesfield

In today’s blog Dr Kathryn Rix, assistant editor of our House of Commons, 1832-1868 project, takes a local history look at the political representation of 19th century Macclesfield, where one particular industry made its presence known… One of the most significant aspects of the 1832 Reform Act was its redrawing of the electoral map, taking seats away from ‘rotten boroughs’ such as Dunwich and Old … Continue reading The power of the (silk) purse: electioneering in nineteenth-century Macclesfield

The Earl of Aberdeen and the Scottish Peerage By-election of 1721

With two by-elections to the Commons on the horizon, in the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley looks back on the by-election for a Scots representative peer to sit in the House of Lords that took place almost exactly 300 years ago. For once, both government and opposition seem to have warmed to the winner… The Act of Union of 1707 provided … Continue reading The Earl of Aberdeen and the Scottish Peerage By-election of 1721

‘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

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

Those pesky deliveries: delivering the King’s writs across 15th century England

In recent months, easily talking to friends and colleagues on the other side of the country, or even world, has become essential. But we shouldn’t take our Zoom, Teams, Hangout, Skype (etc.) calls for granted . In the 15th c. delivering a message from the King across England was quite a difficult endeavour, as Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, explores… One … Continue reading Those pesky deliveries: delivering the King’s writs across 15th century England

From duelling to sharing the representation: Northumberland’s electoral politics in the nineteenth century

Continuing this month’s focus on Northumberland, Dr. Kathryn Rix, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons, 1832-68 project, explores the county’s elections in the nineteenth century. In 1826 Northumberland experienced its first contested election since 1774, with four candidates vying for the county’s two seats. For the previous fifty years, electors had not had the opportunity to cast their votes, as the representation had been … Continue reading From duelling to sharing the representation: Northumberland’s electoral politics in the nineteenth century

‘Southwark men, who are but traitors’: merchants, rioters, radicals and the ‘good old cause’ in the mid-seventeenth century

In the latest History of Parliament blog we return to our local history study of Southwark. Following our medieval look at the constituency, today Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of the Commons 1640-1660 project, explores the borough in the mid-seventeenth century. By 1640 there had been no decrease in the independent spirit and propensity to disorder which had made the borough of Southwark so troublesome … Continue reading ‘Southwark men, who are but traitors’: merchants, rioters, radicals and the ‘good old cause’ in the mid-seventeenth century

Breaching the guidelines: clerical MPs in the mid-seventeenth century

As the country grapples with interpreting the rules of the Covid-19 lockdown, Dr Vivienne Larminie of our Commons 1640-1660 section considers another situation where a seemingly clear-cut ban proved difficult to enforce… Uncertainty has long surrounded the eligibility of clergy to sit as MPs. Only in 2001 was legislation passed explicitly permitting all ministers of religion to stand for election. This repealed the Clergy Disqualification … Continue reading Breaching the guidelines: clerical MPs in the mid-seventeenth century

‘Duely sensible of their obligation’: the role of women in Georgian election balls

With general elections back in the news, the Georgian Lords welcomes back Hillary Burlock for the second part of her series on the importance of dance and the participation of women in 18th-century electoral contests. Much of Georgian electioneering played out in the public, ‘masculine’ theatre of the hustings and city streets; yet the ballroom, too, was an intensely political arena. Politicians understood the political … Continue reading ‘Duely sensible of their obligation’: the role of women in Georgian election balls