‘Without any worldly pompe’: the burial of a 15th-century royal consort at Windsor

As the nation mourns the passing of Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, today Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, reflects on the burial of another royal consort in the midst of an epidemic, some six centuries prior. When the late Duke of Edinburgh is laid to rest at Windsor on Saturday, 17 April 2021, he will become the latest in a … Continue reading ‘Without any worldly pompe’: the burial of a 15th-century royal consort at Windsor

Three degrees of separation: alternatives to divorce in early modern England

As part of the History of Parliament’s blog series on marriage, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of the Lords 1558-1603 project, considers the options available four centuries ago to those whose marriages had broken down… Contrary to popular belief, Henry VIII never got divorced. In sixteenth-century England, the option of divorce as we now understand it didn’t exist. The only way to end a marriage … Continue reading Three degrees of separation: alternatives to divorce in early modern England

‘How much ancient divisions survive’: unnatural alliances and the battle of Barnet, 14 April 1471

On 14 April 1471 a crucial battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought. Just outside the town of Barnet, Edward IV’s Yorkist force faced off against the Lancastrians, led by his former ally the earl of Warwick. In today’s blog Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project examines the events of the battle and the impact of alliances… The period between June … Continue reading ‘How much ancient divisions survive’: unnatural alliances and the battle of Barnet, 14 April 1471

Whispers on a landscape – Palatine migration to England, Ireland and beyond

We are delighted to welcome a guest blog from Claire McCormick, a PhD student at the University of Limerick, working on the Irish Palatines in the eighteenth century and the fortunes of the migrants who quit Europe for Britain and the New World in the early years of the eighteenth century. In 1709 more than 13,500 people left their homelands in Southwest Germany, Switzerland and … Continue reading Whispers on a landscape – Palatine migration to England, Ireland and beyond

Customs duties, political grievances and cross-border relations: an early Stuart perspective

In today’s blog Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, takes a look at the debates over customs and trading duties during the reign of Charles I. Clearly it is not just in the 21st century that cross-border trade was a contentious issue… Customs have long been at the heart of political debate. In the early seventeenth century, tariffs on trade, and in … Continue reading Customs duties, political grievances and cross-border relations: an early Stuart perspective

A family affair? Sir Robert Walpole and the ‘Robinocracy’, 1721-1742

April 3 marks the 300th anniversary of Robert Walpole becoming first lord of the treasury and, with it, assuming the title ‘Prime Minister’ for the first time. In today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, explores Walpole’s rise to power and the familiarity of his surname within the walls of Westminster… On 3 April 1721, 300 years ago today, Robert Walpole … Continue reading A family affair? Sir Robert Walpole and the ‘Robinocracy’, 1721-1742

‘Decided on by men’: International Women’s Day lecture

On 17 March Dr Emma Peplow and Dr Priscila Pivatto gave the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art’s 8th annual International Woman’s Day lecture. Created by the committee to help address the need for more artwork of female MPs in Parliament’s collection, Emma and Priscila discussed women’s experiences in Parliament based on interviews in our Oral History Project. Here Dr Peplow reflects on the … Continue reading ‘Decided on by men’: International Women’s Day lecture

The battle of Towton and the Parliament of 1461

On 29 March 1461 the battle of Towton took place. A notoriously violent encounter, the battle is the topic of a previous History of Parliament blog. But today Dr Charles Moreton, from our Commons 1461-1504, project explores Towton’s longer impact on the planned Parliament of 1461… Today marks the 560th anniversary of by far the largest battle of the Wars of the Roses. It was … Continue reading The battle of Towton and the Parliament of 1461

Oliver Cromwell’s Western Designer

In today’s blog Dr David Scott, senior research fellow for our Commons 1640-1660 project, continues our look at parliamentary links to the trade of enslaved people and colonial expansion in the seventeenth century. The name Martin Noell may not be familiar nowadays, but this notorious merchant trader rose to prominence during the interregnum and his legacy ought not to be overlooked when considering Parliament’s colonial … Continue reading Oliver Cromwell’s Western Designer

Elizabeth I, the ‘estate of marriage’, and the 1559 Parliament

To mark Women’s History Month, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, recalls the first public statement by the ‘Virgin Queen’ that she had no plans to marry, and the incomprehension with which her (male) subjects reacted… The first Parliament summoned by Elizabeth I opened on 25 January 1559 with a packed agenda. Urgent business in the opening days included a new … Continue reading Elizabeth I, the ‘estate of marriage’, and the 1559 Parliament