“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”: holidays by the sea in the 18th century

In the course of the 18th century a variety of spas and seaside resorts became popular destinations for busy Georgians seeking cures for a variety of chronic conditions, as well as for relaxation from the dramas of high politics. Dr Robin Eagles, Editor of the House of Lords 1715-90 project, considers the experiences of some of the high-profile individuals who took their holidays at two … Continue reading “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”: holidays by the sea in the 18th century

The elusiveness of divorce in medieval England: the marital troubles of the last Warenne earl of Surrey (d.1347)

In today’s blog Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project continues our ongoing look into the marriages of Parliamentarians, both happy and unhappy. Divorce in medieval England was infrequent and difficult to secure, but this did not stop individuals from making an attempt… Medieval England knew two forms of divorce. The first, and overwhelmingly the most important, was divorce a vinculo matrimonii (from the … Continue reading The elusiveness of divorce in medieval England: the marital troubles of the last Warenne earl of Surrey (d.1347)

We’re all going on a summer… pilgrimage

As Covid-19 restrictions begin to lift, many people are eager to travel again. In today’s blog Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, discusses the 15th century parliamentarians who had another reason to look forward to embarking on a trip… As Elizabeth I knew well, it doesn’t do to make windows into men’s (or indeed women’s) souls. It is thus at our peril … Continue reading We’re all going on a summer… pilgrimage

The Graphic Parliament: Picturing the House of Commons 1880-1920

At the end of June, History of Parliament Director Dr Paul Seaward joined House of Commons photographer Jess Taylor to take part in a British Academy summer showcase event about picturing the House of Commons, comparing her work to the innovative and evocative illustrations published in a generation of illustrated magazines published from the 1880s to around 1920. You can see a recording of the … Continue reading The Graphic Parliament: Picturing the House of Commons 1880-1920

How not to fight a battle: William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, and the battle of Edgcote 24 July 1469

Senior research fellow for our House of Commons 1461-1504 project Dr Simon Payling continues his look at significant battles during the Wars of the Roses. Today he considers the failed leadership of William Herbert at the battle of Edgcote ahead of the anniversary of the battle on Saturday… Some of the battles of the Wars of the Roses were predictable affairs, in that, at the … Continue reading How not to fight a battle: William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, and the battle of Edgcote 24 July 1469

Do as you will? Behind the scenes of ‘the Hellfire Club’

As hospitality venues and social spaces in much of the UK reopen after lockdown this week, in today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, looks into the parliamentarians possessing memberships to a notorious 18th century social group… Pray remember the ghost for me to-night, and next Monday we meet at Medmenham. On 15 June 1762 John Wilkes sent this apparently rather … Continue reading Do as you will? Behind the scenes of ‘the Hellfire Club’

Red Streak: cider-making and drinking in Cromwellian Herefordshire

As we contemplate the further lifting of Covid restrictions on hospitality venues, Dr Patrick Little of our Commons 1640-1660 project looks at the pleasures and pitfalls of drinking a native beverage in the seventeenth century, and the science behind its production… Cider has been produced in England since Norman times, if not before, with different traditions emerging in the east (notably East Anglia and Kent) … Continue reading Red Streak: cider-making and drinking in Cromwellian Herefordshire

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

Religion, relief and the ‘slaughtered saints’: foreign aid in the seventeenth century

As modern-day discussions on how best to help nations across the world fight the COVID-19 pandemic continue, in today’s blog Dr Vivienne Larminie from our Commons 1640-1660 project looks into the notion of foreign aid in the 17th century. When, in 1655, a Protestant group faced religious persecution in Europe, the government rushed to their aid… ‘Avenge, o Lord, thy slaughtered saints/ Whose bones lie … Continue reading Religion, relief and the ‘slaughtered saints’: foreign aid in the seventeenth century

Mine’s a mine: the pre-industrial mining industry of Cornwall and Devon

Whilst in modern times Devon and Cornwall may be known as popular tourist destinations, in the 14th and 15th centuries the counties were central hubs of the mining industry. In today’s blog Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks into the industrial roots of these localities and their impact on parliamentary representation… If in the present day the south-west of England seems … Continue reading Mine’s a mine: the pre-industrial mining industry of Cornwall and Devon