Before Big Ben there was Old Tom

As the restoration of the Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower reaches its final stages this summer, Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our House of Lords 1715-1790 project, takes a look at the clock tower that existed before ‘Big Ben’… The story of the at times fraught development of the clock tower of the palace of Westminster is well known. A late addition to Charles Barry’s … Continue reading Before Big Ben there was Old Tom

Execution or murder? Elizabeth I and the problem of how to kill Mary Queen of Scots

Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, discusses the thorny issue that faced Elizabeth I in the wake of the discovery of Mary Queen of Scots’ role in the Babington Plot of 1586… On 1 February 1587 Sir Francis Walsingham and his fellow Secretary of State, William Davison, wrote on behalf of Elizabeth I to the privy councillor Sir Amias Paulet, one of … Continue reading Execution or murder? Elizabeth I and the problem of how to kill Mary Queen of Scots

Parliament and Parliaments from the Gaelic Perspective

Since autumn 2021, we have been working with the University of Oxford and the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Oxford to put together series of blogs that explore European Parliamentary Culture. The series, built around the ‘Recovering Europe’s Parliamentary Culture, 1500-1700’ project, is focused on the Early Modern period, but blogs have ranged more widely, seeking to bring in some scholars of the more recent past to provide … Continue reading Parliament and Parliaments from the Gaelic Perspective

Parliamentary Culture and Library History in Britain

Since autumn 2021, we have been working with the University of Oxford and the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Oxford to put together series of blogs that explore European Parliamentary Culture. The series, built around the ‘Recovering Europe’s Parliamentary Culture, 1500-1700’ project, is focused on the Early Modern period, but blogs have ranged more widely, seeking to bring in some scholars of the more recent past to provide … Continue reading Parliamentary Culture and Library History in Britain

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

‘Too many restrictions could not be thrown in the way of divorce’: Attitudes to Women’s Petitions for Divorce by Act of Parliament 1801-1831

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Alison Daniell of the University of Southampton. On 21 June 2022, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Alison will be responding to your questions about her pre-circulated paper on divorce by Act of Parliament in the early nineteenth century. Alison’s full-length paper is available here. Details of how to join the discussion are available here. Before the 1857 … Continue reading ‘Too many restrictions could not be thrown in the way of divorce’: Attitudes to Women’s Petitions for Divorce by Act of Parliament 1801-1831

Four Scots Lords: One line in a Poem

Inspired by a reference in an early eighteenth-century poem, in the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley considers the interlinked careers of four Scots peers, who all sat in the House of Lords. The early eighteenth-century poem, Advice to a Painter, by Alexander Robertson of Struan contains a line grouping four Scots peers: Rothes, Ross, Buchan and Belhaven, who were all part … Continue reading Four Scots Lords: One line in a Poem

‘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

The jubilee tour of King James VI and I

In the 21st century, royal visits are often quite brief events, with high-speed travel, and an emphasis on public appearances and social events, rather than affairs of state. Four hundred years ago the picture was very different, as Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section explains… In March 1603, following the death of Elizabeth I, her cousin James VI of Scotland became James I … Continue reading The jubilee tour of King James VI and I

Elizabeth I, Parliament and the creation of new peers, 1558-1603

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Andrew Thrush of the History of Parliament. On 7 June 2022, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Andrew will be responding to your questions about his pre-circulated paper on Elizabeth I, Parliament and the creation of new peers. Andrew’s full-length paper is available by signing up to his seminar and contacting seminar@histparl.ac.uk. Details of how to join the discussion are … Continue reading Elizabeth I, Parliament and the creation of new peers, 1558-1603