Bayntun v. Hungerford: rival perspectives on puritan marriage in civil war Wiltshire

In our latest blog Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, continues with our recent theme of marriage. She considers two mid-17th century Wiltshire MPs and their opposing personalities by way of their family lives… By late 1642, as the confrontation between king and Parliament escalated, personal rivalries between two leading local gentlemen threatened to undermine fatally the parliamentarian war effort in … Continue reading Bayntun v. Hungerford: rival perspectives on puritan marriage in civil war Wiltshire

Three Bog-Standard Cromwellian Elections: Co. Cork and its boroughs in 1654

We’re continuing our monthly local history case-studies in 2021 and for the first locality this year we’re turning our attention to Ireland. In this first instalment, Dr Patrick Little, senior research fellow in our Commons 1640-1660 project, explores electioneering in County Cork during the first Cromwellian Protectorate… When studying parliamentary elections, historians naturally concentrate on those that went wrong. Electoral contests, faction-fights, even outbreaks of … Continue reading Three Bog-Standard Cromwellian Elections: Co. Cork and its boroughs in 1654

Romantic Memory: Forgetting, Remembering and Feeling in the Chartist Pantheon of Heroes, c.1790–1840

Ahead of Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Matthew Roberts, the author of Chartism, Commemoration and the Cult of the Radical Hero (2020). He will be responding to your questions about his research on the politics of memory in the Chartist movement between 5:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on 19 January 2021. Details on how to join the discussion are available here or by contacting seminar@histparl.ac.uk. … Continue reading Romantic Memory: Forgetting, Remembering and Feeling in the Chartist Pantheon of Heroes, c.1790–1840

The 18th-century aristocracy and an early experiment in immunology

This year there will be much talk of vaccinations, a word derived from Edward Jenner’s use of cowpox to immunize humans against smallpox, but the groundwork for the science of immunology in Britain was laid 300 years ago by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and her noble patrons of the new practice of inoculation. Dr Charles Littleton investigates further… The New Year will see a large-scale … Continue reading The 18th-century aristocracy and an early experiment in immunology

Review of the Year 2020

2020 was a year like no other, a statement to which we can all attest. The Covid-19 pandemic created many new challenges from an operational perspective at the History of Parliament Trust. Despite this, we managed to publish research, offer events, run competitions for students, and more. Here’s Sammy Sturgess with a round-up of 2020 at the HPT… In April 2020 we published the long-awaited … Continue reading Review of the Year 2020

Richard, duke of York’s last Christmas: the Battle of Wakefield, 30 Dec. 1460

Today on the blog senior research fellow for our 1461-1504 project Dr Simon Payling regales us with Richard, duke of York’s final Christmas and the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460… 1460 saw some dramatic fluctuations in the fortunes of the house of York.  At its beginning the Yorkist lords were in exile and their estates confiscated; in the summer their victory at the … Continue reading Richard, duke of York’s last Christmas: the Battle of Wakefield, 30 Dec. 1460

Did the Puritans ban Christmas dinner?

The Puritans are often accused of banning Christmas, and although the House of Commons did sit on Christmas Day during the English Republic, Dr Stephen Roberts felt the need to do a little myth-busting about the wholesale cancellation of Christmas during the interregnum, by way of the Christmas dinner table… Two images of the mid-17th century Christmas stick in the mind. The documented one is … Continue reading Did the Puritans ban Christmas dinner?

Taking back control of a ‘disordered and distracted nation’: the Provisional Government 11-25 December 1688

As many of us face a very unusual and unsettled Christmas due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are reminded that Christmases of past have also been observed during periods of great uncertainty. In today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles of our House of Lords 1715-90 project explores the Provisional Government that followed the so-called Glorious Revolution of 1688… In the winter of 1688, the country briefly … Continue reading Taking back control of a ‘disordered and distracted nation’: the Provisional Government 11-25 December 1688

Collaborative Doctoral Award with Keele University and the University of Manchester: ‘A manly place? The experiences of female MPs at Westminster, 1970-2010’

We’re delighted to announce that the History of Parliament Trust will be collaborating with Keele University and the University of Manchester in a doctoral studentship based in part on our Oral History project. Applications are now invited for a collaborative doctoral award, funded by the AHRC North West Consortium, titled ‘A manly place? The experiences of female MPs at Westminster, 1970-2010’. The studentship will be … Continue reading Collaborative Doctoral Award with Keele University and the University of Manchester: ‘A manly place? The experiences of female MPs at Westminster, 1970-2010’

Cancelling Christmas? William Prynne, kill-joy and martyr, and the onslaught on ‘pagan Saturnalia’

With the government currently recommending scaled-back Christmas celebrations, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-60 project, considers a man who advocated scrapping Yuletide festivities for a quite different reason… The idea that ‘the puritans cancelled Christmas’ has widespread acceptance. Indeed it surfaced in the House of Commons recently in debate over what kind of celebration might be prudent … Continue reading Cancelling Christmas? William Prynne, kill-joy and martyr, and the onslaught on ‘pagan Saturnalia’