Pretending to be a Peer? The unlikely Lord Griffin and the Convention of January 1689

In today’s blog Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, looks into the case of Edward Griffin, a man raised to the peerage in December 1688. But, in the face of James II’s decision to flee the country, was he actually allowed to sit in the Lords Chamber? Griffin is profiled in more detail in our House of Lords 1660-1715 volumes. Published in … Continue reading Pretending to be a Peer? The unlikely Lord Griffin and the Convention of January 1689

Double Dutch: two Dutch courtiers and the British dynasties they founded

In this latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton considers the histories of two Dutch families who went on to produce some of the most influential noble houses in Britain through the 18th and 19th centuries. Until the extinction of the line in 1990, one of the grandest titles in the British nobility was the dukedom of Portland. Their principal seat of Welbeck … Continue reading Double Dutch: two Dutch courtiers and the British dynasties they founded

Death of a Queen: the tragic end of Caroline of Ansbach

In the latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Robin Eagles, considers the grisly end of Queen Caroline of Ansbach, the botched efforts of her physicians to assist her and her wider importance to the Hanoverian regime. On 20 November 1737 Queen Caroline of Ansbach, who reigned alongside George II for just over a decade, died after an agonizing last illness. Caroline’s final days pointed … Continue reading Death of a Queen: the tragic end of Caroline of Ansbach

“A great lover of forms, and a regular Speaker”: Sir Spencer Compton, Speaker of the House of Commons 1715-1727

Sir Spencer Compton, earl of Wilmington, is often overlooked, overshadowed by his colleague and predecessor Sir Robert Walpole. But as Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, suggests, Wilmington deserves more attention, particularly for his earlier role as Speaker of the House of Commons… If Sir Spencer Compton is much remembered at all, it is most probably as the man who missed his … Continue reading “A great lover of forms, and a regular Speaker”: Sir Spencer Compton, Speaker of the House of Commons 1715-1727

Seven Jobs for Seven Brothers

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley considers the case of Bishop Reynolds of Lincoln, one of a minority in the episcopate to stand out against Walpole, possibly because of frustration both at his own lack of promotion, but also his endless efforts to find employment for his children. Richard Reynolds (1674-1744), was chancellor of the diocese of Peterborough (1704-1718), rector … Continue reading Seven Jobs for Seven Brothers

‘The doubly-noble prisoner’: The trial of Elizabeth Chudleigh, countess of Bristol, or duchess of Kingston?

The year 1776 is usually associated with the worsening crisis in the American colonies. Yet for one week in April the House of Lords, and the British public, turned their attention to Westminster Hall to concentrate on the sensational trial for bigamy of Elizabeth Chudleigh, the self-styled ‘duchess of Kingston’. Dr Charles Littleton examines the background to the sensational case. In 1743, at the age … Continue reading ‘The doubly-noble prisoner’: The trial of Elizabeth Chudleigh, countess of Bristol, or duchess of Kingston?

William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, ‘the real Prime Minister’ and ‘the strangest cabinet in British history’

2021 is the 300th anniversary of the birth of one of British history’s most controversial characters: William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, younger son of George II and the brutal victor of the battle of Culloden. Dr Robin Eagles, editor of the Lords 1715-1790 section, reconsiders Cumberland’s longer career and how he was – for a brief while – effectively the only royal ever to have … Continue reading William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, ‘the real Prime Minister’ and ‘the strangest cabinet in British history’

“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

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’

George Huntingford, bishop of Hereford and tutor to Viscount Sidmouth

The Georgian Lords are delighted to welcome a guest blog from Laurence Guymer, master at Winchester College, on the influential warden of Winchester, George Huntingford, successively bishop of Gloucester and Hereford and a guiding influence on his former pupil, Prime Minister Henry Addington, Viscount Sidmouth. George Huntingford was warden of Winchester College (1789-1832), bishop of Gloucester (1802-1815), and of Hereford (1815-1832). He owed the two … Continue reading George Huntingford, bishop of Hereford and tutor to Viscount Sidmouth