The Good, the Bad and the Wonderful: The dramatic Parliaments of the late 14th century (Part One)

This month in our Named Parliaments series we hear from Dr Hannes Kleineke, Senior Research Fellow for our House of Commons 1422-1504 Section, about the dramatic Parliaments of the late 14th century, in two parts. In the first, today, we learn about the Good and the Bad Parliaments, 1376-1377, and in part two, on 27 June, he will elaborate on the Wonderful and the Merciless … Continue reading The Good, the Bad and the Wonderful: The dramatic Parliaments of the late 14th century (Part One)

‘A name of an ill sound’: The Officers’ Parliament of 1690-95

Today we continue with our ‘Named Parliament’ series. Charles Littleton of the Lords 1660-1832 project discusses the Officers’ Parliament of 1690-95 and the enactment of legislation to regulate parliamentary sessions thereafter… To many contemporaries the Parliament which first met in March 1690 later became vilified as ‘The Officers’ Parliament’. Bishop Gilbert Burnet, watching events from the House of Lords, described the origin of the term … Continue reading ‘A name of an ill sound’: The Officers’ Parliament of 1690-95

Parliament and Superstition: A Jackdaw in the House of Commons, 1604

Today we hear from the Editor of our House of Lords 1604-29 Section, Dr Andrew Thrush about a curious incident in the House of Commons in 1604 involving a Jackdaw. How superstitious was the House of Commons? Three months ago an owl flew into the Parliament building in Dodoma, Tanzania, where it perched near the ceiling and observed the proceedings, to the alarm of MPs … Continue reading Parliament and Superstition: A Jackdaw in the House of Commons, 1604

The Origins of a Father of the House

This week as part of our Mothers and Fathers of the House series, Paul Seaward, British Academy/Wolfson research professor at the History of Parliament Trust, explores the origins of the parliamentary tradition of the Father of the House… The origins of the idea of a ‘father of the House’ are, like so many parliamentary traditions, deeply obscure, which is scarcely surprising for a role which … Continue reading The Origins of a Father of the House

Nancy Astor: A Mother in the House

Last week we heard about the Father or ‘Grand Old Man’ of the Long Parliament, so this week we have a blog about the first mother in the House of Commons. Along with PhD student, Kate Meanwell, Dr Jacqui Turner from the University of Reading and Astor 100 project, discusses Nancy Astor’s role as a mother to her five children as well as a representative … Continue reading Nancy Astor: A Mother in the House

The Grand Old Man of the Long Parliament

In earlier centuries politics might be seen as a young man’s game, but here Dr Andrew Barclay of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section looks at a veteran Member of the 1640s who had first sat in the 1570s… MPs in the seventeenth century tended to be rather younger than they are today. The median age of those elected to the Long Parliament in 1640 … Continue reading The Grand Old Man of the Long Parliament

Medieval MP of the Month: ‘Please Sir, can I have one more?’ The marriages and murders of the Harcourt brothers of Oxfordshire 

Further tales of murder and scandal from Dr Hannes Kleineke for April’s medieval MP, or rather MPs of the Month. Today we hear of the murderous Harcourt brothers … Among the most distinguished families in late medieval Oxfordshire, the Harcourts were able to trace their pedigree back at least to the reign of Henry I, and by the end of the 12th century had acquired … Continue reading Medieval MP of the Month: ‘Please Sir, can I have one more?’ The marriages and murders of the Harcourt brothers of Oxfordshire