Come Let’s Travel by the River… the vicissitudes of getting to Parliament in the later Middle Ages

As the discovery of the Palace of Westminster’s medieval river wall hits the news, Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, reflects on how MPs and peers in the later Middle Ages travelled to Parliament. While the River Thames is now a place for spectacular tours, it was once a dangerous commute to work for many in Parliament… Amid news of the discovery of part of … Continue reading Come Let’s Travel by the River… the vicissitudes of getting to Parliament in the later Middle Ages

The Madness of the Mohuns

Violence was not uncommon among the early modern aristocracy, but the behaviour of the Mohun (pronounced ‘Moon’) family – Barons Mohun of Okehampton – was shocking even to contemporaries. In the next blog for our Revolutionary Stuart Parliaments series, Dr Patrick Little from our Lords 1640-1660 project explores the family weakness for mindless violence… John Mohun, 1st Baron Mohun, was proud of his ancestry, boasting … Continue reading The Madness of the Mohuns

From Windsor to Westminster: the People of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, in Parliament in the later Middle Ages and beyond

In October, Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, delivered the ‘Maurice and Shelagh Bond Memorial Lecture’ at St George’s Chapel. In a series of two blogs, Hannes reflects on the people of St George’s Chapel, beginning with a look back to the mid-fifteenth century and the position of the clerk, a role that Maurice Bond served for 36 years. Annually in October, … Continue reading From Windsor to Westminster: the People of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, in Parliament in the later Middle Ages and beyond

The search for good governance

As the History of Parliament Oral History Project continues to go from strength to strength following a two-year hiatus, here volunteer interviewer Peter Reilly reflects on his recent interview with Lord David Hunt, MP for Wirral and later Wirral West 1976-1997. A member of cabinet under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, throughout his career- and interview- Hunt proved committed to a topic still making … Continue reading The search for good governance

“contagion lies in a wainscot”: the tragic history of the dukes of Bolton & 37, Grosvenor Square

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Robin Eagles considers the tragic history of the family of the dukes of Bolton and the strange coincidence that brought about the deaths of two peers in the same house in London… Trigger Warning: This post deals with themes of suicide. Writing in July 1765, Horace Walpole was at pains to insist that there could not … Continue reading “contagion lies in a wainscot”: the tragic history of the dukes of Bolton & 37, Grosvenor Square

‘A hotch-potch ministry’ – the brief but tempestuous premiership of the 2nd earl of Shelburne

Following the resignation of Liz Truss after 44 days in office, attention has turned to some of the previous figures to hold short tenures as Prime Minister. In 1782 William Petty, 2nd earl of Shelburne, became Premier and oversaw a shaky 266 days at the top, as Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project explores… Lord Shelburne is not much remembered now as a … Continue reading ‘A hotch-potch ministry’ – the brief but tempestuous premiership of the 2nd earl of Shelburne

Levelling the Lords

In the inaugural blog of our Revolutionary Stuart Parliaments series, the editor of our new House of Lords 1640-60 section Dr David Scott, and Dr Sarah Mortimer of Christ Church, Oxford, consider the politics behind the abolition of the House of Lords in 1649… In November 1648, after a summer and autumn of hard-fought victories against royalist insurgents and Scottish invaders, the New Model Army … Continue reading Levelling the Lords

The termination of medieval Parliaments on the demise of the reigning monarch

As much of the nation, and the world, continues to reflect on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and accession of King Charles III, here Dr Hannes Kleineke from our Commons 1461-1504 project explores the now retired practice of terminating Parliaments following the death of the monarch. By modern convention, the death of a sovereign and the accession of their successor do not … Continue reading The termination of medieval Parliaments on the demise of the reigning monarch

The Aftermath of the Impeachment of Thomas Parker, earl of Macclesfield

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley reassesses the impeachment, and later career, of Thomas Parker, earl of Macclesfield, the last victim of a political impeachment prior to that of Warren Hastings. Corruption and impeachment are terms that have been much in the news, especially with regard to former President Donald Trump, who was impeached, and former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, … Continue reading The Aftermath of the Impeachment of Thomas Parker, earl of Macclesfield

William Turner and the reformation of gardening

Climate change is making gardening more of a challenge in this country, but at least we have plenty of information on the best plants to use. Five hundred years ago the picture was a lot more confusing. Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section investigates a major botanical turning point… William Turner’s New Herbal, published in instalments between 1551 and 1568, is one of … Continue reading William Turner and the reformation of gardening