When is a Parliament not a Parliament?

Dr Robin Eagles, Editor of the House of Lords 1660-1832 project kicks off our new series, ‘Named Parliaments’. Here, whilst highlighting a number of Named Parliaments in the seventeenth century, he explores the debate of parliament versus convention or assembly in the early modern period… The question of what is and is not a Parliament might seem a simple one, but on two occasions during … Continue reading When is a Parliament not a Parliament?

James I and the duke of Buckingham: love, power and betrayal

Today is the first in a trio of blogs to celebrate LGBT+ History Month. Paul M. Hunneyball, Associate Editor of the House of Lords 1604-1629 project, kicks off with a sequel to his blog from last LGBTHM, ‘James I and his favourites: sex and power at the Jacobean Court’. In this new blog he explores the evolution of the duke of Buckingham’s position at court … Continue reading James I and the duke of Buckingham: love, power and betrayal

Top tips for Christmas at the Jacobean court

As History of Parliament staff prepare for their Christmas break, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section ponders the pleasures and pitfalls that might have awaited a Jacobean courtier 400 years ago… Tip 1: No partying on Christmas Day In the early 17th century, unlike today, 25 December was primarily a time for solemn religious observance. The entire royal household was expected to attend … Continue reading Top tips for Christmas at the Jacobean court

The early Stuart judiciary – independent or subservient?

In the wake of recent events in America, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section considers the role of the judiciary in early Stuart political controversies… Much of the recent storm surrounding the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh as a judge in the United States Supreme Court was generated by allegations of sexual misconduct in his earlier life. However, the political partisanship which marked the … Continue reading The early Stuart judiciary – independent or subservient?

Parliament and medicine in the early 17th century

Continuing the theme of health, medicine and Parliament, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 Section considers how medical practices and language impacted on parliamentary proceedings under the early Stuarts… History of Parliament biographies contain many incidental details about medicine in the early 17th century, though the picture that emerges is very different from the modern clinical experience. Although anatomical knowledge was improving, the human … Continue reading Parliament and medicine in the early 17th century

‘Matters far beyond their reach or capacity’: Parliament and foreign policy in 1621

As Parliament continues to debate Brexit, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section examines how the House of Commons first won the right to influence policy towards Europe… The scenario might seem familiar: a government deeply divided over the future direction of Britain’s relations with the rest of Europe; and an anxious Parliament, eager to have its say, but sucked into confrontation with the government … Continue reading ‘Matters far beyond their reach or capacity’: Parliament and foreign policy in 1621

James I and his favourites: sex and power at the Jacobean court

As LGBT History Month draws to a close Dr Paul M. Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-1629 Section discusses the nature of relationships between James I and his favourite courtiers, his sexuality and how this affected his ability to maintain unquestionable dominance as the monarch… ‘James I slobbered at the mouth and had favourites; he was thus a Bad King.’ This line from Sellar and Yeatman’s … Continue reading James I and his favourites: sex and power at the Jacobean court