“More the air of an assassin than of a gentleman”: Duels & attempted murder in eighteenth-century England

The recent BBC adaptation of John Preston’s book – A Very English Scandal – about the trial of the former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe for conspiracy and incitement to murder, prompted us at the HPT to think about other parliamentarians with links to murder, conspiracy and scandal. Today’s blog from our Lords 1715-1790 project Editor, Dr Robin Eagles considers duels between MPs and their political connections… Politics could … Continue reading “More the air of an assassin than of a gentleman”: Duels & attempted murder in eighteenth-century England

Why political history still matters

Dr Katrina Navickas from the University of Hertfordshire was the keynote speaker at the History of Parliament Trust and Durham University’s Parliaments and Popular Sovereignty conference, which was held at the People’s History Museum in Manchester in November 2017. She offers a blog on the importance of political history today… There is lively public interest in the origins of popular representation in the British political … Continue reading Why political history still matters

Edmund Burke and the Brexit debates

For the second week in a row, parliamentary business is dominated by the government’s ‘Brexit bill’. For many, this bill rekindles the dilemma – put so famously by Edmund Burke – of what an MP should do when their opinion differs from that of their constituents; an issue discussed here by our Director, Dr Paul Seaward… It didn’t take long for Edmund Burke to be … Continue reading Edmund Burke and the Brexit debates

“Contrary to the fundamental laws of nature”? The passage of the Declaratory Act, March 1766

250 years ago this week Parliament passed the ‘Declaratory Act’, aimed at limiting the damage of the earlier repeal of the Stamp Act. In the second of two blogs on the issue, Dr Robin Eagles, Senior Research Fellow in the House of Lords 1660-1832 section, discusses the debates on the issue – whether the British parliament could, in principle, tax its colonies when they did … Continue reading “Contrary to the fundamental laws of nature”? The passage of the Declaratory Act, March 1766

The ‘Story of Parliament’: Parliament and the press

Earlier this year the History published ‘The Story of Parliament: Celebrating 750 years of parliament in Britain’ to mark the anniversary of Simon de Montfort’s parliament in 1265. The book is a brief introduction to the full 750 years of parliamentary history, aimed at the general reader, and available to purchase from the Houses of Parliament bookshop – a great Christmas present for the parliamentary … Continue reading The ‘Story of Parliament’: Parliament and the press

The long-lived charter: Magna Carta’s 800 year legacy

800 years ago today, Magna Carta was sealed at Runnymede. In the last of our series celebrating the anniversaries of Magna Carta and Simon de Montfort’s Parliament, Dr Alexander Lock, Curator of Modern Historical Manuscripts at the British Library and lead researcher for the Library’s acclaimed Magna Carta exhibition, discusses how Magna Carta came to become an important symbol of the parliamentary system… Though Magna … Continue reading The long-lived charter: Magna Carta’s 800 year legacy

Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: Alexander Lock, ‘Magna Carta: law, liberty and myth’

Our last ‘Parliaments, politics and people’ seminar of term took place on 24 March. Dr Alexander Lock, one of the curators of the British Library’s current exhibition ‘Magna Carta: law, liberty, legacy’ spoke on the impact and legacy of the 1215 Great Charter. His paper covered the full eight hundred year history of Magna Carta, and described how a failed medieval peace treaty came to … Continue reading Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: Alexander Lock, ‘Magna Carta: law, liberty and myth’