History of Parliament and Excavating Early Queer History

To mark LGBTQ+ History Month 2023, guest blogger Charles Upchurch, Professor of British history at Florida State University, explains how he used the History of Parliament project as a resource when researching his newest book, “Beyond the Law”: The Politics of Ending the Death Penalty for Sodomy in Britain. LGBTQ+ stories are often overlooked within parliamentary history, but Professor Upchurch utilised the History of Parliament … Continue reading History of Parliament and Excavating Early Queer History

NEW PODCAST for LGBT+ History Month: Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916)

Based on his recent blog series on The Victorian Commons, this LGBT+ History Month Dr Martin Spychal sat down (virtually) with our public engagement team to discuss his research on the queer MP Lord Ronald Gower. We’ve made our 30 minute conversation available for you below. Martin has been researching Lord Ronald Gower as part of the History of Parliament’s Commons 1832-68 project and been … Continue reading NEW PODCAST for LGBT+ History Month: Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916)

Lesbians and the law: the Wolfenden Report and same-sex desire between women

Our final blog for LGBTQ+ History Month comes from Dr Caroline Derry, who has recently published a book on lesbianism and the criminal law. Here, Caroline will explore the significance of the report of the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution to the legal and parliamentary status of lesbian sexuality… In 1958, Harford Montgomery Hyde MP asked the House of Commons, ‘If homosexual conduct between … Continue reading Lesbians and the law: the Wolfenden Report and same-sex desire between women

Archbishop Laud’s secret ‘misfortunes’: decoding sexual identity in the seventeenth century

Continuing the theme of LGBTQ+ History Month, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of the Lords 1558-1603 section, explores the problem of interpreting evidence from the early modern period… ‘I dreamed that K.B. sent to me in Westminster church, that he was now as desirous to see me, as I him, and that he was then entering into the church. I went with joy, but met … Continue reading Archbishop Laud’s secret ‘misfortunes’: decoding sexual identity in the seventeenth century

Maureen Colquhoun: “an open lesbian-feminist woman” in the House of Commons

In our second blog for LGBTQ+ History Month our Public Engagement Manager, Sammy Sturgess, explores the parliamentary career of Maureen Colquhoun who was the first openly lesbian MP, as well as the first openly LGBTQ+ MP… Maureen Colquhoun was elected as Labour MP for the newly formed constituency of Northampton North in February 1974. This was her second attempt at winning a seat, having lost … Continue reading Maureen Colquhoun: “an open lesbian-feminist woman” in the House of Commons

Voices from the Oral History Project – Chris Smith

Unusually for a profile of one of our Oral History Project interviewees, Chris Smith has not recently passed away! Yet as the first sitting MP who chose to publicly come out, his is a fascinating interview to focus on this LGBT history month. Dr Emma Peplow, our Oral History Project lead, explores his parliamentary career… Chris Smith, Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury 1983-2005, … Continue reading Voices from the Oral History Project – Chris Smith

Legislating Homosexuality: Codification, Empire and the Commonwealth

The final blog in our trio for LGBT+ History Month comes from our Public Engagement Officer, Sammy Sturgess. She considers how nineteenth century legal reform in the British Empire impacted the regulation of homosexuality and its Commonwealth legacy… 2019 is the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth so it seems appropriate to consider the legacy of British colonial-era legislation on Commonwealth nations. Specifically, given that it’s … Continue reading Legislating Homosexuality: Codification, Empire and the Commonwealth

From celebrity to outcast: William Bankes MP (1786-1855)

Today’s blog is the second of three posts to celebrate LGBT+ History Month. In this blog we hear from Dr Philip Salmon, Editor of the House of Commons 1832-1868 project, about William Bankes who fled the country to avoid prosecution for homosexual offences … William Bankes was one of the most famous explorers of Regency England. A swashbuckling early 19th-century ‘Indiana Jones’, his discovery of … Continue reading From celebrity to outcast: William Bankes MP (1786-1855)

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