Alternative uses for the palace of Westminster: the early 17th-century picture

With the palace of Westminster requiring a major restoration programme, and some people suggesting that Parliament should permanently relocate to a new home, Dr Paul Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-29 section considers some of the uses to which the old Palace was put 400 years ago… Since the 19th century, the palace of Westminster has been synonymous with Parliament – but that wasn’t always the … Continue reading Alternative uses for the palace of Westminster: the early 17th-century picture

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

How long is a Parliament?

In this blog for the ‘Named Parliaments’ series, Dr Paul Hunneyball, Associate Editor of the House of Lords 1604-29 project, explores the length of parliaments, paying particular attention to the Short and Long parliaments of the 1640s and 1650s… Down the centuries, the length of parliaments has varied enormously, from a few days to a decade or more. That being the case, it’s perhaps surprising … Continue reading How long is a Parliament?

Fasting and political crises in the 1640s: no beer ‘till the publike exercises and religious duties … be past and over’

As Parliament engages in momentous decision-making about the future of the country, Dr Vivienne Larminie of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section marks the season of Lent with consideration of the solemn and austere approach of early modern Parliaments to periods of political and social crisis… After the feasting of ‘Pancake Day’ (Shrove Tuesday, this year on 5 March), the six weeks of Lent – … Continue reading Fasting and political crises in the 1640s: no beer ‘till the publike exercises and religious duties … be past and over’

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?

Taking control: Speaker William Lenthall, precedent and the Long Parliament

In the midst of extraordinary times at Westminster, Dr Vivienne Larminie of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section looks at the response of a pioneering Speaker to the unprecedented challenges of the mid-seventeenth century… On 4 January 1642, in one of the most dramatic and iconic moments in the history of Parliament, Charles I arrived at Westminster with an armed guard.  Having entered the Commons … Continue reading Taking control: Speaker William Lenthall, precedent and the Long Parliament