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

Violence at the Door of Parliament, 1640-48

Over the past few weeks the eyes of the world have been on Washington. As the United States prepares to swear in its 46th President, Joe Biden, after what has been a tumultuous transition of power, Dr Stephen Roberts examines the threat of violence against the seat of power in 17th century Britain in our latest blog… The great achievement of the English Parliament between … Continue reading Violence at the Door of Parliament, 1640-48

The Bonfire Night Coup: power politics at the Putney debates

In March we hosted the final Parliaments, Politics and People Seminar before lockdown forced the temporary closure of the Institute of Historical Research. Today Dr Sean Kelsey, senior research fellow at the University of Buckingham, looks back at his paper discussing the Putney Bonfire Night Coup of 1647. This paper revisits the circumstances surrounding the adjournment, and effective dissolution of the General Council, the representative … Continue reading The Bonfire Night Coup: power politics at the Putney debates

Exiting the English Republic, part 1: political flux in early 1660

Continuing the series on the turmoil of 1659-1660, which saw a retreat from radicalism and political experiment, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of the Commons 1640-1660 section, looks at the manoeuvrings of politicians and army officers in a period of great tension and uncertainty… By late January 1660 the English republic had entered its last days – although its imminent extinction was probably not inevitable, … Continue reading Exiting the English Republic, part 1: political flux in early 1660

The ‘Barebones Parliament’: an assembly of the saints, 1653

Today, Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons 1640-1660 Section, continues our Named Parliaments series with the ‘Barebones Parliament’ of July-December 1653. Strictly speaking, the body which convened on 4 July 1653 in the council chamber at Whitehall was not a Parliament at all.  Rather, having relocated to the Commons chamber at Westminster, it resolved to give itself that title two days … Continue reading The ‘Barebones Parliament’: an assembly of the saints, 1653

The ‘Interruption’ of Parliament and the quest for political settlement, October 1659

In the first of a new blog series charting the collapse of the British Republic, Dr Vivienne Larminie of the Commons 1640-1660 section discusses the military coup which temporarily suspended the Rump Parliament 360 years ago… On the morning of Thursday 13 October 1659 ‘at his usual time’, Speaker William Lenthall was making his way by coach from his London residence to preside over a … Continue reading The ‘Interruption’ of Parliament and the quest for political settlement, October 1659

‘“The Parliament driver”: Walter Long, party politics and the whip

The recent stream of votes in the Commons surrounding Brexit has thrown into relief the practice of ‘whipping’ MPs into supporting their party line.  Dr Vivienne Larminie of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section examines the emergence of an early prototype. In the summer of 1647 several years of escalating faction-fighting in Parliament came to a head.  With Charles I now defeated and in captivity, … Continue reading ‘“The Parliament driver”: Walter Long, party politics and the whip

Execution of Charles I – ‘King-killer’: the Making of a Regicide

In the fourth in our series on the tumultuous events of the winter of 1648-9, and following on from the trial of Charles I, we turn now to the consequence of a guilty verdict.  Dr Patrick Little of the House of Commons 1640-1660 considers the process whereby one MP became a signatory to the death warrant for Charles I, executed at Whitehall on this day … Continue reading Execution of Charles I – ‘King-killer’: the Making of a Regicide

No deal: Pride’s Purge and retreat from settlement

As MPs prepare to vote over whether or not to accept the Brexit deal negotiated by Theresa May, we have the second post in the series on the tumultuous events of 1648-1649, as parliamentarians disputed with each other over a treaty which might end the civil wars.  Dr Vivienne Larminie of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section moves on from 15 November to 6 December … Continue reading No deal: Pride’s Purge and retreat from settlement

Peace at Last?

Earlier this autumn saw the 80th anniversary of the Munich agreement, marked by a ‘Peace for our Time’ blog from our assistant director, Dr Emma Peplow.  As the first of a series from the House of Commons 1640-1660 section looking at events over the winter of 1648-1649, Dr Vivienne Larminie examines another occasion on which lasting peace seemed within the grasp of politicians at Westminster.  … Continue reading Peace at Last?