‘Restless, turbulent, and bold’: Radical MPs and the opening of the reformed Commons in 1833

MPs and peers returned to Westminster earlier this month after over a year of upheaval, disruption, and online chambers. In today’s blog Dr Stephen Ball from our Commons 1832-1868 project looks into another eagerly awaited return to Parliament; the first session following the 1832 Reform Act… When the reformed Parliament first met on Tuesday 29 January 1833 many people speculated about the way the reconfigured … Continue reading ‘Restless, turbulent, and bold’: Radical MPs and the opening of the reformed Commons in 1833

‘London’s Latest Ordeal’: the Blitz and rebuilding of the House of Commons Chamber

On the evening of the 10/11 May 1941 the House of Commons Chamber was destroyed during the Blitz. In today’s blog, 80 years on, our Public Engagement Assistant Connie Jeffery explores the event and how Parliament rebuilt and recovered from the destruction… Like much of the United Kingdom’s home front, Westminster was no stranger to the effects of the Second World War. Parliament’s recognisable home … Continue reading ‘London’s Latest Ordeal’: the Blitz and rebuilding of the House of Commons Chamber

The hunting down of Queen Margaret: the battle of Tewkesbury 4 May 1471

Today we mark the anniversary of another key battle within the Wars of the Roses: the battle of Tewkesbury. As Edward IV’s forces sought to build on their earlier victory at the battle of Barnet, attention turned to Margaret of Anjou, as Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project explains… The most striking facet of the campaign that saw Edward IV win victories at … Continue reading The hunting down of Queen Margaret: the battle of Tewkesbury 4 May 1471

Life as an MP: a recipe for marital bliss?

In today’s blog Dr Emma Peplow, coordinator of the History of Parliament’s Oral History Project, picks up our recent theme of marriage and Parliament. As many former MPs discussed in their interviews, a parliamentary career wasn’t always a friend to marital life… Our oral history project interviewers make sure to ask former MP not just about formal politics, but how political life impacted on personal … Continue reading Life as an MP: a recipe for marital bliss?

1951 and the Birth of the History of Parliament

This week the History of Parliament celebrates the 70th anniversary of one of many important dates in its history. To mark the occasion our director Dr Paul Seaward looks back to the beginnings of our project as we know it today. The History of Parliament has lots of birthdays, for its genesis as a project was a complicated and long-drawn out process. But one of … Continue reading 1951 and the Birth of the History of Parliament

History of Parliament Trust Annual Lecture 2020: ‘Parliament in a national crisis’ given by Chris Bryant MP

On 25 November 2020 Chris Bryant, MP for Rhondda and Trustee for the History of Parliament, delivered 2020’s annual lecture ‘Parliament in a national crisis’ via Zoom. If you weren’t able to make it, below you will find a PDF of the full lecture. Chris’s bio Chris is a Welsh Labour Party politician who has served as Member of Parliament for the Rhondda since 2001. … Continue reading History of Parliament Trust Annual Lecture 2020: ‘Parliament in a national crisis’ given by Chris Bryant MP

Review of the Year 2020

2020 was a year like no other, a statement to which we can all attest. The Covid-19 pandemic created many new challenges from an operational perspective at the History of Parliament Trust. Despite this, we managed to publish research, offer events, run competitions for students, and more. Here’s Sammy Sturgess with a round-up of 2020 at the HPT… In April 2020 we published the long-awaited … Continue reading Review of the Year 2020

First impressions of Westminster in the words of former MPs: back to school, into ‘Dracula’s castle’ or safe at home?

Ahead of Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Emma Peplow & Priscila Pivatto, responsible for the History of Parliament Trust’s oral history project which is interviewing former MPs about their lives and experiences. They recently published The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs, an introduction and guide to the project. Emma & Priscila will be responding to your questions about … Continue reading First impressions of Westminster in the words of former MPs: back to school, into ‘Dracula’s castle’ or safe at home?

Book Review: Peterloo: The English Uprising by Robert Poole

Dr Martin Spychal, research fellow on the Commons 1832-1868, reviews Robert Poole’s Peterloo: The English Uprising (Oxford, 2019) What drove 400 volunteer soldiers and special constables to murder 18 and maim nearly 700 of their fellow Lancastrians? This is the key question that Robert Poole’s definitive and illuminating Peterloo sets out to answer. As Poole states in his prologue, ‘two hundred years on, it is … Continue reading Book Review: Peterloo: The English Uprising by Robert Poole

Exploring parliamentary history through art

Today’s blog contains details of the Art UK online exhibitions that our researchers have curated during lockdown… The History of Parliament’s researchers have been trying out the Curations tool recently launched by Art UK, which enables anyone to create a digital exhibition from the artworks on its site. With art galleries and museums currently closed, it is an excellent way to visit their collections online. … Continue reading Exploring parliamentary history through art