Plague, prorogation and the suspension of the courts in fifteenth-century England

In another timely blog from our History of Parliament researchers, today Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow for the Commons 1461-1504 project, discusses Parliament’s response to another plague outbreak as the courts of justice were suspended in June 1464. On Wednesday 6 June 1464, at the beginning of Trinity term, a small piece of theatre was played out in Westminster Hall. Three justices of the … Continue reading Plague, prorogation and the suspension of the courts in fifteenth-century England

The royal scandal that helped change British politics: the 1820 Queen Caroline affair

On 5 June 1820 Caroline of Brunswick returned to England to take her place as Queen Consort to George IV. But the breakdown in the couple’s relationship would become a matter of parliamentary and national importance. This blog from Dr Philip Salmon, editor of our Commons 1832-68 project, explores the impact of the Queen Caroline Affair on British politics. Two hundred years ago the Prince … Continue reading The royal scandal that helped change British politics: the 1820 Queen Caroline affair

Making the most of a parhelion: the earl of March and the battle of Mortimer’s Cross

In our latest blog Dr Simon Payling, Senior Research Fellow for the Commons 1461-1504 project, looks back to this date in 1461, when a natural phenomenon appeared to the future King Edward IV on the eve of battle… The battle of Mortimer’s Cross has two claims to uniqueness among medieval British battles: it was preceded by the appearance of the meteorological phenomenon of a parhelion and … Continue reading Making the most of a parhelion: the earl of March and the battle of Mortimer’s Cross

Tobacco Fraud and the Prorogation of April 1707

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley, senior research fellow in the Lords 1715-90 section, considers how an unexpected prorogation around the time of the Union was employed to attempt to secure the passage of much-needed legislation Prorogations have been much in the news of late, but they are a common occurrence in parliamentary history. Parliament is prorogued at the end … Continue reading Tobacco Fraud and the Prorogation of April 1707

Rogue Prorogations? Suspending Parliament in the Later Middle Ages

In addition to Dr Vivienne Larminie’s blog about averting the prorogation of Parliament in May 1641, here’s Dr Hannes Kleineke of our House of Commons 1422-1504 project on the origins of the practice of prorogation and examples thereof in the later Middle Ages… Until recent days, prorogations of Parliament have generally been regarded as an arcane piece of parliamentary theatre, of limited concern to anyone … Continue reading Rogue Prorogations? Suspending Parliament in the Later Middle Ages

Averting the prorogation of Parliament, May 1641

In light of the attempt of the current government to prorogue Parliament, we thought it would be appropriate to offer examples of prorogation or the aversion thereof in Parliament’s past. Today, Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons 1640-1660 project explains how prorogation was narrowly avoided in 1641 during a crisis in the early months of the Long Parliament. In an earlier … Continue reading Averting the prorogation of Parliament, May 1641