‘Robin the trickster’ versus ‘Stiff Dick’: the election of Robert Harley as Speaker of the Commons in 1701

In the latest in our series discussing some of the notable figures to occupy the role of Speaker of the House Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, discusses the contested election that led Robert Harley to the chair… From 1704 to the spring of 1705 Robert Harley was both Speaker of the House of Commons and one of the secretaries of state. … Continue reading ‘Robin the trickster’ versus ‘Stiff Dick’: the election of Robert Harley as Speaker of the Commons in 1701

The First British Royal Consort: Prince George of Denmark, duke of Cumberland

In the latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton considers the career of Prince George of Denmark, consort of Queen Anne, who proved an important support for one of Britain’s unfairly underrated sovereigns. The recent tributes to HRH Prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh, have emphasized that, at 69 years, he was the longest-serving royal consort in British history, with an active life of … Continue reading The First British Royal Consort: Prince George of Denmark, duke of Cumberland

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

Bolingbroke’s Reflections upon Exile

For our latest blog @GeorgianLords welcomes Dr Max Skjönsberg (St Andrews) offering some insights into the early philosophical writings of Viscount Bolingbroke, written during the period of his first exile from Britain and after his unhappy involvement with the Jacobite court. Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751) was one of the most prominent public figures in Britain in the first half of the eighteenth century, … Continue reading Bolingbroke’s Reflections upon Exile

The politics of the royal bedchamber: what The Favourite does (and does not) tell us about party, Parliament and the court of Queen Anne

In this latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton offers some insights into the political background of the world presented in the award-winning movie The Favourite. The critical reception that has greeted Yorgos Lanthimos’s film provides an excellent opportunity to re-examine the role of politics and the court in the reign of Queen Anne, a critical time in the development of the British … Continue reading The politics of the royal bedchamber: what The Favourite does (and does not) tell us about party, Parliament and the court of Queen Anne

Keeping up appearances: make do and mend in the old Palace of Westminster

Ahead of the first Parliaments, Politics and People seminar of the New Year at the IHR this evening, Dr Robin Eagles, Editor of the House of Lords 1715-1790 Section gives us a taster of his seminar paper from our last meeting before Christmas – interior design and the eighteenth century Palace of Westminster… In October 1834 the old palace of Westminster suffered a devastating fire … Continue reading Keeping up appearances: make do and mend in the old Palace of Westminster

Black History Month: “Pompey, Colonel Hill’s black”, and the politics of footmen in Queen Anne’s London

October is Black History Month in the UK and today we hear from Dr Paul Seaward, our former Director and British Academy/ Wolfson Foundation Research Professor about the politics of footmen and the amateur political ambition of a black servant… In November 1710, the satirist, clergyman and Tory activist Jonathan Swift went to Westminster to see the opening of Parliament following his party’s success in … Continue reading Black History Month: “Pompey, Colonel Hill’s black”, and the politics of footmen in Queen Anne’s London

“Dismal” – Daniel Finch, 2nd earl of Nottingham

In this latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley, senior research fellow in the House of Lords 1715-90 section, considers the career of one of the more sober members of the House in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Dismal: adjective (dizmәl): ‘of a character or aspect that causes gloom and depression; depressingly dark, sombre, gloomy, dreary, or cheerless.’ [OED] “Dismal” was … Continue reading “Dismal” – Daniel Finch, 2nd earl of Nottingham

‘By God my Lord, if you can bear this you are the strongest man in England’: the appointment of ‘Harley’s Dozen’ new peers in the winter of 1711/12

Current rumours suggest that the government may be on the point of boosting the numbers of Conservative peers in the House of Lords. In the winter of 1711/12 the administration of the earl of Oxford also turned to bolstering its membership of the upper chamber by offering peerages to a number of prominent politicians to ensure it was able to get its business through Parliament. … Continue reading ‘By God my Lord, if you can bear this you are the strongest man in England’: the appointment of ‘Harley’s Dozen’ new peers in the winter of 1711/12

‘A good preparation for Christmas’: Revolution and Augustan Yuletides

Christmas cheer at times came a distant second to political intrigue for those featured in our recently published volumes, The House of Lords 1660-1715. Dr Robin Eagles and Dr Charles Littleton tell us more… Christmas was not always a time of mirth and celebration at the English royal court in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Christmas of 1688 was marked by a severe political … Continue reading ‘A good preparation for Christmas’: Revolution and Augustan Yuletides