Ballot boxes, bills and unions: Harriet Grote (1792-1878) and the public campaign for the ballot, 1832-9

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the 1872 Ballot Act, which introduced secret voting at general elections in the UK. In this extended blog, Dr Martin Spychal, research fellow in our House of Commons 1832-68 project, explores the role of Harriet Grote (1792-1878) in the popular and parliamentary campaign for the ballot during the 1830s. On 18 July we will be marking the anniversary of the Ballot … Continue reading Ballot boxes, bills and unions: Harriet Grote (1792-1878) and the public campaign for the ballot, 1832-9

George Huntingford, bishop of Hereford and tutor to Viscount Sidmouth

The Georgian Lords are delighted to welcome a guest blog from Laurence Guymer, master at Winchester College, on the influential warden of Winchester, George Huntingford, successively bishop of Gloucester and Hereford and a guiding influence on his former pupil, Prime Minister Henry Addington, Viscount Sidmouth. George Huntingford was warden of Winchester College (1789-1832), bishop of Gloucester (1802-1815), and of Hereford (1815-1832). He owed the two … Continue reading George Huntingford, bishop of Hereford and tutor to Viscount Sidmouth

The geography of voting behaviour: towards a roll-call analysis of England’s reformed electoral map, 1832-68

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Martin Spychal, of the History of Parliament. On 16 March 2021, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Martin will be responding to your questions about his pre-circulated paper on the geography of voting behaviour in Parliament between 1832 and 1868. Details of how to join the discussion are available here, or by contacting  seminar@histparl.ac.uk. … Continue reading The geography of voting behaviour: towards a roll-call analysis of England’s reformed electoral map, 1832-68

Oxfordshire Local History: Abingdon in the nineteenth century

This month’s local history focus has been Oxfordshire. In today’s blog Dr Philip Salmon, editor of the House of Commons 1832-1945 project, looks at the constituency of Abingdon, since 1974 within Oxfordshire, but historically part of the adjacent county of Berkshire. Abingdon was widely regarded as an easily managed ‘pocket’ or ‘nomination’ borough during the 19th century. For a while at least it certainly had … Continue reading Oxfordshire Local History: Abingdon in the nineteenth century

‘The House divided’: the creation of a second division lobby for the Commons in 1836

The huge publicity given to recent parliamentary votes on Brexit has put the over-crowded division lobbies of the House of Commons in the spotlight as never before and prompted the introduction of proxy voting on a trial basis. While MPs now vote in two division lobbies, this has only been the case since 1836, as Dr. Kathryn Rix, Assistant Editor of our House of Commons, … Continue reading ‘The House divided’: the creation of a second division lobby for the Commons in 1836

The 1868 Boundary Act: Disraeli’s attempt to control his ‘leap in the dark’?

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the 1868 Boundary Act. As Martin Spychal of the Commons 1832-68 Section discusses in today’s blog, the oft-neglected story of the Act provides several key insights into Britain’s second Reform Act and, in particular, the intentions of Benjamin Disraeli, the Conservative Prime Minister in 1868… It is often forgotten that Benjamin Disraeli intended to mitigate the democratising impact … Continue reading The 1868 Boundary Act: Disraeli’s attempt to control his ‘leap in the dark’?

The Representation of the People Act, 1918: A radical reform measure bill

This is the second in our blog series, women and parliament in this, the centenary year of the Representation of the People Act 1918. Here at the History of Parliament we are closely involved in celebrations, commemorations and projects relating to this anniversary. So today, on the actual anniversary that this Act became law it seemed pertinent to honour its passage. To that end, our … Continue reading The Representation of the People Act, 1918: A radical reform measure bill

‘The Second Reform Act of 1867: party interest or the road to democracy?’: A debate between Rt. Hon. The Lord Adonis and Kwasi Kwarteng MP

  Last Tuesday the History of Parliament hosted our annual lecture in Westminster – also our new Director, Dr Stephen Roberts’ first event. The event focused on the Second Reform Act of 1867 in the wake of its 150th anniversary in 2017. This year we approached proceedings differently to the traditional lectures of previous years, in that our chair of trustees, Gordon Marsden MP invited … Continue reading ‘The Second Reform Act of 1867: party interest or the road to democracy?’: A debate between Rt. Hon. The Lord Adonis and Kwasi Kwarteng MP

Time and the Commons

Our Director, Dr Paul Seaward, explores the development of the late night culture at the House of Commons… The above John Doyle print of July 1831, ‘The House wot keeps bad hours’, shows the House of Commons in session with the clock showing seven o’clock in the morning. Members are crowded on the benches, asleep or half asleep; the clerk, barely conscious, is supporting his … Continue reading Time and the Commons