A month in politics: the fall of Protector Richard Cromwell, 1659

As we ponder the abrupt end to Boris Johnson’s premiership, Dr Vivienne Larminie of our Commons 1640-60 section offers a salutary reminder that the sudden collapse of a government is far from unprecedented in British history… Reporting on events at Whitehall palace on 6 April 1659, weekly newspaper The Publick Intelligencer depicted a harmonious outcome to a potentially dangerous political confrontation. That evening, ‘in one … Continue reading A month in politics: the fall of Protector Richard Cromwell, 1659

Lies, stories, misinformation and collective memory: extracting vipers and unmasking cavaliers in the 1659 Parliament

‘Fake news’ might seem like a modern concept, but there’s nothing new about attempts to disguise, misrepresent or reinvent the past, as Dr Vivienne Larminie of our Commons 1640-60 project explains… Debates on whether to exclude from the House of Commons MPs deemed ineligible or delinquent always had an element of theatre. By the end of the interregnum they also illuminate the collective memory of … Continue reading Lies, stories, misinformation and collective memory: extracting vipers and unmasking cavaliers in the 1659 Parliament

The Love Life of Oliver Cromwell

In the second of his posts exploring the popular reputation of the lord protector, Dr Patrick Little, senior research fellow on our Commons 1640-1660 project, takes a look at his private life… Stories of Oliver Cromwell’s sexual adventures became commonplace after the Restoration. Two rumours circulated. In the first, he was linked with Elizabeth Murray, countess of Dysart in her own right, wife of the … Continue reading The Love Life of Oliver Cromwell

Parliament and Forced Colonial Labour in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament, 1659

In today’s blog Dr Stephen Roberts concludes his three-part blog series discussing parliamentary reactions to the 17th century transatlantic slave trade. Here Dr Roberts considers the case of a group of political prisoners who had been transported as indentured servants in 1655. As noted in the first blog, the transportation of slaves from West Africa grew proportionally with the development of the Caribbean as an … Continue reading Parliament and Forced Colonial Labour in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament, 1659

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

‘A gentleman but stumbling in here!’: an impostor in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament

In our latest post, Dr Patrick Little of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section revisits the Parliament of 1659, which opened in such confusion that its membership was unclear and a stranger could sit undetected – with disquieting implications… On 8 February 1659 the journalist Gilbert Mabbott reported the latest developments in Parliament to Henry Cromwell, the lord deputy of Ireland based in Dublin. Among … Continue reading ‘A gentleman but stumbling in here!’: an impostor in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament

Irish Disputes at Westminster

To launch our new James I to Restoration blog, and also mark St Patrick’s Day, Dr Patrick Little of the Commons 1640-1660 Section discusses the controversial presence of Irish MPs at Westminster in the 1650s… With Irish political and constitutional issues routinely hitting the headlines – not least because of implications of Brexit for the border and the fact that the Democratic Unionists hold the … Continue reading Irish Disputes at Westminster