‘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

Parliament and the Mayflower: the case of Samuel More’s children

This month marks the 400 year anniversary of the voyage of Mayflower, the ship that transported 102 passengers to begin their lives in ‘New England’. Last month the History of Parliament’s Director, Dr Stephen Roberts, explored the men who during the 1640s and 50s made the return journey from America to take up seats in Westminster. Today Stephen casts his attention to the MP Samuel … Continue reading Parliament and the Mayflower: the case of Samuel More’s children

‘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

Jonathan Swift and the Union with Scotland

In the latest in our series on Anglo-Scottish relations throughout the centuries, Dr Ruth Paley, editor of the House of Lords 1660-1832 section, discusses the satirist Jonathan Swift’s provocative attack on the Scots during the early days of union and the political consequences that followed… The winter of 1713-14 was fraught with political tension. The queen’s health, never good, was visibly deteriorating, sparking fears of … Continue reading Jonathan Swift and the Union with Scotland