Elizabeth I, the ‘estate of marriage’, and the 1559 Parliament

To mark Women’s History Month, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, recalls the first public statement by the ‘Virgin Queen’ that she had no plans to marry, and the incomprehension with which her (male) subjects reacted… The first Parliament summoned by Elizabeth I opened on 25 January 1559 with a packed agenda. Urgent business in the opening days included a new … Continue reading Elizabeth I, the ‘estate of marriage’, and the 1559 Parliament

Ball Lightning in Early Modern England: The Curious Case of Nicholas Walsh, MP

In their work our researchers have discovered many strange and unusual causes of the death that have befallen parliamentarians over the centuries; one such case is the subject of Dr Andrew Thrush‘s new blog. Here, the editor of our Lords 1558-1603 project describes the unexpected fate of the unfortunate Walsh family in 1556… It’s probably no surprise that by the time they sat in Parliament, … Continue reading Ball Lightning in Early Modern England: The Curious Case of Nicholas Walsh, MP

St. David’s Day: Parliament and the Welsh Language (Part One)

In honour of St. David, the patron saint of Wales and St. David’s Day today, Dr Stephen Roberts, our Director, editor of the Commons 1640-1660 Section and proud Welshman, offers this first of two blogs outlining a brief history of the relationship between Parliament and the Welsh language. Today he explains the Tudor statute that banned Welsh language from law courts and public office and … Continue reading St. David’s Day: Parliament and the Welsh Language (Part One)

Electoral Independence in Tudor England

As the election campaign continues, so does our series of blogposts on historic campaigning. Today, all constituencies are contested and the electorate freely cast their votes. In Tudor England the concept of electoral freedom was honoured more in principle than in practice, as Dr Simon Payling, Senior Fellow of the Commons 1422-1504 section, explains… Tudor elections were functional rather than competitive, in other words, they … Continue reading Electoral Independence in Tudor England