The Madness of the Mohuns

Violence was not uncommon among the early modern aristocracy, but the behaviour of the Mohun (pronounced ‘Moon’) family – Barons Mohun of Okehampton – was shocking even to contemporaries. In the next blog for our Revolutionary Stuart Parliaments series, Dr Patrick Little from our Lords 1640-1660 project explores the family weakness for mindless violence… John Mohun, 1st Baron Mohun, was proud of his ancestry, boasting … Continue reading The Madness of the Mohuns

Parliament and the Politics of intimidation in Medieval England

As some of our previous blogs demonstrate, Medieval parliamentarians were no stranger to acts of physical violence. However as Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project suggests, sometimes the mere threat was enough to influence political change… It is a central tenet of parliamentary history that the political complexion of a Parliament was determined by its membership, particularly that of its fluctuating electoral element, … Continue reading Parliament and the Politics of intimidation in Medieval England

Violence at the Door of Parliament, 1640-48

Over the past few weeks the eyes of the world have been on Washington. As the United States prepares to swear in its 46th President, Joe Biden, after what has been a tumultuous transition of power, Dr Stephen Roberts examines the threat of violence against the seat of power in 17th century Britain in our latest blog… The great achievement of the English Parliament between … Continue reading Violence at the Door of Parliament, 1640-48

The barbarity of the medieval criminal law: petty treason and the murders of Sir Thomas Murdak and John Cotell

In today’s blog Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow in our Commons 1461-1504 project, once again turns his attention to crime and punishment in the medieval period. In the 14th century, the criminal law system may have worked slowly, but it was particularly harsh to those convicted of ‘petty treason’… In the first months of 1316 there was a notable series of deaths in the … Continue reading The barbarity of the medieval criminal law: petty treason and the murders of Sir Thomas Murdak and John Cotell

The perils of foreign travel in the early modern era

With holidays abroad still a major challenge due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of our Lords 1558-1603 project, considers the risks associated with travel overseas four hundred years ago… One of the standard clichés of life a few centuries ago is that people tended not to travel very far. While this was broadly true for the bulk of the population, … Continue reading The perils of foreign travel in the early modern era

Real or imagined? Fifteenth-century MPs as perpetrators of violence

In our latest blog we’re exploring some of the dangerous reputations held by Medieval MPs with Dr Simon Payling, senior research fellow for our Commons 1461-1504 project. It seems that in the 15th century accusations of violence (even murder!) weren’t enough to stop you becoming an MP… THE HISTORY OF PARLIAMENT: THE HOUSE OF COMMONS 1422-1461, edited by Linda Clark, is out now. For further … Continue reading Real or imagined? Fifteenth-century MPs as perpetrators of violence

Violent times? MPs as victims of murder in the mid-fifteenth century

Today Dr Simon Payling of the 1422-1504 Section explores the murders of MPs in the mid-fifteenth century… The completion of a set of History of Parliament volumes, in this case those for the reign of Henry VI (1422-61), provides an opportunity to answer some statistical questions.  How often, for example, did MPs fall victim to murder?  In the modern era, such murders, whether of sitting … Continue reading Violent times? MPs as victims of murder in the mid-fifteenth century