‘You’d better accept you’ll have to concentrate on domestic politics for now’ – gender bias in the post-war Commons

As Women’s History Month reaches a close, Dr Emma Peplow, lead coordinator of our Oral History Project, looks back through our interview archive to explore a theme often discussed by female interviewees: gender bias in the post-war House of Commons… For many of the former female MPs interviewed for our oral history project, their experiences in Parliament seem to be both as insiders and outsiders … Continue reading ‘You’d better accept you’ll have to concentrate on domestic politics for now’ – gender bias in the post-war Commons

‘The only place that can heighten my enjoyment of my friends’: The literary coterie at Wrest Park

In 1740, the duke of Kent unusually made his granddaughter, Jemima Campbell, the benefactor of his estate at Wrest Park on the condition that she married his choice of husband, Philip Yorke (later 2nd earl of Hardwicke). Despite being an arranged marriage, it was a highly successful union. Upon inheriting Wrest, Jemima, Philip and their friends went on to form their own literary group, ‘Wrestiana’, … Continue reading ‘The only place that can heighten my enjoyment of my friends’: The literary coterie at Wrest Park

‘Duely sensible of their obligation’: the role of women in Georgian election balls

With general elections back in the news, the Georgian Lords welcomes back Hillary Burlock for the second part of her series on the importance of dance and the participation of women in 18th-century electoral contests. Much of Georgian electioneering played out in the public, ‘masculine’ theatre of the hustings and city streets; yet the ballroom, too, was an intensely political arena. Politicians understood the political … Continue reading ‘Duely sensible of their obligation’: the role of women in Georgian election balls

A female politician? Lady Derby and mid-Victorian political life

Continuing our series on Women and Parliament, Dr. Jennifer Davey of the University of East Anglia looks at the influence of Mary, Countess of Derby (1824-1900) within the worlds of high politics and diplomacy. Lady Derby is the subject of her recent book, Mary, Countess of Derby, and the politics of Victorian Britain (OUP, 2019). In May 1893, The Spectator printed a long article reflecting … Continue reading A female politician? Lady Derby and mid-Victorian political life

Women and the municipal franchise

Continuing our series on ‘Women and Parliament’, Dr. Kathryn Rix, Assistant Editor of the House of Commons, 1832-1945 project, looks at a landmark reform to the municipal franchise in 1869. Today – 2nd August – marks 150 years since the 1869 Municipal Franchise Act received royal assent. This measure widened the municipal franchise for the town councils created in 1835 by reducing the amount of … Continue reading Women and the municipal franchise

The Missing Duchess

In the latest blog for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley, senior research fellow on the Lords 1715-90 section, considers the significance of one of the central characters of the court of Queen Anne who failed to make it into the film, The Favourite The Oscar and BAFTA winning film, The Favourite, brought Queen Anne’s reign to the attention of the nation. The more observant … Continue reading The Missing Duchess

“Hymen’s war terrific”: George III’s younger sons and the succession crisis of 1817-20

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of a new member of the royal family, Dr Charles Littleton, senior research fellow in the House of Lords 1660-1832 section, considers the circumstances surrounding the birth of Queen Victoria, whose 200th anniversary is celebrated later this month. Two events this May 2019 provide an interesting light on the history of the royal succession. We are expecting (or … Continue reading “Hymen’s war terrific”: George III’s younger sons and the succession crisis of 1817-20

From ‘my charming angel’ to ‘a fool and tool of a party’: The love letters of Mrs Sarah Sidney to Baron Ossulston

In this latest blog post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Charles Littleton, senior research fellow on the Lords 1715-1790 section, considers a surprise find among the personal papers of a Whig peer in the early years of the eighteenth century. Historical gems can turn up in unexpected places and in initially unpromising sources. Charles Bennet, 2nd Baron Ossulston, is a case in point. In the … Continue reading From ‘my charming angel’ to ‘a fool and tool of a party’: The love letters of Mrs Sarah Sidney to Baron Ossulston

A night in Parliament: Militant Suffragettes and Parliament

We are delighted to post this guest blog in our Women and Parliament series from one of the public historians who has been at the forefront of activities to commemorate the centenary of the first women winning the right to vote in this country. Vicky Iglikowski-Broad, Diverse Histories Records Specialist at The National Archives (TNA) gives us an account, based on the collections at TNA, … Continue reading A night in Parliament: Militant Suffragettes and Parliament

Women behind the polls: the electoral patronage of Anne St John, countess of Rochester

Earlier this month the History of Parliament Trust with partners UK Parliament’s Vote 100 project and the Schools of Humanities at the University of Westminster held a conference to mark the centenary of the passing of the 1918 legislation that formally accorded women the right to sit in Parliament. It is in this context, and as a follow-up to her previous blog on female voters … Continue reading Women behind the polls: the electoral patronage of Anne St John, countess of Rochester