‘True Blue’: the choice of political colours in the 18th century
The History of Parliament
by Kirsty O'Rourke
5d ago
In British politics, we are now used to the idea of certain parties (or causes) being associated with particular colours. The Conservative party is blue; Labour red; the Greens are green. In the 18th century such notions were by no means fixed and on occasion groups made a point of appropriating their opponents’ colours as Dr Robin Eagles, editor of our Lords 1715-1790 project, explains. There are numerous ways in which people have asserted their political loyalties. This might be through language: for a Tory the ledge above their fireplace was a mantlepiece, for a Whig, a chimneypie ..read more
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75 Years of the National Health Service: A Political History of Health and Healthcare in Britain
The History of Parliament
by Kirsty O'Rourke
1w ago
In September, the History of Parliament celebrated our latest publication with St James’s House to commemorate 75 years of the NHS at Westminster Abbey. Paul Seaward, Director of the History of Parliament, discusses the contents of the book and how to access it for free. The cloisters of Westminster Abbey. (c) St James’s House We’re delighted to say that our latest publication with St James’s House is now freely available online. Hardback and paperback versions can be obtained as well. The book is our contribution to the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the National Health Service ..read more
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Parliamentarian or Not?
The History of Parliament
by conniejeffery
1w ago
Thank you to everyone who visited the History of Parliament stand at the Institute of Historical Research History Day 2023! If you would like to find out more about our research, send an email to website@histparl.ac.uk. But you’ve come to this page to find out the answers to the quiz- so which of these famous names sat in Parliament? Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Museums and Galleries via ArtUK Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400), author of The Canterbury Tales… Yes! Chaucer was elected as knight of the shire for Kent in 1386. Find out more about Chaucer’s political career on our website, here. Richar ..read more
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Post-Mortem by Print: Reflections on the Death of Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland
The History of Parliament
by Kirsty O'Rourke
1w ago
In the latest Revolutionary Stuart Parliaments blog, guest blogger William Poulter, a postgraduate researcher at the University of Leeds, discusses how the death of Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland in 1643 was memorialised decades later during the Restoration of the monarchy. Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), Lucius Cary (1609/1610–1643), Second Viscount Falkland. St John’s College, University of Cambridge. Lucius Cary, Viscount Falkland [S], was killed fighting for the king in the English Civil War on 20 September 1643. Explanations for his death range from suicide to an accident of curios ..read more
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Women in charge? Parliament’s female Housekeepers and Necessary Women, c. 1690-1877
The History of Parliament
by pmhunneyball
2w ago
Ahead of next Tuesday’s Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Mari Takayanagi, senior archivist in the UK Parliamentary Archives, and Elizabeth Hallam Smith, historical research consultant at the Houses of Parliament. On 28 November they will discuss the women who once operated behind the scenes at the House of Lords… The seminar takes place on 28 November 2023, between 5:30 and 6.30 p.m. It is fully ‘hybrid’, which means you can attend either in-person in London at the IHR, or online via Zoom. Details of how to join the discussion are available here. From the 17th to 19th cen ..read more
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The Civil War and the First Age of Party
The History of Parliament
by Kirsty O'Rourke
3w ago
May 2023 saw the publication of the History of Parliament House of Commons 1640-1660 volumes. This research has uncovered that many of the political identities, behaviours and structures that constitute a recognisable party-political system first came together during this time. Dr David Scott, editor of the House of Lords 1640-1660 section, explains... On trial for his life in 1662, the former parliamentarian statesman Sir Henry Vane referred to the ‘most great and unusual Changes and Revolutions’ of the mid-seventeenth century (The Tryal of Sir Henry Vane (1662), 40). For him, the p ..read more
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Identifying the Attlee Family Cars: Prime Ministers’ Props
The History of Parliament
by Martin Spychal
3w ago
To coincide with the third BBC Radio 4 series of Prime Ministers’ Props, our senior research fellow, Dr Martin Spychal, discusses the intriguing (and still partially inconclusive) research journey behind identifying the cars used on the campaign trail by Clement and Violet Attlee… Over the past few years I’ve worked as a researcher on the BBC Radio 4 series Prime Ministers’ Props, presented by Sir David Cannadine and produced by Melissa Fitzgerald. By the end of the third series we’ll have discussed how fifteen different prime ministers, for various reasons, became associated with a prop (usua ..read more
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‘There is not a Minister on this Side, that knows any Thing I either write or intend, excepting the Master of the Rolls and Sir George Radcliffe’: Wentworth’s reliance on his cabal in the Irish Parliaments of Charles I’s reign
The History of Parliament
by pmhunneyball
1M ago
Ahead of next Tuesday’s Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Charlotte Brownhill of the Open University. On 14 November Charlotte will discuss the management of Irish parliaments in the 1630s and 1640s. The seminar takes place between 5:30 and 6.30 p.m. You can attend online via Zoom. Details of how to join the discussion are available here. Sir Thomas Wentworth (later earl of Strafford) served as an MP in English parliaments held during the reigns of James I and Charles I. But by the end of the 1620s, Wentworth had ‘changed sides’ from parliamentary champion to court supp ..read more
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Catherine Despard (c.1755-1815): Wife, Mother, Radical advocate 
The History of Parliament
by Kirsty O'Rourke
1M ago
You may have heard of Catherine Despard from the television series Poldark. In this blog Helen Wilson, PhD candidate with the History of Parliament and Open University, who is researching the Black and Mixed Ethnicity Presence in British Politics, 1750-1850, discusses Catherine’s marriage to Edward Despard and their status as an interracial couple involved in radical campaigns. The Despard conspiracy occurred in early 1802 and was led by Colonel Edward Marcus Despard (1751-1803), an Irish army officer and Catherine’s husband. They had met possibly in Jamaica or while Edward was stationed at th ..read more
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Bishop Jewel and the lost archdeaconry
The History of Parliament
by conniejeffery
1M ago
Many Elizabethan bills which failed to become Acts of Parliament don’t now survive, and little is known about them except their titles. But two lost bills to annex Dorset to the diocese of Salisbury shed new light on one of Reformation England’s most bizarre sagas. Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section explains… Medieval English dioceses varied considerably in size, some being much bigger than others and consequently more difficult to administer. The dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII provided an opportunity to redraw the map, and between 1540 and 1542 six new bishoprics ..read more
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