News and Events

See below for our latest news, events and publications.

You can also:

- Follow the History on Twitter (@HistParl) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HistoryOfParliament)

- Follow our 1832-68 ‘Victorian Commons’ section on Twitter (@TheVictCommons)

- Read our History of Parliament blog, the Victorian Commons blog and our Director’s blog.

- See the current programme of our 'Parliaments, Politics and People' Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research

Our 2019 undergraduate dissertation competition is now open!

Does your department have an outstanding undergraduate essay on British or Irish parliamentary or political history? If so, we want to hear from you. The prize for the winning entry is £250 and tour of the Houses of Parliament. The closing date for entries is 31 July 2019.

We accept one entry per history department and entries must be entered by staff not students. 

Full details on how to enter can be found here 

Please contact Sammy Sturgess at ssturgess@histparl.ac.uk with any questions.

The History of Parliament Trust and the Devon and Cornwall Record Society are delighted to invite you to our joint conference ‘The South West and Parliament’. It takes place on Saturday 11th May in St Stephen’s Church, High Street Exeter, from 10am to 4pm.

Four presentations across the day will explore aspects of the relationships between Cornwall, Devon and Parliament over five centuries.

  • Hannes Kleineke, "The beginning of troubles": the parliamentary representation of Devon and Cornwall during the crisis years 1449-1453
  • Stephen Roberts, Cornwall, Devon, Parliament and the English Civil War, 1640-48
  • Robin Eagles, "Nothing should have tempted me to concern myself with such an affair": Devon and Cornwall and the opposition to Walpole and the Pelhams c.1727-1760
  • Martin Spychal, The representation of Devon and Cornwall after reform, 1832-68

To book please send a cheque for £10 by the 4th May payable to: The Devon and Cornwall Record Society. Address: The Cottage in Hayes, Cheriton Fitzpaube, EX17 4JG. Please include an email address or stamped SAE for acknowledgement if required.

Alternatively email: elly.babbedge@hotmail.co.uk for more information.

We hope you can join us!

Thanks to National Lottery players and the Heritage Lottery Fund the History of Parliament Trust has produced a pack of Key Stage 3 History materials about the life and politcal campaigns of Colonel Josiah Clement Wedgwood. 

We've used Wedgwood life as a starting point to explore wider themes in the KS3 History curriculum that relate to international politics in the 1930s. All of the resources are available for FREE and downloadable from the Schools section of our website.

Check out this short video for more on the pack's content:

For further details or with questions please contact, Sammy Sturgess: ssturgess@histparl.ac.uk 

The History of Parliament Trust is delighted to invite you to our annual lecture on Wednesday 20th March in the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, Westminster, from 6pm to 8:30pm.

Paul Seaward will give this year's lecture, 'Time and the Commons, or a Brief History of Parliamentary Time'.

It is no accident that the most familiar symbols of Parliament are its clock and its bell, which (with their predecessors) have marked time in central London for hundreds of years.

All institutions are defined by time, in one way or another: Government and Parliament are driven by cycles of elections, annual sessions, and the legislative timetable. But the sense of the pressure of time is especially pervasive in political assemblies. Time is the resource that Parliament spends; battles such as those over the ‘obstruction’ of the Irish party in the 1880s or resistance to Liberal reforms after 1906 underline that the opportunity both to spend it, and to stop it being spent, are the keys to control of what it does.

This lecture looks at how governments, oppositions and individual members have tried since the sixteenth century to manage or manipulate the time available, and how their efforts have been constrained and moulded by many other ways of spending (and misspending) it.

Sign up for free and find out more here.

The History of Parliament's latest project, ‘Commemorating Josiah C. Wedgwood’, is looking to commission a video producer to create a short videofor the schools section of the HPT's website (3-5 minutes long) to promote a pack of Key Stage 3 educational materials about early twentieth century parliamentarian, Josiah C. Wedgwood. You will be working with Public Engagement Officer and project manager, Sammy Sturgess. You'll work collaboratively on the script, be required to do some filming at our Bloomsbury Square offices, and edit the video. We envisage the project will take 2-3 days to complete.

Please see the attached brief for further details.

Please register your interest with Sammy Sturgess (ssturgess@histparl.ac.uk, 020 7467 9810) by Monday 7th January 2019 for immediate start.

The History of Parliament Trust, in association with The Co-operative Party, is delighted to invite you to join us at a panel discussion to mark the landmark election of 1918 and its consequential broader representation within the Parliament of 1919.

This free event will take place on Wednesday 16th January in the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, Westminster, from 6pm to 8:30pm.

Following the passing of the Representation of the People Act and the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act in 1918, the electorate was vastly expanded.  This led to a number of firsts in the so-called ‘coupon’ election of 1918 including; the first women candidates, the first elected woman MP, Constance Markievicz (although she didn’t take her seat) and the first Co-operative party MP, Alfred Waterson.

Join us for a lively discussion and Q&A to explore this wider representation with papers presented by: Angela Whitecross on the early Co-operative Party and Alfred Waterson MP, Edward Madigan on Sinn Fein and Constance Markievicz and Krista Cowman on Women’s Voting Experiences.

To find out more and to sign up click here.

Join the German Historical Institute London and the History of Parliament Trust in Bloomsbury Square on 14 December 2018 (0930-1700) for a free one-day workshop disscussing mass media, news and communications in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

The morning will be hosted by the History of Parliament Trust, 18 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NS, with the afternoon being hosted by our neighbours at the German Historical Institute London, 17 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NJ. The full programme can be found here

Lunch and refreshments are included.

Please register you attendance with GHIL's events officer, Carole Sterckx on sterckx@ghil.ac.uk

The History of Parliament Trust and IHR's Parliaments, Politics and People seminar would like to invite you to a round table discussion on digital humanities and political history, in memory of the Trust's former director, Valerie Cromwell. Valerie, who founded the parliamentary history seminar at the IHR, was an early enthusiast for computing and recognised its potential to transform parliamentary history, long before digital humanities became a discipline in itself. With expertise ranging from the medieval to the modern, the panel will consider the impact of digital humanities on the practice of political history, the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, materiality and digital sources, as well as the management and development of digital humanities projects. Speakers: Dr Hannes Kleineke (History of Parliament, Commons 1422-1504), Dr Ruth Ahnert (Queen Mary/Tudor Networks of Power), Professor Arthur Burns (King’s College London/ Georgian Papers Programme), and Professor Jane Winters (Professor of Digital Humanities, School of Advanced Study).


With questions or enquiries about the event please contact Martin Spychal, seminar convenor at the History of Parliament Trust on mspychal@histparl.ac.uk

The History of Parliament Trust has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £5,300 to mark the 75th anniversary of the death of its founder, Josiah C. Wedgwood, in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme, the parliamentary constituency he served for nearly forty years. From September this year we will celebrate Wedgwood’s passionate campaigning life and his fight for liberal democracy in a world threatened by totalitarianism. The project has also received the generous support of The Remembering Eleanor Rathbone Group and UK Parliament.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, ‘Commemorating Josiah C. Wedgwood’ will tour an exhibition on Wedgwood’s life and campaigns against fascism around Staffordshire. Originally displayed in the Houses of Parliament, the exhibition has been created with the support of the UK Parliament’s Curator’s Office and the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art. It will be accompanied by talks and events exploring aspects of Wedgwood’s life, including a workshop and public event in partnership with the School of Humanities at Keele University in November. The project will also provide local schools with resources focussing on the crises of the 1930s through the eyes of an important local figure, and run a competition for local schoolchildren based on the resources.

‘Jos’ was one of the famous pottery Wedgwoods, and dedicated to the history of Staffordshire and his parliamentary constituency of Newcastle-under-Lyme. His founding of the History of Parliament project in the 1930s was inspired by his interest in Staffordshire’s history and his deep commitment to parliamentary democracy. During this period he campaigned fiercely against totalitarianism, working tirelessly to protect refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe, and attacking government policy on Fascism, Nazism and anti-Semitism alongside allies such as Eleanor Rathbone MP. 2018 is both the 75th anniversary of his death and the 80th anniversary of the Munich agreement, a perfect opportunity to remember a passionate local MP in his former constituency.

Dr Stephen Roberts, Director of the History of Parliament Trust, said ‘We are thrilled to be able to commemorate the life of our founder and share some of his most passionate campaigns with the people of his former constituency thanks to the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.’

The current MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, Paul Farrelly, said ‘The events organised by the History of Parliament Trust have been wonderful in highlighting the contributions Josiah C. Wedgwood made towards the fight for freedom and against the murderous tyranny of fascism in Europe. He was also the longest serving MP for Newcastle in the 20th century by far, and next year we’ll mark another anniversary - the centenary of when Colonel Wedgwood left the Liberal party and joined Labour’s ranks.’

For more information about the project, please contact us.

The History of Parliament's latest project, ‘Commemorating Josiah C. Wedgwood’, is looking to commission a teacher or educational professional to help us develop schools resources based on our project. We are looking to create resources to cover the history Key Stage Three syllabus, based on the political campaigning of Josiah C. Wedgwood against fascism and appeasement in the 1930s. The teaching resources will be available for teachers to download from the website, and form the basis for a schools competition.

We expect the work to take around eight days to complete, and would like it to be prepared in time for the new school year in September if possible, or as soon as possible thereafter. For further details, please see the attached brief.
Please register your interest with Sammy Sturgess (ssturgess@histparl.ac.uk, 020 7467 9810) by Friday 3 August 2018.

Applications are invited for the post of Senior Drupal Web Developer at the History of Parliament Trust for a fixed term of two years. The postholder will work in close association with the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. They will be responsible for the security, maintenance, development and redesign of the websites of the History of Parliament Trust.

Please click here for further particulars and how to apply. The deadline for the receipt of applications is Friday 6th July 2018.   

Please click here to download the application form as a Word document.