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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

Parliaments and Popular Sovereignty: Political Representation in the British world, 1640-1886

The People’s History Museum, Manchester; The History of Parliament; and Durham University are collaborating to host a conference on Parliaments and Popular Sovereignty on 17-18 November 2017.

The 150th anniversary of the 1867 Reform Act, which made important strides towards the inclusion of working people amongst the electorate, is an occasion for wider reflection on the claims for – and of – parliaments to be truly representative of the people. We wish to facilitate discussion across the traditional boundaries of early modern and modern history and to include the Irish parliament and legislatures of British colonies – as well as those excluded from them – alongside the houses of parliament in Westminster.

The Call for Papers is now open, you can see it here. Final date for paper submissions is 25 April 2017.

For more details about the conference, please visit the conference website at parliamentsandpopularsovereigntyconference.wordpress.com/

The conference is generously supported by the Royal Historical Society, History of Parliament Trust, Durham University Department of History & the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies.

A Century of Women MPs Conference: London, 6-7 September 2018

November 2018 marks one hundred years since the passage of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act. This Act together with the Representation of the People Act, passed early in the same year enabled women to participate in the December 1918 election as both voters and candidates for the first time. Constance Markievicz was elected, but did not sit, and so Nancy Astor, elected at a by-election the following year, became the first woman sitting MP. ‘A Century of Women MPs’ is a major international conference, hosted in London by Parliament’s Vote 100 project, the History of Parliament Trust and the University of Westminster, which will explore the experiences, contributions and achievements of women MPs, the challenges they faced, and debates and issues around gender and representation. The conference will include contributions from previous and current women MPs and from scholars from a variety of disciplines working in the field. It will be of interest to politicians, policymakers, women’s organisations and those working in disciplines such as history, politics and sociology.

More information and the call for papers will be available later in 2017. In the meantime, please save the conference dates: 6-7 September 2018. We look forward to seeing you there.

The History of Parliament’s 12th annual lecture will take place on the evening of Wednesday, 7th December 2016 at Portcullis House, Westminster. Professor the Lord Morgan FBA will mark the anniversary of the crisis that led to David Lloyd George becoming Prime Minister with his lecture: ‘7 December 1916: Asquith, Lloyd George and the crisis of Liberalism’.

Professor Morgan has written biographies of Lloyd George, Keir Hardie, James Callaghan, and Michael Foot, and many other works on contemporary British political history, including Labour in Power 1945-1951, The People's Peace, and Ages of Reform. His Oxford Illustrated History of Britain has sold over 750,000 copies. He is a trustee of the History of Parliament Trust.

The lecture is free and open to the public but you will need a ticket to do so. If you would like to attend this lecture, please sign up on the Eventbrite page.

Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington, was one of the foremost figures at the court of Charles II. Rising from being the second son of a Middlesex gentleman to secretary of state, lord chamberlain and a member of the House of Lords, Arlington’s career embraced diplomacy, parliamentary politics and patronage of the arts. In spite of this he is perhaps the least well known member of the infamous CABAL. Now, just over a hundred years since the publication of the principal study of Arlington’s life, a new conference organized by Dr Coleman Dennehy and Dr Robin Eagles will seek to reappraise his importance.

The conference will take place at University College London on Saturday 19 November 2016. The conference programme and details on how to register are now available to download here.

For more details email Dr Robin Eagles (reagles@histparl.ac.uk) or Dr Coleman Dennehy (coleman.dennehy@ucd.ie)

This Parliament Week, 14-20 November 2016, the History of Parliament will bring you two virtual events to help you explore Parliament’s history.

Throughout the week we’ll be blogging on ‘unlikely parliamentarians’ – the men and women across history who became parliamentarians only unexpectedly. These blogs will feature some of the History of Parliament’s latest research and cover the 15th century to the present day.

Follow us on https://thehistoryofparliament.wordpress.com/ or find us on twitter (@HistParl) to read these blogs.  

And: on Tuesday 15th November, 4-5pm, a panel of our experts will gather to answer your questions on parliamentary history. They’ll do their best to answer every question you might want to know, for example:

‘Who was the longest serving parliamentarian?’

‘Why do the Commons shut the door on Black Rod during the Queen’s Speech?’

‘When did my town first become represented in Parliament?'

Join us on twitter @HistParl for the answers, and why not put your question to the experts now using #histparlQ&A

 

 

The Parliamentary History Essay Prize, worth £400, is offered in 2017 for the best essay submitted on an historical subject related to the history of parliaments and representative institutions in Britain, Ireland, and British colonial dependencies. The prize is restricted to early career researchers (individuals within eight years of the award of their PhD, or within six years of their first academic appointment, excluding any period of career break). The essay must be a work of original research, not already accepted for publication. The text should not exceed 8,000 words. The closing date for submissions is 15 Oct. 2017, and entries should be sent to the joint-editor, Professor David Hayton, at d.hayton@qub.ac.uk. The winning essay will be published in Parliamentary History.

Lord Cormack has decided to retire as chairman of the History of Parliament Trust, a position he has held since 2001, having been a Trustee since 1983. The Trustees have elected in his place Gordon Marsden MP, a Trustee and member of the Trust’s executive, who has been the Member of Parliament for Blackpool South since 1997.  Mr Marsden is the co-Chair of Parliament's All-Party Arts and Heritage Group and a former Editor of the magazine History Today.

He said 'it is a great privilege to chair the History of Parliament Trust as Patrick Cormack 's successor.  I am delighted to be taking over at a time when his huge contribution in the chair over the past fifteen years  has left us with the Trust far more prominent today both within Parliament and outside it. This has included presiding over three major publications, the initiation of our  extensive and expanding oral history project, the republication of our articles online and successful collaboration with outside bodies, both academic and in the media, including a highly successful publication for the 800th anniversary, in 2015, of Magna Carta.'

'This mirrors the expanding and ongoing engagement of Parliament and its other institutions with schools, education, the wider world and the general public which is taking place.  Communicating the scholarship and other activities of the Trust as broadly as possible is a crucial part of demonstrating the relevance and centrality of Parliament both to 21st century Britain and to democracy internationally'

I very much look forward  therefore  to helping develop that work , building on Patrick Cormack 's legacy , with the help and enthusiasm of  our Trustees, Editorial Board, and Director Paul Seaward all the staff and volunteers of the Trust and with all those working in Parliament on valuing its heritage and history'

The History of Parliament is publishing its first volumes covering the House of Lords.

The House of Lords, 1660-1715 is out on Tuesday, 5th July 2016. With 716 biographies of members of the House from the scandalous duke of Buckingham and the murderous Lord Mohun to the horseracing statesman Lord Godolphin, it’s the most comprehensive treatment of the institution at what may have been its most important period.

These volumes complement the History’s previously published work on The Commons, 1660-1690 and The Commons, 1690-1715, and with them we have a more complete and detailed picture of the personnel and work of Parliament in the late Stuart period than ever before. This publication will make it possible to explore remarkably closely not only the operation of the political world of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, but also its social, economic and cultural world.

To order your copy of the House of Lords 1660-1715, currently available at special introductory price, please visit Cambridge University Press.

To mark publication of The House of Lords 1660-1715, we are also offering our highly illustrated introduction to the period for only £15. Visit Boydell here and quote promotional code BB065 at check out.

For some tasters of the material uncovered, see our blog series on our findings, including the House of Lords and sports, families and duels.

The History of Parliament has a vacancy for an office manager. The successful candidate will manage our premises and office facilities and provide general administration services to support our research activities. The post is part time (0.6FTE) and for a fixed term of one year.

Further particulars and application form can be downloaded here in pdf format, or in word format.

Closing date for applications is Friday 1st July 2016.

It is now just over a century since the publication of Violet Barbour's still outstanding study of Charles II's minister, Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington. Since then, despite having been a commanding presence at the court of Charles II as secretary of state and latterly as lord chamberlain, a significant cultural patron and father-in-law to one of the king's illegitimate children, Arlington has been largely neglected by the historiography of the period. Somewhat lost in the murky world of the 'CABAL', and overshadowed by better-known figures such as the duke of Buckingham and earl of Shaftesbury, he has featured prominently only in a handful of publications.

In the last few years, though, Arlington has enjoyed something of a revival thanks in part to the work of Helen Jacobsen, and this conference aims to build on Jacobsen's work by extending the reappraisal of Arlington to the many areas in which he was important in the period. As a figure with close ties to Spain and the Low Countries as well as to England and Ireland, we would welcome proposals from scholars of both English, Irish and European history working in the area of Parliament, local politics, diplomacy, the court and cultural patronage.

It is expected that the conference will be held at UCL on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November. Among the anticipated speakers are Alan Marshall (Bath Spa, author of Arlington's life in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography) and Anna Keay (Director of the Landmark Trust and author of The Magnificent Monarch: Charles II and the ceremonies of Power).

Please address proposals for 20-minute papers and/or panels to the organizers: Dr Robin Eagles (History of Parliament/UCL) and Dr Coleman Dennehy (UCD/UCL). The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2016.

Details are now available for The History of Parliament's dissertation competition 2016. The Trust will award a prize of £250 to the best undergraduate dissertation presented in 2016 on a subject relating to British or Irish parliamentary or political history before 1997. Parliamentary History has agreed to consider publication in the Journal for the winning dissertation (the decision to publish or not will be at the discretion of the editor of Parliamentary History, who may ask for appropriate amendments).

We invite university history departments to enter one dissertation which they consider to qualify (we will not accept entries directly from the students themselves). The university departments should send an unbound copy of each dissertation being entered for the prize, together with a completed entry form (available to download here) to ‘History of Parliament Dissertation competition, 18 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NS’.  Copies will not be returned.

The closing date for receipt of entries is 1 August 2016.

For any queries, please contact the competitions email at the History of Parliament: competitions@histparl.ac.uk

For information on 2014 and 2015’s winners, see our recent blogpost.

The details for both of our annual schools competitions are now available! For the twelfth year running we will run competitions for 11-14 year olds (Key Stage Three) and 16-18 year olds (A level students). This year, we have changed the dates of our KS3 competition, to allow schoolchildren to take part across two school years, and the competition is based on our website schools materials.

The winners of both competitions will receive prizes of book tokens or money, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

Our Key Stage Three competition is based on our schools materials, and has two options, each based on one set of materials. Full details, extra resources and rules can be found here.

Option one: The Reformation. We are asking entrants, using the materials on our website and those found in their local area, to write a news story on the importance of one of the Kings or Queens to the Reformation.

Option two: Political Reform. We are asking entrants, using the materials on our website, to write a newspaper article either for or against one of the major reform acts (1832 Reform Act; 1867 Reform Act; 1872 Ballot Act).

The winners of the competition will receive a prize of book tokens, and be invited with their families and teachers to Westminster to receive their prize. The closing date for the competition this year is 1 December 2016, provided that students meet the criteria noted in the rules. This will allow entries from across two school years.

For full details on how to enter, competition rules, and for resources for students, click here.

Our Sixth Form competition is again an essay competition, with the prize awarded to the best essay on a subject of the candidate's own choice related to the parliamentary or political history of Britain and Ireland.
The winner will receive a cash prize and again be invited to Westminster to receive this. Again, the closing date is after the summer holidays to give students who have just finished their GCSEs and are preparing for their A Levels a chance to enter as well. The closing date is 30 September 2016.

For full details on competition rules and how to enter, click here.

Good luck to all the entrants!

The History of Parliament’s schools competition enters its twelfth year in 2016. The winners will receive prizes of book tokens, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

The prize will be awarded for the best essay on a subject of the candidate's own choice related to the parliamentary or political history of Britain and Ireland. Although candidates for essays covering the period before 1832 are encouraged to look at and use the material on the History of Parliament’s website it is not required that they should do so. Essays should be of not less than two thousand words and not more than four thousand words. Essays should be typed, or clearly hand-written, on one side of the paper only.

The closing date for this competition is 30 September 2016. Students who are currently studying for their GCSEs and planning to begin A level studies in 2016 are welcome to enter.

Competition rules:

1. The winner of the competition will receive a prize of £100. The winner will be invited to visit the Palace of Westminster with up to two other members of their family, and a member of the school’s staff for the presentation of the prizes (the History will pay reasonable travel/accommodation expenses for the student and accompanying members of his/her family: normally expenses will be limited to a maximum of £300, and we regret that we cannot pay the travel or accommodation expenses of any accompanying school staff). 

2. The competition is open to any student at a UK school or college, preparing to study or currently studying for AS or A2 levels (years 11, 12 and 13), who will not have passed his or her 19th birthday by 30th September 2016.

3. Essays should be submitted by a school, and no school should submit more than four essays.

4. Essays should be of not less than two thousand words and not more than four thousand words. Essays should be typed, or clearly hand-written, on one side of the paper only

5. All entries must have securely attached to them a sheet of paper stating:

a) The candidate’s name
b) The candidate’s school and its address, with a telephone or email contact for the school, and email contact for the candidate, if they have left school.
c) The candidate’s age at 30 September 2016
d) A declaration, signed by the teacher, saying that the work is all the candidate’s own.

(We regret that entries cannot be individually acknowledged, and will not be returned after the competition.)

6. Entries should be sent to:

History of Parliament competition
18 Bloomsbury Square
LONDON WC1A 2NS

Or to the competition email account:

Competitions@histparl.ac.uk

(If sending entries by email, please send one email per individual entry)

7. Entries must be received by 30 September 2016.

8. Judging will be by a panel appointed by the History of Parliament.  Their decision will be final, and no correspondence can be entered into.

9. For each competition there will be one winner, although the judges may make special commendations if they think fit.

For any queries, please contact us at Competitions@histparl.ac.uk

The History of Parliament’s schools competition enters its twelfth year in 2016. The winners will receive prizes of book tokens, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

This year, we have changed the dates of our Key Stage Three (KS3) competition, to allow schoolchildren to take part across two school years. The closing date for this year’s competition is 1 December 2016.   Those entering the competition must meet the criteria as noted below.

Our KS3 competition has two options, both based on our website’s schools section and teaching materials. These materials are specially adapted from our research and include schemes of works for teachers.

Option 1: The Reformation

There were no newspapers during the time of the Reformation, but imagine that there were. Entrants are asked to write a short newspaper report on the importance of one of the Kings or Queens to the period of religious change and the Reformation. They can also include information from their local area – perhaps including what happened to a local monastery or religious building. Students are advised to make use of our schools materials on the Reformation (with teachers’ guidance available here).

Henry VIII as Supreme Head of the English church, from Foxe's Book of Martyrs © The Trustees of the British Museum 1973 U 219This option has been taken from the ‘extended activities’ section of our Learning activities: guidance.

For more information about the Reformation, see our website materials. In particular, you can find out information about the Kings and Queens of this period, and their parliaments in our ‘Reformation: Parliaments’ section.

You can also find out more about your local area during this period on our website in the 1509-1558 constituencies and 1558-1603 constituencies sections (full website).

Image: Henry VIII as Supreme Head of the English church, from Foxe's Book of Martyrs © The Trustees of the British Museum 1973 U 219

 

Option 2: Political Reform

The resources include specially-written articles that explore how Britain changed from a country where political power was held by a few privileged people to one much more democratic – at least if you were a man! They include information on several of the important reform acts, such as the 1832 Reform Act (see Lesson 2: 1832 Reform Act) and the 1867 Reform Act and the 1872 Ballot Act (see Lesson 4: 1867 Reform Act & 1872 Ballot Act).

Entrants should choose one of these reform acts, and write a newspaper article about them either for a pro-Reform paper or an anti-Reform paper.

Image: A Victorian political cartoon

Information can be found throughout our Political Reform schools materials, but these articles should be particularly useful for the 1832 Reform Act:

1830-32 Parliaments
Lord John Russell
Sir Richard Vyvyan
Bristol
Birmingham

And the following for the 1867 Reform Act and the 1872 Ballot Act:

1865-68 Parliament
John Stuart Mill
John Bright
Marylebone
Pontefract

There are also specific teaching resources and lesson plans, including lessons focussing specifically on these reform acts, available for teachers here.

The closing date for the competition is 1 December 2016. Good luck!

Competition rules:

1. For individual entries, the winner of the competition will receive a prize of a book token for £75.  The winner will be invited to visit the Palace of Westminster with up to two other members of their family, and a member of the school staff, for the presentation of the prizes (the History will pay reasonable travel/accommodation expenses for the student and accompanying members of his/her family: normally expenses will be limited to a maximum of £300, and we regret that we cannot pay the travel or accommodation expenses of any accompanying school staff).

2. The competition is open to any student at a UK school or college who will not have passed his or her 15th birthday by 31st August 2016.

3. All entries must be accompanied by the following information, securely attached to or associated with the entry

a) The candidate’s name
b) The candidate’s school and its address, with a telephone or email contact for the school
c) The candidate’s age at 31 August 2016
d) A declaration, signed by the teacher, saying that the work, including any photographs submitted, is all the candidate’s own.

4. We regret that entries cannot be individually acknowledged, and will not be returned after the competition.

5. Some entries may be used on www.historyofparliamentonline.org: those whose entries are used in this way will be contacted.

6. Entries should be sent to:
                  History of Parliament competition
                  18 Bloomsbury Square
                  LONDON WC1A 2NS


             Or to the competition email account:

                 Competitions@histparl.ac.uk
           (If sending entries by email, please send one email per individual entry)

7. Entries must be received by 1 December 2016.

8. Judging will be by a panel appointed by the History of Parliament.  Their decision will be final, and no correspondence can be entered into.

9. For each competition there will be one winner, although the judges may make special commendations if they think fit.

For any queries, please contact us at Competitions@histparl.ac.uk

The History of Parliament has a vacancy for an administrator. The successful candidate will be responsible for all aspects of the management of the History's finances (including the preparation of statutory annual accounts), the management of its premises and facilities (including IT), and will work closely with the Director on HR matters.

Further particulars and an application form can be downloaded here (pdf) or in word format here.

Closing date for applications is Thursday 31st March 2016.

The programme for our 2016 conference focussing on Parliamentary rhetoric, in partnership with Queen Mary, University of London, ‘Speaking in Parliament: History, Politics, Rhetoric’ has now been announced and registration is open.

The conference will take place over 6-7 April 2016 at Queen Mary, University of London, and will explore the past and present of Parliamentary speaking. Thanks to the presence of television cameras in its debating chambers, the spectacle of Parliament is familiar to everyone who watches the evening news. For those who wish to venture beyond the sound bites, BBC Parliament now offers exhaustive coverage of proceedings in the chambers and committee rooms at Westminster. Yet despite this prominence in the public eye little has been done to assess the impact of parliamentary speaking on the political culture at large and its history as a rhetorical form remains to a large extent unwritten. Parliament’s development as an institution, its changing constitutional role, the political alignment and realignment of party groupings within it, and its contests with organised opinion out of doors have been the theme of many conferences but few have looked closely at one of the activities that most make it distinctive, the practice of speaking itself.

Sessions will cover topics including gender; the impact of forms and procedures on speaking; the representation and reception of speeches; audience; and case studies of individual speakers. Keynote speakers are Professor Richard Toye, University of Exeter, and Professor Alan Finlayson, University of East Anglia. The conference is jointly organised by the History of Parliament and Professor Chris Reid (QMUL), who has published widely on 18th century parliamentary rhetoric.

The conference programme has now been announced and you can download it here: 'Speaking in Parliament' Conference Programme

Registration is now open. You can register until 31st March on the Queen Mary website: 'Speaking in Parliament: History, Politics, Rhetoric'. There is a registration fee of £30.00 for both days or £20.00 for a single day.

The History of Parliament’s 11th annual lecture will take place on the evening of Wednesday, 4th November 2015 at Portcullis House, Westminster. Dr John Maddicott FBA will lecture on ‘Parliament and the People in Medieval England’. Dr Maddicott is Emeritus Fellow in History at Exeter College, Oxford. He is the author of 'The Origins of the English Parliament: 924-1327' (2010) and has recently published 'Founders and Fellowship: The Early History of Exeter College, Oxford, 1314-1592' (2014).

The lecture is free and open to the public but you will need a ticket to do so. If you would like to attend this lecture, please Contact Us or email website@histparl.ac.uk.

In 2016 the History of Parliament will hold, in partnership with Queen Mary, University of London, a conference focussing on Parliamentary rhetoric. ‘Speaking in Parliament: history, politics, rhetoric’ will take place over 6-7 April 2016 at Queen Mary, University of London.

The conference will explore the past and present of Parliamentary speaking. Thanks to the presence of television cameras in its debating chambers, the spectacle of Parliament is familiar to everyone who watches the evening news. For those who wish to venture beyond the sound bites, BBC Parliament now offers exhaustive coverage of proceedings in the chambers and committee rooms at Westminster. Yet despite this prominence in the public eye little has been done to assess the impact of parliamentary speaking on the political culture at large and its history as a rhetorical form remains to a large extent unwritten. Parliament’s development as an institution, its changing constitutional role, the political alignment and realignment of party groupings within it, and its contests with organised opinion out of doors have been the theme of many conferences but few have looked closely at one of the activities that most make it distinctive, the practice of speaking itself.

The conference is jointly organised by the History of Parliament and Professor Chris Reid (QMUL), who has published widely on 18th century parliamentary rhetoric. There will be a registration fee of £30.00 for both days or £20.00 for a single day. It will be an opportunity for practitioners and scholars across a range of disciplines to explore approaches to parliamentary speaking, past and present, in a forum dedicated to that topic.

The conference call for papers is now out. Full details on how to submit a paper are available here. The deadline for conference papers is 30 November 2015, and we hope acceptances will be notified by 31 January 2016.

We are sorry to hear of the sad death of Professor Paul Langford FBA, on Monday 27th July. Paul was Chairman of the Editorial Board of the History, and before that a member of the Board. All at the History would like to convey our deepest sympathies to Professor Langford’s family.

An appreciation of his work will appear here in due course.

The History of Parliament has a vacancy for a research assistant / research fellow on its 1832-1945 House of Commons project. The successful candidate will have a PhD (or be close to completing one) in a relevant area of history or a related field and will join a small team of professional historians writing articles for the 1832-68 volumes and undertaking research on the period after 1832.

Further particulars and an application form can be downloaded here.

An application form can be downloaded here.

Closing date for applications: Monday 27 July 2015.

The annual conference of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions, King’s College, London, Royal Holloway, London, and Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster
London 30th June – 3rd July 2015

Sponsored by The History of Parliament Trust, with support from the UK Parliament, The Magna Carta Trust’s 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee, King’s College London and Royal Holloway, University of London.

Conference registration is now open and preliminary programme announced for the History of Parliament/ICHRPI conference: 'Making Constitutions, Building Parliaments'.

The conference marks two anniversaries of enormous significance in the history of English, and British constitutional and legal history: the 800th anniversary of King John’s acceptance of Magna Carta, the great charter of liberties of the English nation in 1215; and the 750th anniversary of the Parliament summoned by Simon de Montfort in 1265, following his defeat of King Henry III in a civil war which was the culmination of a baronial revolt.

Full details on how to register are available here. Registration is open from now and closes on Monday 22 June 2015.

You may pay for the conference via credit or debit card on via our Eventbrite page. Please note that we will not be able to register you for the conference until we have received payment, so if you cannot pay by credit or debit card and wish to pay by bank transfer, please contact the conference organisers before registering. Unfortunately we cannot accept payment during the conference itself.

A preliminary conference schedule is now also available on the conference website. Please note that this schedule is preliminary and likely to change before the conference begins.

For more information, see the conference’s website or contact us.

For more on the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions see their website.

 

The History of Parliament is delighted to announce the publication of Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons. Hosted by British History Online, the Proceedings provides free online access to the first in a progressive release of the Commons’ debates during the final Parliament of the reign of James I,and now includes material for both February and March 1624. Following the initial release of material on 12 February 2015, the proceedings for March 1624, which cover 26 days, were released on 2 March following. At just under 290,000 words, this is the largest set of monthly proceedings for the Commons, enabling readers, for the first time, to consult the full range of debates during the opening two months of what remains one of the most controversial and puzzling of the early Stuart Parliaments.

The History of Parliament Trust's work on the 1624 parliamentary diaries has been funded by a £97,000 grant from the Leverhulme Trust and additional funding from the Friends of the Yale Center for Parliamentary History and the Mercers’ Company of the City of London. The remainder of the material, covering the month of May, will be released online during the next few months. When completed, the release of the full eighty-four days of Commons’ proceedings covered by the various diaries and journals of the 1624 Parliament will give scholars free online access to over 770,000 words detailing the work of the so-called ‘Happy Parliament’.

Click here to find out more about the 1624 Parliamentary Diaries Project.

Click here to access the text published to date on British History Online.

The details for both schools competitions are now available! For the eleventh year running we will run competitions for 11-14 year olds (Key Stage Three) and 16-18 year olds (sixth formers). This year we have based our Key Stage Three competition on our new KS3 materials on Political Reform.

The winners of both competitions will receive prizes of book tokens or money, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

Our Key Stage Three competition is based on our new materials, and has two options.

Option one: This focusses on the events at ‘Peterloo’ in 1819, when 11 people died in Manchester at a peaceful rally to call for reform of the political system. We ask entrants, using the materials on our website, to write a news story on the events at ‘Peterloo’.

Option two: This focusses on Chartist movement of the 1830s and 1840s, which called for a more democratic system and votes for working men. We ask entrants, using the materials on our website, to write a short article for a newspaper either in favour of Chartism and how the movement tried to achieve its aims, or against it and how it should be stopped.

The winners of the competition will receive a prize of book tokens, and be invited with their families and teachers to Westminster to receive their prize. The closing date for the competition is 30 July 2015.

For full details on how to enter, competition rules, and for resources for students, click here.

Our Sixth Form competition is again an essay competition, with the prize awarded to the best essay on a subject of the candidate's own choice related to the parliamentary or political history of Britain and Ireland.

The winner will receive a cash prize and again be invited to Westminister to receive this. Again, the closing date is after the summer holidays to give students who have just finished their GCSEs and are preparing for their A Levels a chance to enter as well. The closing date is 30 September 2015.

For full details on competition rules and how to enter, click here.

For details of winners of the 2014 competition, click here.

Good luck to all the entrants!

The History of Parliament’s schools competition enters its eleventh year in 2015. The winners will receive prizes of book tokens, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

The prize will be awarded for the best essay on a subject of the candidate's own choice related to the parliamentary or political history of Britain and Ireland. Although candidates for essays covering the period before 1832 are encouraged to look at and use the material on the History of Parliament’s website it is not required that they should do so. Essays should be of not less than two thousand words and not more than four thousand words. Essays should be typed, or clearly hand-written, on one side of the paper only.

The closing date for this competition is 30 September 2015. Students who are currently studying for their GCSEs and planning to begin A level studies in 2015 are welcome to enter.

Competition rules:

1. The winner of the competition will receive a prize of £100. The winner will be invited to visit the Palace of Westminster with up to two other members of their family, and a member of the school’s staff for the presentation of the prizes (the History will pay reasonable travel/accommodation expenses for the student and accompanying members of his/her family: we regret that we cannot pay the travel or accommodation expenses of any accompanying school staff). 

2. The competition is open to any student at a UK school or college, preparing to study or currently studying for AS or A2 levels (years 11, 12 and 13), who will not have passed his or her 19th birthday by 30th September 2015.

3. Essays should be submitted by a school, and no school should submit more than four essays.

4. Essays should be of not less than two thousand words and not more than four thousand words. Essays should be typed, or clearly hand-written, on one side of the paper only

5. All entries must have securely attached to them a sheet of paper stating:

a) The candidate’s name
b) The candidate’s school and its address, with a telephone or email contact for the school, and email contact for the candidate, if they have left school.
c) The candidate’s age at 30 September 2015
d) A declaration, signed by the teacher, saying that the work is all the candidate’s own.

(We regret that entries cannot be individually acknowledged, and will not be returned after the competition.)

6.Entries should be sent to:

History of Parliament competition
18 Bloomsbury Square
LONDON WC1A 2NS

Or to the competition email account:

Competitions@histparl.ac.uk
(If sending entries by email, please send one email per individual entry)

7. Entries must be received by 30 September 2015.

8. Judging will be by a panel appointed by the History of Parliament.  Their decision will be final, and no correspondence can be entered into.

9. For each competition there will be one winner, although the judges may make special commendations if they think fit.

For any queries, please contact us at Competitions@histparl.ac.uk

The History of Parliament’s schools competition enters its eleventh year in 2015. The winners will receive prizes of book tokens, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

This year, our Key Stage Three (KS3) competition is based on our new ‘Political Reform’ teaching materials. Throughout 2015 there are many celebrations of democracy to mark the anniversaries of Magna Carta and the 1265 Parliament, and these resources look at a vitally important time in the history of British democracy.

The resources include specially-written articles that explore how Britain changed from a country where political power was held by a few privileged people to one much more democratic – at least if you were a man! They also include a full scheme of work to accompany the materials with six distinct lesson plans that can be adapted to children of different abilities, and supports the new curriculum for history which emphasises topics on British history.

This competition has two options, both taken from our lesson plans. Of course you do not need follow the full lesson plan to take part in the competition, but they are there to help you if you want to!

Option 1: Peterloo

This option is taken from Lesson 1: ‘the political system before 1832’, and our full resources for this lesson can be found here.

This focusses on the events at ‘Peterloo’ in 1819, when 11 people died in Manchester at a peaceful rally to call for reform of the political system. Using the information available on the political system before 1832, as well as other resources listed on our website:

Write a news story on the events at ‘Peterloo’

We would like students to consider:
- what happened at St Peter’s Fields to cause the ‘massacre’
- what were the wider causes of protest in the early nineteenth century
- what impact ‘Peterloo’ had on the debates on political reform.

For the full resources relating to the pre-1832 political system, see here.

For Peterloo in particular, see our articles on:

- Lancashire 

- Henry Hunt 

See also the following extra resources on ‘Peterloo’

Option 2: Chartism

This option is taken from Lesson 3: Chartism, and our full resources for this lesson can be found here

This focusses on Chartist movement of the 1830s and 1840s, which called for a more democratic system and votes for working men. Using the information available on the Chartists, as well as other resources listed on our website:

    Write a short article for a newspaper either in favour of Chartism and how the movement tried to achieve its aims, or against it and how it should be stopped

We would like students to consider:
- who were the Chartists and what were their goals
- how radical were their aims
- how did they try and achieve reform.

For the full resources relating to Chartism system, see here.

These include our articles on

- Thomas Attwood

- Feargus O'Connor

- Glasgow

- Monmouth

See also the following extra resources on Chartism.

The closing date for the competition is 30 July 2015. Good luck!

Competition Rules

1. For individual entries, the winner of the competition will receive a prize of a book token for £75.  The winner will be invited to visit the Palace of Westminster with up to two other members of their family, and a member of the school staff, for the presentation of the prizes (the History will pay reasonable travel/accommodation expenses for the student and accompanying members of his/her family: we regret that we cannot pay the travel or accommodation expenses of any accompanying school staff).

2. The competition is open to any student at a UK school or college who will not have passed his or her 15th birthday by 30th July 2015.

3. All entries must be accompanied by the following information, securely attached to or associated with the entry

a) The candidate’s name
b) The candidate’s school and its address, with a telephone or email contact for the school
c) The candidate’s age at 30 July 2015
d) A declaration, signed by the teacher, saying that the work, including any photographs submitted, is all the candidate’s own.

4. We regret that entries cannot be individually acknowledged, and will not be returned after the competition.

5. Some entries may be used on www.historyofparliamentonline.org: those whose entries are used in this way will be contacted.

6. Entries should be sent to:

History of Parliament competition
18 Bloomsbury Square
LONDON WC1A 2NS

Or to the competition email account:

Competitions@histparl.ac.uk
(If sending entries by email, please send one email per individual entry)

7. Entries must be received by 30 July 2015.

8. Judging will be by a panel appointed by the History of Parliament.  Their decision will be final, and no correspondence can be entered into.

9. For each competition there will be one winner, although the judges may make special commendations if they think fit.

We’re delighted to say that our latest set of schools resources for Key Stage 3 have just been launched, based on Political Reform, 1780s-1880s. We’re pleased to launch these in 2015 to fit in with the year-long celebrations of democracy marking the anniversaries of Magna Carta and the 1265 Parliament.


Our specially-written articles on nineteenth century Parliaments, MPs and Constituencies explore how Britain changed from a country where political power was held by a few privileged people to one much more democratic – at least if you were a man!

We’re especially pleased to be able to tell teachers that the resources include a full scheme of work to accompany the materials, created by Paula Kitching. The scheme includes six distinct lesson plans that can be adapted to children of different abilities, and supports the new curriculum for history which emphasises topics on British history. You can find all the lesson plans and resources here – available as online materials and to download as pdfs for use in the classroom.

Do also keep watching for this year’s KS3 competition, which will be based on these new materials. Full details, along with our A level competition, will be released shortly.

The History of Parliament Trust is delighted to announce that The Magna Carta Trust’s 800th Anniversary Commemoration has agreed to provide a grant of £5,000 towards next year’s international conference ‘Making constitutions, building parliaments: constructing representative institutions, 1000-2000’.

The conference will take place under the auspices of the History of Parliament and the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (ICHRPI). It marks two anniversaries of enormous significance in the history of English, and British constitutional and legal history: the 800th anniversary of King John’s acceptance of Magna Carta, the great charter of liberties of the English nation in 1215; and the 750th anniversary of the Parliament summoned by Simon de Montfort in 1265, following his defeat of King Henry III in a civil war which was the culmination of a baronial revolt.

The conference will take 1215 and 1265 as a starting point for an exploration of the initiation and development of political institutions from the early Middle Ages onwards, and an assessment of their role in state formation or nation building. It will consider the significance of foundational documents and events such as Magna Carta and the de Montfort Parliament and how these – and the historiography of Parliaments – became so important in the subsequent history of Parliament and political institutions.

The conference will set the foundation of the English and British constitutional tradition alongside that of other jurisdictions elsewhere; it will explore other confrontations between communal traditions and royal powers and how these were expressed and resolved; it will seek to compare the development of the English political tradition with contemporary parallel institutions in Europe, and explore their divergence and/or convergence.

Notes for editors:

1.    The History of Parliament is a research project creating a comprehensive account of parliamentary politics in England, then Britain, from their origins in the thirteenth century. Unparalleled in the comprehensiveness of its treatment, the History is generally regarded as one of the most ambitious, authoritative and well-researched projects in British history. It consists of detailed studies of elections and electoral politics in each constituency, and of closely researched accounts of the lives of everyone who was elected to Parliament in the period, together with surveys drawing out the themes and discoveries of the research and adding information on the operation of Parliament as an institution. For more information, please see the Trust’s website, www.historyofparliamentonline.org.

2.    The Magna Carta Trust’s 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee is charged by the Magna Carta Trust to co-ordinate activities, raise the profile of the anniversary and deliver a number of key national and international aspirations. For more information, visit www.magnacarta800th.com.

3.    Founded in 1936, the ICHRPI is the international body for research into the origin, development and growth of representative parliamentary constitutions throughout the world and in all periods. It has members in over thirty countries, including the USA, Canada and all European countries. It publishes a journal, Parliaments, Estates and Representation, and holds an annual conference. Recent conferences have included Cadiz in 2012 to mark the bicentenary of the liberal constitution of Spain created in 1812, and Edinburgh in 2007 to mark the tercentenary of the Anglo-Scottish Union of 2007.

The History of Parliament’s 10th annual lecture will take place on the evening of Wednesday, 5th November at Portcullis House, Westminster. Professor Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch will lecture on ‘Parliament and the Reformation of Edward VI’. Professor MacCulloch is professor of the history of the church at St Cross College, University of Oxford and has written extensively on Tudor England. His biography Thomas Cranmer: a Life (Yale UP, 1996) won the Whitbread Biography, Duff Cooper and James Tait Black Prizes. More recent publications from Penguin/Allen Lane have included Reformation: Europe's House Divided 1490-1700 (appearing in the USA as The Reformation: a History), and A History of Christianity: the First Three Thousand Years (in the USA, Christianity: the First Three Thousand Years), which won the 2010 Cundill Prize; his latest book is Silence: a Christian History. He has also presented several television and radio documentaries.

The lecture is free and open to the public but you will need a ticket to do so. If you would like to attend this lecture, please Contact Us or email website@histparl.ac.uk.

 

Our HLF-funded oral history project ‘From the Grassroots: An Oral History of Community Politics in Devon’ has just launched a new, interactive website: www.historyofparliamentonline.org/from-the-grassroots. The project is creating a sound archive of people involved in local politics within Devon from 1945 until the present day.

The website will showcase our interviews and research, as well as publishing updates on events and volunteering opportunities. In the Research section, you can browse interviews with local political activists and listen to clips from their interviews [link]. You can also explore Themes from Devon’s political history, which includes articles on specific historical topics with audioclips and even some archive video footage (thanks to the South West Film and Television Archive).

We have developed a new Community section, where users can share memories about politics in Devon. If you want to contribute, you can sign up to our Community here. Once a member you can contribute by sharing Your Memories of political life in Devon, or commenting on our more controversial Talking Points that have emerged from our research. Following soon will be a set of Schools resources, but in the meantime there are links to other useful websites for teachers and students of modern political history. There is more information on the project’s events in the News section, and how to Get Involved in the project.

We will add new content to the website throughout the project, so keep checking back for more material.

The annual conference of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions, King’s College, London, Royal Holloway, London, and Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster: Call for Papers
London 30th June – 4th July 2015

Sponsored by The History of Parliament Trust, with support from the UK Parliament, King’s College and Royal Holloway

The year 2015 marks two anniversaries of enormous significance in the history of English, and British constitutional and legal history: the 800th anniversary of King John’s acceptance of Magna Carta, the great charter of liberties of the English nation in 1215; and the 750th anniversary of the Parliament summoned by Simon de Montfort in 1265, following his defeat of King Henry III in a civil war which was the culmination of a baronial revolt. To mark these anniversaries, the History of Parliament Trust will in 2015 host the annual conference of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (ICHRPI).

The conference will take 1215 and 1265 as a starting point for an exploration of the initiation and development of political institutions from the early Middle Ages onwards, and an assessment of their role in state formation or nation building. It will consider the significance of foundational documents and events such as Magna Carta and the de Montfort Parliament and how these – and the historiography of Parliaments – became so important in the subsequent history of Parliament and political institutions – how, for example, Magna Carta and the de Montfort Parliament were built up and depicted as central events in the building of the English state.

The conference will set the foundation of the English and British constitutional tradition alongside that of other jurisdictions elsewhere; it will explore other confrontations between communal traditions and royal powers and how these were expressed and resolved; it will seek to compare the development of the English political tradition with contemporary parallel institutions in Europe, and explore their divergence and/or convergence.

We invite interested parties to submit a short abstract of no more than 200 words for papers on the following themes:

Making Constitutions
• The development of ideas of law, representative institutions and constitutionalism in the Middle Ages
• The construction, importance, use and mythical status of foundational constitutional documents
• The global reach and influence of the English model of Parliaments and constitutionalism
Building Parliaments
• The construction and development of  Parliaments from Europe in the Middle Ages onwards
• Parliaments and their role in state formation and state building in all states and periods
• The history and historiography of Parliaments, and their place in political culture
Studying Parliaments
• Round tables on various approaches to parliamentary history: oral history, prosopography and collective biography and digitised parliamentary sources.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 200 words to Paul Seaward (pseaward@histparl.ac.uk) or Emma Peplow (epeplow@histparl.ac.uk) by 1st January 2015. Papers are welcomed in the languages of the Commission – English, French and German – but abstracts should be in English. Most papers will be restricted to 20 minutes. We also welcome submissions for panels.

For more information, see the conference’s website or contact us.

For more on the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions see their website.

The History of Parliament Trust will award a prize of £250 to the best undergraduate dissertation presented in 2014 on a subject relating to British or Irish parliamentary or political history before 1979. Parliamentary History has agreed to consider publication in the Journal for the winning dissertation. The decision to publish or not will be at the discretion of the editor of Parliamentary History, who may ask for appropriate amendments.

We invite university history departments to enter one dissertation which they consider to qualify (we will not accept entries directly from the students themselves). The university departments should send an unbound copy of each dissertation being entered for the prize, together with a completed entry form (available to download here) to:

History of Parliament Dissertation competition,

18 Bloomsbury Square,

London WC1A 2NS  

Copies will not be returned.

The closing date for receipt of entries is 1 August 2014.

For any queries, please contact the competitions email at the History of Parliament: competitions@histparl.ac.uk.

MAKING CONSTITUTIONS, BUILDING PARLIAMENTS
Constructing representative institutions, 1000-2000

The annual conference of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions, King’s College, London, Royal Holloway, London, and Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster

London 30th June – 4th July 2015

Sponsored by The History of Parliament Trust, with support from the UK Parliament, King’s College and Royal Holloway, University of London

The History of Parliament have launched a new website to keep you up to date with our 2015 conference, 'Making Constitutions, Building Parliaments: Constructing representative institutions, 1000-2000'. The website will contain information on the programme, speakers, and how to attend the conference. Please visit the website here: http://makingconstitutionsconference2015.wordpress.com/ 

For any further details or to register your interest in the conference, please contact us.

The convenors of the 'Parliaments, Politics and People' seminar are looking for speakers to give papers during 2015. Papers should be based on parliamentary or political history, but we welcome proposals relating to any period or country. We especially welcome contributions from postgraduate researchers. If you are interested in giving a paper, please contact Dr Paul Hunneyball at phunneyball@histparl.ac.uk.

The programme for this term’s seminars has also been announced. Seminars take place on Tuesday evenings, at 5.15, usually in Room G21A, Senate House, South block, Ground floor. The first seminar will be on Tuesday, 13th May and will be given by Naomi Lloyd-Jones  (King’s College, London) on ‘Deconstructing Westminster: towards a four nations history of the Irish Home Rule crisis, c.1886-93’. For the full programme, see the IHR website.

‘From the Grassroots’ 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 and citizenship Key Stage Three syllabuses, based on our research, oral history interviews and materials that we are creating for the website. The teaching resources will be available for teachers (primarily in Devon and the South West) to download from the website and should include:
- Plans of work for 4-6 lessons, covering both late 20th century political history and citizenship;
- Questions, tasks and materials for the pupils to use, links to appropriate further articles and audio-visual materials;
- A class activity, for example a debate or a visit to our exhibition.
 
We expect the work to take around four days to complete, and would like it to be prepared in time for the new term. For further details, please see the attached brief.
 
Please register your interest with Project Co-ordinator Dr Kayleigh Milden (kmilden@histparl.ac.uk, 01392384838) by 9 May 2014.

 

A one-day conference has been organised by Professor William Speck (Leeds University) and Professor Alan Downie (Goldsmiths College, University of London) to mark the 300-year anniversary of the death of Queen Anne. The conference will take place on 1 August 2014 at Goldsmiths, University of London. Professor James Winn (Boston University) will give the keynote lecture ‘‘“Like her Britannia’s Self”: Style and Substance in the Life of Queen Anne’.
 
For more information and news on how to register, please visit the conference website.

The History of Parliament is pleased to be working with publishers St James’s House to mark the 750th anniversary of the De Montfort Parliament of 1265. The History is producing an authoritative text for an attractive volume which will cover the long history of parliament and representative government. The book will be published during the course of 2015, which will see a number of other celebrations of the de Montfort anniversary within Parliament, as well as celebrations of the 800th anniversary of King John’s agreement to Magna Carta in 1215.

The details for both schools competitions are now available! For the tenth year running we will run competitions for 11-14 year olds (key stage three) and 16-18 year olds (sixth formers). This year we have based our Key Stage Three competition partly on our new schools section.

The winners of both competitions will receive prizes of book tokens or money, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

Our Key Stage Three competition has two options.

Option one: Entrants can tell us about the Reformation in their local area, either by writing a newspaper report on the local impact of the changes, or by writing a report on what happened to a local religious building during the Reformation. Students are advised to make use of our new schools materials on the Reformation.

Option two: entrants are asked to imagine they were an MP in August 1914, and to write a speech in reaction to the speech given by the Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, which called for Britain to go to war.

The winners of the competition will receive a prize of book tokens, and be invited with their families and teachers to Westminster to receive their prize. The closing date for the competition is 30 July 2014. For full details on how to enter, competition rules, and for resources for students, click here.

Our Sixth Form competition is again an essay competition, with the prize awarded to the best essay on a subject of the candidate's own choice related to the parliamentary or political history of Britain and Ireland.

The winner will receive a cash prize and again be invited to Westminister to receive this. Again, the closing date is after the summer holidays to give students who have just finished their GCSEs and are preparing for their A Levels a chance to enter as well. The closing date is 30 September 2014. For full details on competition rules and how to enter, click here.

To read about last year’s winners, see here.

Good luck to all the entrants!

The History of Parliament’s schools competition enters its tenth year in 2014. The winners will receive prizes of book tokens, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

This year, our Key Stage Three (KS3) competition has two options: one on the Reformation, using our new school materials, and one on World War One.

Option 1: The Reformation

This option is based on our set of Reformation schools resources, which includes specially-written articles and biographies for 11-14 year olds and complimentary resources for teachers. The competition task is taken from our Learning Activities.

Using the information from our ‘Reformation’ section and from your local area:

- There were no newspapers during the time of the Reformation, but imagine that there were. Write a piece for a newspaper on the impact of the Reformation on an area near you.

OR

- In most areas a religious building was lost due to the dissolution of the Monasteries – find out about any such place in your local area. Write a report on what happened to the building and what remains of it now.

For more information about the Reformation, see our schools materials.

You can also find out more about your local area during this period on our website in the 1509-1558 constituencies section.

If possible, we would like as many entrants as possible to include photographs. You could include photographs of the building you write about, for example your local church and the changes it underwent due to the Reformation, or perhaps there is a monument of your local MP at the time of the Reformation in the church, or his house if it still exists. All photographs should be taken by the student themselves, and the best will feature on our website!

Option 2: World War One

After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Serbia in July 1914, war is imminent on the continent, as Germany and Austro-Hungary prepare to go to war against the opposing alliance of Russia and France. Britain is allied with France, but has to decide whether to enter the war on the side of France and Russia, or stay out.

Imagine you are an MP in the House of Commons in 1914. It is 3 August. Germany has declared war on Russia and France and began the invasion of Belgium. The Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, has just given a speech to Parliament calling for Britain to go to war (you can read his speech in full here). Imagine you are an MP listening to his speech, and write a speech in response.

Things to consider:

- Whether you support Britain’s entry into the War;

- Whether Britain has responsibilities to defend her Allies in Europe;- What you think the consequences of War would be for you and your constituents.

You can find more information from these websites:

National Archives education section

Background to World War I 

World War I

BBC

BBC Schools WWI (Key Stage Three)

BBC Schools The Road to War

Overview: Britain and World War I

BBC Bitesize videos, WWI and WWII

Imperial War Museum

First World War learning resources

Competition rules:

1. For individual entries, the winner of the competition will receive a prize of a book token for £75.  The winner will be invited to visit the Palace of Westminster with up to two other members of their family, and a member of the school staff, for the presentation of the prizes (the History will pay reasonable travel/accommodation expenses for the student and accompanying members of his/her family: we regret that we cannot pay the travel or accommodation expenses of any accompanying school staff).

2. The competition is open to any student at a UK school or college who will not have passed his or her 15th birthday by 30th July 2014.

3. All entries must be accompanied by the following information, securely attached to or associated with the entry

a) The candidate’s name
b) The candidate’s school and its address, with a telephone or email contact for the school
c) The candidate’s age at 30 July 2014
d) A declaration, signed by the teacher, saying that the work, including any photographs submitted, is all the candidate’s own.

4. We regret that entries cannot be individually acknowledged, and will not be returned after the competition.

5. Any photographs included with the competitions must be taken by the entrants themselves and they must hold full copyright over these images.

6. Some entries may be used on www.historyofparliamentonline.org: those whose entries are used in this way will be contacted.

7. Entries should be sent to:

                  History of Parliament competition
                  18 Bloomsbury Square
                  LONDON WC1A 2NS


Or to the competition email account:

                 Competitions@histparl.ac.uk

           (If sending entries by email, please send one email per individual entry)

8. Entries must be received by 30 July 2014.

9. Judging will be by a panel appointed by the History of Parliament.  Their decision will be final, and no correspondence can be entered into.

10. For each competition there will be one winner, although the judges may make special commendations if they think fit

For any queries, please contact us at Competitions@histparl.ac.uk

The History of Parliament’s schools competition enters its tenth year in 2014. For sixth formers, we would again like them to write essays on parliamentary or political history. As in last year’s competition, the closing date is after the summer holidays to give students who have just finished their GCSEs and are preparing for their A Levels a chance to enter as well. The winners will receive a money prize, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

The prize will be awarded for the best essay on a subject of the candidate's own choice related to the parliamentary or political history of Britain and Ireland. Although candidates for essays covering the period before 1832 are encouraged to look at and use the material from the Research and Explore sections of this website, it is not required that they should do so. Essays should be of not less than two thousand words and not more than four thousand words. Essays should be typed, or clearly hand-written, on one side of the paper only.

Competition rules:


1. The winner of the competition will receive a prize of £100. The winner will be invited to visit the Palace of Westminster with up to two other members of their family, and a member of the school’s staff for the presentation of the prizes (the History will pay reasonable travel/accommodation expenses for the student and accompanying members of his/her family: we regret that we cannot pay the travel or accommodation expenses of any accompanying school staff). 

2. The competition is open to any student at a UK school or college, preparing to study or currently studying for AS or A2 levels (years 11, 12 and 13), who will not have passed his or her 19th birthday by 30th September 2014.

3. Essays should be submitted by a school, and no school should submit more than four essays.

4. Essays should be of not less than two thousand words and not more than four thousand words. Essays should be typed, or clearly hand-written, on one side of the paper only

5. All entries must have securely attached to them a sheet of paper stating:

a) The candidate’s name
b) The candidate’s school and its address, with a telephone or email contact for the school, and email contact for the candidate, if they have left school.
c) The candidate’s age at 30 September 2014
d) A declaration, signed by the teacher, saying that the work is all the candidate’s own.

(We regret that entries cannot be individually acknowledged, and will not be returned after the competition.)

6. Entries should be sent to:

History of Parliament competition
18 Bloomsbury Square
LONDON WC1A 2NS

Or to the competition email account:

Competitions@histparl.ac.uk

(If sending entries by email, please send one email per individual entry)

7. Entries must be received by 30 September 2014.

8. Judging will be by a panel appointed by the History of Parliament.  Their decision will be final, and no correspondence can be entered into.

9. For each competition there will be one winner, although the judges may make special commendations if they think fit.

For any queries, please contact us at Competitions@histparl.ac.uk

Dr Robin Eagles, Senior Research Fellow on the Lords 1660-1832 project, will be giving a lecture titled ‘John Wilkes: A Friend to Liberty?’ on Wednesday 26 March at 6.30 pm. Dr Eagles will explore the life of the radical MP, John Wilkes. He has recently edited 'The Diaries of John Wilkes, 1770-1797', to be published later this year by London Record Society through Boydell and Brewer.

The lecture will be held in the Macmillan Room, Portcullis House, Westminster. There is no need to RSVP to this event. Entrance is through Portcullis House main entrance, but please remember bring with you photographic ID and a copy of the invitation below, and to arrive in plenty of time to pass through security.

For more information on getting to parliament, please visit parliament's website, or contact us for more information.

Click here to download the invitation.

We are delighted to announce the winners of our schools competitions 2013. The winners will be presented with their prizes by the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP at the end of February. The prizes were judged by ourselves, our Trustees, and members of Parliament’s Education Service.

The 11-14 year old competition asked entrants to write a speech as if they were a member of the 1536 ‘Reformation Parliament’, responding to the many religious changes passed by Henry VIII. The quality of entries was extremely high, and in the end we could not choose between two excellent entries: Ami Ganatra, of Leicester Grammar School, and Jessica Welchman of Fairlands Middle School, Somerset. Both entries showed an impressive amount of knowledge and understanding of these events. We also highly commended James McKell, of Mount St Mary’s College Derbyshire, for his fine entry.

Our A level competition asked for an essay on an aspect of British and Irish parliamentary history. This year’s winner was James Heale of Kingston Grammar School, who entered with ‘To what extent have backbench groups influenced the personalities and policies of the Conservative Party, 1945-75?’. The judges were again impressed with James’ level of detail and strong argument. We also highly commended Jenny Tran, of Preston Lodge High School, East Lothian, for her excellent essay: ‘To what extent was the women’s role in the Great War responsible for their emancipation in 1918?’

For more detail on our winners’ submissions and their prize, see our latest blogpost.

Details of the 2014 competition will be announced shortly. For more, and for our specially-written schools resources, keep following our schools section.

The History of Parliament Trust is one of the project partners on Big Data for Law, one of  twenty-one Big Data projects announced by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts on 6 February 2014. The project, lead by The National Archives, will provide new open data, new tools and new research methodologies for the study of UK law. The History of Parliament has long been interested in the creation of new tools, especially digital resources, for the study of parliamentary and political history in the UK. Our involvement will help the project to better understand the interests and needs of historians, who might, for example, want to explore the evolution of statute law, or the history of legislative language. For more information on the Big Data for Law project, visit: www.legislation.gov.uk/projects/big-data-for-law.

The History of Parliament will officially launch our new oral history project 'From the Grassroots: An oral history of community politics in Devon' on 20th January at the Devon Heritage Centre.

'From the grassroots' will create a sound archive of people involved in local politics in Devon from the Second World War until the present day. The project will build a rounded picture of Devon’s rich political heritage as told by the participants themselves, recording the memories of activists and campaigners, to discover why they became involved in political activism and what impact they had on the democratic process (for more information, see here).

We are delighted that Professor Kevin Jefferys of Plymouth University will speak at the launch event on 'The 1945 General Election in Devon'. There will also be an introduction to 'From the Grassroots' and light refreshments will be provided. The event is free. For more information and to reserve your place, please contact Dr Kayleigh Milden at kmilden@histparl.ac.uk or on 01392 384838.

If you are unable to come but are interested in finding out more about the project, or getting involved, then you can find out how to do so here.

MAKING CONSTITUTIONS, BUILDING PARLIAMENTS
Constructing representative institutions, 1000-2000

The annual conference of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions, King’s College, London, Royal Holloway, London, and Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster

London 30th June – 4th July 2015

Sponsored by The History of Parliament Trust, with support from the UK Parliament, King’s College and Royal Holloway, University of London


The year 2015 marks two anniversaries of enormous significance in the history of English, and British constitutional and legal history: the 800th anniversary of King John’s acceptance of Magna Carta, the great charter of liberties of the English nation in 1215; and the 750th anniversary of the Parliament summoned by Simon de Montfort in 1265, following his defeat of King Henry III in a civil war which was the culmination of a baronial revolt. Magna Carta is still widely seen as a starting point in the history of English freedom, cited worldwide in the defence of human rights. Many authorities have seen the 1265 Parliament as the origin of the English Parliament (the 700th anniversary was celebrated in Parliament in 1965 with an exhibition and an address from both Houses of Parliament to the Queen): although that view is no longer generally held, 1265 is still regarded as a key moment in the history of the evolution of Parliament.

To mark these anniversaries, the History of Parliament Trust will in 2015 host the annual conference of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (ICHRPI). The conference will take 1215 and 1265 as a starting point for an exploration of the initiation and development of political institutions from the early Middle Ages onwards, and an assessment of their role in state formation or national building. It will consider the significance of foundational documents and events such as Magna Carta and the de Montfort Parliament and how these – and the historiography of Parliaments – became so important in the subsequent history of Parliament and political institutions – how, for example, Magna Carta and the de Montfort Parliament were built up and depicted as central events in the building of the English state.

The conference will have a strong comparative element, and will incorporate contributions from continental scholars and scholars of continental traditions. It will compare the foundation of the English and British constitutional tradition with other those in other jurisdictions elsewhere: it will explore other confrontations between communal traditions and royal powers and how these were expressed and resolved. It will seek to compare the development of the English political tradition with contemporary parallel institutions in Europe, and explore their divergence and/or convergence.

The conference will be held in the languages of the Commission: English, French, Spanish and German.  The themes of the conference are stated below. This is an advance notice: a more formal call for papers will be issued in the New Year. However, we would be delighted if you wish to contact us now to register an interest in either speaking at or attending the conference. Please contact Paul Seaward (pseaward@histparl.ac.uk) or Emma Peplow (epeplow@histparl.ac.uk).

Making Constitutions

• The development of ideas of law, representative institutions and constitutionalism in the Middle Ages
• The construction, importance, use and mythical status of foundational constitutional documents
• The global reach and influence of the English model of Parliaments and constitutionalism

Building Parliaments

• The construction and development of  Parliaments from Europe in the Middle Ages onwards
• Parliaments and their role in state formation and state building in all states and periods
• The history and historiography of Parliaments, and their place in political culture

Studying Parliaments

• Round tables on various approaches to parliamentary history: oral history, prosopography and collective biography and digitised parliamentary sources.

The History of Parliament Trust, in association with the Pears Institute for the study of Anti-Semitism, Birkbeck College, University of London, is convening a British Academy conference on ‘Parliaments and Minorities: Ethnicities, Nations and Religions in Europe, 1848-1948’ in May 2014.

From the revolutions of 1848 to the beginning of the Cold War, nationalist and minority movements within the complex ethnic map of Europe have interacted with democratic political forces, stretching the various rules and conventions of parliamentary systems – historically created by the aristocratic elite – to breaking point. This conference will explore the rise and impact of nationalism on parliaments and political organisation. It will also examine the collective experience of a continent in how to resolve, or fail to resolve, cultural oppositions through institutional means.

The conference takes place on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 May 2014 at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH.  Admission is free but you need to book online with the British Academy. To do this, and to see details of speakers and timings, see the British Academy website.

On Tuesday evening (13 May) there will be an open panel discussion on ‘Nationalities and Parliaments now: What can we learn from the past?’ This session will compare the challenge of nationalist movements to parliamentary systems in the late 19th and 20th centuries to the current challenges faced by democratic institutions, such as economic crisis, stresses caused by refugee movements and a collapse in the perceived legitimacy of many political systems.  Speakers include Professor Tim Bale, Chair in Politics at Queen Mary, University of London;  Professor Robert Hazell, Director of the Constitution Unit, University College, London;  Professor Simon Hix, Professor European and Comparative Politics at the LSE and Dr Gwendolyn Sasse, University Reader in the Comparative Politics of Central and Eastern Europe, Nuffield College, Oxford.

The panel is also free and will again take place at the British Academy, at 6pm. To register for this event, and to find out more about the speakers, please visit the British Academy website.

Our new oral history project, ‘From the Grassroots: An Oral History of Community Politics in Devon’ has now begun and we are looking for volunteers to help us. 'From the grassroots' will create a sound archive of people involved in local politics in Devon from the Second World War until the present day. The project will build a rounded picture of Devon’s rich political heritage as told by the participants themselves, recording the memories of activists and campaigners, to discover why they became involved in political activism and what impact they had on the democratic process (for more information, see here).

To do this, we need your help. Volunteers will be at the hub of the project, and they will have the opportunity to learn new skills in areas such as oral history, writing research articles and digital storytelling. If you want to gain new skills and meet new friends by volunteering in ‘From the Grassroots’, then please get in touch. 

We are also looking for people to take part in oral history recordings. Whether you are a current or retired party activist, local party officer, MP, councillor, a relative of someone involved in local politics, or you know of an ideal oral history candidate, the project team would be delighted to hear from you. 

Over the next 18 months the project will be delivering a variety of outreach events with the aim of engaging people in the political history of Devon. Highlights will include a touring exhibition, website, schools programme, and a series of workshops and talks, so there are plenty of ways to get involved. The new archive of oral histories that volunteers help to record will remain in Devon as valuable research resource in political history for current and future generations. 

We have recently appointed Dr Kayleigh Milden as project co-ordinator. Dr Milden is based at the Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter, and will be managing the project on a day-to-day basis. For more information or to get involved, please contact Dr Milden at: kmilden@histparl.ac.uk, 01392 384838, or contact us via the website.

The History of Parliament’s 9th annual lecture will take place on the evening of Wednesday, 6th November at Portcullis House, Westminster. Baroness Patricia Hollis will lecture on ‘The Hopes of the Suffragettes: were they realised?’ We are delighted that our lecture this year will be part of the programme for Parliament Week 2013, an initiative coordinated by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords that looks at the people, places and events that support democracy in the UK. This year’s focus is on ‘Women in Democracy’. To find out more, visit www.parliamentweek.org.

The lecture is free and open to the public but you will need a ticket to do so. If you would like to attend this lecture, please Contact Us or email website@histparl.ac.uk.

The convenors of the ‘Parliaments, Politics and People’ seminar at the Institute of Historical Research have also announced this term’s programme. The seminars take place on Tuesday evenings, at 5.15 in Room G21A, Senate House, South block, Ground floor. The first seminar will be on Tuesday, 8th October and will be given by Johannes Helmrath, Jörg Feuchter and Anna-Maria Blank (Humboldt University, Berlin and Konstanz University) on ‘Parliamentary oratory and images: a new approach to the study of late medieval and early modern political culture’. For the full programme, see the IHR website.

For a number of years we’ve been running competitions for school pupils at Key Stage 3 and A level. Now, we’re beginning to expand our schools activities. We’re delighted to announce the launch of a new section of our website dedicated to schools, and a new set of resources aimed at Key Stage 3, based on the Reformation.

Parliament had a major role to play in this dramatic period, passing laws that made the church of England Protestant, then Catholic, and then back to Protestant again. These measures had a major impact on the Tudor church and population and gradually turned England and Wales Protestant.

Our specially written articles on Tudor Parliaments, MPs and constituencies tell the story of what happened and why. They explore the lives of MPs who influenced the religious upheaval (or just tried to live through them without losing their heads!) and they investigate how these events affected ordinary people across the country in different constituencies. We also have a number of work schemes, activity sheets and resources to help teachers who want to use our materials in the classroom. Next year’s KS3 competition will be based on these resources.

All being well, this set of resources will be the first in a number on parliament’s role in British history. Don't forget our section for 16-18 year olds, which contains all the information on our annual essay competition.

The History of Parliament has an exciting opportunity for a project coordinator for its new, Heritage Lottery Funded oral history project: ‘From the Grassroots: an oral history of community politics in Devon’. The project aims to create a sound archive of local political activism in Devon from the Second World War to the present day. Our findings will be shared on a website and through a programme of local events (including a temporary exhibition).

The successful candidate will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of the project, including:

- recruiting, supporting and coordinating volunteers;
- organising interviews and appropriate training for volunteers;
- undertaking research and creating materials for use on the website and in the temporary exhibition;
- organising and publicising the project’s programme of events.

Applicants should have previous experience working in heritage projects and with volunteers, knowledge of and interest in British political history and an understanding of oral history. They should also have excellent organisational and communication skills.
To apply, please see:

- Full job advertisement
- Further particulars and application form

Closing date for applications is Tuesday, 10th September 2013. Interviews are expected to take place on Tuesday, 1st October 2013. If you require any more information, please email Emma Peplow at epeplow@histparl.ac.uk.

The History of Parliament Trust is delighted to announce a new oral history project to take place in Devon, with the support of a grant of £53,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The new project: ‘From the Grassroots: An Oral History of Community Politics in Devon’ will be based at the Devon Heritage Centre, and also has the support of the Houses of Parliament’s Public Engagement and Learning team, Devon County Council’s Heritage Service, Plymouth University and Plymouth City Council’s Arts and Heritage Service.

The new project will recognise the contribution of grassroots political activism in Devon after the Second World War. It will expand the work currently undertaken by the History of Parliament’s national oral history project, which is building a sound archive of former MPs with the support of Dod’s parliamentary companion and the British Library. 

In ‘From the grassroots’, we will build a rounded picture of Devon’s rich political heritage as told by the participants themselves. We will go beyond the experiences of MPs and record the memories of activists and campaigners, to discover why they became involved in political activism and what impact they had on the democratic process. We will offer training in oral history and other heritage skills. With the help of volunteers, we will record the political events in Devon from a local angle and chart the changes in post-1945 political campaigning. These will be shared through a website, exhibition and programme of events.

Dr Paul Seaward, director of the History of Parliament, said “we are delighted to receive HLF support for this exciting new project. The History of Parliament has a long tradition of studying local as well as national politics and we are glad to continue this in our oral history projects. The involvement of people at a local level in politics is crucial to the health of British democracy, and we believe that this project will not only chart that involvement, but stimulate it as well. Our plan is for the vibrant political history of Devon to be just the first step in recording political activism in Britain as a whole.”

The project will be based at the Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter. Tim Wormleighton, Devon Heritage Services Manager, said “we are very pleased to be hosting this exciting project, which has a great potential to unearth new perspectives on local political history in Devon and, at the same time, will encourage more people to get involved in exploring a fascinating subject that may seem somewhat intimidating or remote to many”.

Commenting on the grant award, HLF’s Head of South West, Nerys Watts, said: “Devon has a rich and varied political heritage within which all three main parties have been represented together with a number of smaller parties and independent candidates who have been able to flourish in the county. We were delighted to be able to support this project, which will explore Devon’s political life since the Second World War, record it and make it available for a wider audience to understand and appreciate”.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 35,000 projects with more than £5.3bn across the UK.  .

About the Houses of Parliament, Public Engagement and Learning

Parliament’s Public Engagement and Learning team deliver innovative and effective public engagement projects and resources to inspire people across the UK to get involved with Parliament. They support Members of Parliament from both Houses in their work with the public and work with a range of partners to extend audience reach far beyond Westminster. Projects include annual Parliament Week and TEDx events and the team are currently working towards a large programme for 2015 to mark the anniversary of the De Montfort Parliament (750 years) and the sealing of Magna Carta (800 years). 

About the Devon Heritage Centre

The Devon Heritage Centre at Sowton, Exeter, houses the county’s archives and local studies collections. It is the headquarters office of Devon Heritage Services, and holds all types of historical archives relating to the county of Devon and the City of Exeter. These include the records of ecclesiastical parishes, the Diocese of Exeter, county, district and parish councils, and innumerable families, estates, businesses, societies, chapels, schools and individuals. It is a designated repository for the deposit of public records of local interest (e.g. hospital and asylum records), as well as for tithe and manorial collections. Its premises are shared with the National Meteorological Archive. Devon Heritage Services provides an archives service for both Devon County Council and Torbay Council under a joint arrangement between the two authorities. Records relating to Torbay are also held at the Devon Heritage Centre.

 

The convenors of the Parliaments, Politics and People seminar are looking for speakers to give papers during 2014. Papers from all periods and about all countries are welcome, but should be based on parliamentary or political history. We are keen to encourage contributions from postgraduate researchers. The autumn term 2014 will focus on the theme of war/state building, with reference to any period or country, and we would be particularly interested to hear from researchers wishing to contribute relevant papers.

The seminar takes place at the Institute of Historical Research on Tuesday evenings at 5.15. If you are interested in giving a paper, please contact Dr Paul Hunneyball at phunneyball@histparl.ac.uk. For more information and to see our current programme, please visit the IHR website.

The Director of the History of Parliament, Dr Paul Seaward, will give the Institute of Historical Research Fellows’ Annual Lecture on Wednesday 26 June. Dr Seaward will take as his theme ‘Copley, David, Hickel: representing parliaments in an age of revolution, 1782–1795’.

The lecture will be held in the Senate Room on the first floor of Senate House (south block) from 6pm, and will be followed by a wine reception in the Jessel Room, also on the first floor. This is an open event but please RSVP to Dr James Lees, IHR Fellowships Officer at james.lees@sas.ac.uk by Monday 17 June so that the necessary catering arrangements can be made.



BBC Radio 4’s 'Archive on 4' on Saturday 18th May will feature the History of Parliament’s oral history project, linking it to Josiah Wedgwood’s questionnaires and biographies of the 1930s. Presented by Matthew Parris and produced by Mike Greenwood, it includes extracts from several of the interviews conducted as part of the oral history project, as well as digging into the surviving questionnaires from our archives, comparing the experience of being an MP in the 1930s and in the 1950s, 1960s and later.

For more on the programme, and to 'listen again' if you missed it, visit the BBC website.


Building on the History of Parliament’s ‘Politics and patronage: a tercentenary colloquium for Frederick, Prince of Wales’ conference in 2007, Oliver Cox (University of Oxford) and Jennifer Scammell (Newcastle University) are organising an interdisciplinary one-day conference on the opposition to Sir Robert Walpole. Registration details are as follows:

- This interdisciplinary one-day conference will bring together both established and early career scholars from different faculties and professional backgrounds to debate the dynamic, yet amorphous, cultural and political group – the Patriot Opposition – who formed in opposition to the men and measures of the first ‘Prime Minister’, Sir Robert Walpole.


- Speakers include: Robin Eagles, Christine Gerrard, Andrew Thompson, Clarissa Campbell Orr, Thomas McGeary, Nigel Aston and Carole Taylor.

- The conference will take place at Hampton Court Palace on Friday 7 June. Lunch will be provided.

- The registration fee is £10 (concessions/students) or £20 (standard).

- To attend the conference please email the conference organisers, Oliver Cox and Jennifer Scammell at proteanpatriots@gmail.com, or you can register online here by 25 May 2013. Space is limited so register now to avoid disappointment!

The History of Parliament's 9th annual lecture will take place on Wednesday, 5th June at 6pm, in the Attlee suite, Portcullis House, Westminster. Dr Amanda Foreman, the internationally best-selling author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and A World on Fire: an Epic History of Two Nations Divided will to give her lecture 'How To Make Friends and Corrupt People: The Confederate Infiltration of Parliament during the American Civil War, 1861-1865'. We are delighted to be able to re-arrange this event after last year's lecture unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

If you would like to attend this lecture, please Contact Us or email website@histparl.ac.uk.

The History of Parliament is supporting a one-day colloquium, organised by Paul Cavill and Alexandra Gajda through the Centre for Early Modern British and Irish History, to be held on Saturday 20 April, at the Ship Street Centre, Jesus College, Oxford.

It is still possible to register for the colloquium. If you are interested, please contact Paul Cavill at p.r.cavill@leeds.ac.uk.

The programme has now been announced: 

9.00­–9.30 Registration and refreshments

9.30–9.45 Welcome

9.45–10.45 Panel 1 Chair: Dr Hannah Smith (St Hilda’s College, Oxford)

Dr Paul Cavill (Leeds) and Dr Alexandra Gajda (Jesus College, Oxford), ‘How Ancient was the “Ancient Constitution”?’

Prof. Scott Lucas (Citadel), ‘The King’s Reformation or Parliament’s Reformation?: Writing the History of the Reformation Parliament in Edward Hall’s Chronicle

10.45–11.00 Coffee break

11.00–12.30 Panel 2 Chair: Prof. Alan Cromartie (Reading)

Dr Paulina Kewes (Jesus College, Oxford), ‘Parliament and the Succession in Elizabethan England’

Dr Ian Archer (Keble College, Oxford), ‘Holinshed’s Parliaments’

Dr Andy Boyle (St John’s College, Oxford), ‘The English Constitution of Samuel Daniel and His Readers’

12.301.00 Discussion of morning’s papers: chair Alan Cromartie

1.00–2.00 Lunch: served in Hall

2.00–3.30 Panel 3 Chair: Dr Clive Holmes (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford)

Prof. Pauline Croft (Royal Holloway), ‘Sir Robert Cecil, Antiquarianism, and Parliaments’

Mr Simon Healy (History of Parliament), ‘The Significance (and Insignificance) of Precedent in Early Stuart Parliaments’

Dr Noah Millstone (Harvard), ‘The Politic History of Early Stuart Parliaments’

3.30–3.45 Tea break

3.45–4.45 Panel 4 Chair: Prof. Blair Worden (St Edmund Hall, Oxford)

Dr Jason Peacey (University College London), ‘“That Memorable Parliament”: Medieval History in Parliamentarian Polemic, 1641–2’

Dr Paul Seaward (History of Parliament), ‘History, Precedent, and the Structures of Institutional Memory in the House of Commons, 1547–1660’

4.45–5.30 Review by Blair Worden and discussion: chair Clive Holmes

 

The details for both schools competitions are now available! For the ninth year running we will run competitions for 11-14 year olds (key stage three) and 16-18 year olds (sixth formers). This year's competitions are also in preparation for our new schools section, which is currently under construction and will be launched in full over the summer.

The winners of both competitions will receive prizes of book tokens or money, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

Our Key Stage Three competition will focus on the Reformation, in preparation for the new schools section. We ask that children imagine that they were a member of the 1536 Parliament, which passed many of the early pieces of legislation about the Reformation, and write a speech either defending or attacking the religious changes. We would also love students to include photographs that represent the Reformation in some way - old monasteries, your local church - you can be imaginative!

The winners of the competition will receive a prize of book tokens, and be invited with their families and teachers to Westminster to receive their prize. The closing date for the competition is 30 July 2013. For full details on how to enter, and for resources for students, click here.

Our Sixth Form competition is again an essay competition, with the prize awarded to the best essay on a subject of the candidate's own choice related to the parliamentary or political history of Britain and Ireland.

This year we are extending the closing date until after the summer to give students who have just finished their GCSEs and are preparing for their A Levels a chance to enter as well. The winner will recieve a cash prize and again be invited to Westminister to recieve this. The closing date is 30 September 2013. For full details on how to enter, click here.

Good luck to all the entrants!

This is the ninth year in which The History of Parliament has run competitions for schools and colleges. Our competition for sixth formers will again be an essay competition, although this year we have moved the closing date back until after the summer holidays so that students who have finished their GCSEs and going on to study at A Level will also have a chance to enter.

The winners will receive a money prize, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

Comptetition: Sixth forms

The prize will be awarded for the best essay on a subject of the candidate's own choice related to the parliamentary or political history of Britain and Ireland. Although candidates for essays covering the period before 1832 are encouraged to look at and use the material from the Research and Explore sections of this website, it is not required that they should do so. Essays should be of not less than two thousand words and not more than four thousand words. Essays should be typed, or clearly hand-written, on one side of the paper only.

 Competition rules:

1. The winner of the competition will receive a prize of £100. The winner will be invited to visit the Palace of Westminster with up to two other members of their family, and a member of the school’s staff for the presentation of the prizes (the History will pay reasonable travel/accommodation expenses for the student and accompanying members of his/her family: we regret that we cannot pay the travel or accommodation expenses of any accompanying school staff).

2. The competition is open to any student at a UK school or college, preparing to study or currently studying for AS or A2 levels (years 11, 12 and 13), who will not have passed his or her 19th birthday by 30th September 2013.

3. Essays should be submitted by a school, and no school should submit more than four essays.

4. Essays should be of not less than two thousand words and not more than four thousand words. Essays should be typed, or clearly hand-written, on one side of the paper only

5. All entries must have securely attached to them a sheet of paper stating:

       The candidate’s name

       The candidate’s school and its address, with a telephone or email contact for the school and email contact for the student (if they have left the school)

       The candidate’s age at 30 September 2013

       A declaration, signed by the teacher, saying that the work is all the candidate’s own.

       (We regret that entries cannot be individually acknowledged, and will not be returned after the competition.)

6. Entries should be sent to:

       History of Parliament competition

       18 Bloomsbury Square 

       LONDON WC1A 2NS

Or to the competition email account:

      Competitions@histparl.ac.uk

(If sending entries by email, please send one email per individual entry)

7. Entries must be received by 30 September 2013.

8. Judging will be by a panel appointed by the History of Parliament.  Their decision will be final, and no correspondence can be entered into.

9. For each competition there will be one winner, although the judges may make special commendations if they think fit.

For any queries, please contact us at Competitions@histparl.ac.uk

 

The former first minister for Wales, the Rt. Hon. Rhodri Morgan, will be speaking at our next ‘Parliaments, Politics and People’ seminar at the Institute of Historical Research on Tuesday, 12th March.He will be speaking on ‘Wales and the United Kingdom question’.

The seminar will take place at the usual time, 5.15pm, but will be held in the Woburn Room G22, Senate House, Ground floor.

Directions to Senate House are available here. The seminar is free and all are welcome to attend.

This is the ninth year in which The History of Parliament has run competitions for schools and colleges. This year, our key stage three competition will focus on the Reformation.

The competition will be in preparation for an entirely new resource that will be launched on this website this summer, ready for the next school year. This new schools section, www.historyofparliamentonline.org/schools, is currently under construction and an information page will be available online from early March 2013. This new section is the first from the History of Parliament that will include specially-written articles and biographies for 11-14 year olds and complimentary resources for teachers. The first topic available in our new section will also be the Reformation; this year’s competition will help us prepare for our new website.

The winners will receive prizes of book tokens, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

Competition: Key stage 3 (11-14 year olds)

Imagine you are a Member of Parliament in 1536 and are either an enthusiastic protestant supporter of the religious changes of Henry VIII or a determined opponent of them. Write a speech that you might plan to deliver in parliament on the religious changes. You could focus on the following issues:

- Why the monasteries should, or should not, be dissolved

- Whether parliament, or the Pope, should be able to make decisions about the English church

- Whether or not ordinary people should be able to read or hear the Bible in English

Things to think about:

- What reasons does the MP have for his arguments on the subject? What were his own religious beliefs? Did he have some financial interests in the monasteries or local area?

- How would the issue have affected the MP’s constituents, the people who lived in his area? For example, was there a monastery close by?


If you like, you can find out who your local MP was at the time, and write from his point of view. You can find out who he was here on our website in the 1509-1558 constituencies section. Or you can make one up!

If possible, we would like as many entrants as possible to include photographs. If you are writing about a real MP, perhaps there is a monument of him locally, in his local church or his house. You could also include photographs of your local church and the changes it underwent due to the Reformation, or perhaps the local buildings that were once monasteries. All photographs should be taken by the student themselves, and the best will feature on our new schools website section!

For more information you can visit:

- The UK Parliament education service ‘Houses of History’ timeline

- Articles on the BBC

- UK Parliament ‘Living Heritage’ article on the Reformation Parliament

- More here in the 1509-1558 volumes

Competition rules:

1. For individual entries, the winner of the competition will receive a prize of a book token for £75.  The winner will be invited to visit the Palace of Westminster with up to two other members of their family, and a member of the school staff, for the presentation of the prizes (the History will pay reasonable travel/accommodation expenses for the student and accompanying members of his/her family: we regret that we cannot pay the travel or accommodation expenses of any accompanying school staff).

2. The competition is open to any student at a UK school or college who will not have passed his or her 15th birthday by 30th July 2013.

3. All entries must be accompanied by the following information, securely attached to or associated with the entry

   a) The candidate’s name

   b) The candidate’s school and its address, with a telephone or email contact for the school

   c) The candidate’s age at 30 July 2013

  d) A declaration, signed by the teacher, saying that the work, including any photographs submitted, is all the candidate’s own.

4. We regret that entries cannot be individually acknowledged, and will not be returned after the competition.

5. Any photographs included with the competitions must be taken by the entrants themselves and they must hold full copyright over these images.

6. Some entries may be used on www.historyofparliamentonline.org: those whose entries are used in this way will be contacted.

7. Entries should be sent to:

                  History of Parliament competition
                  18 Bloomsbury Square
                  LONDON WC1A 2NS


             Or to the competition email account:

                 Competitions@histparl.ac.uk
           (If sending entries by email, please send one email per individual entry)

8. Entries must be received by 30 July 2013.

The History of Parliament trust was very sad to hear of the death of Tom Driver, who passed away earlier this week. Dr Driver specialised in 15th century political history; his Oxford B.Litt. thesis of 1951 was on the parliamentary representation of the Wiltshire boroughs in the 1420s and 1430s, and his Ph.D. at Liverpool in 1983 focused on 'The Parliament of 1472-5'.  Over the 60 years since 1951 he published many articles in local history journals on individual MPs of the 15th century, the last being in Archaeologia Cantiana, vol. cxxxi in 2011.

He was always extremely supportive of the History of Parliament and its staff, and generously shared his time and research with the medieval sections. All at the History, especially the members of the Commons 1422-1504 section, would like to convey our deepest sympathies to Dr Driver’s family.

The History of Parliament is delighted to be available from today on Connected Histories, a project that brings together a range of digital resources related to early modern and nineteenth century Britain with a single federated search. The user can search names, places and dates across over twenty major digital historical resources, including British History Online, the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers and Victoria County History. You can also save, connect and share resources within a personal workspace.

Connected histories has been created by a partnership between the University of Hertfordshire, the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and the University of Sheffield. To use this great resource, visit www.connectedhistories.org.

Building on the History of Parliament’s ‘Politics and patronage: a tercentenary colloquium for Frederick, Prince of Wales’ conference in 2007, Oliver Cox (University of Oxford) and Jennifer Scammell (Newcastle University) are organising an interdisciplinary one-day conference on the opposition to Sir Robert Walpole. The conference seeks to bring together both established and early career scholars from different faculties and professional backgrounds to debate the dynamic, yet amorphous, cultural and political group – the Patriot Opposition – who formed in opposition to the men and measures of the first ‘Prime Minister’, Walpole.

The aim is to widen the focus of the original conference and, with the twentieth anniversary of Christine Gerrard’s influential monograph fast approaching, showcase new research on the subject.

The organisers will welcome proposals for individual twenty-minute papers from literary scholars; historians; art, architectural and landscape historians, with the aim of replicating in the diversity of conference papers the many different mediums used by Prince Frederick and the Patriots. The History of Parliament’s Robin Eagles will be one of the keynote speakers.

The conference will be held in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces at Hampton Court Palace on Friday 7 June and include a tour of the new Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber exhibition.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words and a CV must be submitted to the conference organisers Oliver Cox (oliver.cox@history.ox.ac.uk) and Jennifer Scammell (j.scammell@newcastle.ac.uk) by 24 March.

The History of Parliament is supporting a one-day colloquium, organised by Paul Cavill and Alexandra Gajda through the Centre for Early Modern British and Irish History, to be held on Saturday 20 April, in the Habakkuk Room, Jesus College, Oxford.



Because the ideological template of early modern England remained resolutely traditionalist, it was the re-envisioning of the past that empowered the momentous changes of this period. Medieval ideas about counsel, consent, and responsible government coalesced around parliament. This colloquium will explore the rise of parliament in the contemporary historical imagination. Renaissance scholarship prompted new approaches to the reading and writing of history, which exercised a powerful influence on the ways that contemporaries interpreted the politics of their own world. The place of parliament in early modern literature encompassed plays and poetry as well as more strictly defined works of history. The colloquium therefore will bring together the political study of parliament with work on antiquarian, intellectual, literary, and religious culture.

Speakers include: Ian Archer, Andrew Boyle, Paul Cavill, Pauline Croft, Alexandra Gajda, Simon Healey, Paulina Kewes, Scott Lucas, Jason Peacey, Paul Seaward.

For further information and details about registration please email Paul Cavill (p.r.cavill@leeds.ac.uk) or Alexandra Gajda (alexandra.gajda@jesus.ox.ac.uk)

The History of Parliament Online is delighted to be awarded this year’s British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Digital Prize.

BSECS awards the prize to the best digital resource supporting eighteenth-century studies, and it is funded by Adam Matthew Digital. BSECS said:

"The History of Parliament Online is an immensely valuable new resource for scholars of the long eighteenth century. It makes their comprehensive survey of British political history freely available, and presented in a form that is easily navigable and visually attractive."

For more about the prize, see here

and for more about BSECS, visit their website.

A new vacancy has opened up as the Coordinator of the European Information and Research Network on Parliamentary History (0.6 ft) at Nijmegen Centre for Parliamentary History (CPG), Radbound University.

The European Information and Research Network on Parliamentary History (EuParl.net) is a European cooperation of institutes for parliamentary history. As coordinator of EuParl.net, you will maintain and facilitate the contacts between the participating institutes and coordinate common research efforts undertaken by these institutes. You will contribute actively to formulating a shared research agenda for the coming years, and you will be expected to find new funding opportunities and write grant applications. You will be involved in the organisation of international workshops and conferences, and in enhancing the visibility of the network.

The closing date for applications is 7 January 2013.

For full details, see the Radbound University website and for more information on EUParl.net visit their website.

The History of Parliament are delighted to announce the winners of our undergraduate and sixth form essay competitions. The undergraduate prize is awarded to the best undergraduate dissertation on a subject relating to British or Irish parliamentary or political history (this year, limited to the period before 1832). The 6th form essay competition is awarded to the best essay on any aspect of parliamentary history. We greatly enjoyed reading all of the entries, and found some exceptionally good work.

The History’s Editorial Board, who are the judges for the competition, have selected a dissertation by Gary Hutchinson entitled ‘No Party Matter either in or out of doors: reaction to the Impeachment of Henry Dundas, First Viscount Melville’, presented by the University of Edinburgh, as this year’s winner. The judges thought that the dissertation offered a sound and engagingly written narrative of how popular opinion mirrored parliamentary reaction in terms of anti-Scottish sentiment and the movement for parliamentary reform; it provided a wider perspective about the genesis of the critique of old corruption, was particularly adept in its analysis of the parliamentary debates and Cobbett and made some interesting comments on parliamentary language.

The sixth form prize has been won by a pupil from Fulford School in York, with an essay entitled ‘In the context of the period 1893-1998, to what extent were socialist ideals a major factor in the Irish nationalist movement?’. On a difficult subject, the essay was clearly focused, with an excellent grasp of the issues and events, and showed good judgement in considering others' arguments.

We expect to be running our competitions again next year, so please watch this website, as well as our blogs, twitter and facebook pages, for more announcements.

The History of Parliament trust was very sad to hear of the sudden death of Professor John Cannon in October this year. Professor Cannon was a specialist on eighteenth century political and social history and contributed many articles to our first volume, The House of Commons 1754-1790, edited by Sir Lewis Namier, before he became professor, and later pro-vice-chancellor, of Newcastle University. All at the History would like to convey our deepest sympathies to Professor Cannon’s family. For a full obituary, please see the Newcastle University website.

During the 1930s, as part of his plan to create a biographical dictionary of MPs, from the 13th century to the 20th, Josiah Wedwood MP sent a questionnaire to those who had served in the 1885-1918 Parliaments. Out of them he wrote a series of idiosyncratic and pithy biographies of his contemporaries, friends and enemies. The result is a unique and extraordinary record of Parliamentarians a century and more ago.

Priscilla Baines, former Librarian of the House of Commons, has written a book describing Wedgwood's project and containing the biographies that Wedgwood himself wrote. On Wednesday 12 December Priscilla will be giving a talk about the project in the House of Lords. If you are interested in attending, please contact us.

Priscilla's book, 'Colonel Josiah Wedgwood’s Questionnaire: Members of Parliament 1885-1918' is now available from Wiley Blackwell, and you can read more about the project here.

We are delighted to be able to release all the materials for the House of Commons, 1604-29 section online. These volumes cover some of the darkest moments in the history of parliament. While many MPs feared that England’s representative institution was teetering on the brink of extinction, two successive kings were no less fearful that some of the most influential members of the Commons were secretly hell-bent on doing away with the monarchy.

In 1629 the king forced the House of Commons to adjourn amid scenes of uproar as a band of Members, led by Sir John Eliot, dragged the Speaker back to his chair while the House agreed a formal protest. Parliament was not called again until 1640, when the king, having failed to suppress rebellion in Scotland, was left with no other option. Two years later the country descended into Civil War.

The History of Parliament’s 6 volumes covering this period trace the people and politics of the period in unparalleled detail. Biographies of each of the 1,782 men who sat in the House of Commons are accompanied with electoral histories of each of the 259 constituencies which returned them. The work draws on research in over 170 archives, both in the UK and abroad, by an expert team of historians.

To view the material, visit the ‘research’ section. The volumes are still available to purchase: please visit publications for more details.

The History has commissioned a new series of ‘Explore’ articles to celebrate Parliament Week, an initiative coordinated by both the House of Commons and th