How to use the History of Parliament's biographies of Members


This database contains the 21,420 articles published so far by the History of Parliament covering the careers of Members of Parliament. At present the articles for the 1604-29 and 1820-32 Sections are unavailable: they will be published on the website late in 2012 and late in 2011 respectively.

The History has been compiled over a long period of time: the first articles were published in 1964 and the most recent were published in 2010. There is a considerable variation in the size and amount of information provided. In general, those sections published more recently should be regarded as much fuller and more authoritative, although for most purposes, the earlier biographies can be relied on.

Each biography contains information on the Member’s family background, career and significant achievements, but the main emphasis is placed on the Member’s parliamentary activity, where this can be traced.

Please bear in mind the following points when consulting the biographies:

  • a Member’s name is given in the style that he held when he first entered the