Category Archives: Uncategorized

Collaborative Doctoral Award with the Open University: The Black and Mixed Ethnicity Presence in British Politics, 1750-1850

We are pleased to announce that the History of Parliament Trust is participating in a doctoral studentship project in partnership with the Open University. Applications are invited for an Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award, for entry in 2020-21. The deadline … Continue reading

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Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916): the life of a queer MP at the time of the Second Reform Act

Dr Martin Spychal introduces his new series of blogs for the Victorian Commons on Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916), who was elected as MP for Sutherland in 1867. Born into ‘the inner circle of English aristocratic life’, Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916) … Continue reading

Posted in Biographies, LGBT+ History Month, Queer Parliamentary Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Sir Robert Peel and the modern Conservative party

Today (5 Feb) marks the birthday of Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), the 19th century prime minister traditionally credited with founding the modern Conservative party. Peel is also subject of a new BBC ‘Prime Properties’ episode – click here to view … Continue reading

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From parliamentary reporter to Member of Parliament: Robert Spankie (1774-1842)

January’s MP of the Month takes a look at the unusual pre-parliamentary career of Robert Spankie, who was returned for Finsbury in 1832. A ground-breaking parliamentary reporter during the 1790s, Spankie ascended to the editorship of the Morning Chronicle before re-training as a barrister and serving as a controversial advocate-general of Bengal. Continue reading

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Happy New Year from the Victorian Commons!

For eight years now we have been marking the new year with some highlights from the previous 12 months. The events of 2019 certainly focused attention on parliamentary history and the UK’s constitutional practices as never before. Taking our cue … Continue reading

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MP of the Month: Thomas Neville Abdy (1810-1877) and electoral misconduct

Thomas Abdy’s political career provides a useful reminder of the chicanery, lies and corruption sometimes associated with 19th century English electioneering – venal traditions that became increasingly unacceptable during the Victorian era. Born into a naval family – his father … Continue reading

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Parliament versus the People: the Newport rising of 1839

Originally posted on The History of Parliament:
Today marks the 180th anniversary of the Newport rising when government forces and Welsh Chartists clashed in the town of Newport. Here’s Dr Philip Salmon, editor of our House of Commons 1832-68 project,…

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Collaborative Doctoral Award with the Open University: The Black and Mixed Ethnicity Presence in British Politics, 1750-1850

We are pleased to announce that the History of Parliament Trust is participating in a doctoral studentship project in partnership with the Open University. Applications are invited for an Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award, for entry in 2020-21. The deadline … Continue reading

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Political Prorogations: a view from the Victorian Commons

It’s been a long time since the business of suspending Parliament and starting a new session has generated so much political controversy. Throughout most of the 20th century prorogations invariably tallied with the expectations of most parliamentarians, neatly book-ending a … Continue reading

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Political protest in the age of Peterloo

Originally posted on The History of Parliament:
Today’s blog from the editor of our House of Commons 1832-68 section, Dr Philip Salmon, is the first of many pieces in which we will discuss the Peterloo Massacre that took place in…

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The representation of Devon and Cornwall after reform, 1832-68

Last week the History of Parliament and the Devon and Cornwall Record Society hosted a conference at Exeter on ‘The South West and Parliament’. Dr Martin Spychal of the Victorian Commons spoke at the event, and today provides an overview of … Continue reading

Posted in Biographies, Conferences and seminars, Constituencies, Corruption, Elections, Parliamentary life, party labels, Uncategorized, Voting and Divisions, women, Working-class politics | 4 Comments

Electoral malpractice and uncivil political speech: the case of Alfred Seymour MP

Our ‘MP of the Month’ blog highlights some themes still fresh in our minds after attending a conference on corruption at Oxford Brookes University. Alfred Seymour (1824-1888) was the younger brother of the better known archaeologist and explorer Henry Danby … Continue reading

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Happy New Year from the Victorian Commons for 2019

The Victorian Commons wishes all its readers a very Happy New Year. We’re looking forward to another year of blogging, but in the meantime, here’s a look back over our posts from 2018. For the first time ever, we had … Continue reading

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Innovation, corruption and bankruptcy: Charles John Mare (1814-1898)

Charles John Mare (1814-1898) was an innovative East End shipbuilder. Thought to be a millionaire when he was returned for Plymouth in 1852, his election proved the apex of his career. He was unseated for bribery in 1853, and declared bankrupt, for the first of four times, in 1855. Continue reading

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Upcoming event: Victorian Elections & Political Culture Workshop

On Friday 20 April 2018 the Research Centre in Victorian Political Culture, led by Professor Angus Hawkins, will be hosting a workshop on Victorian politics aimed at graduate students in the Jean Robinson Room, Keble College, Oxford OX1 3PG. The seminars … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Victorian Commons

The Victorian Commons blog provides news and highlights from the History of Parliament’s research project on the House of Commons, 1832-68. For details about the project and how to access our work see our About page. The main History of Parliament website can be … Continue reading

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Happy New Year from the Victorian Commons for 2018

The Victorian Commons would like to wish all our readers a very Happy New Year. Before we resume blogging in 2018, we’d like to highlight some posts you may have missed in 2017. Our most popular post of 2017 looked … Continue reading

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MP of the Month: John Tomlinson Hibbert (1824-1908)

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the passing of the 1867 Reform Act. Introduced by Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Derby’s Conservative government, it added around a million voters to the register, primarily in borough constituencies. This greatly exceeded the … Continue reading

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Call for Papers: conference on ‘Parliaments and Popular Sovereignty’, 3-4 Nov. 2017

Durham University and the History of Parliament are hosting a conference with the People’s History Museum in Manchester, 3-4 Nov. 2017, with support from the Royal Historical Society and Durham University’s Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies. For further details see below … Continue reading

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Happy New Year from the Victorian Commons for 2017

We would like to wish all the readers of the Victorian Commons a very Happy New Year for 2017! We’re looking forward to another year of blogging, but in the meantime, here are some of our blog highlights from 2016. … Continue reading

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Petitioning Parliament: two PhD studentships

One of our former colleagues, Dr Henry Miller, has recently secured a major grant to further his work on petitioning, as part of an important new project with Dr Richard Huzzey at the University of Durham. Petitioning has long been … Continue reading

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Happy New Year from the Victorian Commons

As 2015 comes to a close, we would like to wish all the readers of the Victorian Commons a very Happy New Year for 2016! We’re looking forward to another year of blogging, but in the meantime, here are some … Continue reading

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Congratulations to Martin Spychal, Pollard prize runner-up

We would like to congratulate Martin Spychal, who holds an AHRC collaborative doctoral award with the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament, on being runner up in the Pollard Prize for the best paper given at an IHR … Continue reading

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Job opportunity on our project: Research assistant / Research fellow

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 … Continue reading

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Goodbye and Good Luck to Dr James Owen!

This month we bid farewell to Dr James Owen, who is leaving the 1832-68 project for a teaching post in the USA. Since joining us in 2009 James has completed over 200 MP biographies and almost 30 full-length constituency articles … Continue reading

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Predicting the polls: a Victorian perspective

Originally posted on The History of Parliament:
As the UK goes to the polls today, here’s the last in our series of blogs on elections through the centuries. With the outcome of today’s vote still baffling the pollsters, Dr Philip…

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Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: Martin Spychal, ‘One of the best men of business we had ever met’: Thomas Drummond, the boundary commission and the 1832 Reform Act

Originally posted on The History of Parliament:
At our last ‘Parliaments, Politics and People’ seminar, Martin Spychal, holder of an AHRC collaborative doctoral award with the History of Parliament and Institute of Historical Research, gave a paper on Thomas Drummond…

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Victorian Political Memorabilia

One of the many eye-openers of this project has been the sheer amount of political memorabilia produced by the Victorians. British politics has of course always been associated with satirical prints and various forms of commemorative art. However, the volume … Continue reading

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Happy New Year from the Victorian Commons for 2015

The Victorian Commons would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. Before we resume blogging for 2015, we’d like to highlight some posts you may have missed in 2014. One of our most popular blogs from 2014 featured MPs … Continue reading

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Happy New Year from the Victorian Commons for 2014!

We would like to wish all the readers of the Victorian Commons blog a very Happy New Year for 2014! Before we embark on our next year of blogging, we wanted to share some of our highlights of 2013. Our … Continue reading

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Congratulations to Dr Henry Miller!

We’d like to congratulate Dr Henry Miller, who joined our project in 2009, on his new appointment as a lecturer at the University of Manchester. From September 2013 Henry will be a full-time lecturer in Nineteenth-Century British History in Manchester’s … Continue reading

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Elections before the secret ballot

This month marks the 141st anniversary of the first use of the secret ballot to elect an MP, at a by-election in the Yorkshire borough of Pontefract. Before the 1872 Ballot Act, and throughout the period covered by our Victorian … Continue reading

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Researching Victorian MPs online: some useful but less well known databases

In an earlier blog on researching Victorian MPs online, we considered various countries’ online dictionaries of national biography and how their content helped shed light on MPs’ interests across the British empire. In this post, we highlight some of the … Continue reading

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Sir John Lubbock and Bank Holidays

Today the Victorian Commons is blogging on the main History of Parliament blog, where Kathryn Rix looks at Sir John Lubbock (1834-1913), Liberal MP for Maidstone, 1870-80, and London University, 1880-1900. To read about his efforts in passing the 1871 … Continue reading

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Wm. Roger Louis Prize awarded to Dr. James Owen

The Victorian Commons is delighted to announce that Dr. James Owen, a Research Fellow on the 1832-1868 project, has been jointly awarded the Wm. Roger Louis Prize for 2013. This prize is awarded for the best paper given at the … Continue reading

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From the Victorian Commons to the Victorian Lords

This week our assistant editor Kathryn Rix turns her attention from the House of Commons to the House of Lords, with a contribution to the Guest Historians section of the Number 10 Downing Street website. Her article looks at Prime Ministers who sat … Continue reading

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Paper at Politics and the Power of Print Conference, Manchester, 30 Nov. 2012

On the 30th Nov. 2012 at Chetham’s Library, Manchester, I am giving a paper at the Politics and the Power of Print Conference organised by Manchester Metropolitan University. The paper is titled ‘ “Agitate, agitate, agitate”: the publishing career of … Continue reading

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Parliament Week 2012 – Grey’s Reform ministry

This week (19-25 November) is Parliament Week 2012. To mark the occasion, the History of Parliament is publishing a specially commissioned series of articles on key parliamentary events, one of which comes from Dr. Philip Salmon, editor of the 1832-68 project. On … Continue reading

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Police commissioner elections in the nineteenth century

The elections for police and crime commissioners taking place later this week across England and Wales may seem a novelty, but in fact this is not the first time that British voters have been called upon to decide between rival … Continue reading

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Paper at EUPARL Conference, Paris, 8-9 Nov. 2012

This week I am giving a paper, titled ‘The British Parliament and the representation of public opinion before democracy, c. 1800-1914’, at a conference organised by the European Information and Research Network on Parliamentary History (EUPARL). The conference is being … Continue reading

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‘Virtually a fourth class of passenger carriage’: the parliamentary train

With the pleasures and pitfalls of Britain’s rail services now frequently in the news, it is worth recalling that the relationship between Parliament and the iron road is a long one. In fact, the principle of legislative interference in the … Continue reading

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New article on Thomas Attwood and the Birmingham School in latest issue of Parliamentary History

My article ‘Radicals, Tories or monomaniacs?: The Birmingham currency reformers in the House of Commons, 1832-67’ has just been published in the latest issue of Parliamentary History, 31 (2012), pp. 354-77. The article grew out of research for the 1832-68 … Continue reading

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Parliament destroyed by fire

On 16 October 1834 an immense fire started by the over-zealous burning of waste took hold in the old Palace of Westminster, completely destroying the medieval Commons and Lords chambers as well as the Speaker’s apartments. The largest metropolitan conflagration … Continue reading

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‘Register, register, register!’: political activity in October

In modern politics the month of October is usually dominated by coverage of the major party conferences. In Victorian times, it was the stand-off between the political parties in the voter registration courts, famously immortalised by Peel’s call to ‘register, … Continue reading

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Disraeli and One Nation Conservatism

The Labour leader Ed Miliband mentioned ‘One Nation’ 44 times in his conference speech on Tuesday. The term ‘One Nation’, as many commentators have pointed out, is indelibly associated with the 19th century Conservative leader and prime minister Benjamin Disraeli … Continue reading

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Brothers in the Victorian Commons

This week, as the Labour party conference gets into full swing in Manchester, much of the media’s focus will fall on Ed Miliband, and whether he has the necessary qualities to become Prime Minister. Inevitably, discussions of his character will … Continue reading

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New article on popular petitioning and corn laws in latest issue of English Historical Review

My article, ‘Popular petitioning and the corn laws, 1833-46’ has just been published in the August issue of English Historical Review, vol. 127 (2012), pp. 882-919. The article sheds new light on one of the most important political campaigns of 19th century Britain, … Continue reading

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PhD studentship opportunities – ‘Space and power in the nineteenth-century House of Commons’

The Institute of Historical Research (IHR) and the History of Parliament Trust (HoP) are offering two three-year Collaborative Doctoral Awards (or five-year part-time) PhD studentships 2012-15 to work on the history of the Houses of Parliament and the parliamentary representative … Continue reading

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Welcome!

Welcome to the blog of the History of Parliament’s House of Commons, 1832-68 project, which will provide news of our ongoing research. This is the latest research project in the History of Parliament’s series of widely acclaimed scholarly reference works charting … Continue reading

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