Category Archives: women

Harriet Grote (1792-1878) and the first reformed Parliament, 1833-34: a woman at Westminster

Harriet Grote (1792-1878), our research fellow Dr Martin Spychal, looks at Harriet’s introduction to politics at Westminster during the first ‘reformed’ Parliament of 1833-34. Continue reading

Posted in Harriet Grote, Legislation, Parliamentary life, party labels, Uncategorized, women | 1 Comment

The queen and the chemist’s son: Matthew Wood MP and the radical defence of Queen Caroline

Matthew Wood (1768-1843) represented London as a radical reformer between 1817 and 1843. From 1832 he was a committed advocate of metropolitan legislation and an active figure in the committee corridors. As a founding member, and landlord, of the short-lived … Continue reading

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The radical hostess of Parliament Street: Harriet Grote (1792-1878), the 1832 election and establishing influence as a woman at Westminster

In the second of his blogs on Harriet Grote (1792-1878), our research fellow, Dr Martin Spychal, explores Harriet’s introduction to electoral politics at the 1832 election and her preparations for the 1833 parliamentary session… The 1832 election introduced Harriet Grote … Continue reading

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Pubs and drink in Victorian elections

Most of us probably think of pubs as informal spaces for leisure and socialising. In the period we research for the House of Commons 1832-1868 project, however, things were rather different. Public houses played a central role in many of … Continue reading

Posted in Constituencies, Corruption, Elections, women | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

‘Had she been a man, she would have been the leader of a party’: Harriet Grote (1792-1878), radicalism and Parliament, 1820-41

In the first of his blogs on Harriet Grote (1792-1878), our research fellow Dr Martin Spychal, explores Harriet’s early life, her emergence as a central figure among London’s intellectual radicals during the 1820s and her arrival on the Westminster political … Continue reading

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A Highland canvass in a ‘pocket county’: Ronald Gower (1845-1916) and the 1867 Sutherland by-election

In the fourth blog of his series on Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916), Dr Martin Spychal, uses Gower’s diaries to provide some rare insights into mid-Victorian electioneering in the ‘pocket county’ of Sutherland. This blog was also posted as part of the … Continue reading

Posted in Constituencies, Elections, Parliamentary life, Queer Parliamentary Life, Ronald Gower Series, Scotland, women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

From Rochdale to Westminster: Emily Kelsall and the new Houses of Parliament

This post from our assistant editor Dr Kathryn Rix was first published on the Parliamentary Archives: Inside the Act Room blog, which has many more articles to read on parliamentary history, from the medieval to the modern. One of the … Continue reading

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A female politician? Lady Derby and mid-Victorian political life

Originally posted on The History of Parliament:
Continuing our series on Women and Parliament, Dr. Jennifer Davey of the University of East Anglia looks at the influence of Mary, Countess of Derby (1824-1900) within the worlds of high politics and…

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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

An Artist in the Attic: Women and the House of Commons in the Early-Nineteenth Century

In this guest post, Amy Galvin-Elliott from the University of Warwick looks at how women were able to witness debates in the House of Commons from the ‘ventilator’, a space used until the fire of October 1834 destroyed the old … Continue reading

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‘So much for the behaviour of the first assemblage of gentlemen’: views from parliament by a Devonshire Tory

Our Victorian MP of the Month is the Conservative MP for Devonshire South, Montagu Parker. His correspondence with his mother between 1835 and 1841 provides a fascinating perspective on life at Westminster. Montagu Edmund Newcombe Parker (1807-1858) is best known … Continue reading

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MP of the Month: Henry Fawcett (1833-84)

Continuing our recent focus on the personalities and campaigns associated with ‘votes for women’, our MP of the Month highlights the remarkable career of Henry Fawcett, husband of the leading suffragist Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929), whose statue was unveiled in Parliament … Continue reading

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Voice and Vote: behind the scenes

Originally posted on The History of Parliament:
This blog looks at how the History of Parliament has been involved behind the scenes with the Voice and Vote exhibition which opened in Westminster Hall last week. Dr. Philip Salmon and Dr.…

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Before the vote was won: women and politics, 1832-68

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which received royal assent on 6 February. For the first time, virtually all the adult male population received the parliamentary franchise, whereas before this reform, around … Continue reading

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MP of the Month: George Donisthorpe Thompson (1804-1878)

December’s MP of the Month blog charts the path into Parliament of George Thompson, a self-educated book-seller’s son. As one of Britain’s foremost platform orators he was a major figure in the abolition of slavery in the West Indies and … Continue reading

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‘A woman actually voted!’: Lily Maxwell and the Manchester by-election of November 1867

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the casting of a parliamentary vote by Lily Maxwell, a Manchester shopkeeper, more than half a century before the partial enfranchisement of women in 1918. On 26 November 1867, at a by-election in Manchester, … Continue reading

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‘The only really important public service I performed’: John Stuart Mill’s women’s suffrage amendment, 20 May 1867

Our MP of the Month is John Stuart Mill (1806-73), who sat as Liberal MP for Westminster, 1865-8. One hundred and fifty years ago this week, the House of Commons voted for the first time on the question of granting … Continue reading

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‘The first humble beginnings of an agitation’: the women’s suffrage petition of 7 June 1866

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the presentation to Parliament of the first mass women’s suffrage petition on 7 June 1866. Signed by around 1,500 women, it was presented to the Commons by John Stuart Mill, who had been returned … Continue reading

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Parliament Week 2013: Women in Democracy

To mark Parliament Week 2013, the theme of which is ‘Women in Democracy’, we would like to share some of our recent research highlighting the varied nature of female participation in British political life during the nineteenth century, despite the … Continue reading

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The Victorian female franchise

Welcome to the first of our guest blogs. On BBC Radio 4 tonight Dr Sarah Richardson presents a programme about the discovery of an early Victorian poll book listing women voters (click here to listen). Female participation in non-parliamentary elections … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Guest blog, Local government, women | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments