Freedom for (Almost) Everyone!

On 1 August 1834, the Slavery Abolition Act passed by Parliament the previous year came into effect, abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire, with the exceptions of the East India Company’s territories and the islands of Ceylon and Saint Helena. The slavery abolition movement really got started in England in 1772, when Lord Mansfield, sitting in judgment in the Somersett’s Case, declared that slavery was … Continue reading Freedom for (Almost) Everyone!

Absolute Monarch

On 27 March 1625, one of England’s less successful monarchs, Charles I, ascended the throne after the death of his father, James I and VI. As we all know, the match between king and country was not to be a happy marriage. One of the biggest problems was that Charles was an extreme believer in the Divine Right of Kings, which he took to mean … Continue reading Absolute Monarch


On 11 March 1708, a piece of legislation known as the Scottish Militia Bill found its way to the desk of Queen Anne, having already been passed by both the Commons and the House of Lords. Anne, however, acted on the advice of her ministers and withheld Royal Assent, effectively killing the bill where it stood. Apparently, she worried that the proposed militia would be … Continue reading Veto

The Eleven Years’ Tyranny

On March 10, 1629 Charles I decided he’d had quite enough of this whole “Parliament” thing and dissolved it, beginning an 11-year period known politely as the Personal Rule and less politely as the Eleven Years’ Tyranny. It did not end well for him. Charles’s father, James, was something of a spendthrift during his reign and found himself frequently begging Parliament for money—a fact Parliament … Continue reading The Eleven Years’ Tyranny

Oh, It’s On Now!

On 22 August 1642, Charles I lost his royal patience and declared Parliament traitors, effectively kicking off the English Civil War. Things had been, well, unpleasant between Charles and Parliament for some time. In fact, things between Charles and just about everyone in the country had been tense for a while. The people were upset because he’d married a Roman Catholic, dissolved Parliament, ruling on … Continue reading Oh, It’s On Now!

Two Become One

On March 24, 1707, the Parliament of Scotland passed the Union with England Act. Together with the Union with Scotland Act, which passed the English Parliament the year before, the acts formally joined the two countries, creating the united kingdom of Great Britain. England and Scotland had existed under one ruler but two Parliaments ever since James VI/I inherited the English throne on March 24, … Continue reading Two Become One

The First Parliament

Come to order! On January 20, 1265, the first English parliament (in the dictionary sense of the word) was held under the direction of Simon de Montfort, thereby giving it the name de Montfort’s Parliament. At the time of the gathering, England was at war and de Montfort was a rebel leader. The Parliament, therefore, did not have the approval of King Henry III. It … Continue reading The First Parliament

The Pallisers Part V: Another Suitcase in Another Hall

Previously on The Pallisers: Alice remained on Team George, despite the fact that he’s bleeding her dry already and is actually kind of a jerk; Burgo made one last play for Glencora that didn’t work out too well.

Plantagenet’s reading the morning paper in the drawing room of Palliser Palace. In comes Glencora, who greets him with a perfunctory kiss before seating herself at the breakfast table. After greeting her, Plantagenet returns to his newspaper. After a while, Glencora mentions that he wanted to talk to her about the party the evening before. He puts his paper aside and starts out gently, telling her he doesn’t want her to think he’s reading too much into what happened. Glencora tells him to just be out with it, if he’s angry with her. He insists he’s not angry and he’s not going to scold, he just wants to advise her. Glencora says she’d rather be scolded, and now Plantagenet starts to get annoyed, and I can’t really blame him. He’s trying to be a good guy and she’s just making it unnecessarily difficult for him. He asks her to be serious and asks if she knows what she did wrong. She pretends not to know, but surely she realizes she was making a bit of a spectacle of herself.

Continue reading “The Pallisers Part V: Another Suitcase in Another Hall”

I’ll Show You!

January 4 was a rather auspicious day for King Charles I of England. In 1642, the king ordered Parliament to hand over six members accused of treason—an act that would add fuel to the smoldering civil war fire. And on that same day, seven years later, Parliament itself would vote to put Charles on trial, which would eventually cost him his life. Charles had a … Continue reading I’ll Show You!