Category Archives: Politics

A Personal View of the Gordon Riots

Laetitia Hawkins (1760–1835) was the daughter of a wealthy London lawyer and magistrate. She never married, living with her bachelor brother in Twickenham after both her parents had died. Some while ago, I discovered a book, published in 1926, which … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Politics | 3 Comments

Fears of Terrorism and the ‘Swinish Multitude’

My series of mysteries featuring Dr Adam Bascom are all set in the early years of the struggle between Britain and revolutionary, later Napoleonic, France. Several feature the British government’s real concerns about spying, infiltration and subversion by the French. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

Electioneering and Corruption in Georgian England

Voting in parliamentary elections in Georgian England was neither democratic nor free from undue influence. By modern standards, the whole system could be labelled as corrupt and biased. The presence of so-called ‘Rotten Boroughs’ — elections decided by a handful … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Georgian Society, Politics

‘Party’ in 18th-century English politics

In our own times, most of us are familiar with partisan, party-based politics. That makes it all too easy for us to transfer our own experience with political parties into the political environment of the 18th-century. From all I have … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Politics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

William Windham and the Fight against France and Napoleon

The story of the Norfolk squire who became the British government’s principal agent engaged in stirring up Royalist opposition to the French revolution and Napoleon. I’ve mentioned before how often I’m struck by the similarities between events in the 18th-century … Continue reading

Posted in Military, Politics | 2 Comments

Plus Ça Change: The Georgian Government’s Response to Radicalism

Defending Britain from sedition and the “swinish multitudes” On May 21, 1792, King George III issued a proclamation in which he warned his subjects against the influence of “divers wicked and seditious writings”. It’s clear the principal writing he and … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

The Eccentric Mrs Atkyns

Charlotte Atkyns, née Walpole, deserves a prominent place amongst 18th-century Norfolk eccentrics, despite the fact that she was neither Norfolk born nor — though she was happy to suggest it — related to the well-known Norfolk Walpole family, descendants of … Continue reading

Posted in Norfolk Eccentrics, Politics

Pamphleteering: Welcome to the Georgian Internet

It’s amazing how similar the world of the late-eighteenth century pamphlet wars is to today’s social media. Both provide a more or less open space for people to express their views on any topic, join in controversies and try to … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

The Georgian Letter-writing Boom

People had written letters to family and friends long before the eighteenth century. The famous Paston letters are only one example. However, both the Georgian and Regency periods saw a vast increase in the amount of correspondence of all kinds. … Continue reading

Posted in Commerce, Georgian Society, Politics | 3 Comments

The Georgian View of Democracy

One of the greatest differences between political life in Georgian times and today was who was allowed to have a vote, both nationally and locally. In most modern, Western societies the most basic assumption is the primacy of democracy in … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment