Category Archives: Politics

Same Old, Same Old?

Studying 18th-century British history provides clear proof that we have learned almost nothing in the 250-odd years since then. The problems we grapple with today are the same ones our ancestors were trying to solve in the 1780s and 1790s. Then, … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Politics | 1 Comment

Radicalism, Constitutional Reform and the French Revolution

My series of books about Dr Adam Bascom, Norfolk physician and solver of mysteries, are set in the period after the French Revolution, when the ideas and attitudes spawned in its turbulent birth were sweeping across Europe, unsettling regimes that … Continue reading

Posted in Politics

The Independents, Precursors of Radicalism

To eighteenth-century Britons, the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688 and the Bill of Rights of 1689 were more than simple historical and political events. They were the foundations of British political stability, the guarantors of freedom from arbitrary rule. Under the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

All ISN’T Fair in War

Here’s a fascinating piece from the Norfolk Chronicle of 21st October, 1780. In the course of the present war, humanity hath found a distinguished friend in Lord Viscount TOWNSHEND. His behaviour does honour to the dignity of his rank and … Continue reading

Posted in Military, Politics

Norwich Election Riot. September 23rd, 1786

An account from the Norfolk Chronicle of an election riot in Norwich. I’ve noted before that Norwich elections tended to be turbulent, especially towards the end of the 18th century. However, this one seems to have drawn in nearly all … Continue reading

Posted in Politics

The Gordon Riots of 1780

This is an insider’s view of days of mob violence in late Georgian London. Laetitia Hawkins was more or less in the middle of things and her father, Sir John, was a local magistrate and thus responsible for trying to … Continue reading

Posted in Politics

Conservative Propaganda in the 18th Century

It’s fair to say that pro-government forces during the latter part of the 18th century proved better than the anti-government ones at manipulating public opinion against the radicals who demanded political and social reform. Governments of the day worked hard … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Politics | 2 Comments

The Language of 18th Century Politics

Many people today never encounter the English of the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible of 1611 or the Book of Common Prayer of 1662. This is a huge gap in their literary education. Not just because both are … Continue reading

Posted in Politics

‘Straights’, ‘Splitters’ and ‘Plumpers’

No, these are not esoteric sexual orientations; nor are they descriptions of carrots or any other root vegetables. They are the different voting strategies available to eighteenth-century voters throughout most of England. Forget ‘floating voters’ or tactical voting. These are … Continue reading

Posted in Politics

Dr. Sylas Neville’s Radical Outlook on Life

In my first set of extracts from Dr. Sylas Neville’s diary, I concentrated on events in his life. While an understanding of his life is necessary as background, I find the most fascinating parts of his diary are his many … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Georgian Society, Politics