Category Archives: Politics & Law

Aspects of British Law and Politics

A Regency Bicentennial:   The Trial and Execution of John Bellingham

Last week, we left John Bellingham in government custody, confined in Newgate Gaol on the night of 11 May 1812. Earlier that afternoon, in Westminster Hall, he had publicly shot and killed the British Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval, just as … Continue reading

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A Regency Bicentennial:   The Assasination of Spencer Perceval

Two hundred years ago, today, the de facto Prime Minister of Great Britain was assassinated at Westminster, by a man who did not even know him. But the assassin blamed the British government for most of his business problems and … Continue reading

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A Regency Bicentennial:   The Luddites & the Ides of March

Next Thursday, which also happens to be the Ides of March, marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the first large-scale Luddite attack in Yorkshire. This was not the first Luddite attack in England, but it was the largest and most destructive … Continue reading

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A Regency Bicentennial:   Lord Byron’s Maiden Speech

This coming Monday, 27 February 2012, marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the first speech that Lord Byron made in Parliament. Though Byron had first taken his seat in the House of Lords in March of 1809, a few weeks after … Continue reading

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A Regency Bicentennial:   Prinny Takes All!

But what did he do with it? This coming Monday, 6 February, marks the bicentennial of the first anniversary of the inauguration of the Regency. But, for the Prince Regent, that day was not just a simple anniversary. It was … Continue reading

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A Regency Bicentennial:   The Servant Tax

Hair powder, windows, carriages and coaches, and carriage and saddle horses were not the only luxuries which were taxed during the Regency. Many people also had to pay taxes on the servants they employed. But the tax did not apply … Continue reading

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A Regency Bicentennial: Prinny Denied the Freedom of the City of London

Two hundred years ago, yesterday, the Prince Regent was voted the freedom of the City of London. But another event which had taken place just three months previously meant the presentation could never take place. Therefore, the Prince Regent was … Continue reading

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The Private Language of the "Eaters of Buttered Tostes"

Londiners, and all within the sound of Bow-bell, are in reproch called Cocknies, and eaters of buttered tostes. Fynes Moryson Shakespeare’s Europe: Unpublished chapters of Fynes Moryson’s Itinerary 1617 And what, you ask, does a statement of regional prejudice, written … Continue reading

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The Regency Had No Crime

Which is why they had no need of police. In fact, they feared the idea of police. The watch and a few Bow Street Runners were quite enough, thank you. It is true that crimes were frequently committed during the … Continue reading

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And So It Begins …

The Bicentennial of the English Regency, that is. This coming Sunday, 6 February 2011, marks the 200th anniversary of the day on which the Prince of Wales took the oaths which made him Regent of Great Britain. The day on … Continue reading

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The Politics of Paper-Hangings

Not long ago, I read a Regency novel with an interesting author’s note. I have always enjoyed author’s notes in historical novels ever since I read my first in a novel by Barbara Cartland, many years ago. This particular author’s … Continue reading

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The Importance of Lady Day in the Regency Calendar

More than likely, most of you have read at least one Regency novel in which the heroine is the daughter of minor gentry. Her parents are well-bred and respectable, the young lady has grown up on the family’s country estate. … Continue reading

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"Marriage Lines" really are lines!

The phrase "marriage lines" is listed in the entry for marriage in the Oxford English Dictionary Online (paid subscription required). The phrase is characterized as a colloquial term for a marriage certificate, expecially that held by a bride. The first … Continue reading

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The Glass Excise and Window Taxes

As the weather was fine, they had a pleasant walk of about half a mile across the park. Every park has its beauty and its prospects; and Elizabeth saw much to be pleased with, though she could not be in … Continue reading

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