Saturday, February 18, 2012

High feeding and smart drinking among Lords and Commoners

Simonds D'Ewes, Journals of All the Parliaments
during the Reign of Queen Elizabeth

(1682), frontispiece
Kudos to The History of Parliament (HoP) Trust for making available online all the constituency and member biographies existing in print (for the early modern period, that includes material on the members of the House of Commons for the years 1386-1421, 1509-1629, and 1660-1820): The History of Parliament: British Political, Social & Local History.  The massive HoP project is now quickly, simply, and freely usable.  I have incorporated it into an assignment on Mapping Unreformed England, 1660-1832 (at least I did so after one of my students discovered it as I was explaining how to use the print volumes!).

The History of Parliament Trust has published a delightful teaser of sorts for the forthcoming multi-volume prosopographical study on the House of Lords, 1660-1715: Ruth Paley and Paul Seaward, eds., Honour, Interest and Power: An Illustrated History of the House of Lords, 1660-1715 (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2010), with an illustrated section on "'High feeding and smart drinking': clubs, dinners and party politics," 232-4, with a couple of quotes from Newton Key, “‘High feeding and Smart drinking’: Associating Hedge-Lane Lords in Exclusion Crisis London,” in Exclusion and Revolution: the worlds of Roger Morrice, 1675-1700, ed. Jason McElligott (Aldershot, Hants.: Ashgate, 2006), 154-73, for which citation I am most grateful.  I do wonder, however, the extent to which Lords eschewed their own townhouses for meeting in coffeehouses.  How would one measure public vs. private feasting and drinking?

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