||The History of Parliament
||1386 - 1868
|The History of Parliament.|
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
The History of Parliament is a project to write a complete history of the United Kingdom Parliament and its predecessors, the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of England. The history will principally consist of a prosopography, in which the history of an institution is told through the individual biographies of its members. After various amateur efforts the project was formally launched in 1940 and since 1951 has been funded by the Treasury. As of 2010 the volumes covering the House of Commons in 1386-1421, 1509-1629, and 1660-1832 have been completed and published (in 41 separate volumes containing over 20 million words); research work on the remaining periods and on the House of Lords is ongoing. In 2011 the completed sections were republished on the internet.
- Verbatim remarks from Director Seward, Aug 2012
- Our current task is to ensure that existing text as it has been streamed into the online site is correct, and the same as in our published books. We are still doing this, and this is what we mean when we say ‘Work is still underway on checking and cleaning the data that has been transferred into the website from a number of sources, and the current version of the site is still provisional.’ This task is pretty much finished, although there are still some remaining issues with our 1820-32 biographies that are proving technically problematic because of the architecture of the site (especially the way constituencies and biographies connect with each other), and from time to time we still pick up small errors in the data (apart from errors in the original articles which people point out to us, simply the result of the availability of research material at the time when they were written). So broadly speaking, you can take the text that is there already as final.
- There are links to other MPs who don’t exist because in the original books wherever another MP is mentioned in an article it provides an * or similar to show this. For the online version we converted these automatically into links – but of course because of the gaps (see below) they don’t always take you anywhere.
- There are of course many gaps in the data. The site indicates the gaps for 1422-1504, 1604-29, 1640-60. These are periods on which we are currently working (and, as you have noticed, in the case of 1604-29, have finished and will shortly published). We publish our expected dates of publication in our annual planning document, which is at http://www.histparl.ac.uk/governance.html (though the most recent is only 2010-11 one, as we have been reviewing everything and will shortly be publishing a new look annual report). The dates are still several years away, I’m afraid: 2016/2018 for 1640 and 1422 respectively; they will probably not be on the website for a couple of years after that. (And please note that in practice the 1422-1504 project is split into two parts: the second element, covering 1461-1504 will only be published after the first is done).
- There are also the gaps which aren’t indicated on the website at all. One of them is 1832-68. We do have an ongoing project on this which has its own website as an offshoot from the project, on which we are publishing draft articles – we have so far published about 15% or so of the articles we will need to draft for the project. These by their nature are not definitive, and we open them to interested specialists: we’re not currently prepared to have them published more broadly precisely because they may change quite a lot as they are revised. The other gaps are the period before 1386, and all periods after 1868. These have not yet been programmed, so I simply can’t say when we will ever get to them. We hope we will, funding permitting!
- Sadly we can’t predict with complete certainty the name of the page when it appears. This is because, as you will have noticed, our page urls give the name of the member and his dates of birth and death. The latter are often details which we don’t know before we have started researching the biography; there are also several other issues we have to decide – for example in the case of double-barrelled names, what names we will use.
- As noted above, the automatic streaming to on-line process will result in some errors in the generation of links. The custodians of the site are pleased to accept and quickly respond to errors noted by observant users.