Hats and Mrs Thatcher

A scene in the Meryl Streep film about Margaret Thatcher shows her addressing the House of Commons from the despatch box, wearing a small (pillbox?) hat. Should she be? Is it in order to wear a hat in the House of Commons? Was it in the 1970s? As so often, Parliament's procedural manual, Erskine May,… Continue reading Hats and Mrs Thatcher


Hats and procedure

Hats have many uses. Apart from being a means of keeping one's head warm, and sometimes fashionable, they can be used to indicate status and deference; as a result they can be used to signal respect and roles. In the seventeenth century, the wearing of hats helped to signal the respect (or the limits to… Continue reading Hats and procedure

The History of Parliament Online

The History of Parliament Online became publicly available last year. It contains the published text of all of the History of Parliament's publications, although the most recent, 1604-29, is not as yet public. There are around 24,000 biographies and more than 2,000 constituency articles, covering periods from 1386 up to 1832. The search function allows… Continue reading The History of Parliament Online