Sh 36d BCL Enlightenment and Radicalism - Members Only


The 18th century saw a sea change in the attitudes towards constitutional reform. Enlightenment ideas drove a desire to define and systematise; and meanwhile the growth of a desire for genuine radical change rather than a desire to re-assert ancient rights.


7 thoughts on “Sh 36d BCL Enlightenment and Radicalism - Members Only

  1. I’m ashamed to say that I’m not familiar with the term “putting in the beaut (sp?)” so I totally missed the joke. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

    1. Putting the Boot in – as opposed to putting the (earl of ) Bute in? I have to accept it’s more than a bit obscure!

  2. Regarding the issue of slavery in England, how would you characterize the kidnapping and impressment of men by the Navy? Kidnapping and forced service certainly describes the experience of many Africans. For myself, I think “impressment” has become so normalized an idea in my own mind, that until now I’ve failed to categorize it correctly.

    1. There’s a similar question I think relating to indentured servitude; people sent abroad often to work through a period of work to fulfil a contract. Often this is referred to in books as slavery, or ‘effectively slavery’. I don’t agree with that characterisation; many forms of slavery, including but not limited to Chattel slavery in the English colonies, gave no rights whatsoever. Even impressed men and indentured servants had a legal existence and rights, however truncated they might be, and however brutal their existence. Other views available though I am sure; at one level I guess its semantics – none of these things would we countenance willingly now!

  3. There’s another fun link between fibs, physical appearance and English liberty. There is a contemporary story that at the House of Lords vote on the Habeas Corpus Act in 1679, one of the tellers for aye made a fat joke:

    “Lord Grey and Lord Norris were named to be the tellers: Lord Norris, being a man subject to vapours, was not at all times attentive to what he was doing: so, a very fat lord coming in, Lord Grey counted him as ten, as a jest at first: but seeing Lord Norris had not observed it, he went on with this misreckoning of ten: so it was reported that they that were for the Bill were in the majority, though indeed it went for the other side: and by this means the Bill passed.”

    Of course, fun-sucking historians have cast all manner of doubt on this story, but if it isn’t true it should be.

    1. Yes! That SHOULd be true, deserves to be true! I am just about to record the last episode, and your anecdote is going in!

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