The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Informally known as the Houses of Parliament, the Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London.
The palace was originally the principal residence of the English monarch. Parliament first met there in 1265.
In 1834 a large fire destroyed both Houses of Parliament and many of its
Several of my forebears and relatives served in Parliament.
Thomas Crew (1564 – 1634), one of my 11th great grandfathers, was elected at Lichfield in 1604. He was Speaker of the House of Commons in 1624 and 1625. Thomas Crew’s father was a tanner of Nantwich, who put his two sons into law. Both Thomas and his brother Ranulphe (1559 – 1646) became Speakers of the House of Commons, the only brothers ever to have had this distinction.
John Crew (1598 – 1679), son of Thomas and one of my 10th great grandfathers, was first elected to Parliament in 1624 and served until after 1660.
Edward Mainwaring (1635 – 1703), one of my 8th great grandfathers, represented the seat of Newcastle-Under-Lyme in 1685 He was a Tory(a Monarchist), on the committee on the bill for the general naturalization of Huguenot refugees (a committee whose recommendations were of great significance to my Huguenot refugee forebears).
Two generations after arriving as Huguenot refugees, my Champion de Crespigny 5th great grandfather and his Fonnereau brothers-in-law entered Parliament.
Philip Champion Crespigny (1738 – 1803), one of my 5th great grandfathers, first entered Parliament in 1780, Philip Crespigny supported the Tory Prime Minister Lord North. Philip later transferred his allegiance to the radical Whig Charles James Fox (1749-1806); Fox formed a coalition with Lord North in 1783. Philip’s second son by his fourth wife Dorothy nee Scott, born in 1785, was baptised Charles [James] Fox. Philip’s address at that time was number 4, Old Palace Yard, an elegant residential terrace conveniently close to the Houses of Parliament.
The website called “The History of Parliament Online” has biographies of members of Parliament and the history of constituencies. These cover Parliamentary politics and other aspects of the history of the institution. This project has published 41 volumes, with 24,000 biographical articles on MPs from 1386 to 1832, and a blog with contributions from some of the project’s historians. Recent articles on the blog include:
- Social Distancing – Medieval Style: a Petition of the Commons in
the Parliament of 1439
- Isolation, Containment and Financial Assistance: Parliament’s
response to epidemics in the 1640s
The History of Parliament http://www.histparl.ac.uk/
- CREWE, Thomas (1566-1634), of Gray’s Inn, London and Steane, Northants.; later of Serjeants’ Inn, Fleet Street, London.
- CREWE, Ranulphe (1559-1646), of Lincoln’s Inn, London and Crewe Hall, Barthomley, Cheshire; later of Westminster
- CREW, John (c.1598-1679), of Steane, Northants and Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Mdx.
- MAINWARING, Edward II (1635-1703), of Whitmore, Staffs.
- CRESPIGNY, Philip Champion (d.1803), of Burwood, nr. Cobham, Surr.