Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington and his world c.1640-1685 conference: call for papers open

It is now just over a century since the publication of Violet Barbour's still outstanding study of Charles II's minister, Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington. Since then, despite having been a commanding presence at the court of Charles II as secretary of state and latterly as lord chamberlain, a significant cultural patron and father-in-law to one of the king's illegitimate children, Arlington has been largely neglected by the historiography of the period. Somewhat lost in the murky world of the 'CABAL', and overshadowed by better-known figures such as the duke of Buckingham and earl of Shaftesbury, he has featured prominently only in a handful of publications.

In the last few years, though, Arlington has enjoyed something of a revival thanks in part to the work of Helen Jacobsen, and this conference aims to build on Jacobsen's work by extending the reappraisal of Arlington to the many areas in which he was important in the period. As a figure with close ties to Spain and the Low Countries as well as to England and Ireland, we would welcome proposals from scholars of both English, Irish and European history working in the area of Parliament, local politics, diplomacy, the court and cultural patronage.

It is expected that the conference will be held at UCL on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November. Among the anticipated speakers are Alan Marshall (Bath Spa, author of Arlington's life in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography) and Anna Keay (Director of the Landmark Trust and author of The Magnificent Monarch: Charles II and the ceremonies of Power).

Please address proposals for 20-minute papers and/or panels to the organizers: Dr Robin Eagles (History of Parliament/UCL) and Dr Coleman Dennehy (UCD/UCL). The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2016.