The House of Commons, 1793-94 by Karl Anton Hickel.
National Portrait Gallery, London.

Members 1660-1690

Published in 1983

The 1660-1690 Section of the History contains 2040 biographies of MPs who sat in between the opening of the Restoration Convention Parliament in April 1660 and the dissolution of the Revolution Convention Parliament in February 1690. These include ten who died or were raised to the peerage before taking their seats. The principles governing the compilation of the biographies are explained in the 'Method' section of the Introductory Survey. The sources used in compiling them are explained in the 'Sources' section of the Survey.

To this period is usually attributed the origins of distinct political party blocs, called Whig and Tory. The words were first used in the 1680s in the wake of the political crisis over the inheritance of the throne by James, Duke of York, usually referred to as the Exclusion Crisis, although the existence of separate parties was identified at least a decade earlier. The arrival of explicitly partisan politics is naturally a theme of many of the biographies, particularly given the efforts that senior figures, particularly the earl of Shaftesbury and the earl of Danby devoted to the management of the House.

An Introductory Essay by Basil Duke Henning analyses information about the backgrounds of all the Members, including age, education, and social background and their residential and electoral relationship with their constituencies. Questions concerning how far non-political factors influenced a Member's party political alignment are also examined in a section on Members'  and their politics. Appendices provide lists of parliamentary and government office holders, and Catholics.