Yale Center for Parliamentary History

The Sole Record of the Members' Daily Debates and Observations

The members' daily words and actions during the initial sessions of the Long Parliament would eventually lead to revolution. And the fullest remaining record of their day-to-day words and actions is found only in their private journals. This is because the official parliamentary clerks of the period were allowed to record only the official actions taken by the body. Click for larger image.

Thus these private journals and diaries are the only detailed day-to-day eyewitness accounts of the debates and speeches that marked the winding, often tortured path toward war, regicide, and republic. Clearly, these materials are essential to any work on the political and constitutional history of the seventeenth century. Moreover, these unique sources throw valuable new light on the origins of the Civil War, England's greatest political crisis.

The initial volumes of the Yale Center's current edition cover the most critical period in the Long Parliament's history - the opening session of 1640-41. These volumes are the first to contain all known historical proceedings in the Lower House. As such, they constitute invaluable resources for the study of the origins of democratic institutions in the United Kingdom, the United States, and throughout the world.

YCPH Homepage