History of Government blog

H&P is working in partnership with the Prime Ministers’s Office to revitalise the history content of the Number 10 Downing Street website, as well as providing material for the History of Government blog.

In a project launched in February 2012, historians from the H&P Network have been delving behind the famous front door of Number 10 Downing Street to bring to life the fascinating history of the house and its occupants.

New biographies of previous Prime Ministers have been commissioned and will provide expert insight into the careers of the occupants of Number 10 from the eighteenth century to the present.

H&P has also provided articles for a guest historians series, now also available through the History of Government blog.

Go to the Number 10 website to read guest historians' articles and biographies of past Prime Ministers.


The Macmillan Diaries

The most detailed and literary diaries of all the occupants of 10 Downing Street were those kept by Harold Macmillan and William Gladstone. There are, however, two significant differences between these prime ministerial diaries.

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Sir Robert Walpole (Whig, 1721-1742)

Today often viewed as the first British Prime Minister, Walpole was described by contemporary opponents as the ‘Screen-Master General’, adept at pulling all the political strings.

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Frederick John Robinson

Viscount Goderich’s tenure as Prime Minister was hampered by lack of royal support and ill-health. His administration was overtaken by larger shifts in the political landscape but he returned to high office after his departure from Downing Street. 

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Spencer Perceval

Spencer Perceval was born in Audley Square, London on 1 November 1762, the second son of the second marriage of the second Earl of Egmont (and so a man of comparatively slender means). He attended Harrow School and then Trinity …

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About Us


With long-established offices in King's College London and the University of Cambridge, H&P is an expanding Partnership currently supported by 6 Higher Education Institutes: King’s College London, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, The University of Edinburgh, University of Leeds, and The University of Sheffield.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

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