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Theater of StateParliament and Political Culture in Early Stuart England$
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Chris Kyle

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804752886

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804752886.001.0001

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Swift Pens: Recording Parliament

Swift Pens: Recording Parliament

(p.59) Chapter Three Swift Pens: Recording Parliament
Theater of State
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses the growing importance of parliamentary diaries throughout the 1620s. Before the 1620s, private parliamentary diaries were largely just that, personal records kept by members with antiquarian leanings interested in procedure, bill readings, and the minutiae of the House's work. Few in number and largely uncontroversial jottings of legislative or procedural manners, the diaries resembled and closely followed the official Commons Journal. However, as the gentry began demanding more information, MPs saw themselves as more central to the political process, as witnesses and actors in history. Amidst the increasingly contested political atmosphere of the period, parliamentary diaries proliferated and became records of speeches made on the floor on the chambers, rather than of legislative business and procedural minutiae.

Keywords:   parliamentary diaries, parliamentary sessions, MPs, written records, speeches

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