The Number 10 Podcast chronicles the life and times of British Prime Ministers and important political events that have lead us to where we are now.
With regular fortnightly historical episodes, group discussions, topical debates and interviews; you need look no further for your regular political fix, or to learn something new.
Spotlight: John Locke
“Men being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent.”
A quote there from our spotlighted special episode on a very special philosopher, the father of Liberalism, John Locke. He is arguably one of the most important modern philosophers influencing modern psychology, liberal ideology, British constitutional monarchy and even the United States Declaration of Independence.
Image is a painting by Godfrey Kneller, titled Portrait of John Locke (currently in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersberg, Russia).
Why would you want to be Prime Minister? (with Mark Garnett)
This week we talk to Mark Garnett, senior lecturer at Lancaster University in Politics, about the changing role of the Prime Minister and his new book “The British Prime Minister in an Age of Upheaval”. We talk about the motivations of individuals (duty and public service or ego and money?), the role of devolution and what the role of PM will look like in the future.
In this timely book, Mark Garnett provides a bracing reassessment of the role of the British Prime Minister, from Margaret Thatcher’s controversial tenure to Boris Johnson’s attempt to confront a pandemic with a ministerial team created to face the very different challenge of Brexit. Taking a thematic approach, Garnett explores the impact of major political developments and personalities on key aspects of prime ministerial functions as party leader, Cabinet-maker, chief diplomat and electoral talisman.
Much of the controversy over the position of Prime Minister, he concludes, arises from a confusion between the occupant’s inescapable political prominence and his or her – often limited – ability to achieve positive policy outcomes. With both David Cameron and Theresa May forced to resign since 2016, the book questions whether the nature of the job has become a deterrent for politicians who are motivated by a desire to serve the British public, opening the way for individuals with much less laudable motivations.
Available in all good book stores that are only a brick or a click away. Link to buy here:
E11- Elections in the 1700s
This week we look at elections and how they were conducted in the 1700s and pretty much all the way up to the Great Reform Act in 1832 (as well as other subsequent legislation).
We talk about pocket boroughs, rotten boroughs, pot wallopers and all your favourite 17th century electoral slang, as we deep dive into what you would have needed in order to gain the vote or more importantly, be elected to Parliament.
Image credit to the wonderful William Hogarth, who painted “The Polling” and it is from “The Humours of an Election” series of 1755.
E10- Tackers, Jacobites & Sacheverell
We continue today talking about Queen Anne, after talking in great detail about the Act of Union of 1707 that created the kingdom of Great Britain. We move back a little bit to talk about some other important areas of Anne’s life and rule.
Note: I realize after recording that I’ve pronounced Sacheverell’s name wrong; personally I think I’ve added flair, but I’ll let you decide.
Featured image: Portrait of Henry Sacheverell by Thomas Gibson.
Link to the picture mentioned at the end: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1868-0808-3439
Bonus: The Treaty of Union
A little treat today, as we read the entirety of the Treaty of Union that bonded Scotland and England together in 1707, off the back of various financial issues that Scotland had suffered (namely the Great Famine and the Darien Scheme failure) .
There were 25 articles in total, many covering import and export duties, and others dealing with currencies, flags and ship rights.
A brief breakdown of each articles topic:
Merging of the two kingdoms, their flags, banners and land.Securing the Protestant line of Succession.Creating on one united Parliament.Joint trade rights for both kingdoms.Ship and vessel rights and registration process.Unifying personal rights to both English and Scottish citizens.Import and Export duties and excise for “exciseable liquor”.Import and Export duties and excise for salt.Tax raising and collection details.Import and export duties and excise for “Stampt paper, Vellom and Parchment”.Import and export duties and excise for windows and lights.Import and export duties and excise for “Coals, Culm and Cinders”. Import and export duties and excise for malt. General import and export duties and excise details.Details on trade equality and financial bailing out of the African and Indian Company of Scotland (responsible for the Darien scheme failure).Unification of currency and details on minting facilities.Standardisation of weights and measures.Details on trade and civil liberties in Scotland that will remain unchanged.Preservation of the Scottish court system and process of appointing members. Also details on naval jurisdiction in Scotland.Preservation of inherited offices, land and jurisdictions.Preservation of the Royal Burghs.Details on Scottish representation in the British Parliament- 16 Lords and 45 MPs, as well as the oath of allegiance to be taken. Standardisation of the rights of Scottish lords and MPs to that of their English counterparts.Unification of the great seal, and preservation of the Scottish and English seal until the new one is created.Cancellation of all laws that conflict with the Treaty of Union.
Featured image by Châtelain and Gueudeville – Atlas Historique, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26423389
E9- Queen Anne & The Making of Great Britain
Today we’re starting our look at Queen Anne after the death of William and the rise of the Tories under Godolphin and Marlborough. We then turn to looking at why Scotland, despite hugely against a union with the English, ended up jumping into it with both feet.
Customer ReviewsSee All
An Exceptional History Podcast!
This podcast is a delightful listen. Chris has a passion for history and it can be heard in every new episode. Do yourself a favor and subscribe to this phenomenal podcast!
Incredibly well put together
This is informative, exciting history, and even an American such as myself is easily drawn in to this compelling content. As a podcaster myself, I can tell when a show creator has put everything he/she has into the work, and Chris has done an amazing job here. Couldn't recommend it more highly.
This Yank loves it!
Even us boorish and rude Americans love this show. Great content and very engaging. Highly recommend.