London Debating Societies: 1776-1799. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1994.
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830. January 2, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Is it consistent with Christian charity for the Minister of St. James's, Clerkenwell, to prosecute the preachers at Lady Huntingdon's chapel?'
Morning Chronicle January 1
831. January 10, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Is the love of power more prevalent in the male or female sex?'
Morning Chronicle January 9
832. January 17, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Has a British King more to fear from the flattery of his supposed friends, or the open attacks of his enemies?'
Morning Chronicle January 16
833. January 24, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Ought the 30th of January to be kept as a feast or a fast?'
Morning Chronicle January 23
834. January 31, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Which is more to be lamented, the union of a man of sense with a frivolous woman, or of a woman of understanding with a frivolous man?'
Morning Chronicle January 30
835. January 31, 1782 Westminster Forum, Hampshire Hog, Piccadilly 'Would not the revisal and simplification of the Laws of this kingdom be of benefit to the People?
The known candour and impartiality of the gentlemen debaters of this Primitive Society need no comment; suffice it to say, that gentlemen of the first abilities, both in education and eloquence, honour this meeting; and auditors who resort for knowledge and instruction, are sure of gratifying their most sanguine wishes in their very laudable pursuit.'
Admission only Sixpence, refreshment included.
836. February 7, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Is the reading even of the best novels likely to improve either the morals or understanding of the fair sex?'
Morning Chronicle February 6
837. February 14, 1782 Coachmakers-hall
'Is the late enquiry into the conduct of the First Lord of the Admiralty likely to be productive of any good consequences to the State?'
Gazetteer February 12
838. February 21, 1782 Coachmakers-hall
'Is there any truth in the opinion that reformed rakes make the best husbands?'
Gazetteer February 19
839. February 21, 1782 Westminster Forum. Hampshire Hog, Piccadilly
'Which is the greatest trial to the human mind, Prosperity or Adversity, both considered in the extreme?
The public are respectfully desired to attend as early as possible, that the many ingenious gentlemen (who honour this Society) may have an opportunity of speaking within the usual time.'
840. February 28, 1782 Coachmakers-hall
'Ought not women to vote for Members of Parliament, and be eligible to sit there themselves?'
Gazetteer February 26
841. March 1, 1782 Westminster Forum, Hampshire Hog, Piccadilly 'Was it an improper Exertion in the Prerogative to make Lord George Germain a Peer?'
842. March 7, 1782 Coachmakers-hall
'Does the moral drawn from the solemnity of Tragedy, or the levity of Comedy, make the more lasting impression on the Audience?'
Gazetteer March 5
843. March 8, 1782 Westminster Forum, Hampshire Hog, Piccadilly 'Is the late Majority in the House of Commons likely to prove advantageous to this Kingdom?'
Admittance 6d. Porter and Tobacco included.
844. March 14, 1782 Coachmakers-hall
'Is the late decision in Parliament in favour of peace likely to produce the desired effect?'
Gazetteer March 13
845. March 21, 1782 Coachmakers-hall
'If a man be in a boat with his mother, his wife, and his daughter, when the boat oversets, and he can save but one, which ought he to save?'
Gazetteer March 19
846. March 21, 1782 Westminster Forum, Hampshire Hog, Piccadilly 'Is it likely, that a change in Administration, at this juncture, would be attended with particular Benefit to this Kingdom?'
847. March 28, 1782 Coachmakers-hall
'The Society for Free Debate will resolve itself into a Committee of Ways and Means, to consider of new Taxes to raise the supply granted to his Majesty, in preference to those proposed at the opening of the BUDGET.'
Gazetteer March 26
848. March 30, 1782 Lyceum
'Is not the total change in Administration, which has taken place this week, essential to the salvation of this nation; and what measures are most expedient to be adopted by the new Administration at home and abroad, to extricate Great Britain out of her present difficulties?
In the present critical and alarming State of public affairs in this country, so deeply affecting to every honest mind, and so indispensably requiring the exertion of every good Citizen, it is of the highest importance to the collective interest of the state, and perhaps to the peace and welfare of every individual, that a correct, temperate, and sound judgment should be formed concerning the measures of Government ... By particular desire, Mr. Smeathman will take the chair, as Moderator.
N.B. The house is well aired, and the Great Room and the galleries are matted throughout, the seats are covered with green baize, and likewise the folding doors, which shut the entrances to the lobbies, and the Green Room will be illuminated [with] wax lights. Admittance 2s. Near one thousand ladies and gentlemen, many of them of the first rank and fashion, were present at the debates; when it was determined "That a total change in administration, which took place last week, was absolutely essential to the salvation of this nation".'
Gazetteer/Morning Herald April 5
849. April 4, 1782 Society for Free Debate Coachmakers-hall
'Will again resolve itself into a Committee of Ways and Means, farther to consider of some other new Taxes to raise the supply granted to his Majesty, in preference to those proposed at the opening of the BUDGET.'
Gazetteer April 2
850. April 6, 1782 Lyceum
'Whether that art, called STRATAGEM, is most predominant over the minds of the male, or female sex?
Whether the prerogative of the Crown, as it stood before the Revolution, or the influence of the Crown, as it hath arisen since, and as exercised by the late administration, be the more dangerous and alarming to the constitution of this country?'
Morning Herald April 5
851. April 10, 1782 Lyceum
'Has Great Britain any reason to be alarmed at the resolutions or proceedings of the Volunteers of Ireland?
Debated with great spirit in the presence of a numerous and respectable assembly of both sexes and determined in the negative.'
Morning Herald April 10
852. April 11, 1782 Coachmakers-Hall
'The Committee appointed to consider of Ways and Means will report their proceedings; after which the following Question will be debated: Is a bad Wife better than no Wife?'
Gazetteer April 9
853. April 17, 1782 Lyceum
'Whether a fair representation of the People in Parliament would not be the best security of a virtuous Administration against evil Advisers of the Crown? and Whether the Union of England and Scotland has proved advantageous to this country?'
Morning Herald April 13
854. April 18, 1782 Coachmakers-Hall
'Are the demands of the Irish founded more on justice than on a consciousness of their own strength?'
Gazetteer April 16
855. April 24, 1782 Lyceum
'Would a legislative union between Great Britain and Ireland be more beneficial to both kingdoms; than the Independent Legislature claimed by the Irish?
Morning Herald April 22
856. April 25, 1782 Coachmakers-Hall
'Is that indifference, which too generally takes place after marriage, to be attributed more to the fault of the husband or wife?'
Gazetteer April 23
857. April 29, 1782 Lyceum
'Is mankind happiest in a state of nature or refinement? and Can true love admit of jealousy?'
Pit 1s. Gallery 2s.
'The success which Mr. Smeathman has met with in his School of Eloquence, induces him to offer to the Public a new species of Entertainment at the Lyceum, for the improvement of speaking on the Stage. It is his object, in the present decline of Theatrical Talents, to lay, if possible, the foundation of future excellence, and he submits himself to the candour of the public for that indulgence which an infant undertaking requires. He flatters himself a little experience will demonstrate the utility of his plan, and he looks forward to the encouragement of all lovers of dramatic representations, with the assurance of the propriety of his intentions, however feeble may be his first essay. The Students of the Inns of Court, and all others who aspire to eminence in reading, pleading, preaching or public speaking, may have an opportunity of acquainting themselves with his method of teaching Elocution, which must with the utmost certainty lay the foundation of true eloquence, by attending at his private oratorical exercises.'
858. May 2, 1782 Coachmakers-Hall
'Which of the two passions has contributed most to the unhappiness of mankind, LOVE OR AMBITION?'
Gazetteer April 30
859. May 8, 1782 Lyceum
'Can true love admit of jealousy?'
860. May 22, 1782 Lyceum in the Strand School of Eloquence
'Whether slavery, as enforced by the European Nations, is to be defended on any principle? and, Which is of most immediate consequence to the People of England at this juncture, that they should learn the use of Arms, or obtain a real Representation in Parliament?'
Pit 1s., Gallery 2s.
Parker's General Advertiser May 21
861. May 29, 1782 Lyceum
'Whether the fashionable infidelities of married couples are more owing to the depravity of the Gentlemen, or the inconstancy of the Ladies?'
Parker's General Advertiser May 27
862. June 5, 1782 Lyceum
'Whether slavery, as enforced by the European Nations, is to be defended on any principles?'
Parker's General Advertiser June 3
863. June 12, 1782 Lyceum
'Would a good Citizen be justifiable in supporting his Patron and Friend, though he should appear to him to entertain principles inimical to the interests of his Country?'
Parker's General Advertiser
864. September 19, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Has the conduct of the present administration sufficiently corresponded with their former professions to merit the confidence of the people?'
865. September 26, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Is the late mode of executing criminals, immediately after conviction, a just and beneficial measure?'
866. October 3, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Is the wife who usurps the authority of the husband, or the husband who permits it, the more contemptible character?'
867. October 10, 1782 Coachmakers-Hall
'Whether, at the present crisis, the Resources of the City of London would be best applied towards raising a regular and effective Militia, or in building a Ship of the Line for the use of the Government?'
After the debate 'will be delivered an EULOGY to the memory of the much esteemed and lamented Gentleman, who lately fell in the service of the Military Association, interspersed with solemn music, composed for the occasion, and selected from the best masters.
Admittance, this night ONE SHILLING.'
868. October 17, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Is it consistent with justice and sound policy to punish Adultery with Death?'
Parker's General Advertiser October 16
869. October 24, 1782 Coachmakers-Hall
'Would it not greatly contribute to the promotion of virtue, and to the benefit of society, if merit at all times took precedence of birth and fortune?'
Gazetteer October 22
870. October 31, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Does the youth who is early introduced into the pleasures and amusements of life, or he who is totally with-held from them, bid fairest to shun the vices of the age?'
871. November 7, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Would it not greatly promote matrimony, if every single person, after 25 years of age, was to pay an annual sum towards the portioning of the daughters of the poor?'
872. November 14, 1782 Coachmakers-Hall
'Has political or religious enthusiasm done more mischief in the world?'
Gazetteer November 12
873. November 21, 1782 Coachmakers-Hall
'Can a man be justified in entering into the marriage state, from any other principle than that of love?'
Gazetteer November 19
874. November 28, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Does jealousy ever subsist between the sexes, but through the influence of real love?'
875. December 5, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Which have been more injurious to Society, Trading Justices or Methodist Preachers?'
Parker's General Advertiser December 4
876. December 12, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Which is the more desirable in a wife, beauty without fortune, or fortune without beauty?'
877. December 19, 1782 Coachmakers Hall
'Does Quackery abound more in Law, Physic, or Divinity?'
878. December 26, 1782 Coachmakers-Hall
'Can either sex a second time enter into the marriage state from a principle of love?'
Gazetteer December 24