London Debating Societies: 1776-1799. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1994.
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926. January 1, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Is not the interference of the Crown to influence the decisions of Parliament an unconstitutional measure?'
927. January 8, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Are not the defects greater than the advantages of Boarding-school Education?'
928. January 15, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Is a wife to be commended who receives into her family the illegitimate children of her husband?'
929. January 22, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Is the opinion well founded, which says we ought sometimes to hold a Candle to the Devil?'
930. January 29, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'The anniversary of the death of King Charles the First being usually attended by conversations relative to the distinct constitutional powers of the different branches of the Legislature, the subsequent question is appointed for debate: For the predominance of which part of the Legislature have the people most to fear, the Crown, the Lords or the Commons?'
931. February 5, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Ought not the violation of any condition in the marriage ceremony to dissolve the whole?'
932. February 12, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Does not a Minister, who holds his place contrary to the sense of the Commons, deserve the public censure of the people?'
933. February 19, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Does not a Minister, who keeps his place without the confidence of the House of Commons, deserve the public censure of the people?'
934. February 26, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'The question announced from the chair for this evening's debate being coldly received, the managers trust the public will see the propriety of substituting the following, which immediately adverts to the grand constitutional points at present the objects of general attention.
Would the Commons be justifiable in with-holding the supplies, because his Majesty has appointed a Ministry who has not their confidence?'
935. March 4, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Would a Dissolution of Parliament be likely to promote the public peace?
At this Juncture, when every true Friend to the Constitution is anxiously wishing for some mode of fixing the now unsettled state of public affairs, the . . . [above] question . . . must appear a proper subject of investigation.'
936. March 11, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'If the present differences are attended with fatal consequences, who ought to be called to an account for them, the present Administration or Opposition?'
937. March 18, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'In the present struggle, has the Minister or Opposition shewn the greater regard for the Constitution?
The interruption produced by the heat of party zeal on Thursday last induced the author of the above question to withdraw it; but as it must be infinitely superior to any trivial matter at this important crisis, the managers trust it will be deemed a proper subject for discussion.'
938. March 25, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Was not the treatment of the late motion for a more equal representation in Parliament a convincing proof that the House of Commons have not the good of their country at heart?'
939. April 1, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Ought the right of electing Representatives to serve in Parliament to depend on the property, or to be considered as the personal privilege of every Englishman?'
940. April 8, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Ought a Representative in Parliament to follow the dictates of his own conscience, or implicitly to obey the instructions of his constituents?'
941. April 15, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Ought a Member of Parliament to follow the dictates of his own conscience, or the instructions of his constituents?'
942. April 22, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Does the confusion in which the people are involved result more from a well-grounded fear of their late Representatives, or from popular phrenzy, excited by ministerial artifice?'
943. April 29, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Is the unpolished country girl, or refined town lady, best calculated to render the matrimonial state truly happy?'
944. May 6, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Is it consistent with decency for the female sex to interfere in elections?'
945. May 13, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Can any motive justify a person of either sex passing through life in a state of celibacy?'
946. May 20, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Which is the greater virtue, constancy in love, or sincerity in friendship?'
947. May 27, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Can friendship subsist between two ladies who have placed their affections upon the same gentleman?'
948. September 7, 1784 Ciceronian Society for Free Debate, Chapel, Margaret Street, Oxford Market
'Would not an union with Ireland, similar to that with Scotland, be productive of the greatest Advantages to both Kingdoms?
The money arising from this Institution, after defraying the necessary Expences, will, on the first Tuesday of every Month, be voted to such Public Charity as the Majority of the Company shall think proper. The constant Attendance which many of the most shining Characters in the Senate, at the Bar, and in the Church, have given to well-regulated Societies of this Nature, best speak their publick Utility; but when charitable Purposes are likewise intended to be promoted by the present Institution, it is presumed no further inducement need to be held forth to a free and generous People for their Countenance and Support.'
Admittance 6d., gallery 1s.
949. September 7, 1784 Westminster Society for Free Debate, One Tun in the Strand
'Would the retail Shopkeepers be justifiable in refusing Payment of the Shop tax?
As this Society is instituted upon the most liberal Principles, its Object being to open and improve the Mind, to remove early-contracted Prejudice, to enable timid Merit to dismiss its Fears, and accustom the Mind to the useful Talent of publick Speaking, such Gentlemen as may be disposed to deliver their Sentiments at this Society will be heard with candid Attention; every Indulgence will be given to young Speakers, and no Pains spared for the Preservation of good Order and Harmony.' Daily Advertiser
950. September 9, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Is it probable that the advantages arising from the Act to restrain smuggling will compensate for the heavy burden of the new Window Tax?'
951. September 14, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Whether Constancy in Love is most predominate in the Male or Female Sex?'
952. September 16, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'The verdict of the Jury on the Bishop of St. Asalph's Trial having justly called the public attention, to those matters the following Question (as the most entertaining and useful) will be debated 'Ought Jurors to be Judges of LAW as well as FACT?'
953. September 23, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Ought Jurors to be Judges of LAW as well as FACT?'
954. September 30, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Is the extraordinary attention of the public to Air Balloons, a proof of the folly, or superior science, of the present age?'
955. October 7, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Is the vanity of the Women, or the depravity of the Men, the greater cause of female ruin?'
956. October 12, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Has the System of Deism, or the Doctrine of Predestination, been most detrimental to the Morals of Mankind?'
Daily Advertiser October 11
957. October 14, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Is it consistent with justice and sound policy that the elder child should inherit more than an equal portion of the parent's property?'
958. October 19, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Would the Subject be justifiable in refusing to pay the additional Tax on Windows, the Price of Tea not being reduced in Proportion, from the Idea that the Tax is a Commutation?'
The society 'reprobated the additional Tax on Windows [and] their Prime Minister, lest the Revenue should suffer, did then propose for Discussion . . . another tax . . .'
Daily Advertiser October 18
959. October 21, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Which is the wisest man, he who marries, or he who lives single?'
960. October 26, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Would it be sound Policy in Government to lay a Tax on old Batchelors, apportioning the Tax to their respective Circumstances?
And being an enemy to secret Influence, he, in Conjunction with his Brother Ministers, give this publick Notice, not even wishing that a new Tax should be debated and passed in a thin House, with a Majority of ministerial Members.'
Daily Advertiser October 25
961. October 28, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Would not a Tax upon Batchelors be a just and beneficial measure?'
962. November 2, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Can any Thing be politically good which is morally evil?'
Daily Advertiser November 1
963. November 4, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Does Pride tend more to support or destroy female virtue?'
964. November 4, 1784 Gazetteer
'Orator - Now a man possessed of great fluency of speech, who can dwell for two hours on that which does not require ten minutes, and convinces none but his dependents. FORMERLY, one who could stem the current of public licentiousness, and being known to be a man of sincere integrity himself, could, by argument, make his greatest enemies his most contrite converts.'
965. November 9, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Has the Increase of Methodism in this Country been friendly to the Interests of Morality?'
Daily Advertiser November 8
966. November 11, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Is the opinion that dreams foretell good or bad fortune, more deserving of censure or justification?'
967. November 16, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Is the existence of Witches and Apparitions probable?'
Daily Advertiser November 15
968. November 18, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Is a wild or studious youth the more likely to make a good husband?'
969. November 23, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Does a domestick or Boarding School Education best qualify a young Lady for the social and other necessary Purposes of Life?
The Directors of this Society entertain the most pleasing Hopes of its publick Utility, from the very respectable Company of both Sexes, who repeatedly honour it with their Presence, and cannot help thus publickly to thank them for that decent, orderly and genteel Behaviour observed in general; but also for that candid indulgence uniformly shewn to young Speakers in particular.'
Daily Advertiser November 22
970. November 25, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Would it be for the interest of this country to take any part between the Emperor and the Dutch?'
971. November 30, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Which ought a Man to prefer in the Choice of a Wife, Money, Sense, or Beauty?'
Daily Advertiser November 29
972. December 2, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Was women designed to be equal or inferior to man?'
973. December 7, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Can a Roman Catholick, consistent with the Principles of his Religion, be a good Subject to a Protestant Prince?'
Daily Advertiser November 29
974. December 9, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Does not the frequency of capital punishments tend to increase offenders?'
975. December 16, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Are the men of the present age more dissipated than the women?'
976. December 21, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Has the Discovery and Progress of the Arts and Sciences been serviceable to Mankind?'
Daily Advertiser December 20
977. December 23, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Does the usual observance of Christmas tend more to the general levity of manners, or to promote the cause of Christianity?'
978. December 28, 1784 Ciceronian Society
'Would it not be good Policy for the Legislature to appoint the married Clergy (for certain Salaries, and under certain Obligations) to receive Proposals from Lovers of either Sex, and negotiate all Matrimonial Agreements?'
Daily Advertiser December 27
979. December 30, 1784 Coachmakers Hall
'Has the Tragedy of George Barnwell tended more to improve the morals of youth; or the Beggar's Opera to injure them?'