London debates
1778

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London Record Society

Publication

Author

Donna T. Andrew (compiled and introduced by)

Year published

1994

Pages

29-46

Citation Show another format:

'London debates: 1778', London debating societies 1776-1799 (1994), pp. 29-46. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=38842 Date accessed: 22 November 2014.


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154. January 5, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether an Agrarian law, limiting the possession of landed property to certain bounds, would not be useful in this country? and Which is the more dangerous doctrine to the liberties of Great Britain, the omnipotence of Parliament, or the powers of the Royal Prerogative?'

The first Question 'went in the negative; - and the question 'Whether the professed reviewers of books and pamphlets are of more benefit or detriment to literature?' went that they were detrimental.'

Morning Chronicle

155. January 7, 1778 EXTRA meeting of the Society at Coachmakers-Hall

'Will there not greater glory redound to this nation from relieving the distresses of the American prisoners, than was derived from the humanity shewn to the French prisoners in the late war?

The whole income of which, for that night, with any other benefaction that may be received on the occasion, will be appropriated to the relief of the American prisoners.'

Gazetteer January 5

156. January 8, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall

'Which is most to be feared in the decline of a free state, anarchy or despotism?'

Gazetteer

157. January 12, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether all laws enacted by the legislature of this country are not ultimately obligatory? and Whether an error proceeding from a zeal in the service of one's country is not venial?'

First Question 'went in the negative'.

Morning Chronicle

158. January 15, 1778 Coach-makers-hall

'Can a friendship subsist between the different sexes without the passion of love?'

Gazetteer

159. January 19, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether an error produced by zeal for the good of one's country is not venial? and Whether abridging the law proceedings and reducing the number of practitioners in that profession, would not be beneficial to the community?'

First Question 'went in the affirmative. - Then the question, "Whether gaming, or excess in drinking, is more prejudicial to society?" went that drinking was so.'

Morning Chronicle

160. January 22, 1778 Coach-makers-hall

'Supposing the Americans to possess the right of taxing themselves, in its fullest latitude and extent, would it not be more to their advantage to be dependent on the Crown of Great Britain, than to exist as an independent state?'

Gazetteer

161. January 25, 1778 Theological Society, One Tun, near Hungerford, Strand

'"What think ye of Christ, whose son is he." 22 chap. St. Matthew, 42nd ver. As this text leads to an enquiry into the true character of a personage whom some have esteemed as the very and eternal God, others looked on as a superior, though not Supreme Being, and a third class deemed a mere mortal, doubtless the argument upon it will be spirited and ingenious.'

Gazetteer January 24

162. January 26, 1778 Robin Hood

'Is not long imprisonment of delinquents more likely to harden than reclaim them? And, Whether our vices proceed more from error in judgment or depravity of the will? and also, Whether the City of London acted properly or improperly, in refusing to raise troops to prosecute the war in America?'

Last Question 'went, that such conduct in the City was improper'.

Morning Chronicle

163. January 29, 1778 Coachmakers Hall

'Supposing the Americans to possess the right of taxing themselves in its fullest extent and latitude, would it not be more to their advantage to be dependent on the Crown of Great Britain, than to exist as an independent state?'

Gazetteer

164. February 2, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether Mr. Soame Jenning's assertion, that patriotism is a false virtue, is founded in truth? And Whether stealing human bodies after interment, and exposing them to sale, ought not to be made a capital offence?'

The first Question 'was begun and adjourned'; the second, 'went in the negative'.

Morning Chronicle

165. February 5, 1778 Coach-makers-hall

'Is it better to aim at a general but imperfect knowledge of things, or at a complete knowledge of some particular art or science?'

Gazetteer

166. February 9, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether Mr. Jenning's assertion be true, that patriotism is a false virtue? and Whether promulgating vague reports of the success of their land or sea forces is not highly detrimental to a commercial nation?'

The first Question 'went in the negative! The speakers did not forget to maintain patriotism to be a christian, as well as a political virtue.'

Morning Chronicle

167. February 12, 1778 Coach-makers-hall

'Does peace or war afford greater opportunities to a King for the display of virtue and abilities?'

Gazetteer

168. February 16, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether it be not highly injurious to a commercial nation to spread vague reports respecting the success of their naval and land forces? and Would not repealing the late acts relative to the colonies, be a certain degradation, without a probable advantage to Great Britain?'

The first Question 'went in the affirmative'. The second was adjourned.

Morning Chronicle

169. February 19, 1778 Coach-makers-hall

'Which is most to be condemned, Avarice or Prodigality?'

Gazetteer

170. February 23, 1778 Robin Hood

'Would not repealing the late acts relative to the colonies, be a certain degradation, without a probable advantage to Great Britain? and Whether it is not of as much consequence to a nation to preserve its dignity, as for a man to preserve his honour, or a woman her virtue?' First Question 'was again debated, and in a spirited manner, on both sides of the argument. An idea was thrown out, that some circumstances, not yet divulged, had produced the measure in question; but that time would justify the same, &c.' therefore this question adjourned. 'The author of the last question professed his intention of treating the same in a general, rather than a particular manner.'

Morning Chronicle

171. February 26, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall

'Ought not the proposals of Lord North, for reconciliation with America, to be considered as a proof of the ignorance or wickedness of those, who have been the advisors and conductors of the present war?'

Gazetteer

172. March 2, 1778 Robin Hood

'Would not repealing the late acts relative to the colonies, be a certain degradation, without a probable advantage to Great Britain?'

Morning Chronicle

173. March 5, 1778 Coach-makers-hall

'Does not the perilous situation of public affairs require an immediate change of men and measures?'

Gazetteer

174. March 12, 1778 Coach-makers-hall

'Does Comedy or Tragedy require the greater exertion of genius and abilities?'

Gazetteer

175. March 16, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether political controversies were of any use to the community?

Whether the married or single life was more happy?'

The first question 'went in the affirmative. Then, as if to avoid political discussion' the second question 'was selected from others' and adjourned.

Morning Chronicle March 23

176. March 19, 1778 Coach-makers-hall

'Is not the present Plan for Reconciliation with America, considering the present state of affairs, as of any of the former schemes of Administration, as unlikely to have effect?'

Gazetteer

177. March 23, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether a married or a single life is in general more happy? Hath not a patriotic Peer as great opportunities of serving the public, as an equally patriotic Commoner? and Whether allowing the Americans their claim of independence, or entering into a French war on their account, is the more eligible measure for Great Britain?'

The first Question 'went, almost nem. con. in favour of the married state'. The last question 'was began and very warmly debated 'till past the usual hour, and then . . . adjourned'.

Morning Chronicle

178. March 26, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall

'Is not the glaring depravity of the times owing to a bad system in the education of youth?'

Gazetteer

179. March 30, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether acceding to American Independency, or engaging in a war with France, is the more eligible measure for Great Britain? Hath not a patriotic Peer as great opportunities of serving his country as an equally patriotic Commoner? and Whether it is proper that a Peer of France should sit and vote in the English senate?'

The first Question 'went (after a scrutiny) in favour of the war with France; - some speakers said that American Independency was a point absolutely fixed, certain, and unfructable, and wondered at the idea of a new war in our present situations; others insisted, that a possibility existed of punishing the perfidy of France, in nursing the American revolt. - And also to prevent future assistance, so that the Colonies should, when left to themselves, be obliged to return to their allegiance, &c.'

Morning Chronicle

180. April 1, 1778 Society for Free Debate, Half Moon Tavern, Aldersgate Street

'A Society will be held at the above Tavern on Wednesday the 8th instant . . . and every Wednesday throughout the year.'

Gazetteer

181. April 2, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall

'Is not continuation of present Ministry more to be dreaded than the united powers of France and Spain?'

Adjourned.

Gazetteer

182. April 6, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether it be proper that a French Peer, should have a voice in the English Senate?'

The Question 'was warmly debated. The question was general, yet the parliamentary conduct of his Grace of Aubigny, became the matter of conversation: the question was at last adjourned, to give the proposer a week's time to bring his proofs, that the oath of fealty, taken by the Duke in question, to the French monarch, was so express an obligation, as to constitute the impropriety of his seat among the British Lords.'

Morning Chronicle

183. April 9, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall

'Is not continuation of present Ministry more to be dreaded than the united powers of France and Spain?'

Gazetteer

184. April 13, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether it be proper that a French Peer, should have a voice in the English Senate? Would it be politically wise in the present situation of affairs, to wage war with France, without first declaring the Americans independent? And is it consistent with the honour, dignity, and interest of Great Britain to pass an act for the independency of the colonies?' The first Question 'went in the negative; as well it might, for no such circumstance is or can be. The Dukedom of Aubigny, as was clearly evinced by authentic quotations, is not among the Peerages of France, but is a mere honourary title. Much of the debate related to the Duke of R-d, who, some said, acted as a French, others as an English patriot. Certainly his Grace of Richmond and Aubigny, may act on the same motives as his compeers in opposition.' Of the second question 'it was insinuated [that] England should pocket the present affront from France, and resent it thereafter &c. Query, will policy and Christianity agree in this bearing malice in mind?'; question adjourned.

Morning Chronicle

185. April 16, 1778 Coach-makers-hall

'Is not the extreme refinement of nations more destructive of happiness, than the rude state in which nations existed previous to civilization?'

Gazetteer

186. April 20, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether it would be politically wise to declare war against France, without first declaring America independent?'

Question 'went in the affirmative'.

Morning Chronicle

187. April 23, 1778 Coach-makers-hall

'Would it not be politic, in the present crisis, for Great Britain to acknowledge the independence of America?'

Adjourned.

Gazetteer

188. April 27, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether repealing the penal statute against Catholics in Ireland, would not assimilate the affections of that people to the British Government, and tend to prevent an invasion of that country? and, Have not the measures of opposition since the year 1763, principally contributed to bring this nation into the present crisis? and, Is a Satyrist a promoter of virtue?'

The debate 'went nem. con. in favour' of a repeal of the laws against Catholics. The second question 'was begun, but not concluded; the gentlemen who entered on the subject coincided, though on different grounds, in the affirmative, and had the question been then put, the patriots would have been condemned as the cause of our calamities &c.' The question was adjourned.

Morning Chronicle

189. April 30, 1778 Coachmakers-hall

'Would it not be politic, in the present crisis, for Great Britain to acknowledge the independence of America?'

Gazetteer

190. May 3, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether the conduct of the opposition since the year 1763, hath not principally contributed to bring this nation into the present alarming crisis? Whether it is consistent with the honour, interest and dignity of Britain to accede to American Independence in any case whatsoever?'

The first Question 'went in the negative. The question was in a manner lost through the absence of the author of it, as only one Speaker rose to reply to what was urged in the affirmative the preceding night before. Then the question concerning the frequency of capital punishments was begun, and adjourned.'

Morning Chronicle

191. May 7, 1778 Coachmakers-hall

'Do female deviations from chastity in general originate in the artifice of the men, or the levity of the women?'

Gazetteer

192. May 11, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether capital punishments are not too frequently inflicted in this country? Is it political after the loss of the American trade, to take off the restrictions upon that between England and Ireland?'

The first Question 'was not spoke to at all, owing to the absence of the proposer, and the gentlemen who argued it the preceding evening and moved for its adjournment.' The second Question 'went in favour of passing said Bills without one dissenting voice or hand'.

Morning Chronicle

193. May 14, 1778 Coachmakers-hall

'Which of the two evils is the least, that a nation should be governed by Minister of good moral character, but destitute of due knowledge and capacity; or one of eminent abilities, with bad heart?'

Gazetteer

194. May 18, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether capital punishments are not too frequently inflicted in this country?'

Morning Chronicle

195. May 21, 1778 Coachmakers-hall

'Whether the Bills at present under consideration, for taking off certain restrictions on the trade of Ireland, ought to receive the sanction of the British Legislature?'

Gazetteer

196. May 25, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether a satyrist is a promoter of virtue? and Is universal benevolence possessed by any human being?'

The first Question 'went in the affirmative'; the second 'went in the negative'.

Morning Chronicle June 1

197. May 28, 1778 Coachmakers-hall

'Ought not the father, who would oblige his daughter to marry a person greatly different from herself in age, and for whom she has no affection or esteem, to be considered by the Legislature as a flagrant violator of nature and justice, against whose arbitrary power provision should be made?'

Gazetteer

198. June 1, 1778 Robin Hood

'Would it be good policy at this time to relax the rigour of the laws against Roman Catholics, in favour of such of them, as are willing to give a clear and explicit test of their civil subjection? and Whether the negative put upon the enquiry into a certain general's conduct, doth not prove that his ill success proceeded more from ministerial blunders than any misconduct of that officer?'

The second Question 'went in the negative. - It was allowed a strong presumption obtained, - but not proof positive of the affirmative.'

Morning Chronicle

199. June 4, 1778 Coachmakers hall

'Whether the present situation of this country does not require that an immediate and exemplary punishment should be inflicted on the advisors and promoters of those measures, which have produced our national misfortunes?'

Gazetteer

200. June 8, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether the present crisis doth not demand an immediate change of men and measures in the Administration of affairs in this country? and Which would be the most proper place for the interment of a lately deceased Earl, - St. Paul's Cathedral, or Westminster Abbey?'

On the first Question 'the speaking was all on the affirmative, except indeed some ironical compliments on Lord N – 's vivacity, S – 's piety, W –th's temperance, G –n's valour, &c. &c. might be called taking the other side; but being no controversy on the question, it stands adjourned.'

Morning Chronicle

201. June 15, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether the present crisis doth not demand an immediate change of men and measures, in the administration of public affairs in this country? Are not those men who have rejoiced at and abetted the defection of the subjects of Great Britain, and excited insults from our enemies, chargeable with all the calamities experienced by this country at this juncture?'

First Question 'went in the negative by a considerable majority'.

Morning Chronicle

202. June 22, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether marriages in youth, or more advanced years, are more likely to produce connubial happiness? The age of 26 is proposed, as the medium for the husband, and in proportion for the bride; and, Whether a union with Ireland, similar to that of Scotland, would not be injurious to the commercial interests of England?'

The first Question 'went in favour of youth'.

Morning Chronicle

203. June 29, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether a union with Ireland, similar to that with Scotland, would not be injurious to the commercial interests of Great Britain?'

The Question 'was very ingeniously discussed, and passed, that such a union would not be injurious to both countries'.

Morning Chronicle

204. July 6, 1778 Robin Hood

'Would it not be proper at this time to withdraw the British forces from America, and in order to act with greater vigour against France?'

Question 'went in the affirmative'.

Morning Chronicle

205. July 13, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether the restrictions upon the interest of money, discover in their inventors just commercial notions, and enlightened attention to the welfare of mankind?'

The Question, 'Whether virtue is productive of temporal happiness?' went in the affirmative.

Morning Chronicle

206. July 20, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether the restrictions upon the interest of money discover in their inventors just commercial notions, and an enlightened attention to the welfare of mankind? And also, Whether the observation of the general rule of appealing to arms upon particular affronts or personal insults, deserves greater censure than a deviation therefrom?'

First Question 'went in the affirmative. - The question on Duelling was very ingeniously debated, and adjourned.'

Morning Chronicle

207. July 27, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether the observation of the general rule of appealing to arms upon particular affronts or personal insults, deserves greater censure than a deviation therefrom? Would it not be impolitic in Great Britain to take an active part in the disputes which subsist on the continent of Europe?' First Question 'determined that giving in to the practice of duelling on any account deserved greater censure than avoiding the same upon any provocation'.

Morning Chronicle

208. August 3, 1778 Robin Hood

'Would it not be very impolitic in Great Britain to take any part in the disputes on the continent of Europe? and Whether in strict friendship (between individuals) any secret may be concealed without censure?'

The second Question 'went in the affirmative: - The debate was very entertaining, and produced many curious sentiments upon the nature and obligations of friendship.'

Morning Chronicle

209. August 10, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether it would not be proper immediately to recall the Commissioners from America? and Whether Admiral Keppel's rencounter with the Duke of Chartres, is more like a victory or a defeat?'

The first Question 'went in the negative. Some speakers were for the immediate recall, as well to save expence, as to resent the indignity thrown upon them: others were for postponing such recall, as well to have the sense of Parliament on the case, as to see what effect any prosperous event in the French war might have on the colonists: others were for changing them for another suit of Commissioners, &c. and others for keeping them there as a memorial of the infamy of administration, in bringing England into so humiliating a predicament. Those various opinions were all well supported, though the heads decided as above.'

Morning Chronicle

210. August 17, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether Admiral Keppel's rencontre with the Brest fleet appears more like a victory or a defeat?'

The Question 'was very warmly debated. The proposer did not appear, so the question was pushed and chased around the room for some time; at length the gentlemen made a handsome set too, and Admiral Keppel had the victory; or, his combat was rather a victory over the French, than a defeat by them.'

Morning Chronicle

211. August 24, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether all real Antigallicans ought not now (if consistent) to be Anti-Americans?

The Question 'Whether in the present situation of affairs in this country, an immediate change of men (and administration) and a direct acknowledgement of America's Independence, would not be advisable, &c.' was ingeniously debated, and adjourned.

Morning Chronicle

212. August 31, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether in the present situation of affairs in this country, an immediate change of men (and administration) and a direct acknowledgement of America's Independence, would not be advisable? and, Doth not a contempt of fame, beget a contempt of virtue?'

The first Question 'was determined in the negative'.

Morning Chronicle

213. September 3, 1778 Society at Coach-makers-hall

'Has the discovery of America been more beneficial or detrimental to mankind in general?'

Gazetteer

214. September 4, 1778 Society for Free and Candid Debate, for many years held at the Queen's Arms Tavern, Newgate street, but late at the Horn Tavern, Doctor's-Commons, returned to the Queen's arms

'Are the indulgences lately granted to the Roman Catholics of this kingdom consistent with the safety thereof, as a Protestant Church and State?

N.B. The Society is continued upon its ancient disinterested liberal plan, which has so many years recommended it to the approbation of those who have attended it.'

Carried in the affirmative.

Gazetteer September 11

215. September 6, 1778 Theological Society, One Tun, near Hungerford, Strand

'So then, it is not of him that willeth, nor or him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy'. Romans, 9th chap.

Gazetteer September 3

216. September 7, 1778 Robin Hood

'Doth not a contempt of fame, on the part of reputation, &c. beget a contempt of virtue? And Ought not all real Antigallicans, if constant, to be now Anti-Americans?'

The first Question 'was very ingeniously discussed by a respectable company, and was carried in the affirmative'; second question adjourned.

Morning Chronicle

217. September 8, 1778 Gazetteer

'To the President of the Disputing Society at Coachmakers-Hall Sir,

I was present last Thursday, when the question respecting the utility of the discovery of America to mankind in general was debated by this Society; and I must acknowledge the discourse to have been entertaining and instructive. However, I think, was the committee to make it a rule not to admit of too many scripture quotations, the debates would be rendered far more agreeable; for many of the speakers, thinking to give their arguments greater weight, have recourse to the New or Old Testament for passages, to enforce what they have advanced; and are, by this means, often so much taken up with the sublimity of their authors, that they leave the matter in debate at a great distance, and make what would otherwise be good reasoning, appear the bombastic nonsense of a Moorfields Enthusiast. - My noticing this was owing to the unnecessary and frequent bringing in the names of Shem, Ham, and Japhet, by a gentleman on the right hand side of the Hall, and who likewise made often mention of the resting of the Ark on Mount Ararat, which had as little relation to the matter in debate as the times of Shem, Ham or Japhet had to do with America. There is also a young gentleman, who I believe spoke last Thursday for the first time, and who gave evident signs of a promising genius; but he must excuse me, if I tell him he seemed to favour too much of the Methodist in his discourse; I therefore hope he will pardon me, in reminding him of this imperfection, which, if he can break himself of, he may no doubt in time be a great acquisition to the Society. In short, as to religious quotations, I think they are highly prejudicial to this Society, as it affords an opportunity to Administration, and their emissaries (who often meet with deserved and severe censure) to ridicule the same as an assembly of religious madmen and fanatics. I therefore hope what I have said will be taken in good part; and if respect is paid to the hint, it will oblige

AMICUS SOCIETATIS

218. September 10, 1778 Coach-Makers Hall Society

'Does not the awful situation of public affairs require that the people should form themselves into associations for the preservation of their rights and privileges?'

Gazetteer

219. September 11, 1778 Society for Free and Candid Debate, Queen's Arms

'Are the indulgences lately granted to the Roman Catholics of these kingdoms consistent with the safety thereof, as a Protestant Church and State?

After a very able and full discussion, was carried in the affirmative.'

Gazetteer

220. September 11, 1778 Gazetteer

'To the Editor of the Gazetteer

Give me leave, through the channel of your useful paper, to congratulate the lovers of rational entertainment, on the revival of the debating society, at the Queens Arms, in Newgate Street. I was present on Friday evening last, and much pleased was I to observe so numerous an audience assembled, for the laudable purpose of edifying each other, by a search after truth. The question (which related to the indulgence lately granted by Parliament to the Roman Catholics of this kingdom) was discussed with the greatest candour and ingenuity by several gentlemen, long and well known in the society for their eminent abilities as to sound knowledge and real argument. Some new and juvenile speakers made their first essay, and were received with all that warmth of applause which is so fostering to the budding genius, and for which the society has always been remarkable, from its early institution to the present time.

Societies of this kind, Sir, I need not inform you, are certainly beneficial to mankind, if managed upon candid and liberal principles; but when the original intent of them becomes perverted, when, instead of solid and rational argument, detraction and scandal against our superiors takes place, they not only become hurtful to individuals, but prove dangerous enemies to the state. I am by no means, Sir, averse to freedom of debate, when confined within the proper limits of decorum; nor should I have been led to the preceding reflection, but that I have my eye on a certain society of the same nature, not a mile from Foster-lane, where the most abandoned political doctrines are frequently broached, which cannot fail (particularly at the present crisis) to have a bad effect on the minds of the weaker part of the audience. This too is done without any sort of restraint; for if a person happens to differ in opinion from these high and mighty advocates for liberty, he is treated with a degree of illiberality unbecoming an assembly of sensible beings . . .

MODERATOR

221. September 14, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether all real Antigallicans (if consistent) ought not now to be AntiAmericans? and, Whether the delaying a declaration of war against France has been prudent and political conduct on the part of Great Britain?'

The room and lights much improved.

Both Questions went in the affirmative.

Morning Chronicle

222. September 17, 1778 Coach-Makers-Hall Society

'Does a servile compliance with the reigning fashions of the times, or an obstinate singularity in opposition to them, constitute the more contemptible character?'

Gazetteer

223. September 18, 1778 Debating Society, Queen's Arms Tavern,

Newgate Street

'Can the propositions made on this part of Great Britain, by her Commissioners, to the American Congress, be deemed a reasonable ground for reconciliation?'

Gazetteer

224. September 21, 1778 Robin Hood

'Would not America enjoy more civil and religious liberty under French government, than under that of the dominion of a Congress, or any other form of government of their own people? And Whether granting a pension to the heirs of Lord Chatham, doth not reflect an honour on the present House of Commons? and Whether laws, enjoining some positive duties, and forbidding things not morally bad, are binding in conscience?'

The first Question 'went (after a strong and ingenious debate) in the negative'.

Morning Chronicle

225. September 24, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall Society

'Can any Act of united Legislature of this Country be denominated unconstitutional?'

Gazetteer

226. September 28, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether granting a pension to the heirs of the late Lord Chatham, doth not redound of the British Parliament?'

Question 'went in the affirmative. Several speakers offered arguments on the negative side, but the hands were nearly unanimous as above.'

Morning Chronicle

227. October 1, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall Society

'Which is the best adapted to the Culture of the Arts and Sciences, a Monarchy or a Republick?'

Gazetteer September 30

228. October 5, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether monopolizing or underselling of the necessaries of life is more blameable in a tradesman? And, Whether such laws as enjoy certain duties (game laws, &c.) and prohibit actions not really evil, are binding on conscience?'

The second question 'went in the affirmative'; the first 'went against the monopolizers. Then was debated the question, Whether the agreement betwixt the managers of the winter theatres, reciprocally to employ each other's performers, will promote the interests of the drama in general? was began and adjourned.'

Morning Chronicle

229. October 8, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall Society

'Has France, by entering into a treaty with the Americans, violated the law of nations?'

Gazetteer

230. October 9, 1778 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Which are the most excellent, those talents that are the effect of study and application; or those which result from nature alone? And, Can the American insurgency be justified upon Christian principles?'

Admittance 4d. each person.

Gazetteer

231. October 12, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether the agreement betwixt the managers of the winter theatres, reciprocally to employ each other's performers, will promote the interests of the drama in general?

The Question, Whether the Love of the Fair Sex, hath not been one of the greatest inducements to heroic actions? went in the affirmative.' The other question went in the negative.

Morning Chronicle

232. October 15, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall Society

'Does the force of Love excite more to noble or ignoble actions?' Gazetteer

233. October 16, 1778 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arm Tavern 'Are not the arbitrary laws by which the soldiery of England are governed, dangerous to British liberties? and, Can the American insurgency be justified on Christian principles?'

Gazetteer

234. October 19, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether referring a political controversy between states, to a decision by the sword, is properly called an appeal to Heaven? And, Whether insuring the ships of an open enemy, is not a nefarious and impolitic practice?'

The first Question 'went in the negative. The other question . . . was began, and after some spirited debated, adjourned.'

Morning Chronicle

235. October 22, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall Society

'Is it Policy in a State to suffer its Subjects to insure the Property of an Enemy in a Time of War?'

Gazetteer

236. October 23, 1778 Society for Free Debate, Queen's arms, Newgate Street

'Are not the severe laws by which the soldiery of England are governed, dangerous to British Liberty? and, Ought Great Britain to give up the dependency of America, or declare war with France?'

Gazetteer

237. October 26, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether insuring the ships of an open enemy, is not a nefarious and impolitic practice? and, Whether a dissolution of the present Parliament, immediately after their next meeting, would not be a salutary measure?'

The first Question 'went in the affirmative; though many ingenious sentiments were offered on the contrary side of the argument'. The second question 'was debated in a candid, though spirited manner, and went in the negative'.

Morning Chronicle

238. October 29, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall Society

'Which is the more excellent form of government, a Monarchy or a Republic?'

Gazetteer

239. November 2, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether the commercial returns into the ports of Great Britain do not compensate for the late extraordinary and expensive armaments? and, Whether a steady or a flexible temper is productive of more happiness to the possessor? and, Whether a lately deceased Earl did not treat with a certain person for an appointment in administration?'

Morning Chronicle

240. November 5, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall Society

'Is not Beauty, in general, a greater source of misfortune than advantage to the female sex?'

Gazetteer

241. November 9, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether virtue is more conspicuous in prosperity or adversity? and, Whether any degree of ill-treatment from a husband to a wife, can justify the latter in defiling the marriage-bed?'

The first Question 'was determined, that it was more conspicuous in adversity'. The second question 'was debated for some time, when the speakers being undetermined on the point, desired an adjournment'.

Morning Chronicle November 16

242. November 12, 1778 Coachmakers-Hall Society

'Would it not be more conducive to the happiness of mankind, that one form of government should universally prevail, rather than different nations should be governed by different forms?'

Gazetteer

243. November 16, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether Lord C—m did court a negotiation with Lord B—e for an appointment in administration &c.? and, Whether it is not now become necessary to declare war against France?'

The first Question 'went in the negative. The most elaborate speaking was on the Wright side of the question, but the division was on the Addington side.'

Morning Chronicle

244. November 23, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether the punishment for treason, which forfeit from children the estates of their ancestors, is not too severe?'

Morning Chronicle

245. November 26, 1778 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the opinion of Soame Jenyns, founded in truth, that patriotism and friendship are not of the nature of true virtues?'

Gazetteer November 23

246. November 30, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether punishing of treason, by forfeiture of estates from posterity, is in a political light too severe?'

Question 'went in the affirmative'.

Morning Chronicle December 7

247. December 3, 1778 Coach-makers Hall

'Is not the refusal of Congress to treat with his Majesty's Commissioners a demonstration that they would rather sacrifice the real happiness of America, than give up hope of aggrandizing themselves?'

Gazetteer December 1

248. December 7, 1778 Robin Hood

'Which tends more to improvement of the head and heart, a public or private education? and, Whether an extreme rigorous war of short duration, is not more humane on the whole, than a lenient long one?' Second Question 'went in the affirmative by a great majority'.

Morning Chronicle

249. December 10, 1778 Coach-makers Hall

'Is not the refusal of Congress to treat with his Majesty's Commissioners a demonstration that they would rather sacrifice the real happiness of America, than give up hope of aggrandizing themselves?'

Gazetteer December 8

250. December 11, 1778 Society for Free Debate, Queens Arms, Newgate Street

'Can any man be a friend to Great Britain who wishes the Independency of her American Colonies?'

Gazetteer

251. December 14, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether it is proper in this country that a judge should sit in a legislative capacity in the House of Peers? and, Whether the common rights of war are not due to even (supposed) rebels?'

The first Question 'went in the affirmative'; the other, 'debated with spirit, candour, and ingenuity till past ten' was adjourned.

Morning Chronicle

252. December 17, 1778 Coach-makers Hall

'Is not the refusal of Congress to treat with his Majesty's Commissioners a demonstration that they would rather sacrifice the real happiness of America, than give up hope of aggrandizing themselves?'

Gazetteer December 15

253. December 21, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether the common rights of war are not due to even (supposed) rebels? and, Whether the freedom with which public characters and measures are treated and investigated in this country, is a proof of the vigour, or of the decline of our constitution?'

First Question 'went in the affirmative'; second question 'was very warmly debated, and by vote adjourned'.

Morning Chronicle

254. December 24, 1778 Coach-makers Hall

'Is not the neglect to punish duelling in the most exemplary manner a severe reflection on the humanity and justice of civilized states?'

Gazetteer December 22

255. December 28, 1778 Robin Hood

'Whether the freedom with which public characters and measures are treated and investigated in this country, is a proof of the vigour, or of the decline of our constitution?'

Question resolved that this freedom was a proof of vigour.

Morning Chronicle

256. December 31, 1778 Coach-makers Hall

'Would it be consistent with good policy, in the present crisis, to promote a public enquiry into the state of the nation?'

Gazetteer December 29