London debates: 1776

London Debating Societies: 1776-1799. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1994.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


'London debates: 1776', in London Debating Societies: 1776-1799, ed. Donna T Andrew( London, 1994), British History Online [accessed 16 July 2024].

'London debates: 1776', in London Debating Societies: 1776-1799. Edited by Donna T Andrew( London, 1994), British History Online, accessed July 16, 2024,

"London debates: 1776". London Debating Societies: 1776-1799. Ed. Donna T Andrew(London, 1994), , British History Online. Web. 16 July 2024.


1. January 4, 1776 Morning Chronicle

'As a proof that the Society for the Recovery of Drowned Persons is well received by the publick, the Debating Society at the Crown Tavern in Bow lane where every subject is fully discussed, have given 5 guineas as a token of their approbation.'

2. January 5, 1776 Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Which are the most loyal subjects, and the best friends to liberty, those who in their Addresses to the King approve or those who in their Petitions condemn, the present proceedings against America?'

Lecture on pleasure.

'Notwithstanding the exhausted state of the American debate, the question was very ingeniously handled, and some new matter thrown out on both sides. Determined by a very small majority in favour of the petitions.'

Gazetteer January 4

3. January 12, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Is not the doctrine of justification, as held by the Church of Rome, a damnable doctrine? - Would it not be advisable for the legislative body to treat with the Congress upon terms of reconciliation, without considering it as derogatory to their dignity?'

Philosophical Lecture on Reason.

Gazetteer January 11

4. January 12, 1776 Gazetteer

'A correspondent hopes that the dissolution (which will, it is said, shortly be) of a certain disputing society in Bow-lane, will be the cause of a great revolution in another society in Newgate-street; that instead of the tedious speeches of an O—11 and a C—n, the auditory will be entertained with the flowery language of a D—n, and the patriotic declamations of a F—r, those two ornaments of elocution. Our correspondent does not mean to insinuate, that there is a total want of pleasing oratory in the latter society; that will never be the case so long as a P—d and a D—s favour it with their sanction and the exercise of their abilities; to hear them our correspondent has often been induced to devote some of his leisure time; and whenever it has then happened that the little unmeaning, consequential President, and the flaming Catholic (wou'd-be President) have trespassed upon the patience of the audience, by the insignificant cant of the one, and the unbounded assurance of the other, our correspondent has not wondered at his disappointment, but rather considered it as a matter of surprize, that the society has so long continued its establishment.'

5. January 15, 1776 Robin Hood

'The comparative excellence of a Monarchial and Republican Government' was argued a third time, and at last determined in favour of a Monarchical form; so this side of the question has had two verdicts out of three trials. The company was very respectable and the speakers very ingenious.'

Morning Chronicle January 22

6. January 20, 1776 Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Would it not be advisable for the legislature of Great-Britain to treat with the American Congress on terms of reconciliation, without derogation to their dignity?'

Lecture on Oratory.

Gazetteer January 18

7. January 22, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether a surrender of all claims to Canada, on the part of Great Britain, unto the Crown of France, would not be an eligible measure at this time?

The question concerning the propriety of surrendering all claim to Canada unto the French Government &c. was carried almost nem. con. in the negative; some, not unplausible arguments, however, were offered on the contrary side, as, that removing all ground of dispute about the local limits or boundaries, by totally expelling the French, was the original cause of the bounds of British authority over the rest of America being disputed.'

Morning Chronicle

8. January 26, 1776 Queen's-Arms, Newgate-street

'Which of the two Governments is more likely to preserve the liberties of the people, the English or a Republican?

Which, after many ingenious arguments, was almost unanimously determined in favour of the English.'

Lecture on lines from Thomson's Winter.

Gazetteer January 25

9. January 29, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether Administration, or the Opposition at this juncture, proceed more upon the true principles of the British Constitution? Another question likely to come on, is, Whether Coercive or Conciliatory Measures, respecting the Colonies, are now most eligible?'

Debated 'with candour and ingenuity' and adjourned.

Morning Chronicle January 27

10. February 2, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Can a Roman Catholic Prince govern a free People, consistent with Religion and their Liberties?'

Lecture on Friendship.

'Debated and determined in the negative.'

Gazetteer February 1

11. February 4, 1776 Theological Society, One Tun, near Hungerford, Strand

The President will deliver 'a Discourse introductory to the establishment of Lectures at this place, and a Lecture on the succeeding lines:

How is our reason to the future blind,

When vice enervates, and enslaves the mind;

What sense suggests how fondly we believe,

And with what subtilty ourselves deceive.

The Theme, relating to the discovery of Anti-Christ, debated here . . . after hearing many ingenious arguments, was adjourned; in consequence of which will be reheard subsequent to the foregoing Discourse and Lecture: And if time will permit, the following text will be investigated: "Know this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation." 2 Peter, chap. 2, ver. 20.'

Gazetteer February 3

12. February 5, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether Administration, or the Opposition at this juncture, proceed more upon the true principles of the English constitution? Whether coercive or lenient measures, respecting the Colonies, at this time are more eligible?'

On the first question 'it was extremely difficult, or rather impossible, to know which side had most hands: the room being crowded, some persons on the floor and others mounted on the benches; it was left doubtful.'

Morning Chronicle

13. February 9, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-arms, Newgate Street

'Would an Act of Perpetual Insolvency be of general advantage?'

Lecture on the Advantages resulting from Society.

'Owing to the unfavourableness of the weather, the company was rather thin, and of course a dearth of speakers; but notwithstanding, many sensible arguments were advanced on both sides.' Determined almost unanimously 'that the proposed act would be of no public utility'.

Gazetteer February 8

14. February 12, 1776 Robin Hood

'Is the breach between England and the Colonies reparable - And is it manifest that the Americans affect independency? Another question put, viz. Whether coercive or lenient measures are more eligible, &c. was manifestly included in the first, as administration are for one and opposition for the other.'

The first question 'was carried almost nem. con. in the affirmative; but the mode thereof may afford a question of more difficulty.'

Morning Chronicle

15. February 16, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Would it be prudent in the Livery of London to entrust a person with the care of the city cash, who has already been accused of robbing a public charity, without refuting a charge?

Determined in favour of Mr. Wilkes.'

Gazetteer February 15

16. February 19, 1776 Gazetteer

'In consequence of the very extraordinary question advertised to be debated at the Queen's Arms tavern in Newgate-street, on Friday evening last, the croud was so great, that many persons could not get into the room; the friends of the respective candidates for the office of Chamberlain had occupied all the seats early in the evening, and those who came afterwards time enough to gain admittance remained upon their legs. At length the Chairman ascended the rostrum, and with the utmost gravity acquainted the assembly, that the author of the question had been informed, that it was couched in such terms as would render a free discussion of it liable to legal notice; that several members of the society had expressed their disapprobation of it, and for those reasons the author, who declined to avow himself, had authorised him to beg permission to withdraw it. Mr. Saffory, the surgeon, then arose, and animadverted on the baseness of the author to bring a question so evidently levelled to prejudice one of the candidates for the office of Chamberlain at this critical period. He said, that the author's reasons, as assigned by the Chairman, did not operate with him as the most striking objection against a discussion of the question. Justice and equity should have prevailed with the author more forcibly than any disagreeable apprehensions of the consequence; those were motives that actuated him (Mr. Saffory) to move 'that the question be expunged out of the book.' This was seconded by Mr. Denham, who supported his ingenious leader by remarking, that when public societies descended to personal disputes, and stepped out of the path of general discussion, they were no longer worthy the countenance of the public. The Chairman, with evident reluctance, complied with the almost unanimous cry of "expunge the question"; of which (our correspondent avers) himself was the author, without attempting to answer the just reflections cast upon him for his uncandid, ungenerous design.'

17. February 19, 1776 Robin Hood

'Is it manifest that the Colonies affect independency?'

Morning Chronicle

18. February 23, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-arms, Newgate Street

'Are those magistrates, commonly called Trading Justices, hurtful or beneficial to this country? And, if time permits, Do those Constables who are remarkable for their vigilance, in apprehending the unfortunate women of the town, deserve censure or applause?

The two Questions relating to TRADING Justices and REFORMING Constable . . . being by their principal speakers reduced to one, produced many ingenious and sensible arguments, both for and against those officers. In the conclusion, however, a great majority appeared in their favour.'

Gazetteer February 22

19. March 1, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-arms, Newgate Street

'Does the Scotch Militia Bill, now depending in the House of Commons, tend to the good of this country? And Would not a reformation of the abuses of the press redound to the honour of this kingdom?

The Question relating to the Scotch Militia Bill was . . . unanimously decided in favour of that measure: the other subject proposed for discussion in reference to a Reformation of the Abuses of the Press, was postponed by the unanimous desire of the company . . .'

Gazetteer February 29

20. March 3, 1776 Theological Society

'The following theme will be investigated, "For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." - "So that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." Romans, chap. ix, ver. 15 and 16 - And, if there remains sufficient time, this also, "By which likewise he went and preached unto the spirits in prison" together with the succeeding verse, taken from the third chapter of the first of Peter.'

Preceded by a lecture on Sincerity.

Gazetteer March 2

21. March 4, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether endeavouring to carry the measures of Administration, respecting America, by force, will not ultimately tend to the destruction of the liberties of the whole empire?

Debated in a spirited manner: the decision was declared in the affirmative, though many of the opposite side thought the majority in their favour.'

Morning Chronicle March 11

22. March 8, 1776 Society for Free Debate. Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Is it consistent with the dignity and impartiality of a Chief Magistrate in this City, to interfere in any depending election of officers of the Corporation?'

The Question 'was warmly debated by the principal speakers, and carried in the negative by a great majority'.

Gazetteer March 7

23. March 11, 1776 Robin Hood

'Have philosophy and the abstruse sciences been advantageous to mankind in general?'

Question 'was carried in the affirmative. - It was expected that a proposer of such a question would have taken (Mons. Rousseau's, or) the uphill side; but it happened otherwise, and a speaker, who wondered such a question could be put, very ingeniously supported the difficult side of it.'

Morning Chronicle

24. March 15, 1776 Society for Free Debate. Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Would not correcting the present abuses of the press be a proof of the good sense of the nation?'

The Question was 'almost unanimously determined in the negative'.

Gazetteer March 14

25. March 18, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether Dr. Price's assertion, that the Americans have half a million of determined fighting men is supportable?'

Question 'was carried in the negative. It was allowed that the number of capable men might exceed the Doctor's numbers: but a doubt of their unanimity or concurrence in the same cause, when the English should appear, put the negative to the position. One orator was very conspicuous both as to elegance of language, and a knowledge of the American country, as well as to the controversy respecting the same.'

Morning Chronicle

26. March 22, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Whether the Legislature differ from what is called the Constitution? If so, in what?'

Lecture on the Poem Delia to Strephon 'published some time since in Every Man's Magazine'.

Gazetteer March 21

27. March 25, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether triennial Parliaments are not preferable to any other mode?' The Question 'was carried in favour of triennial: some ironical arguments were thrown out in favour of annual, as that the constituents and representatives would become better acquainted by feasting together annually, &c. but the serious part of the debate was between the favourers of the other two modes [triennial or septennial], and passed as above by a considerable majority.'

Morning Chronicle

28. April 1, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether a late publication on the subject of Civil Liberty &c. is likely to do more good or hurt to the community?'

The Question 'was very candidly and ingeniously discussed before a very numerous and respectable audience, and the decis on (by a small majority) was, "that the said Pamphlet was likely to be more prejudicial than beneficial". Possibly upon the idea, that as truth may not be spoken at all times there might be some political truths which should not be divulged to the whole world at any time, or at least at this time.'

Morning Chronicle

29. April 5, 1776 Society for Free Debate

'Whether Vice or Virtue affords superior pleasures?

Those who contended for vice observed, that virtue restrains its votaries from partaking of various enjoyments grateful to human nature. Those who supported virtue insisted that vice cannot produce pleasure, every sin being attended by pain. The latter of these arguments prevailed.'

Gazetteer April 11

30. April 8, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether a liberal and learned Education is proper for a Person intended for Commerce?'

The Question 'was very agreeably and ingeniously discussed. Two avowed classical gentlemen were opponents, which gave the question consequence; and it was determined in the affirmative, i.e. that a classical education was proper for a merchant.'

Morning Chronicle

31. April 12, 1776 Society for Free Debate

'Can a Roman Catholic, consistent with his religious principles, be a good subject to a Protestant Prince? and Are all the works of creation alike beautiful, or can there be a general criterion attained, to distinguish real beauty?'

Gazetteer April 11

32. April 15, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether Study or Conversation tend most to the advancement of useful knowledge?'

Morning Chronicle

33. April 19, 1776 Society for Free Debate

'Whether the Principles advanced in Dr. Price's pamphlet on Civil Liberty are consistent with the Principles of the English Constitution?

Those gentlemen who supported the affirmative, built their arguments on the ground of their being taxed without representation; those who maintained the negative, observed, that the reasoning contained in that celebrated performance was merely ideal; that it tended to confusion and anarchy; and the plan of government there laid down such as never had, or can have any existence, and therefore totally inapplicable to the general principle of legislation, and to those of the British constitution in particular; the latter opinion was confirmed by a considerable majority of the company.'

Gazetteer April 18

34. April 22, 1776 Robin Hood

'Which of the Passions is most prevalent and most destructive in its effects?

It was determined by hands, that pride was the most prevalent and pernicious.'

Morning Chronicle April 29

35. April 26, 1776 Society for Free Debate

'Can Mr. Wilkes and his friends be justified in their present opposition to the Chamberlain?

On behalf of Mr. Wilkes and his supporters it was urged, that as friends to free elections, they were consistent in endeavouring to destroy the effect of one, wherein freedom had been grossly violated. On the other hand it was argued, that a scrutiny would have been much better, as by it every one who affirmed a privilege to which by law or equity they had no claim, would have been detected; and, that declining this, shewed an attachment to private interest more than to public justice. These arguments met with the approbation of a majority of the company.'

Gazetteer April 25

36. April 29, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether Doctor Price, by his late publication, hath not done more to promote Civil and Religious Liberty, than those Bishops who voted for establishing Popery in Canada? Another question was read, viz. Whether impressing of Sailors is justifiable in any case whatsoever?'

Morning Chronicle

37. May 3, 1776 Society for Free Debate

'Which is the more honourable profession, that of law, or that of arms' and 'Are all the works of the creation alike beautiful, or can there be a general criterion ascertained, to distinguish real beauty?'

Gazetteer May 2

38. May 6, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether impressing sailors to serve on board his Majesty's ships, is defensible in any emergency, &c.?'

Question 'was very ingeniously debated, and, on the division, carried in the negative'.

Morning Chronicle May 13

39. May 10, 1776 Society For Free Debate

'Which is the more honourable profession, law or arms?'

The question was 'determined in favour of arms'.

Gazetteer May 16

40. May 13, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether appealing from the Ecclesiastical to a Superior Court, will be more beneficial or injurious to the community?'

Question 'was carried for its being more beneficial. Some people were for supporting the definitive power of the Ecclesiastical Courts, to prevent endless litigation and expence; others were for totally abolishing the same as a remnant of papal authority; others (who indeed carried the question) were for allowing the usual proceedings of superogative courts under the controul, like other law courts, of the supreme legislative body.'

Morning Chronicle

41. May 17, 1776 Society for Free Debate

'Is a certain Apothecary justifiable in the liberties he has taken with the Rev. Mr. Wesley, in a recent publication, called An Examination of Primitive Physic?

Determined almost unanimously in favour of the Apothecary, though Mr. W. had some sensible arguments adduced in favour of his pamphlet.'

Gazetteer May 16

42. May 20, 1776 Robin Hood

'Is it now compatible with the dignity, interest, and duty of Great Britain, to treat with America on terms of accommodation?'

Morning Chronicle

43. August 9, 1776 Society for Free Debate

'Would it tend to the security of the liberties of Great Britain, to increase the number of Representatives in the House of Commons? Is it reasonable to suppose that any person, otherwise than in a state of insanity, can commit the act of suicide?

The arguments on [the first] subject tended rather to prove the necessity of a more equal representation, than an increase of number, and consequently was determined in the negative. In the discussion of [the second] question, the causes of madness were explained; and the delicate situation of jurymen in cases of suicide, with respect to their oath on the one hand, and tenderness to the friends of the deceased on the other (as a verdict of Felo de se works a forfeiture of personal estate) were fully and ingeniously investigated. It passed in the negative.'

Gazetteer August 15

44. August 16, 1776 Society for Free Debate

'Is a true Patriot less able to serve his country when called to the House of Peers, than when a Member of the House of Commons?'

Gazetteer August 15

45. September 1, 1776 Theological Society

' "What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he?" Matt. chap. xxii, ver. 42. The investigation of the text leads to an examination of the divinity of Christ.

Preceded by lecture on the following lines:
"By gentle methods Truth we'll still pursue,
And prove by candour, till alone our view".'

Gazetteer August 31

46. September 13, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms, Newgate Street

'Which is the happier period of human life, Youth or Old Age? and, if time will permit, the succeeding: Would electing our Representatives in Parliament by ballot, be an additional security of our liberties?'

Lecture on lines from the Fourth Epistle of Mr. Pope's Essay on Man.

The Question, 'which, after an ingenious and spirited investigation, was determined in favour of Youth'.

Admittance four-pence each person.

Gazetteer September 12

47. September 20, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms, Newgate Street

'Would electing our Representatives in Parliament, by ballot, be an additional security to our liberties? and, if time will permit, the succeeding one also: Are Critics in general serviceable to Literature?'

Lecture on Trade and Commerce.

Gazetteer September 19

48. September 24, 1776 Society for free Debate, at the Hand and Racket, Blue Cross Street, Leicester fields

'Whether a state of nature is as capable of happiness as a state of civil society?'

Was determined in favour of civil society.

Gazetteer September 30

49. October 1, 1776 Society for free Debate, at the Hand and Racket, Blue Cross Street, Leicester fields

'If the Americans (in consequence of the present contest) become independent, who ought to be censured for the event, the members of administration, or those of opposition?'

Gazetteer September 30

50. October 7, 1776 Theological Society

' "All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them." John chap x, ver. 8 And, if time will allow, a comparative examination "Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of law." Romans chap iii, ver. 28. "Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith alone".'

Gazetteer October 6

51. October 21, 1776 Robin Hood Society

'Whether Mr. Molesworth's Calculations upon Lotteries were of advantage to adventurers, or an imposition on the credulity of the public?

Last Monday night, at the Robin Hood Society, there was the most numerous and respectable meeting known for many years, upwards of 400 persons being present, and as many obliged to return for want of room . . . It was almost unanimously resolved (not above six hands being held up against the motion) that Mr. Molesworth's Calculations were beneficial to the public.'

Gazetteer October 23

52. October 29, 1776 Society at the Hand and Racquet, Blue Cross Street, Leicester Fields

'Did not Administration (by rejecting the Remonstrance sent by Mr. Penn) put a stop to a reconciliation of the differences subsisting between Great Britain and her colonies?'

Gentleman will deliver a lecture on lines from The Grave.

Gazetteer October 28

53. November 4, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether the public as well as private evils, which disgrace this country, do not originate from gaming rather than luxury?'

Question 'was passed in the negative, i.e. that luxury was the cause, &c. Much excellent argumentation and declamation were displayed against the vice of Gaming; but Luxury appearing the motive to Gaming, might determine the division.'

Morning Chronicle November 11

54. November 8, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Armis, Newgate Street

'Does the Lord-Mayor of London act as a good citizen, in refusing to back press-warrants at this alarming crisis?'

Lecture on evils of human life.

Gazetteer November 7

55. November 11, 1776 Robin Hood

'Is not the cohabitation of an unmarried man and woman, though attended with harmony and fidelity till death, an immoral connection? and Would it be consistent with Whig principles to adhere to the cause of the Americans, if the French government should openly declare in their favour?'

Morning Chronicle

56. November 22, 1776 'The Society for Free Debate lately held at the Queen's Arms, Newgate Street, is . . . removed to the Horn, in Doctors Commons, at which place the Society will be conducted on the same liberal plan which has hitherto given general satisfaction to the lovers of rational amusement.'

'Would not a plan to regulate the price of labour be beneficial to the community?'

Gazetteer November 21

57. November 22, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms

'Would not balloting be the most eligible mode of electing Members of Parliament?'


58. November 25, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether the acceptance of a place under the Crown, as it vacates a seat in Parliament, ought not to be an exclusion of such member during his holding said place?'

Question was 'very ingeniously debated and carried in the affirmative. The arguments are at times equally clear on both sides [of] this question; for gentlemen in opposition, whether Whigs or Tories, see the desperate consequences of ministerial dependants sitting in the senate; and gentlemen in favour of the government in being, whether Tories or Whigs, can see the necessity of a little influence arising from places, pensions, riding behind, &c. so all parties in power practice, what all out of power reprobate.'

Morning Chronicle December 2

59. November 29, 1776 Queen's Arms, Newgate Street, Society for Free Debate continued as usual.

'1. Are predestination and punishment of human actions consistent with our ideas of wisdom and justice? 2. Will not the increase of national debt, in consequence of the American war, greatly over-balance any possible advantage from the reduction of that country?

The disappointment which took place . . . could not have been avoided, but it is now remedied.'


60. November 29, Society for Free Debate, Horn Tavern

'Are high duties and the prohibition of foreign commodities beneficial to a commercial state? and Can the Athanasian creed be defended on the principles of reason and reflection?'

Gazetteer November 28

61. December 2, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether the Lord Mayor of London restraining press warrants is any benefit to that city? and Whether a man will sooner arrive at the character of an orator by getting sense by heart, or speaking nonsense extempore?'

First question was 'altered to Whether the Lord Mayor was justifiable in refusing to back press warrants? and it was carried in the affirmative by a great majority.'

Morning Chronicle

62. December 7, 1776 Queen's Arms, Newgate Street. Society for Free Debate

'1. Is it possible, consistent with the nature of British Government, that it can be conducted without Bribery and Corruption?

2. What influence have Lotteries on the Morals of the People?'


63. December 7, 1776 The Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors Commons

'1. Can the Athanasian creed be defended on the Principles of Reason and Revelation? 2. Would it be consistent with the Duty the Corporation of London owe to their Constituents, to pay the Debts contracted by Mr. Wilkes during his Mayoralty, out of the City Cash?'

Gazetteer December 6

64. December 9, 1776 Robin Hood

'Whether facilitating the means of divorce by application of both the married parties, would not promote the happiness of individuals and prosperity of the community? and, Whether a person will sooner arrive at the character of an orator by speaking sense by heart, or nonsense extempore?'

Morning Chronicle

65. December 14, 1776 Society for Free Debate held at the Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'First, Can press warrants be justified, consistent with the liberty and privileges of Englishmen?

Second, Whether, or in what cases, is one man obliged to accuse another?

Third, Whether, or in what cases, monopolies may be lawful?'

Gazetteer December 13

66. December 21, 1776 Debating Society, Queen's-arms Tavern, Newgate Street

'First, Whether a judge may lawfully condemn a man found guilty by the jury, while he himself knows him to be innocent?

Second, Whether it is possible to establish one form of government so perfect, as to suit every different state in the universe?

N.B. On the part of the managers no attention will be spared to render the entertainment such an agreeable relish of literary amusement, as not to fail suiting the palate of the scholar and the gentleman. The members presume to rely upon the generosity of the public, not to suffer the private views of a few self important beings to overturn, by a hasty vote, a society which for these thirty years has preserved its establishment.

The utility of an acquaintance with history being universally acknowledged, Lectures on that important science will be delivered every evening, previous to the commencement of the debate. A Discourse introductory to the establishment of the above Lecture, will be delivered from the Chair this evening.'


67. December 21, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons (Removed from the Queen's-Arms, Newgate Street)

'Whether the Athanasian Creed can be defended on principles of reason and revelation? Is it consistent with the duty the Common Council owe to their constituents, to apply the city cash in discharge of the debts contracted by Mr. Wilkes during his mayoralty?'

Determined in the negative.


68. December 25, 1776 Debating Society. Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'1. Is it possible to constitute any one form of Government which will suit all states in the world? And 2. Is the doctrine lately urged by an eminent and noble lawyer, to wit, that Judges may not qualify their verdicts, founded on reason and equity?

In order to place this Society on a footing equally respectable with other assemblies of the like nature, the price of admission is raised to 6d each person, to compensate for which all possible attention will be paid to the improvement of the entertainments and accommodations.'

Lecture concerning the Antediluvian World and the Heathen Mythology.


69. December 27, 1776 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors Commons

'1. Is it consistent with the duty the Common-council owe their constituents, to apply the City cash in discharge of the debts contracted by Mr. Wilkes during his Mayoralty? 2. Would not an equal Poor Rate be a national advantage?'