London debates: 1789

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

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, 'London debates: 1789', in London Debating Societies: 1776-1799, (London, 1994) pp. 246-273. British History Online [accessed 27 May 2024].

. "London debates: 1789", in London Debating Societies: 1776-1799, (London, 1994) 246-273. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024,

. "London debates: 1789", London Debating Societies: 1776-1799, (London, 1994). 246-273. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024,

1448. January 1, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the Virtue of the Fair Sex most in Danger from the Influence of a bad Education, their natural Vanity, or from the extreme Sensibility of the Female Heart?'

The World

1449 January 5, 1789 Capel Court Debates

'Which is the true Characteristick of a Lady's Man, Wit, Courage or Politeness?'

Daily Advertiser January 3

1450. January 7, 1789 Westminster Forum


'Does not the late fatal Event, and other Evils resulting from DUELLING, demand the Interposition of the Legislature to abolish the Practice?

Duelling is one of those Evils which arise from a Refinement of Manners. To investigate that fatal Rashness, which, through a mistaken Principle of Honour, has robbed Society of some of its brightest Ornaments, is an Employment which must display the Abilities of the Gentlemen who speak in the Westminster Forum to great Advantage.'

Morning Post

1451. January 8, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Ought the Regent, who shall be appointed to govern during the Incapacity of his Majesty, be invested with full or limited Powers?

The Conductors of this Institution have been informed by many of Mr. Fox's Friends, that notwithstanding the late Resolutions of the City of London, in favour of the Minister's late Conduct, they have the strongest Reason to believe that the Majority of the Citizens are inimical to the Measures he has adopted respecting the Regency; they are therefore desirous that this interesting Subject should undergo a fair and free Debate, and that the real Sense of the Publick be collected upon it.'

A considerable majority were in favour of limiting the powers of the Regent.

Daily Advertiser January 7

1452. January 12, 1789 Capel Court Debates

'Whether the Doctrines taught by the present Mr. Wesley, or the late Mr. Whitfield, Messr. Romaine, Rowland Hill, &c. are more agreeable with the true principles of the Christian Religion?'

Notes that the popularity of the society due to its discussion of religious questions.

Daily Advertiser January 10

1453. January 14, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Which is the most distressing situation, a shipwrecked mariner, a condemned Criminal, or a seduced female, abandoned by her Lover?

Debating Societies, when properly conducted, have been esteemed by the wise and intelligent as School of Morality. It is the aim of the Managers of the Westminster Forum to select Questions which, while they afford an opportunity to display the talents of the orator, affix some important moral truths in the human mind.'

Morning Post

1454. January 15, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the Passion of Love productive of more Happiness or Misery to its Possessors?

Love is a Passion whose effects have puzzled the wisest Philosophers; by some it has been called the Spring from whence Virtue is often conveyed into resisting Nature; that it renders the Coward brave; and melts the hardiest Soul into a sense of Social Duty.'

Daily Advertiser January 14

1455. January 19, 1789 Capel Court Debates

'Which was more culpable in eating the forbidden Fruit, Adam or Eve?'

It was deemed that Eve was more culpable than Adam.

Daily Advertiser January 17

1456 January 21, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Which is the most powerful obligation of nature, Parental Affection, Filial Duty, or Conjugal Love?'

Morning Post

1457. January 22, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Should the Regent dismiss Mr. Pitt from Administration, would he act consistently with his Duty, and the general Interest of this Country?

It is hoped that every Citizen will publickly answer this question in the Negative.'

Daily Advertiser January 21

1458 January 26, 1789 Capel Court Debates

'Which will most probably recommend a Lady to a Husband, Beauty, Riches or Understanding?

Female Understanding was deemed to be the most powerful Recommendation to a Husband.'

Daily Advertiser January 24

1459. January 28, 1789 Westminster Forum

'This Evening, the Westminster Forum will resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House, on


It is the great, the invaluable Blessing of the British Constitution, that Englishmen enjoy the privileges to investigate all public Transactions. The present crisis of affairs commands universal attention. The actions of past Administrations - the present effects of their measures the alarming situation of the nation - the danger or advantages which may probably result to the country, from the expected change in Administration - will constitute the theme of this Debate.

The Patriot, the Orator, and the Political Humourist, have each a wide field, in which they may display their respective talents.

The House on the last Evening had a numerous attendance, when JOHN BULL, Representative of the whole British Nation, was called to the Chair, and the Society resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House.'

Morning Post

1460. January 29, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether mankind respecting the marriage state is directed by free will, or under a presiding and uncontroulable destiny?

It is said, this question suggested itself to a Lady, while she was perusing the celebrated Doctor Priestly's system of unavoidable necessity.'

Times January 28

1461. February 2, 1789 City Debates

'Is not that Custom cruel and unjust, which forbids a Female to make the first advances in Courtship?'

Daily Advertiser January 31

1462. February 4, 1789 Westminster Forum


'It is requested, that those Gentlemen who support Administration, particularly those who intend to speak, will take their seats on the Treasury Bench, on the right, and the Opposition on the left side of the Chairman.'

Morning Post

1463. February 5, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the admired Constitution of this country more in danger from encroachments of the executive power, or from a faction in the House of Commons?'

Times February 4

1464. February 9, 1789 City Debates

'Is the Vanity of the Women, or the Depravity of the Men, the greater Cause of Female Ruin?

This Question was taken from a Memorandum written by the late unfortunate Dr. Dodd in a blank leaf of his Magdalen Book.'

Daily Advertiser February 7

1465. February 11, 1789 Westminster Forum


Morning Post

1466. February 12, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the admired Constitution of this Country more in danger from the encroachments of the executive Power, or a Faction in the House of Commons? and then, Which is more censurable, the Foppery of the Men, or the Boldness of the Women?

To inform the judgment - correct the taste - remove pernicious prejudices - and lead the enquiring mind to the love of Truth, and the practice of Virtue, is the principle and natural tendency of this institution.'


1467. February 16, 1789 City Debates

'Are Dreams the effect of a roving Imagination, or the certain Indicators of future Events?

The Rev. Caleb Evans of Bristol, having mentioned in his Sermon an extraordinary Circumstance of a Lady's having dreamt she was dancing, died, and sunk into a Place of Torment (who upon going that evening to a Ball, actually died, as she had dreamt, induced the Managers to adopt the [above] Question. . .

A Letter from the Rev. Mr. Evans was . . . publickly read in this Society by his son.'

Daily Advertiser February 14

1468. February 18, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Mr. ROLLE'S motion on the rumoured Marriage of a certain GREAT PERSONAGE

This Evening this Society will be resolved into a Committee of the Whole House on


When the following Resolutions will be discussed:

Resolution 1st. That as the Regent is to be considered as the representative of Majesty, all restrictions on his authority which the necessity of the case do not absolutely require, are indecent and improper.

Resolution 2nd. That considering the effectual precautions taken by our Ancestors to preserve the Constitution and religious Establishment of this Country, the revival of the Topic of a rumoured Marriage between the Prince of Wales, and a certain Personage, at this Juncture, can only tend to inflame the minds of the people, disseminate suspicion, and consequently demands the loudest censure from ever true friend to the interests of this country.'

Morning Post

1469. February 19, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it justifiable for a Lady to marry the man she loves, in opposition to the will of her Parents or Guardians?'

Question sent in by 'a Celebrated Female, who has lately obtained a Divorce from her Husband, with whom she was induced to intermarry, in obedience to the commands of her parents'.

Morning Post

1470. February 23, 1789 City Debates

'Are Dreams the effect of a roving Imagination, or the certain Indicators of future Events?

Dreams were decided to be the Effects of a roving Imagination.'

Daily Advertiser February 21

1471. February 25, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Has not Mr. Pitt, by his resolute and successful endeavours to restore the Regal Power unimpaired into the hands of his Royal Master, merited the unlimited confidence of the Sovereign, and the universal applause of the people?

After a most excellent debate, the numbers were nearly equal, when a small majority appeared in favour of Administration: however, after most of the Members had paired off from the Treasury Bench, Tellers were demanded by the Opposition. This was resolutely withstood by the Speaker; but at the particular request of several popular Characters, the subject will be resumed. . .'

Morning Post

1472. February 26, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Does Suicide proceed more from a noble contempt of death, or a cowardly fear to encounter the ills of life?

The unfortunate affair that lately happened in Greenwich-Park, is at present a general subject of conversation among all ranks of people; that a man should deliberately become his own murderer, and thereby arraign the disposer of all events, for having conferred on him the privilege of human existence, is no less surprising than shocking, to those who believe in a state of future rewards and punishment. - There are however, many who have dignified this horrid act, by giving to it the virtue of courage. This has induced a worthy Clergyman to propose for public discussion the . . . [above] question.'

Daily Advertiser February 25

1473. March 2, 1789 City Debates

'Which demands the greatest Portion of polished Genius, and powerful Eloquence, the Pulpit, the Senate or the Bar?'

Daily Advertiser February 28

1474. March 4, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Has not Mr. Pitt, by his resolute and successful endeavours to restore the Regal Power unimpaired into the hands of his Royal Master, merited the unlimited confidence of the Sovereign, and the universal applause of the people?'

Morning Post

1475. March 5, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Does Suicide proceed more from a noble contempt of death, or a cowardly fear to encounter the ills of life?

A worthy clergyman who was in company with the unfortunate French Gentleman a few days before he committed the horrid act of suicide' proposed the question.

It was determined 'that Suicide proceeds more from cowardice than courage'.


1476. March 6, 1789 English Notables, Panton Street Haymarket

'Did the English Majority in the House of Commons, that voted the Restrictions in Mr. Pitt's Regency Bill - or the Irish Delegates, who addressed his Royal Highness to accept the Regency with unlimited powers - act more consistently with true Principles of Patriotism?

The above subject is of the highest national importance. This institution (opened for a few nights, under the patronage of several eminent political characters) will be sacred to such enquiries alone. The persons who may probably speak, being such as seldom honour debating societies with their presence, the Managers hope no one will attend who cannot preserve his temper, and treat Gentlemen with that degree of candour and liberality due to those who publicly deliver their opinions in support of the constitutional rights of their native country.'

Admission 6d. - Gallery 1s.

Morning Post

1477. March 6, 1789 Times

'The respectability of the debating society, well known under the appellation of the Forum, may, in fact, be imagined by the riot which took place there on their last night but one of debate; and by the harangue of one of the most notorious black-legs in London.'

1478. March 9, 1789 City Debates

'Ought the alarming Number of Suicides in this Country to be attributed to the Progress of Infidelity, Disappointment in the tender Passion, or any Peculiarity in our Soil and Climate?'

Daily Advertiser March 7

1479. March 12, 1789 Coachmakers Hall


(Proposed by a Lady)

Would a Lady that is married to a tyrannical husband be more likely to promote her own happiness by a spirited opposition, or a patient submission to his temper and conduct?

A young Lady, on perusing the Trial of Lady Strathmore, observed to a polite company of both sexes, that the most effectual mode of securing a tolerable life with a bad husband, was to "oppose him with becoming spirit". This remark occasioning much difference of opinion, the above Question was immediately framed, and conveyed to the Managers of this Society, who, in compliance with the wishes of their Fair Correspondents, readily adopt it.'


1480. March 13, 1789 Westminster Forum, King St, Covent Garden, but will move to Panton Street, Haymarket

'Did the English Majority in the House of Commons that voted the Restrictions in Mr. Pitt's Regency Bill - or the Irish Parliament, who commissioned the Delegates to address his Royal Highness to accept the Regency with unlimited powers - act more consistently with the true principles of Patriotism?

The House have determined, that the LADIES shall in future vote in this Assembly.'

Times, March 12

1481. March 16, 1789 City Debates

'Ought the alarming Number of Suicides in this Country to be attributed to the Progress of Infidelity, Disappointment in the tender Passion, or any Peculiarity in our Soil and Climate?'

Daily Advertiser March 14

1482. March 17, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Which is the noblest principle of the human mind, Love, Gratitude or Friendship?'

Morning Post March 16

1483. March 19, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Do the married Ladies of this Country receive too little or too much Indulgence from their Husbands?

A Lady lately returned from the Continent has published an excellent Pamphlet on the Subject of Divorces, in which she has asserted that "the exclusive Privileges and Indulgence which the English married Ladies receive from their Husbands may be considered as a principal Cause of the Number of matrimonial Suits that are constantly instituted in Doctors Commons." This extraordinary Observation from the Pen of a Female has induced several Ladies to propose the . . . [above] singular question.'

Daily Advertiser March 18

1484. March 20, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Did the conduct of certain Servants of the Sovereign (lately dismissed) indicate a disinterested Patriotism superior to private Obligations; or a time-serving Inclination to promote their own Interests?

- The dismissal of the Marquis of Lothian, Duke of Queensberry &c. now engrosses general conversation. - A great Political Character, the Author of this Question, must pardon our not prefacing this Advertisement with the Title he sent us, "Dismission of the Rats". - Illiberality shall never be adopted by the Conductors of the Westminster Forum.'

Morning Post

1485. March 23, 1789 City Debates

'Which has more Blanks to a Prize, Marriage or the Lottery?

Were we to publish the letter in which the above question was inclosed, it must excite universal Risibility. The Writer appears to have lost large Sums in the Lottery, which produced some matrimonial Bickerings from his Wife; angered with her Taunts he has taken this publick and comical Method of Revenge.

Though not in the habit of publick Speaking, he signifies his intention of addressing the Chair. As at this Society one Lady has frequently spoken, we cannot help reminding him that his Wife may perhaps claim the same Privilege. The Managers are conscious of the Frivolity of the Question, but they have adopted it as a necessary Relief to the important Subjects lately debated.'

Daily Advertiser

1486. March 25, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Which is more conducive to Happiness in the Marriage State, Riches without Affection, or Poverty with it?'

Morning Post March 20

1487. March 26, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Does the tender Sensibility of the Female Heart lessen or increase the Happiness of the Fair Sex?

We are happy to find, although too many dissipate their Time in Gaming, brutal Diversions, and Frivolity, that this Society still possesses the highest Degree of public Approbation. What can afford greater Pleasure to an ingenious Mind than to behold a Multitude of both Sexes assembled for the Purpose of rational Entertainment and mental Improvement.'

Daily Advertiser March 25

1488. March 27, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Has the Administration of Mr. Pitt been most influenced by Interest, Ambition, or Patriotism?

As it [the Question] involves the late Political Transactions of both Parties, they respectfully recommend Candour and Moderation to the various Gentlemen who may speak; and as the Decision, which must be publickly announced, will proclaim the Opinion of a polite and intelligent Audience upon the actions of the Minister in the Aggregate, they hope the Gentlemen of either Party will not quit the Room till the close of the Debate.'

Daily Advertiser

1489. March 30, 1789 City Debates

'In which State do the Fair Sex enjoy most Happiness, Virginity, Marriage or Widowhood?'

Daily Advertiser March 28

1490. April 1, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Is not that Law Cruel and Unjust which inflicts the Punishment of Burning alive upon a Woman for the same Offence which subjects a Man only to the usual Forms of Execution?'

Daily Advertiser March 27

1491. April 2, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Which of the Sciences most deserves the Attention and Cultivation of Englishmen, Eloquence, Poetry or Musick?'

Meeting 'will be opened in Rhime by a Gentleman, whose poetical Works are much admired.

Question was determined in favour of eloquence.'

Daily Advertiser April I/World April 9

1492. April 3, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Has the Administration of Mr. Pitt been more influenced by interest, ambition, or patriotism?'

Morning Post April 1

1493. April 6, 1789 City Debates

'Which will more probably produce Happiness in the Marriage State, Riches without Affection, or Poverty with it?

The Lady who occasionally speaks in this Society will . . . at the particular Request of an illustrious foreign Nobleman, now on a Visit to this Country, who was disappointed when she spoke to the following question at the Westminster Forum, again deliver her sentiments.'

Daily Advertiser

1494. April 7, 1789 City Debates

'Ought the Repeal of the Shop Tax to be ascribed to the strenuous endeavours of the citizens of London, the opposition of Mr. Fox in the House of Commons, or the condescension of the Prime Minister?'


1495. April 8, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Ought the Repeal of the Shop Tax to be ascribed to Mr. PITT or Mr. FOX?

The repeal of the Shop Tax was determined to have been occasioned by the exertions of Mr. Fox.'

Morning Post

1496. April 9, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the Assertion of Mr. Addison true, That the pleasantest Days of a Man's Life are those which he passes in Courtship?

It is not a little extraordinary that the Lady, at whose Solicitation this Subject is to undergo a publick Discussion, has declared, that she married the Man of her Heart, who proved the most kind and affectionate Husband, she is inclined nevertheless to favour Mr. Addison's opinion.'

Daily Advertiser April 8

1497. April 10, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Which has occasioned more Mischief among Mankind, Political or Religious Prejudice?

The Managers flatter themselves that the above Question is perfectly suited to the decorum necessary to be observed on this festival. The evils of political prejudice may be strikingly exemplified by its banishing such characters as Messrs. Fox, Sheridan, Burke, &c. from active situations; religious prejudice may employ the talents of the orator, in depicting the horrors of persecution, and even call in the aid of the humourist to expose the folly and ridicule the absurdity of Methodism, Popery, and fanatic Hypocrisy.'


1498. April 13, 1789 City Debates

'Which is the greatest Calamity to the Female Mind, the loss of a Lover by Banishment, Death or Marriage?'

Daily Advertiser April 11

1499. April 15, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Ought not the Magistrates to unite their Efforts to prevent the intended Battle between Humphreys and Mendoza, and to abolish the Practice of Boxing entirely?

The Advocates for the Advantages of Refinement and Civilization in Society, will have an Opportunity to declaim against a Practice repugnant to the Feelings of Humanity; while, on the other Hand, the Amateurs of Boxing may argue in Favour of the Science, as a constant Means of Self-defence, consistent with the naturally bold and hardy Characters of the ancient Race of Britons.'

Morning Post

1500. April 16, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Which is more censurable, the effeminate Foppery of the Men, or the masculine Boldness of the Women?'

The Question received in a 'Petition from several Ladies, who stile themselves Old Maids, complaining of the Foppery of the Men and the forward Boldness of the Women, which they say is a principal Cause of many modest Ladies being obliged to live in a State of Celibacy.'

Daily Advertiser

1501. April 17, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Has the Opposition to Mr. Pitt, during his Administration, arisen from the genuine Principles of disinterested Patriotism, or the envious Emotions of disappointed Ambition?'

Morning Post

1502. April 18, 1789 Morning Post


'On the Evening of Tuesday, April the 21st, the Great Room, at the Crown and Anchor in the Strand, will be opened by a set of Gentlemen for the discussion of the following interesting question:

To which of the high Political Characters, Mr. PITT or Mr. FOX, may, on a review be annexed the sacred epithet of - PATRIOT?'

A Civic Wreath of silver, the reward conferred by ancient Rome on virtuous Citizens, will be transmitted to him who shall be adjudged the superior character, by the hands of that gentleman who, in the opinion of his own party, shall be considered as having best defended the cause he espoused.

A Medal will be the recompense of his abilities. The most decided impartiality will be observed.

Admittance, to Ladies and Gentlemen, Half a Crown.'

1503. April 20, 1789 City Debates

To which Character (next to the Supreme Disposer of all Events) ought this Country to pay the greatest Tribute of Gratitude; her Majesty, for her amiable Conduct during the Royal Malady; Dr. Willis, for his unremitting Attention to retrieve the Health of our Sovereign; or Mr. Pitt, for his preserving the Regal Authority in that State most agreeable to the Constitution of this Country and the Inclinations of his Royal Master?

An Ode on his Majesty's Recovery' will be recited by a Gentleman after the debate.

Daily Advertiser April 18

1504. April 22, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Is not that Parent who controuls the Affections of his Daughter in Marriage chargeable with cruelty and injustice, and answerable for any fatal consequences that may arise from his prohibition?'

Question to be debated because of death of Earl Caithness from love.

Morning Post April 17

1505. April 23, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Which is the best Theme for popular Admiration, the Wisdom and Patriotism of the Minister, the unexampled Loyalty of the People, or the gracious Interference of Divine Providence?'

Daily Advertiser April 22

1506. April 24, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Do solemn Public Processions on popular occasions, tend more to keep alive the national importance and spirit of a people, or to produce inflammatory prejudice and provoke riot and confusion?'

Work April 22

1507. April 27, 1789 City Debates

'Can a Wife be reformed by Correction?'

Daily Advertiser April 25

1508. April 29, 1789 Westminster Forum

'To which of the high Political Characters, Mr. PITT or Mr. FOX, may, on a Review of their WHOLE Conduct, with the greatest Propriety be annexed the sacred Epithet of - PATRIOT?

Several Gentlemen, who were disappointed at the last meeting, called at the Crown and Anchor' [requested the above debate].

'We cannot promise either a Civic Wreath to the Victor in this Debate, nor a Medal to the Gentleman who best defends him; but we pledge ourselves strictly to observe the most decided Impartiality on the subject.'

Morning Post

1509. April 30, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'A Club of Female Literature, composed of Ladies of all ages, is lately instituted; the object of which is to read together, and endeavour to explore the truth and meaning of all books of a sentimental nature, especially such as relate to the conduct and happiness of their own sex. In all doubtful or difficult cases, a question is to be framed and transmitted to the Society at Coachmaker's-Hall, for Public discussion. One of the Sisterhood at their last meeting, read the following couplet on Wit and Beauty:

Wit, like Beauty, triumphs o'er the heart,
When more of Nature's seen, and less of Art.

An elderly Lady conceived this to be too high a compliment to beauty, and begged leave to read the following elegant lines on good nature:

Love rais'd on Beauty, will like that decay,
Our hearts may bear its slender chains a day,
Good-nature binds more easy, yet more strong,
The willing heart, and only holds it long.

After some conversation, the following question was framed, and sent to Coachmaker's-Hall, viz. 'Which is the most attractive in the Female Sex, Wit, Beauty, or Good Nature?' . . . Most of the Club will attend.

At the Conclusion of the Debate a Gentleman will deliver a poetical Oration on the Recovery of our much beloved Sovereign.'

Morning Post/Daily Advertiser

1510. May 1, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Would the Wisdom of this Country be more conspicuous in totally abolishing the Slave Trade - or continuing it under certain Restrictions?'

Morning Post

1511. May 4, 1789 City Debates

'Are the Understandings of the Fair Sex inferior to those of the Male, or does Education alone constitute the Difference?'

Daily Advertiser May 2

1512. May 6, 1789 Westminster Forum

'In which state do the Fair Sex enjoy most Happiness - Virginity, Marriage or Widowhood?'

Morning Post

1513. May 7, 1789 Coachmakers Hall


Would not the Abolition of the Slave Trade be yielding to the principles of mistaken Humanity, and highly injurious to the Interests of this Country?'

Question 'proposed by a Society of Merchants . . . Without intending to detract from the merit of similar institutions, we must allow Coachmakers hall to be the most popular assembly for free debate, in this country. Several learned Divines, and other distinguished characters who have written for and against the Abolition of the Slave Trade, are expected to be present, and take a part in the Debate.

Several Gentlemen with great Ability reprobated the Slave Trade as totally repugnant to Humanity and the Principles of a free Country.

One Gentleman only opposed the Abolition, which he did in a Speech of great Fluency and Strength of Reasoning. He was replied to by an African (not Gustavus Vassa) who discovered much strong natural Sense, and spoke with wonderful Facility.'

Times May 6/Daily Advertiser May 14

1514. May 11, 1789 City Debates

'Can the Legislators of this Country, consistently with its true Interests, consent to the total Abolition of the Slave Trade?

The African Prince who lately spoke in this Society has promised to be present; the celebrated Ouladah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, who has lately published his Memoirs, will speak, and the Lady, whose abilities are the Ornament of this Institution and the Admiration of the Publick, positively will deliver her Sentiments.'

Daily Advertiser May 9

1515. May 14, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Would not the Abolition of the Slave Trade be yielding to the Principles of mistaken Humanity, and highly injurious to the Interests of this Country?

The Question was sent to the Coachmaker's Hall as a Society universally allowed to be the most respectable and popular for free debate in this country.'

The society was 'almost unanimous in favour of the abolition of the slave trade'.

Daily Advertiser

1516. May 18, 1789 City Debates, Capel Court, Bartholemew-lane

'Can the Legislators of this Country, consistently with its true Interests, consent to the total Abolition of the Slave Trade? then, Does the earnest Wish of the Dissenters for the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts appear to originate in a Spirit of Patriotism, or a Wish for those Honours and Emolument which their Ancestors the Puritans affected to despise?

As this Enquiry may probably cause the Attendance of several of the Dissenting Clergy, the Managers pledge themselves to observe that Impartiality due to Gentlemen of the sacred Character, when addressing a numerous and respectable Audience on Behalf of the religious and civil Rights of Mankind.'

Daily Advertiser May 16

1517. May 21, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Are not the sacramental Clauses of the Corporation and Test Acts, both as they respect Catholick and Protestant Dissenters, unjust and repugnant to the Spirit of the British Constitution?'

The Question was 'proposed by several Protestant Dissenters who are Advocates for universal Toleration. . . Some of the Dissenters say that several of their Ministers, and particularly those two celebrated Philosophers and Theologists, Doctors Priestly and Price, are capable of answering every Objection that has been made to a free and general Participation of civil and religious Liberties; they will probably both attend.'

Daily Advertiser

1518. May 25, 1789 City Debates

'Do the strenuous Efforts of the Dissenters for the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, appear to originate in a Spirit of Patriotism, or a Wish for those Honours and Emoluments their Ancestors, the Puritans, professed to despise?

It has long been Matter of Doubt, whether Ambition or Piety are the leading Motives of the Dissenters. Their Conduct during the Reign of Charles the First, and the Usurpation of Oliver Cromwell, will doubtless be alluded to.'

Daily Advertiser May 23

1519. May 28, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Are not the sacramental Clauses in the Corporation and Test Acts, both as they relate to Catholick and Protestant Dissenters, unjust and repugnant to the Spirit of the British Constitution?

As that great Reasoner and Friend to the Freedom of Debate, the Rev. Mr. Robinson, of Cambridge, is now in London, the Managers anticipate the Pleasure of receiving as much Instruction from him at Coachmakers Hall upon a Question which involves the Civil and Religious Rights of Mankind, as he never fails to communicate from the Pulpit upon Religious and Moral Obligations . . . Such is the acknowledged Utility of this popular Institution, that several Law Students, who bid fair to rise to the highest Honours in their Profession, intend, after the Example of those admired Barristers, Messrs. Dallas and Garrow, to make it their School for practical Improvement in the Art of publick Speaking.'

Daily Advertiser May 28

1520. June 1, 1789 City Debates

'Which will make a more disagreeable Companion in the Marriage State, a crusty old Bachelor or a peevish old Maid?

Indeed the Question is amazingly calculated to excite Risibility, provoke Mirth and create Entertainment at the Expence of Vanity, Affectation, and ill-Nature; nor is the Exercise of persuasive Eloquence totally excluded, a powerful Apology for the old Maid arising from the Treachery of the Male Sex, many of the fairest Blossoms of the Female Creation frequently being abandoned by their faithless Admirers, and left through Life to blush unseen, or waste their Fragrance on the desert Air.'

Daily Advertiser May 30

1521. June 8, 1789 City Debates


'Does a recent Affair of Honour reflect more Lustre on the Character of his Royal Highness the Duke of York, or on that of the Hon. Colonel Lenox?

Many injurious Reflections on the above noble Characters have appeared in various Publications, at the particular Request of several Persons of Fashion and Distinction, the above Question is appointed for Free Debate . . . to convey to the Publick, through the Medium of this popular and respectable Institution, Facts as yet known but to few, and Circumstances which the Heat of Party Zeal has misrepresented, to the manifest Injury of both the noble Combatants.'

Daily Advertiser June 6

1522. August 17, 1789 City Debates

'Will the expected Revolution in French Politics promote or militate against the true Interests of this Country?

The Managers of this Society, impressed with a lively Sense of that distinguished Patronage they have received, respectfully apprize Gentlemen at and intended for the Bar, their various other literary Correspondents, their noble Patrons, and the Publick at large, that the Season will commence . . . with the above popular and important Question: The Revolution in States, the Declension of Slavery, the Progress of Liberty, their respective and united Effects on the Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce of Great Britain are involved in this Subject. The Managers respectfully thank the Duke D'- for his polite Intimation, and promise every Thing in their Power to render the Debate worthy so noble an Attendant.'

Daily Advertiser August 15

1523. August 24, 1789 City Debates

'Can Animal Magnetism as practiced by Drs. Yeldall and da Mainauduc, Mr. Loutherberg and others, be supported on the rational Principles of sound Philosophy, or is it, according to the Report of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, a mere Imposture, calculated to deceive the Credulous?'

Daily Advertiser August 22

1524. August 27, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Would the establishment of liberty in France, be likely to prejudice or benefit the general interest of Great Britain?

The Debating Society, at Coachmakers Hall, Foster Lane, Cheapside, an institution established near a century, and allowed to be the most instructive and agreeable entertainment of any in this metropolis.'

Daily Advertiser August 26

1525. August 31, 1789 City Debates

'Is that Brother justifiable who punishes with Death the Seducer of his Sister's Virtue?

The Author of this Question must pardon our erasing the Names of the Parties concerned in the late unhappy Catastrophe at Whitechapel; the Reason must be obvious to every Man of Feeling: a most splendid Debate however may be expected on such a Subject, not a Father, Brother or Admirer of the Sex but must find himself interested in its Discussion; the elegant Assemblage of Ladies who lately honoured these Debates with their Attendance must animate the Speaker on such a Theme. . .

A most numerous Audience were decidedly of Opinion, that a Brother was not justifiable in punishing the Seducer of his Sister's Virtue with Death.'

Daily Advertiser August 29

1526. September 3, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether the late Destruction of the Bastile, and the spirited Conduct of the French, do not prove that the general Opinion of their being possessed by a slavish Disposition was founded in National Prejudice?'

Daily Advertiser September 2

1527. September 7, 1789 City Debates

'Which is more desirable, to be alive to all the Feelings of Sensibility; or, wrapt in a Stoical Apathy, to remain totally indifferent to the Miseries and Misfortunes of Mankind?'

Daily Advertiser September 5

1528. September 10, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it consistent with Reason or Religion to believe that Mr. Loutherbourg has performed any Cures by a Divine Power without any medical Application?

A great Number of Persons having declared they have been restored to Health by . . . [Mr. Loutherbourg], and that they are ready to attest the same, has induced a popular Clergyman [to request the above debate]. . . There is no Doubt, if any Person has actually received Relief in the Wonderful Manner reported, but that Gratitude of Mr. Loutherbourg, as well as to the Supreme Being, will induce them on this Occasion to appear and publickly to announce it.

A Gentleman . . . stood up and assured a crowded and most respectable Audience, that he himself had obtained a perfect Cure, by this extraordinary Character, without the application of any Medicine. Two Gentlemen defended Mr. de Loutherbourg upon Scriptural Principles with great Ability.'

Daily Advertiser September 9

1529. September 14, 1789 City Debates

'Can Animal Magnetism, as practiced by Drs. Yeldall and De Mainauduc, Mr. Loutherberg, and others, be supported on the rational Principles of sound Philosophy; or is it, according to the Report of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, a mere Imposture, calculated to deceive the Credulous?'

The Question is 'by particular Desire of several scientifick Gentlemen, who continually attend the Society. . . During the Course of the first Evening's Debates, Dr. YELDALL will defend the Principles and explain several of the Mysteries of the Science. The Doctor has obligingly signified his Intention of demonstrating, upon his Apparatus, prepared for the Purpose, the Powers of the Magnetic Effluvia. The Curious and Philosophick will therefore have the Opportunity of receiving that Conviction upon the Subject, which an enlightened Publick may justly claim from the Managers of a literary Institution, favoured with general Support and unbounded Patronage. Several Gentlemen wishing to hear the Sentiments of Mr. Loutherberg, and Dr. De Mainauduc, Cards of Invitation will be dispatched to both those great Characters.

To describe Dr. Yeldall's Oration . . . would exceed the Bounds of any Advertisement. His Experiments demonstrated him a Master of his Arts, and impressed that Conviction on a numerous and brilliant Audience, which caused them almost unanimously to declare, that his Practice of Animal Magnetism was founded on the sound Principles of Philosophy.'

Daily Advertiser September 12

1530. September 17, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it consistent with Reason or Religion to believe that Mr. Loutherbourg has performed any Cures by a Divine Power without any medical Application?'

Decided against Mr. Loutherbourg.

Daily Advertiser September 16

1531. September 21, 1789 City Debates

'Can Animal Magnetism, as practiced by Mr. De Loutherberg, be supported on the rational Principles of sound Philosophy; or is it, according to the Report of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, a mere Imposture, calculated to deceive the Credulous?'

Daily Advertiser September 19

1532. September 24, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is Dr. Gregory's Assertion in the Father's Last Legacy true, that in this Country a Lady has hardly any Chance of marrying for Love?

An amiable but distressed young Lady, who, in Obedience to the Commands of her Relations, married the Man she did not love, has requested that this Subject might be taken into Consideration, in hopes that its Discussion may prevent many of her Sex from suffering the Misery that is her unhappy Lot, and point out to Parents the Folly and Cruelty of forcing their Daughters to give their Hands, where they cannot bestow their Hearts.'

Daily Advertiser September 23

1533. September 28, 1789 City Debates

'Can Animal Magnetism, as practiced by Dr. De Mainauduc, be supported on the rational Principles of sound Philosophy; or is it, according to the Report of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, a mere Imposture, calculated to deceive the Credulous?'

Daily Advertiser September 26

1534. October 1, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Does the Belief in Apparitions, the Influence of good and evil Spirits, and in judicial Astrology, discover a superstitious Ignorance, or a true Knowledge of Religion and Philosophy?

The Managers beg Leave to inform the Publick, that Information having been given to them of an Apparition lately appearing to a worthy Clergyman; and some wonderful Discoveries made a few Days since by a modern Astrologer, particularly to a Tradesman in Old-Street, who will attend, and a young Woman lately deceased, the Love of Truth, the grand actuating Principle of this Institution, has induced them to bring forward the above Question, to which they solicit the Attention of the Divine, the Philosopher, and every person who can speak from Experience on this Occasion.'

Daily Advertiser September 30

1535. October 5, 1789 City Debates

'Was woman created inferior, equal, or superior to man?

Several Ladies of fashion were lately discoursing of the extra-ordinary abilities of a Lady who spoke in the City Debates, (for the information of some of our readers, it may be necessary to mention, that this is the original Debating Society, instituted more than half a century. . .). This produced a violent altercation upon the abilities of the sex in general, the power they possess over the actions of mankind, and the situation in which the first woman was placed.'

Daily Advertiser October 3

1536. October 8, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it not the Duty of every Friend to Liberty to Support the Resolution of the Protestant Dissenters for the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts?'

Daily Advertiser October 7

1537. October 12, 1789 City Debates

'Which is more absurd, the Notion of the Turks, that Women have no Souls, or the Opinion of some Philosophers, that Brutes are immortal? Several Arminian and Calvinistick Divines intend to vindicate the Immortality of Brute Creation, as held by the Leaders of both Persuasions, the Rev. Matthew Henry, Mr. Toplady, Mr. J. Wesley, and even those celebrated Philosophers Locke, Hume and Soame Jennings. A Gentleman, long resident in Turkey, has undertaken to defend the Mahometan Opinion, and to prove that Females have no Souls, upon the System of Plato, and other eminent Philosophers.'

Daily Advertiser October 10

1538. October 15, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it not the Duty of every Friend to Liberty to Support the Resolution of the Protestant Dissenters for the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts?'

Great majority of the audience determined Question in favour of the Protestant Dissenters.

Daily Advertiser October 14

1539. October 19, 1789 City Debates

'Supposing a Mariner to be Ship-wrecked, with his Wife, Mother and Child - he can only save one Person with himself - which of them ought to be the Object of his Attention?'

The Question 'was sent by a Captain's Lady from Mile-End, who with her Husband, his Mother and an Infant not two Years old, were wrecked on their Return from India. Fortunately they were rescued from their dreadful Situation by a French East-Indiaman, who carried them safe into L'Orient. They will all three be present; and as this Question is an Enquiry into the Force of parental Duty, filial Affection, and conjugal Love, a Debate equally important, and affecting, is expected.'

Daily Advertiser October 17

1540. October 21, 1789 Westminster Forum

Question on the validity of professors of Animal Magnetism.

Vote against them.

Daily Advertiser October 27/Times October 20

1541. October 22, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the Assertion true, That the greater Part of bad Husbands are made so by the Misconduct of their Wives?'

Daily Advertiser October 21

1542. October 26, 1789 City Debates

'Which will render a Married Lady more wretched - her Husband to be jealous of her fidelity, or she of his?

There appears to reign this season an uncommon spirit of emulation between the leading Debating Societies. The Westminster Forum opened last Wednesday with uncommon splendour; and the Managers of the City Debates, jealous of its success, announce a Lady of the first eminence in the literary world to speak this evening. . . Indeed, the amazing oratorical excellence of the above Lady, is the best reason that can be argued for [the amazing success of the Society].'

Daily Advertiser October 24

1543. October 28, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Is the Passion of Love more powerful from 15 to 30, or from 30 till 50?

Although much may be urged to prove the Force of juvenile Love, yet many Instances (particularly the Lady at Highgate, aged 70, who lately married one of her Domesticks) evince its Power on the Sexes during the latter Period.'

Macklin attended this debate.

Daily Advertiser October 27

1544. October 29, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Does Mr. Pitt merit the Character of being a Friend to the Liberty and Welfare of this Country after having extended the Excise Laws by the Tobacco Bill and other Measures of a similar Tendency?

Among the numerous and very respectable Audience who attended to hear this truly interesting Subject . . . was a foreign Prince, supposed by many to be his Highness the Duke of Orleans. He was attended by several of the Nobility, and listened with great Attention to the Speakers on both Sides.'

Daily Advertiser October 28

1545. November 2, 1789 City Debates

'Which is most repugnant to Truth, the Heathen Notion of Transmigration, the Papists Doctrine of Purgatory, or the Rev. Mr. Winchester's celebrated System of Universal Salvation?

Several learned and popular Divines, of various Persuasions, perceiving with Regret the Increase of Mr. Winchester's Doctrine, have requested the Managers to announce the above Question for Debate, as they decidedly intend to prove Mr. Winchester's System is at best but a Protestant Purgatory. They have preferred this Society, as better adapted for such a Subject than the Pulpit, Mr. Winchester and his friends being here allowed to answer their Arguments, a Circumstance incompatible with the sacred Order of Publick Worship. Several leaders of Messr. Wesley and Whitfield's Communion have joined in the Requisition. The serious and well-disposed, whether Divines or Laymen, are hereby invited, either as Audience or Speakers, and the Managers sincerely hope the Gay and Volatile will either absent themselves for that Evening, or else hear with Silence and Attention a Debate instituted at the Request of some of the most sacred Characters that adorn the Pulpit, and turning upon that grand Theme of human Salvation, which struck even the Angelick Armies with Silence! The Hint of A.B. has been adopted, Cards of Invitation have already been sent to the Rev. Messr. Knight, Bradburne, and Browne. Several learned Catholicks have signified their Intention to attend, and vindicate the Doctrine of Purgatory by the Tradition of Ages, the Authority of the Church, and the Evidence of Scriptures.

The . . . Debate was peculiarly distinguished by the Speeches of two Gentlemen, one of whom supported Mr. Winchester's Doctrine with great Ability; and the other accused him of prematurely opening the Book of Divine Mercy (sealed to the Day of Doom) to loose one of which Seals would have been Presumption, even in an Archangel!'

Daily Advertiser October 31

1546. November 4, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Is the late alarming Number of Suicides to be attributed to Disappointment in the tender Passion, the Progress of Infidelity, or that gloomy Insanity which Foreigners ascribe to the effects of our Soil and Climate? The Duke of Orleans is said recently to have visited the Capel Court Society: His Royal Highness being expected . . . to honour the Westminster Forum with his Presence every Accommodation will be made preparatory to the Reception of such an illustrious Character.'

Fifty-three suicides were reported in the newspapers within the month.

Daily Advertiser

1547. November 5, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Does Mr. Pitt merit the Character of being a Friend to the Liberty and Welfare of this Country after having extended the Excise Laws by the Tobacco Bill and other Measures of a similar Tendency?

Mr. Fox, or some of the leading Men in Opposition, are expected to state the Grounds upon which they object to the late Extension of the Excise Laws. This is requested by many respectable Persons, who are convinced that a Question of this Nature ought only to be referred to an Assembly like this composed of a mixed Number of intelligent Citizens, and not to a Party convened at a Tavern, who come avowedly all on one Side.'

Audience 'determined almost unanimously that the Extension of the Excise Laws was inconsistent with the Liberty and Welfare of this Country'.

Daily Advertiser November 4

1548. November 9, 1789 City Debates

'Which is most repugnant to Truth - the Heathen Notion of Transmigration - the Papists Doctrine of Purgatory - or the Rev. Mr. Winchester's celebrated System of Universal Salvation?

From the Number of Gospel Ministers, Gentlemen Leaders in Messr. Wesley and Whitfield's Societies, Divines of the Baptist, Presbyterian and Romish Communions who have promised to attend, the Debate . . . will probably be one of the most important ever submitted to the Consideration of the Christian World.'

Daily Advertiser November 7

1549. November 11, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Did the late Extension of the Excise Laws originate in the Frauds committed on the Revenue by Smugglers and Dealers in Tobacco, or in the Schemes of artful Ministers to subvert the Liberties of a free People?'

On the Question of the Excise Laws, the Debate decided their extension 'originated in the Frauds of Smugglers and Dealers in Tobacco'.

Daily Advertiser November 10

1550. November 12, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Does Suicide proceed mostly from a Disappointment in Love, a State of Lunacy, or from the Pride of the human Mind?'

Question proposed 'by a young Lady, whose Friend lately put an End to her Existence from a Disappointment in Love. . . Those who have heard of the late Suicide committed by the unhappy young Girl who was in Love with the Mulatto, together with other similar Cases, and who also recollect many other recent Suicides, to which no other Cause can be assigned but Pride or Lunacy will allow this Subject to have a very high Claim to publick Attention.'

Daily Advertiser November 11

1551. November 16, 1789 City Debates

'Which is more blameable - the Disobedience of the Daughter who elopes with her Lover - or the Tyranny of the Father who compels her to marry contrary to her Inclination?'

Daily Advertiser November 14

1552. November 17, 1789 Marybone Debates, Spread Eagle, Charles Street, Middlesex Hospital

'Which is the most blameable, the Daughter who in Disobedience to her Father, elopes with her Lover, or the Father who obliges the Daughter to marry against her Inclination?

This Institution is founded on the same Principles, as the late Robin Hood Society, which was supported by the best Orators this Country had to boast of, and held in the highest Estimation for more than 40 Years; and the Managers of this Society flatter themselves that this Debate will be truly instructing and entertaining, as many Gentlemen of extraordinary Abilities have promised to be present.'

Admittance to Ladies and Gentlemen 6d. each.

Daily Advertiser

1553. November 18, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Ought the Number of old Maids to be attributed to their Aversion to Matrimony, Disappointment in Love, or any Peculiarity in their Persons or Tempers? and, Which is most absurd, the Notions of the Turks, that Women have no Souls, or the Opinion of some Philosophers, that Brutes are immortal?'

Question originated because 'several Ladies lately discoursing on the Merits of Mr. Haley's celebrated Essay on Old Maids, collected some of the leading Causes assigned by that Author for the Increase of these venerable Pieces of Antiquity.'

Daily Advertiser November 17

1554. November 19, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Does conjugal Infidelity proceed more from the Inconstancy of the Female Heart, or the improper Behaviour of Married Men to their Wives?

The late encreasing Number of Causes for crim. Con. having occasioned much Dispute in the polite Circles, as to the true Source of conjugal Infidelity, seven young Ladies were nominated to frame a Question . . . [and] will all be present.'

Daily Advertiser November 18

1555. November 23, 1789 City Debates

'Which is most defensible, the Plurality of Wives, permitted to Eastern Nations; confining the Clergy of Catholick Countries to Celibacy, or allowing Marriage to first, but denying it to second Cousins?'

Question sent in by a French Nobleman.

Daily Advertiser November 21/Times

1556. November 25, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Which is more absurd, the Notion of the Turks, that Women have no Souls, or the Opinion of Dr. Priestley, Soame Jennings, and other Philosophers, that Brutes are immortal?

It is not the Practice of this Society to adopt Questions that have been previously debated in other Institutions: But at the Request of many learned Gentlemen, wishing to investigate the philosophick Part of the Question (who were disappointed Admittance at the Capel-Court Society when this Question was debated there), at the Desire of many Families of Distinction resident in Westminster, and at the Solicitation of several Ladies anxious to hear what can be said on so curious a Subject, a Deviation from established Custom has been permitted.'

Daily Advertiser November 24

1557. November 26, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Whose feelings are likely to receive the greatest delight, those of the banished husband, restored to a beloved wife, the mariner saved from shipwreck, or the slave who has regained his liberty?

This pleasing subject of debate is adopted at the request of the joyful wife of a long banished husband, who, in the course of a checquered life, has been a witness both of the feelings of a distressed mariner, and those of the poor captive freed from the miseries of slavery. A Gentleman many years the unhappy companion of an affectionate husband, who was torn from his wife, and confined in the Bastile; has promised to take a part in the debate on the subject.'


1558. November 30, 1789 City Debates

'Is Physiognomy a Science that discovers the Natural Disposition of Mankind by their Features - or merely a Visionary Speculation of Philosophick Enthusiasm?'

Daily Advertiser November 28

1559. December 3, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the Conduct of the French Assembly, in declaring the Possession of the Church to be the Property of the Nation, and their Care in providing for the inferior Clergy, worthy the Imitation of this Country?'

Question went in the affirmative.

Daily Advertiser December 2

1560. December 7, 1789 City Debates

'Is the Assertion of Ovid true, Love conquers all Things, and all must yield to Love?

The Lady's Oration . . . was the most astonishing display of real Eloquence ever heard in a Society of this Nature; the Audience was numerous and polite; among the bright circle of Beauties three Irish Ladies of Distinction shone conspicuous; they lamented that their departure for their own country, in the suit of his Grace of Westmoreland, would deprive them of carrying any more than this one Testimonial of Female Excellence to a kingdom famed for its admiration of Oratory.'

Daily Advertiser December 5, 14

1561. December 9, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Which is the greater Calamity, the Infidelity of a Beloved Wife, or the Seduction of an only Daughter?

The above Question . . . was handed to the Chair by an elegant Party of Females who accompanied the Lady who lately spoke in this Society. Not a Father nor a Husband but must be peculiarly interested in the subject, and from the various applications for places in the Gallery which we have received, a most numerous Assemblage of the Fair Sex is expected to be present. It is the earnest wish of the Gentlemen who conduct the Westminster Forum to tender it a School of moral Instruction as well as of polite Amusement. The Orator on this occasion will have every opportunity for the display of his talents, either to expatiate on the feelings of an injured Husband, robbed of the only blessing that could tolerate existence, or of an affectionate Father, encountering that dishonour and anguish in the last stage of life which would be insupportable even in the prime of manhood.'

Daily Advertiser December 8

1562. December 10, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Does Happiness in the Marriage State depend mostly on a Similarity of Disposition, Equality of Years, or on being possessed of the first Object of our Affections?

This Society is now universally allowed to be the best School of useful Knowledge, Eloquence and rational Instruction, as well as a Place of the most agreeable Entertainment of any of which this great Metropolis can boast. Scarcely a Week passes without its acquiring new Patrons and Admirers. A Lady, who has distinguished herself by her literary Productions, has promised to furnish the Managers with every novel Question, the Discussion of which may lead to the Happiness of her own Sex, or the Benefits of the Community at large. As an Earnest of her Friendship she has sent the above Question.'

Daily Advertiser December 9

1563. December 14, 1789 City Debates

'Are Ladies in the Choice of a Husband, most frequently actuated by Interest, Caprice or real Affection?

This Society is the first in public estimation, both for the numbers and respectability of its Auditors, the Excellency of its Speakers, and the time it has been established.'

Daily Advertiser December 12

1564. December 16, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Which is the greater Calamity, the Infidelity of a beloved Wife, or the Seduction of an only Daughter?

The late heavy damages given by the Court of King's Bench to the injured Captain Parslow, and many recent instances of Matrimonial Infidelity, render the above Question at this time peculiarly interesting. . . Indeed this Society seems now to have regained the ancient splendour it enjoyed, when those bright luminaries of the Law, Messrs. Erskine, Dallas, and Garrow shone in a conspicuous degree ornaments of the Institution. The numerous attendance of Ladies . . . and the many application for reserved seats . . . prove the estimation in which they and the Publick hold these Societies, as Schools of Morality, Wisdom and Entertainment.'

Daily Advertiser December 15

1565. December 17, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is there not a greater Degree of Guilt in the married Lady who consents, than in the unmarried Man who seduces her to Adultery?

The Prevalence of Adultery is now a Subject of Conversation among all Ranks of People, and what is a little extraordinary, many Ladies insist that the Women are more to blame than the Men.'

Daily Advertiser December 16

1566. December 19, 1789 City Debates

'Are Methodists Enthusiasts who deceive themselves - Hypocrites who deceive others - or Men of genuine Piety, who have revived the neglected Doctrines of Christianity?

It is to determine whether Methodists are what they themselves profess, or what their Enemies accuse them of being. . .. The Methodists have been frequently arraigned at the Bar of Ridicule; here they await the unbiassed Determination of Reason and Impartiality. We warn Gentlemen apt to relate Stories of Methodist Preachers (Numbers of which are promised) to be cautious; as there is scarcely one of those Rev. Gentlemen now in Town, upon whom these Tales have been raised, but is expected to be present. ... A late ostentatious Advertisement is too contemptible for the serious Animadversion of the reputable Societies. We leave that Institution, whose empty benches require such adventitious Aid, to trumpet forth its own Praises through the dark Medium of Calumny: The Philosophers, Divines, Wits and Orators who speak in this Society, sufficiently promulgate its Merits, and unequivocally stamp it the leading School of Morality, Science, Instruction and Entertainment.'

The Decision of near 600 respectable Auditors was "The Methodists are Men of genuine Piety".'

Daily Advertiser December 18

1567. December 23, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Which is the greater Sufferer from unlawful Love, the Husband, whose Wife's Incontinence obliges him publickly to sue for Justice - the Lady, whose Crime is thereby published to the World - or the Seducer, against whom Damages are awarded to the Ruin of his Fortune?'

Daily Advertiser December 22

1568. December 24, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is there not a greater Degree of Guilt in the married Lady who consents, than in the unmarried Man who seduces her to Adultery?'

Daily Advertiser December 23

1569. December 28, 1789 City Debates

'Which Line of Conduct ought a Father to pursue with a seduced Daughter, to banish her from his Family and Protection, as a necessary Warning to her Sisters; or nobly to forgive her Fault, in Hopes of her Repentance?

A young Lady, the unhappy Victim of Seduction, having in Vain supplicated Forgiveness of a once-indulgent but now inexorable Father, framed the above Question, and intreated him, as her last Request, to attend its Discussion in this Society. The Gentleman has written to the Managers, expressing a high Sense of the moral Influence of these Societies, and promising to bring his four other Daughters to hear the Debate, which, it is sincerely hoped, will not only tend to fortify the Female Heart against the Artifices of Seduction, but to relax that parental Rigour which dooms to a Life of Anguish and Infamy an unfortunate Daughter, who might be restored to Happiness, if not to Honour, could her injured Parent once conceive her Re-Admission to his Family not to be a dangerous Example.'

Daily Advertiser December 26

1570. December 30, 1789 Westminster Forum

'Ought not the Legislature of this Country, against the next General Election, to follow the Example of the French National Assembly in apportioning the Number of Representatives to the Number of Inhabitants in each District, and thereby preventing the rotten Boroughs from maintaining that Influence they at present hold in the British Parliament?

Capel Loft, Esq. (from the Revolution Society) rose, and addressed the Chair in a Speech of considerable Length, containing among other valuable Particulars, some Communications to that Society from the French National Assembly. The Evening concluded with voting unanimous Thanks (moved and seconded by two Law Students of eminence) to Capel Loft, for his excellent Oration.'

Daily Advertiser December 29

1571. December 31, 1789 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the common Practice of taking the Youth of both Sexes to Plays and similar publick Amusement in the Holidays, more likely to efface the moral and instructive Impressions from their Minds, or to enlarge and improve their Understanding?'

Daily Advertiser December 30