London debates
1777

Sponsor

London Record Society

Publication

Author

Donna T. Andrew (compiled and introduced by)

Year published

1994

Pages

14-29

Citation Show another format:

'London debates: 1777', London debating societies 1776-1799 (1994), pp. 14-29. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=38841 Date accessed: 25 October 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Contents

70. January 1, 1777 Debating Society, Queen's-Arms, Newgate Street '1. Which tends more to improve the morals of mankind, Tragedy or Comedy? 2. Which is the best school of oratory, the Pulpit, the Bar or the Stage?

To relieve the author of the Historical Lectures, a Discourse will be delivered this evening on lines from The Grave.'

Gazetteer

71. January 3, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn

'Whether the Common Council would act consistent with the duty they owe their constituents, in discharging the debts contracted by Mr. Wilkes during his Mayoralty, out of the city cash? and

Do not those preachers, who teach doctrines founded on Fatality, prejudice the interests of morality?'

Gazetteer

72. January 10, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Do not those preachers, who teach doctrines founded on Fatality, prejudice the interests of morality? And, if time permits, the subsequent: Has not the conduct of the Americans, in the last campaign, justified the censure Lord Sandwich passed on them in the House of Lords?' Lecture on fame.

'After ample discussion of the doctrines of predestination, free-will, &c. determined in the affirmative.'

Gazetteer

73. January 17, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Has not the conduct of the Americans, in the last campaign, justified the censure Lord Sandwich passed on them in the House of Lords? And, if time permits, the following: Upon what grounds doth the Church of England reject some ceremonies commanded in Scripture and comply with others?'

The Question was 'very ingeniously and ably debated. Those who maintained the negative observed, that retreating was not always a proof of cowardice, but frequently of wisdom; that discipline was superior to courage, and that though this country, aided by foreign mercenaries, had exerted a great part of its strength against America, they had done little towards effecting a conquest thereof. Those who maintained the affirmative, compared the state of the two countries, that every advantage was on the side of America, as provisions, recruits, situation, &c. aided by the most masterly intrenchments, which yet they had not defended in a single instance. The latter opinion was confirmed by the company.'

Gazetteer

74. January 22, 1777 Debating Society. Queen's-Arms, Newgate Street '1. Which is of more service to a State, a wise Minister, or a great General? 2. Can Love subsist without Lust?

N.B. A President and Speakers now regularly attend on which account these disappointment that have lately taken place, will in future be avoided.'

Historical lectures on 'the characters of Semiramis, Cyrus, and other celebrated Personages amongst the Ancients'.

Gazetteer

75. January 24, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Upon what ground doth the Church of England retain some Ceremonies commanded in Scripture and reject others?'

Question debated and 'most of the ceremonies alluded to as rejected by the church, proved to be of a slight or temporary nature, and consequently that she was justified in such omission on the ground both of reason and scripture; which opinion was confirmed by the company.'

Gazetteer

76. January 31, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Are Truth and Justice eternal and independent Principles? and, if time permit, the following: Is not the Church of Rome guilty of idolatry in their worship of the Virgin Mary and Saints?'

Gazetteer

77. February 3, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether people of high life, are generally more serious than their inferiors?'

Question 'was carried in the affirmative'.

Morning Chronicle February 10

78. February 5, 1777 Debating Society, Queen's-Arms, Newgate Street 'Which tends more to establish female power, wit or beauty?'

Lectures on the Canaanites being the 4th of a Course on the study of History.

Gazetteer

79. February 7, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Whether the Church of Rome is not guilty of Idolatry in their Worship of the Virgin Mary and Saints?

Farther discussed, and determined in the affirmative.'

Gazetteer

80. February 10, 1777 Robin Hood

'If a man hath a father, a wife, and a son, in equal and imminent danger, (of drowning &c.) and has the possibility of saving only one of them, which ought he to preserve? And after that, Whether the stage is, or can be made, the school of virtue?'

The vote in the first Question 'went for saving the wife'.

Morning Chronicle

81. February 14, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'1. What single Qualification is preferable in a Wife? - 2. Which is more agreeable to the Tenor of Scripture, Infant or Adult Baptism?'

Lecture on Inconsistency.

Determined in favour of Good Sense.

Gazetteer

82. February 17, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether the stage is or can be made a school of virtue? Would not suspending the Habeas Corpus Act, be a proper measure at this juncture?'

Second Question 'was carried in the negative by a great majority'.

Morning Chronicle

83. February 19, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'The Argument at this place . . . concerning the treason Bill, was carried on with spirit and ingenuity on both sides. The company was numerous and respectable; and the decision against the measure. But as it was urged by the advocates for the bill, that it had been misrepresented, the President was desired not to enter the determination, but leave it open for further discussion. With this request he complied.'

Gazetteer February 26

84. February 21, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Would it be a proper measure at this time, to vest the Crown with a power to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act, in certain cases, for a limited time?'

Lecture on peace.

'After a variety of sensible and ingenious arguments, determined in favour of the bill depending in Parliament for that purpose.'

Gazetteer February 28

85. February 24, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether the stage is, or can be made, a school of virtue?'

Question 'was debated with ingenuity, candour, and humour; the division was in favour of the stage being the school of virtue'.

Morning Chronicle

86. February 26, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Is a particular attention to the cultivation of commerce, beneficial to a community?'

Gazetteer

87. February 28, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors Commons

'Which is more agreeable to the Tenor of Scripture, Infant or Adult Baptism?'

Gazetteer

88. March 3, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether an eloquent writer, or an eloquent speaker, is the more desirable character?'

Morning Chronicle

89. March 5, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms, Newgate Street

'Is the Constitution of a Land to be supposed capable of any Alterations at the Will of the Legislature? And, Can shameful Punishments tend to the Prevention of Crimes?

As every question which relates to the constitution and laws, of a country is of the highest importance, the Managers of the above Society cannot doubt, but that those before mentioned will excite public attention; and have the satisfaction to say, that several ingenious speakers have promised to honour them with their sentiments on the above subjects.'

Gazetteer

90. March 7, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons 'Whether Baron Montesquieu's Observation, That Virtue is not the Principle of Monarchical Government, is founded in truth? And, if time permit, the following: Which ought a man to relieve preferable to the other, his father or his son, supposing both to be in an equal state of poverty or distress?'

Lecture will be delivered on Conjugal Happiness.

Gazetteer

91. March 12, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms, Newgate Street

'1. Can shameful punishments tend to the prevention of crimes? 2. Is it indispensably necessary, in a moral sense, for a man to marry the woman he has debauched? 3. Can a man be strictly moral, without professing any particular religious principles whatsoever?

The Directors of this Society return their grateful thanks to the public for the general support afforded to their undertaking at the three last meetings, and beg leave to assure the lovers of rational entertainment, that nothing shall be omitted which can render the above assembly worthy of further countenance and favour.'

Lecture on Happiness.

Gazetteer

92. March 14, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons 'Is that man a friend to his country, who, in a time of national danger, exposes the weakness and distress of the State?'

Question was 'very ably and ingeniously debated, and determined in the negative'.

Gazetteer

93. March 19, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'1. Is not the practice of purchasing at a low rate annuities on the lives of young men of fortune, a species of usury, and consequently criminal? - 2. Can a man who does not profess some religious principles, be strictly moral?'

Gazetteer

94. March 21, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons '1. Which ought a man to relieve, (supposing it in his power to relieve but one) his father or his son, both being in an equal state of poverty or danger? 2. Is not Mr. Grenville's act deciding controverted elections, likely to be productive of more harm than good?'

On the Question 'a debate equally ingenious and entertaining, in which the speakers were no less distinguished by their knowledge and eloquence, than by their feelings as men, and their moral rectitude as Christians; upon these principles the parent had the universal preference; but from political considerations, as affecting the interests of society at large, that preference was adjudged to the son by the majority of a single hand.'

Gazetteer

95. March 26, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Were all the methods taken to convict John the Painter justifiable? 2. Is it possible, by arguments deduced from the nature of matter, to prove the existence of an immaterial soul in man?'

Lecture on death.

Gazetteer

96. March 28, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons 'Is Mr. Grenville's act for determining controverted elections likely to be productive of more harm or good?'

Lecture on Honour and Shame.

Question 'received a very ample discussion . . . and its utility [was] universally acknowledged, although it admitted some improvements were still wanting to render its operation as extensively beneficial as the intention of its author, and equal to the warmest wishes of the friends to the constitution.'

Gazetteer

97. April 4, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons 'Is Oratory in the Courts of Law of any real use to the cause of Justice? The majority of the speakers argued in favour of the affirmative, and strengthened their opinions with many examples of its utility; while those for the negative alleged that justice, as being founded in truth, stood in no need of any adventitious aid; that oratory, in such cases, was more likely to mislead than inform a jury; and that from the confessions of their opponents, a judge was not to be biassed by the opinion of council, however eloquent, if not founded in laws; which is the only rule by which the judge and jury are bound to determine all causes, and further consideration of this important subject was adjourned.'

Gazetteer

98. April 7, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether a certain City Officer was so far reprehensible as to deserve an opposition at Midsummer next?'

The Question 'was very warmly, candidly and ingeniously debated; and, on the division, carried in the negative by a majority of four or five hands'.

Morning Chronicle April 14

99. April 9, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Does eloquence in the Senate tend to the advantage of the community? And also the subsequent: Are the practices with which the present Chamberlain is charged such as render him an improper person to hold that office?'

Gazetteer

100. April 11, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons 'Whether the Oratory of the Bar is of any real Use in promoting Justice?'

Question 'determined in the affirmative'.

Gazetteer

101. April 14, 1777 Robin Hood

'Is it honourable to follow the profession of arms for hire (this question relates to auxiliary, or mercenary troops, fighting the battles of Aliens, &c.) And whether making a mere conclave of the House of Commons is not an insult to the British nation?'

Morning Chronicle

102. April 18, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons '1. Can it be proved from the New Testament, that the first day of the week ought to be observed as the Sabbath Day? Which is preferable, an hereditary or elective monarchy?'

Gazetteer

103. April 21, 1777 Robin Hood

'The Question relative to the order for the exclusion of strangers from the galleries of St. Stephen's chapel, was carried by a small majority of hands against that measure, tho' the weight of oratory was in favour thereof.'

Morning Chronicle April 28

104. April 25, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons 'Whether an Elective or Hereditary Monarchy is preferable?'

Adjourned.

Gazetteer May 2

105. April 28, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether a certain unfortunate personage, under conviction of a capital crime, is not a proper object of Royal Mercy? And Whether doth any real utility arise either to individuals or the community from a thorough knowledge of the dead languages?

When the Question was agitated at the Robin Hood concerning an unfortunate Divine, many persons evidently came prepossessed for the rigour of the law, but the humanity of Englishmen soon yielded at the remembrance of the many thousands who have been relieved in various ways by his benevolent exertion; and it was voted unanimously, with an anxious zeal that did honour to their feelings, that he is a proper object of Royal mercy.'

Morning Chronicle/Gazetteer May 2

106. May 2, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons 'Whether an Elective or Hereditary Monarchy is preferable? The following subject also, if time permit, will be investigated: Whether the conduct of the present Chamberlain merits his re-election without opposition the ensuing Midsummer?'

Lecture on the Infelicities of Human Life.

Question 'was further debated . . . and determined in favour of' hereditary monarchy.

Gazetteer

107. May 9, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons 'Is the general tendency of Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his Son, more likely to promote the cause of Virtue or Vice?

The President and Committee will continue to exert their best endeavours in conducting it upon the same liberal plan which has hitherto received the countenance and esteem of the ingenious and candid of every party and denomination.'

Gazetteer

108. June 13, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons 'Upon what ground can the Court of Common Council be justified in their application to the throne, in behalf of Dr. Dodd?'

Gazetteer

109. July 28, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether an honest lawyer, or an honest physician, is the most valuable member of the community?

After a variety of arguments (numerous, serious, ironical, &c.) the shew of hands was in favour of the physician.'

Morning Chronicle August 4

110. August 4, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether a standing army, in regal pay, or a well-established militia, is the more eligible defence for this country?'

Question 'was very ingeniously debated, and at last adjourned . . . . The Militia seemed to have the advantage when the contest ended.'

Morning Chronicle

111. August 11, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether a standing army under regal pay, or a well regulated Militia, is the more eligible defence for this country? Are not the penal laws of this country disproportionate to the crimes they are adapted to?'

The first Question 'went in favour of the army. Perhaps this determination was owing to the militia gentlemen being absent; as they seemed most formidable the prior evening.' The second 'went in the affirmative'.

Morning Chronicle

112. August 18, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether the love of fame may be truly said to be a universal passion?' Question 'was carried in the affirmative'.

Morning Chronicle

113. August 25, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether there is not more true courage in refusing a challenge (from conscientious motives) than in complying with the prevailing custom of modern honour?'

Question 'was answered in the affirmative'.

Morning Chronicle

114. September 1, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether is the prodigal or the miser the worse member of society?' It 'was determined that the miser was so. In this debate the elder persons repudiated the miser, and most of the younger ones took against the prodigal.'

Morning Chronicle

115. September 6, 1777 Theological Society, One Tun, near Hungerford, Strand

'Ye have heard that it hath been said, "thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy." But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.' Matt. chap v. verse 43 and 44.

Opening discourse by the late President on lines from Pope.

Gazetteer

116. September 8, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether sudden joy or sudden grief hath the greater effect on the human mind? and Is it possible that the people of an extensive empire (like Great Britain) can be equally represented?'

Morning Chronicle

117. September 14, 1777 Theological Society

A passage from the Scripture 'taken from the 38th verse of the 2nd chapter of Acts . . . concerning the necessity, time, form and effects of baptism'.

Preceded by a lecture on lines from The Grave.

Gazetteer September 13

118. September 15, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether bishops are of any real utility in church or state?

Some exceptions were taken to the general face of the question, as the word church, in this country, implies the episcopal office. Then an emphasis was laid on the word are Bishops, as if the present ones were meant, and the Canada bill was introduced. However, when hands came to be laid on the question, the Bishops were confirmed in their consequence, &c.'

Morning Chronicle September 22

119. September 22, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether a son's extravagance is a justification of a father's disinheriting him? And after that, Whether the Lord Mayor was commendable respecting the Newgate rioters?'

Adjourned.

Morning Chronicle.

120. September 30, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether the Lord Mayor was commendable respecting the Newgate rioters? Whether love or money is the greatest inducement to matrimony?'

The first Question 'was dropped without debate. The warm regard of a young Gentleman for the Magistrate, cast cold water on the question. The second question . . . went for love nem. con. Then the question about Lord Abingdon's pamphlet [which must have been added on the spot] was debated and adjourned to this evening.'

Morning Chronicle, September 29

121. October 4, 1777 Society at the Crown in Bow-lane 'Whether Great Britain, in case of the North American Colonies being lost, might not be in as a flourishing a state as before they were discovered?

The speaker, who opened the question, wished it to be considered under the heads of the state of England before the settlement of the Colonies; the advantages reaped from trading with them; and consequences likely to ensue from the trade of this empire being diverted into a different channel. Under these heads it was accordingly considered; and after many ingenious debates, in the course of which the affirmative side of the question seemed to prevail, it was adjourned.'

Gazetteer

122. October 6, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether Ladies ought to wear their hats in the Theatres during the performance? Whether Lord Abingdon's late production deserves the favour or censure of the public?'

The Question about Lord Abingdon's publication 'was carried, that said [the] production deserved the favour and applause of the public'.

Morning Chronicle

123. October 10, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Whether dramatic representations have not a tendency to injure the cause of Virtue and Religion?

This Society was opened last Friday, pursuant to adjournment, and honoured with a genteel company.'

Lecture on Friendship.

The Question was debated 'with spirit and ingenuity, and adjourned for further consideration'.

Gazetteer

124. October 13, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether the female part of a theatrical audience should be allowed to wear hats during the performance? and Whether it can be shewn that the present age is worse as to morals than the preceding one?

The question about wearing hats in the Theatres was superseded . . . and [of] the second question . . . much was said, and very ingeniously on both sides; perhaps proof positive in the premises, cannot possibly be adduced, so from certain conspicuous instances of humanity and other virtues, it was at last determined, that if the present was no better than the last age, it could not be proved to be worse.'

Morning Chronicle

125. October 17, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Whether Theatrical Entertainments have a tendency to promote the cause of virtue and religion? The next subject for consideration (which if time permit will also be investigated . . .) Is an appeal to the sword properly called an appeal to Heaven?'

Lecture on Wisdom.

The first Question 'after a variety of learned, interesting and ingenious arguments, determined in the affirmative.'

Gazetteer

126. October 20, 1777 Robin Hood

'Would not an accommodation with the Colonies, be more eligible than prosecuting the war, notwithstanding the present prospect of success? And, Is the character of a rigid patriot consistent with that of a good Christian?'

The first Question 'was carried nearly nem. con. in the affirmative. As was also the second question.'

Morning Chronicle

127. October 23, 1777 Society at Crown Tavern, Bow lane 'Hath the suppression of the grave-diggers scene in Hamlet by Mr. Garrick contributed to the advantage or disadvantage of that Tragedy?'

Gazetteer October 22

128. October 24, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Mr. Locke's celebrated position, Whether an appeal to the sword can properly be called appeal to Heaven?'

The Question 'was considered in three views; first, in reference to duelling; secondly, in respect of war between foreign nations; and lastly, as relative to civil war; and determined in the negative in each particular'.

Gazetteer

129. October 27, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether encreasing the number of play-houses in this kingdom would be expedient? And Whether an egregious aggressor (in any matter) is justifiable in accepting a challenge from the person he has injured?

Both these questions dropt, as neither the proposer, nor any other person, owned or opened them. - The next question on course came on, and was very briefly debated, viz. "Whether America subjugated, or America being independent would tend more to the preservation of English liberty?"'

Morning Chronicle

130. October 31, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Would it not be for the interest of Great Britain, to end the present contest with America, by declaring the Colonies independent of the Mother Country?'

Adjourned.

Gazetteer

131. November 1, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Whether it would not be for the Advantage of Great Britain to end the present Contest with America, by declaring the Colonies independent of the Mother Country?

Determined in the negative.'

Gazetteer November 7

132. November 3, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether beauty in women is in general more conducive or detrimental to their happiness? and To which are we more indebted for our safety, our courage or our fear?'

The first Question 'was determined in favour of beauty - i.e. [as] conducive to happiness'. The second 'went that fear is so'.

Morning Chronicle

133. November 6, 1777 The Debating Society, which formerly assembled at the Crown Tavern, Bow-Lane, will in future meet at Coachmakers Hall, Foster Lane, Cheapside

'Is it not become a duty incumbent on the people, at this critical and alarming period, to petition the throne, to put a stop to the war in America?'

Morning Chronicle

134. November 7, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons

'1. Is it good Policy in the Church of England to admit the validity of ordination by Bishops of the Greek and Romish Churches, and reject that of Protestant Dissenters? - 2. What are the Characteristics of a real Patriot?'

Second question adjourned.

Gazetteer

135. November 10, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether the freedom taken in speaking and writing, concerning exalted personages, is more deserving censure or commendation? and, Whether is hope of reward or fear of punishment the greater inducement to virtue?'

The decision of the second question was in favour of hope.

Morning Chronicle

136. November 14, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'What are the Characteristics of a Real Patriot? Would not an equal assessment of the land tax be a measure of expediency and justice?

After a thorough investigation of the subject, in which was displayed an extensive knowledge of the landed and commercial interests of this country, determined unanimously in the affirmative.'

Gazetteer

137. November 17, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether hope of reward, or fear of punishment, is the greater inducement to virtue?'

The question was answered 'in favour of Hope'.

Morning Chronicle November 24

138. November 21, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'May not many of the virtues of the ancients be more properly denominated splendid vices?'

Question 'determined in the affirmative'.

Gazetteer

139. November 24, 1777 Robin Hood

'Is it consistent with the honour of Great Britain, to be a pacific spectator of the assistance which the French give to the Americans? and, Whether maidens or widows have the greater propensity to matrimony?'

The first Question 'was carried in the affirmative'.

Morning Chronicle

140. November 27, 1777 Society removed from the Crown-tavern, Bow-lane to Coachmakers-hall, Foster-lane

'Would it be wise in a state to give rewards to virtue, as well as to punish vice?'

Gazetteer

141. November 28, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Is not the love of Woman one of the greatest incitements to Military Valour?'

The Question, 'after a critical investigation of the passions, and an appeal to the concurrent testimony of history, determined in the negative'.

Gazetteer

142. December 1, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether maids or widows have the greatest propensity to matrimony? and, Which situation is more favourable to female chastity, a nun or maid of honour? and, Is employing savages in a military capacity against the Americans justifiable?'

On the first question, it was decided that 'widows have the greater propensity.' The second question was dropped. The last question 'went in the affirmative'.

Morning Chronicle

143. December 4, 1777 Coachmakers' Hall

'Is it probable the amendment proposed by the Earl of Chatham, to the address on the subject of the King's speech, would have produced any beneficial consequences to Great Britain?'

Gazetteer

144. December 5, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons

'Is it true that man acts as the tyrant as well as the lord of creation? And, if time permit, the following - Has curiosity been productive of more harm or good?'

Question 'determined in the negative'.

Gazetteer

145. December 8, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether talents for the stage are so rare as is generally imagined? and Whether the rejection of Lord Chatham's motion for a cessation of hostilities in America was prudent?'

The first question 'went in the negative', the other 'was very spiritedly debated till the usual hours of debate were elapsed, as was, by a vote, adjourned'.

Morning Chronicle

146. December 11, 1777 Coach-makers-hall

'Is the Practice of impressing Seamen, as a Prerogative of the Crown, consistent with natural Justice, or the Rights and Privileges of Englishmen?'

Adjourned.

Gazetteer

147. December 12, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Whether a cessation of hostilities against America would now be politic?'

Question 'debated upon the ideas adopted by some persons of distinguished rank in opposition, of withdrawing the British troops from America, as a ground work of conciliation; and, after a variety of interesting and ingenious arguments (in which it was proved that it would be dishonourable and injurious to the interests of this country, and by no means likely to answer so desirable an end) determined in the negative.'

Gazetteer

148. December 15, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether the rejection of Lord Chatham's motion for cessation of hostilities in America was a prudent method? and Whether the liberty of free speaking and writing, allowed in this country, doth not carry off political ill-humours, and tend more to preserve the state than subvert it?'

Morning Chronicle

149. December 18, 1777 Coachmakers-hall

'Is the practice of impressing seamen, as a prerogative of the Crown, consistent with natural justice, or the rights and privileges of Englishmen?'

Gazetteer

150. December 19, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, DoctorsCommons

'Would not the allowing the Independency of America, expose us to the insults of foreign Nations?'

Question 'determined in the affirmative.'

Gazetteer

151. December 22, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether the freedom in speaking and writing, used in this country, doth not, by carrying off the people's ill humours, tend to support rather than to subvert the government? and Whether courage is natural or acquired?'

The first question 'went in the affirmative'. The second Question 'went for natural'.

Morning Chronicle December 29

152. December 26, 1777 Society for Free Debate, Horn, Doctors-Commons

'Can any but a defensive war be justified upon principles of morality and religion?'

Gazetteer

153. December 29, 1777 Robin Hood

'Whether a public or a private education is the more useful? and Whether an agrarian law, limiting the possession of landed property to a certain prescribed value, would not be beneficial to the public?'

The first Question 'went in favour of private education'.

Morning Chronicle