London debates
1779

Sponsor

London Record Society

Publication

Author

Donna T. Andrew (compiled and introduced by)

Year published

1994

Pages

46-64

Citation Show another format:

'London debates: 1779', London debating societies 1776-1799 (1994), pp. 46-64. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=38843 Date accessed: 21 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Contents

257. January 2, 1779 Morning Chronicle

'To the Directors of the Society at Coachmakers Hall

Gentlemen,

Being a frequenter of your respectable body, and ever willing to promote an institution from which I have received so much entertainment and improvement, I shall beg leave to propose a question for your discussion, which I doubt not, will be argued in that society in that able manner for which the society is so famous!

Q. Which causes the greatest commotion in the intestines, a purge or a vomit?

I am, Gentlemen,

Your very obedient servant,

W. BEAVER'

258. January 4, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether the warrant issued by the Lords of the Treasury, respecting the Principality of Wales, will not unconstitutionally affect the landed property of that country? and, Whether abundant modesty or abundant assurance is the most likely to promote a man's interest in the world?' The first Question 'went in the negative. The question lingered some time, as if thought not worthy attention; however somewhat late in the even it was debated with spirit, and carried as above by one vote.'

Morning Chronicle

259. January 7, 1779 Coach-Makers-Hall

'Is not taste founded in certain and fixed principles?'

Gazetteer January 5

260. January 11, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether a Member of the House of Commons publishing in a common newspaper, a charge of embezzlement, against the officers of the state, doth not act in an unparliamentary and improper manner? and, Would not a critical enquiry into the political state of this nation, be a very proper measure immediately on the meeting of Parliament?'

The Question 'was very warmly debated, and at last passed in the negative'.

Morning Chronicle

261. January 14, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Is not the continuation of the present Ministry, in this dangerous crisis, a proof that they would rather sacrifice the true happiness of this country, than give up the power of aggrandizing themselves?'

Gazetteer January 12

262. January 15, 1779 Society for Free Debate, Queen's Arms, Newgate Street

'Were the Passions given to govern Reason, or Reason to govern the Passions? and, Which was the greater Blessing to this Nation, the Restoration or the Revolution?

In consequence of an unanimous resolution of the company last Friday, the price of admittance in future will be Six-pence, the former sum being found inadequate to the expence.'

Gazetteer

263. January 18, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether a critical enquiry into the political state of the nation ought not to be one of the first objects of Parliamentary business on their return from their late recess? and, Whether that Judge who requires a witness to give an opinion, after giving his evidence in a cause, acts with official propriety?'

The debate on the second Question 'went in the negative almost nem. con. The next question "Whether a desire (or affectation) of popularity, hath been more favourable or prejudicial to liberty in this country?" was began and adjourned.'

Morning Chronicle

264. January 21, 1779 Coach-maker's Hall

'Is not the continuation of the present Ministry, in this dangerous crisis, a proof that they would rather sacrifice the real happiness of their country, than give up the power of aggrandizing themselves?'

Gazetteer January 19

265. January 22, 1779 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-arms, Newgate Street

'From whence arises the fearful apprehensions of Death? and, Are not those who make Sunday a day of pleasure, enemies to civil society?'

Gazetteer

266. January 25, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether the desire of popularity has been more favourable or unfavourable to the cause of Liberty? and, Whether those Martial Judges, who publickly disavow a respect to established law, are not objects of publick censure?'

The first Question 'went that it had been unfavourable'; the second question 'was entered on, and adjourned'.

Morning Chronicle

267. January 28, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Are theatrical Representations more favourable or unfavourable to the Cause of Virtue?'

Gazetteer January 26

268. January 29, 1779 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-arms (The First Institution of the Kind)

'Is Parliament constitutionally authorized to pass acts to compel men into his Majesty's service?

The greatest attention will be paid to the accommodation of those gentlemen with refreshments who honour the Society with their company, and the strictest impartiality observed in conducting the debates.'

Gazetteer

269. February 1, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether a late celebrated actor was more eminent in Tragedy or Comedy?

The questions on course were dropped, the company was exceedingly respectable; but not inclined to debate. . . A question was introduced "Whether the great honours and applause paid to a deceased player was proof of an increase or decline of publick virtue?" was started and argued, and went in favour of the character in question.'

Morning Chronicle

270. February 4, 1779 Coachmaker's Hall

'Has a British King more to fear from the flattery of his courtiers, or the opposition of parties?'

Gazetteer February 2

271. February 5, 1779 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms

'Whether the Libertine or the Enthusiast is most hurtful to religion?'

Gazetteer

272. February 8, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether that Martial Judge who avows a disregard to established law, is not an object of public censure? and, Whether a late celebrated actor was more eminent in Tragedy or Comedy?'

Second Question 'went for tragedy. The other question "Whether it is for the interest of this nation that placemen and pensioners should sit in the House of Commons?" went in the negative.'

Morning Chronicle

273. February 11, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether does hereditary or elective monarchies conduce most to the happiness of a state?'

Gazetteer February 9

274. February 12, 1779 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms

'What are the differences between Wit, Humour and Ridicule?'

Gazetteer

275. February 15, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether a state of extreme rusticity, or extreme refinement, is the most advantageous to human beings? and, Whether the appointments of general fasts, or general illuminations, are attended with the most evil consequences?'

Question 'respecting rusticity and refinement, was superceded by the question "Whether a certain Vice Admiral, after bringing a false and malicious charge, &c. &c. ought not himself to be tried for disobedience of orders"; which question went, (saving one hand) nem. con. in the affirmative.' The first Question was resumed, and 'went in favour of refinement'.

Morning Chronicle

276. February 18, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Does not so malicious and ill-grounded an accusation as that against Admiral Keppel demand the strictest investigation, that the accuser and his abettors may, if possible, be brought to justice?'

Gazetteer February 16

277. February 19, 1779 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms

'Is Parliament constitutionally authorized to pass an act to compel men into his Majesty's service?'

Gazetteer

278. February 22, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether general fasts, or general illuminations, are attended with the most evil consequences? and, Whether from the similar conduct of different parties when in power, we have any reason to suppose their principles are essentially different?'

Morning Chronicle

279. February 25, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Does not so malicious and ill-founded an accusation as that against Admiral Keppel, demand the strictest investigation, that the accuser and his abettors may if possible be brought to justice?'

Gazetteer February 23

280. February 26, 1779 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms

'Does it not appear that the Minority are at present making use of a private quarrel to inflame the public?'

Gazetteer

281. March 2, 1779 Literary Society For Free Debate, Three Kings in the Minories

'Have we any reason to suppose, from the similar conduct of opposition parties, (when in power) that their principles are essentially different?'

Admission 6d.

Morning Chronicle

282. March 4, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Which of the two principles of human action is the most forcible: the dread of evil, or the prospect of good?'

Gazetteer March 2

283. March 5, 1779 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms

'Did the conduct of the Courtmartial lately held on Admiral Keppel, deserve the thanks of the people of England?'

Gazetteer

284. March 11, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the supreme magistrate of a free country justifiable in continuing in office any set of men contrary to the general sense and known wishes of the nation?'

Gazetteer March 9

285. March 12, 1779 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms

'Whether does moderation in prosperity, or magnanimity in adversity, discover most greatness of soul?'

Gazetteer

286. March 15, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether Whigs in Opposition do not become Tories, and visa versa?'

The Question 'was argued, but not determined' and is adjourned.

Morning Chronicle March 22

287. March 18, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'If the present Ministers were dismissed from the conduct of affairs, is it probable the nation would be benefited by the change?'

Gazetteer March 16

288. March 19, 1779 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms

'Is the taking away a citizen's vote, upon his receiving alms under casual necessities, consistent with a free constitution? and, There being some vacancies upon Temple Bar; whose heads are most proper to fill them?'

Gazetteer

289. March 22, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether Whigs in Opposition do not become Tories, and visa versa? and, Whether popular tumults, are not necessary in a popular state, in order to reduce it to its first principles? and, Whether civil and religious liberty, are more secure under the American Congress, than the British Government?

The questions on course lingered, on account of the absence of the proposers; then a question was offered in, accepted, and warmly debated, viz. "Whether the conduct of a certain Admiral in declining to serve against the common enemy, unless the Sovereign dismissed the first Lord of the Admiralty, is not dangerous and presumptuous?" which question went almost nem. con. in the affirmative.'

Morning Chronicle

290. March 25, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'If the present Ministers were dismissed from the conduct of affairs, is it probable the nation would be benefited by the change?'

Gazetteer March 23

291. March 26, 1779 Society for Free Debate, Queen's-Arms

'Does a free investigation of the constitution of this country, tend to weaken the executive power?'

Gazetteer

292. March 29, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether the Americans have now any right to the terms tendered to them last year by the English Commissioners? and, Whether popular tumults are not necessary in a popular state to reduce the constitution thereof to its first principles?'

The first Question 'went hollow in the negative'.

Morning Chronicle

293. March 30, 1779 Lyceum for the Investigation of Historical, Political, Literary and Theological Subjects, Black Horse, New Bond Street 'Are Theological matters proper subjects for the investigation in Societies of this kind? And, if time permit . . . Are the Laws of Scotland against Roman Catholicks, consistent with Civil and Religious Liberty?' Admittance 6d.

Morning Chronicle

294. April 1, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the system of education generally practiced in this nation, more favourable or unfavourable to liberty?'

Gazetteer March 30

295. April 3, 1779 Morning Chronicle

'Mr. Macklin, the stage veteran, was unmercifully abused on Thursday night at Coach-maker's-hall, by a young prig, who fell upon the old man pell mell, to the disgrace of the Chairman, who should have checked such a flow of abuse without a shadow of argument. Mr. Macklin, in speaking to the question told a humourous story of a voter between a lawyer and his parson, and in his reply said the young gentleman had laughed at his lawyer and a parson, but he would not laught at him. The force of the retort was felt by every part of the audience.'

296. April 5, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether popular tumults are not necessary in a popular state to reduce the constitution thereof to its first principles? and, Would not a law to compel convicted adulterers to marry each other (after divorce from former ties being obtained) tend, upon the whole, to prevent crim. con. more than a law to hinder such marriages?'

The first Question 'went in the affirmative'.

Morning Chronicle

297. April 6, 1779 The Lyceum, Black Horse, New Bond Street

'Are the Laws of Scotland against the Roman Catholics, consistent with Civil Liberty? and, Is Great Britain obliged, at this time, to abide by the terms offered by the Commissioners on her part to the Americans last year, as they have rejected the same?'

Morning Chronicle

298. April 8, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Was the conduct of Admiral Keppel justifiable in not accepting the command of the fleet?'

Gazetteer April 6

299. April 10, 1779 Morning Chronicle

'At Coachmakers Hall, on Thursday evening, a gentleman moved the previous question before the debate commenced, 'Whether Admiral Keppel was justifiable in not accepting the command of the fleet'. The gentleman who made the objection said, that until there was evidence of an offer to the Admiral, he could not perceive how in point of reason or propriety, he could be charged with refusing the command, as the reports so confidently believed, that Administration had requested him to head the navy, were contradicted with an authority that seemed to come from the Admiralty, or his friends, and no reply had been made, therefore the question ought not to be put. A gentleman who opposed the objection, rested himself on a single observation, which rather strengthened than weakened the force of the motion for the previous question; he relied on the declaration of the Admiral in Parliament, that he never would serve whilst the present ministry held the reins of government, which was the best reason to suppose, that after such an avowal of his sentiments administration would not make him an offer to meet with a contemptuous refusal. But the Chairman, without answering a tittle of the objection, or the reasons adduced in support of it, told the mover he was too late, and that the question must be discussed according to the rules of the society. The gentleman attempted to reply, but was interrupted, and the question was proceeded on under the idea of a refusal to serve on the part of Admiral Keppel, without even a bare assertion in the whole course of the debate to support the fact alledged in the question, which was carried in the affirmative by an almost unanimous shew of hands.'

300. April 12, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether a law to compel the parties in adultery, &c. to marry each other would not tend more to prevent crim. con. in the beau monde than a certain Bishop's proposed law to hinder such marriages? And, Is the bringing a man to trial upon matter arising in a previous trial, and without a particular prosecutor, a judicious proceeding?'

Both Questions 'waved through want of proposers presence, but will be resumed'.

Morning Chronicle

301. April 13, 1779 Lyceum, Black Horse, New Bond Street

'Is Great Britain obliged, at all future times to abide by the terms offered by the Commissioners on her part to the Americans last year? and, Were the Lords of the Admiralty justifiable in granting a CourtMartial on Admiral Keppel, on the charge of Sir Hugh Palliser?'

Morning Chronicle

302. April 15, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Which is most likely to produce happiness, the nice feelings of extreme sensibility, or the apathy of cold indifference?'

Gazetteer April 13

303. April 19, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether a law to compel persons convicted of Adultery, to marry each other, &c. would not tend more to prevent that crime, than the depending bill to hinder such marriages? and Whether the trial of a certain Vice Admiral, without a particular prosecutor, is not an injudicious proceeding &c.?'

Questions superseded by 'Whether the conduct of a noble Lord in high office, respecting a late Lieutenant-Governor of a certain Hospital, is defensible?' 'The question was introduced by a gentleman rather a stranger to the society, who, to prevent silence, &c. desired the President to take one side, and he would take the other; so the President, to promote debate, adopted the cause of Capt. B. and the gentleman very ably defended Lord S.; after which, at ten o'clock, the question was, by vote, adjourned.'

Morning Chronicle

304. April 22, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Does not the power vested in the Sovereign of this country to pardon criminals after they are convicted, shew a deficiency in our laws? [Hackman case]'

Gazetteer April 21

305. April 26, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether the conduct of a noble Lord in high office, respecting a late Lieutenant-Governor of a certain Hospital, is defensible?'

The Question 'was debated some time, but a decision waved till the noble Lord should make his defence, so that question remains postponed'.

Morning Chronicle

306. April 29, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Is eloquence more favourable or unfavourable to the cause of truth?'

Gazetteer April 27

307. May 3, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether a strict Parliamentary enquiry into the conduct of a late Commander in Chief in America is not necessary at this juncture?'

Question 'went in the affirmative'.

Morning Chronicle

308. May 6, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Are the Americans, having refused the terms offered them in the late commission, now entitled to the same?'

Gazetteer May 4

309. May 10, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether the vote of the House, &c., to address the Crown to direct a prosecution against Mr. S–n, and others, respecting the death of Ld. Pigot, was constitutionally justifiable?'

Morning Chronicle

310. May 13, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it probable that the leniency shewn to the Roman Catholics will be advantageous to this kingdom?'

Gazetteer May 11

311. May 17, 1779 Robin Hood

'Whether a certain Admiral was strictly justifiable, in deviating from his destination, to go to the relief of a distressed island?'

The Question was 'very freely, ingeniously, and candidly debated for some time' and then adjourned.

Morning Chronicle May 24

312. May 20, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Has not that custom which precludes a virtuous woman from making the first overtures for a matrimonial union to the man she loves, originated in false delicacy?'

Gazetteer May 18

313. May 24, 1779 Robin Hood

'Can the relaxations in the laws respecting Roman Catholics, be of any advantage to the community at large in this Protestant country?'

Morning Chronicle

314. May 27, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it consistent with public freedom, that the power of making peace and war should be vested in the Crown?'

Gazetteer May 25

315. June 3, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Has the House of Lords acted constitutionally in committing the printer of the General Advertiser to prison for an unlimited time, on the charge alleged against him?'

Gazetteer June 1

316. June 10, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether the various public charities in and about London, yield greater hope to desponding virtue or encouragement to profligacy of manners?'

Gazetteer June 8

317. June 10, 1779 Morning Chronicle

'The following question is proposed for this evening, at Coachmakers Hall, viz. Whether Sir Alexander Leith, in his capacity as one of the legislative body, can be justified, either to his constituents or the public at large, in perverting the course of justice against a most attrocious violator of private peace, by accepting any private compensation as a satisfaction for the injury he sustained in being arraigned and tried for his life, at the Old Bailey, on a charge which the Judges declared groundless and malicious, and how far a jury, in their award of damages, ought to distinguish between a private and a public character.'

318. June 17, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it not become the duty of the Minority to secede from Parliament, and form associations for the public good?'

Gazetteer June 15

319. September 2, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Ought not every Englishmen, especially in these alarming times, to learn the use of arms?'

Gazetteer August 31

320. September 2, 1779 Gazetteer

To the Gentlemen of the Society for free Debate, Coachmaker's-Hall Gentlemen,

As all societies of the nature of yours, are, when properly conducted, of advantage to society, so, when improperly conducted, they are a detriment to it. It is for this reason, gentlemen, that I trouble you with this letter. I cannot sufficiently admire your plan of excluding all questions concerning religion; and I think there is but one objection to be made to your present mode of chusing your questions, which is, that there are more questions on politics than on all other subjects together; which I object to for these reasons: 1st. That the time thus spent might be employed to better advantage, by debating on historical and moral subjects, by which the minds of young men would be improved, instead of being distracted with politics. 2nd. Because when men talk about politics, they seldom argue so reasonably and coolly as upon other subjects: most men talk as their interest leads them, very few as they think. And supposing this was not the case, what improvement can be derived from it? or what good to the nation? For a Ministry who has disregarded every argument that has been used in the Senate, will never submit to your resolves. In hopes you will pay some attention to this, I subscribe myself,

Gentlemen, your humble servant
W.R.

321. September 5, 1779 Theological Society, One Tun, near Hungerford, Strand

'A Text of Scripture, taken from the 5th chapter of St. Matthew, verses 10, 11 [will be investigated] which will lead to an enquiry relative to the propriety of Religious Persecution.'

Admittance 6d. each person.

Gazetteer September 3

322. September 9, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether it is the interest of the maritime powers of Europe to assist America in her present contest for independence?'

Gazetteer September 7

323. September 16, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Does the City of London, in withholding their assistance in the present alarming crisis, act upon principles of true patriotism?'

Gazetteer September 14

324. September 20, 1779 Westminster Forum, Greenwood's Great Room, Haymarket

'Whether the charge against the Members of Opposition of endeavouring to foment the rebellion in America, to answer the personal views of power, emolument, and ambition, can be supported upon principles of truth and justice?

Whereas, a Society for the purpose of discussing such questions as may afford both instruction and entertainment, upon genteel and liberal principles, has long been desired and requested by many gentlemen of distinction and character, who reside at the west-end of the town.'

Morning Chronicle

325. September 27, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Whether it is not the duty of every good subject, in the present critical state of the empire, to unite for the defence of the empire at large, by a dutiful and loyal representation humbly to implore his Majesty to withdraw his troops from America, in order to regain the valuable commerce of that country?

As many gentlemen who attended the meeting on Monday night last made objections to the regulations which then took place, this is to inform the public, that for the future it will be conducted on the same plan as the society at Coach-maker's-hall.'

Morning Chronicle September 25

326. September 30, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Would not a tax on Jews be a very proper measure in the present urgency of affairs?'

Gazetteer September 28

327. October 1, 1779 Gazetteer

'On Thursday last, when the grand question was debated at Coachmaker's-hall, whether the City of London acted properly or improperly in refusing, at the present juncture of public affairs, to strengthen the hands of the present Ministry, a Common-Councilman who happened to be present rose in great warmth, and observed, "that the City of London was the most respectable body of men in the universe. That gentlemen were very impertinent in talking of London following the example of such petty boroughs as Glasgow and Manchester. London was born not to follow, but to give examples". . . .'

328. October 4, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Whether the present mode adopted by the Ministry, of carrying on the war, by burning and destroying towns, &c. in America, is not more likely to create eternal enmity, than a reconciliation with the Colonies?'

Short History of the Westminster Forum

329. October 7, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Will it not be more to the advantage of this country in the present to make peace with the Americans on the terms of independence, than to risk the consequences of continuing the war?'

Gazetteer October 5

330. October 9, 1779 Revived (Robin Hood) Society

'At the King's Arms tavern, and Gentlemen's Hotel, next door to the Hummums, Convent-Garden . . . will be opened a society for free debate, exactly on the plan of the late Robin Hood, Butcher-row, viz. Admittance 6d. liquours included. - The total banishment of beverage has been much complained of by many respectable attendants on these kind of societies; and the situation of the King's Arms being so convenient to gentlemen disappointed on the theatres being crouded, &c. &c. it is presumed will apologize for the above institution, and procure it respectable countenance and support.'

Morning Chronicle

331. October 11, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Whether publick or private education is the best calculated to form a man for society?'

Public education won by four votes.

Morning Chronicle October 7/Short History of the Westminster Forum

332. October 11, 1779 King's-arms society

'Whether it would be more eligible, at this crisis, for Great Britain to acknowledge the independence of the Colonies, or carry on the war to recover the sovereignty thereof?'

The Question 'was very ingeniously debated, and went by a great majority for war'.

Morning Chronicle

333. October 14, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether would an union between Ireland and Great Britain be for the general advantage?'

Gazetteer October 12

334. October 18, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Is refinement of manners to be considered as being most conducive to virtue or vice?'

Majority said most conducive to virtue.

Morning Chronicle October 14/Short History of the Westminster

335. October 18, 1779 King's Arms society

'Whether augmenting the requisite pecuniary qualifications of representatives in Parliament, and of constituents also, would not procure a more independent House of Commons?

A question is this evening expected (from a gentleman's promise) relating to the theatre. - N.B. Questions on the Drama, will be frequently and regularly admitted.'

Morning Chronicle

336. October 21, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'To whom are we to attribute the true cause of our national calamities, Ministry or Opposition?'

Gazetteer October 19

337. October 22, 1779 Apollo Society, for the determination of all Questions in History, Literature, Policy and Theology, Kings Arms Tavern, Grafton Street, Soho

'Should not the Freeholders of the County of Middlesex, consistent with their political conduct, support the pretensions of Mr. Wood, in opposition to Colonel Tufnell? and, To which ought we to attribute the present alarming crisis; want of spirit and capacity in our ministers, or military officers? and, Is the charge of idolatry, against the Roman church, founded in justice, charity, and equity?'

Admittance six-pence.

Morning Chronicle

338. October 23, 1779 Select Society, Old Theatre, Portugal Street

'Whether the conduct of the Minister, in withholding from one Gentleman, and granting to another, the opportunity of vacating his seat in Parliament, they both having declared to him their intention of standing Candidates for another place, is or is not injurious to the right of free Representation?

The early attendance of the Friends of Freedom, Literature and Virtue, will be esteemed a favour.'

Morning Chronicle

339. October 25, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Can the conduct of a Minister, in preventing a gentleman from vacating his seat, with intention of becoming a candidate for another place, be warranted by the constitution, when he assigns as the reason that he hath given an absolute promise to another?'

Against Minister by a great majority.

Morning Chronicle October 21/Short History of the Westminster

340. October 25, 1779 King's Arms Society

'What will be the consequences of the unnatural union of winter theatres?'

The first Question was postponed, 'for want of some person to own, explain and introduce it. . . Then the question, Whether it is not apparent that France aims at erecting a Gallic Empire in America? went in the negative.'

Morning Chronicle November 1

341. October 28, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the slave trade justifiable?'

Gazetteer October 26

342. October 29, 1779 Apollo Society, King's Arms Tavern, Graftonstreet, Soho, for the discussion of all questions in History, Literature, Policy and Theology

'To which ought we to attribute the present alarming crisis, want of spirit and capacity in our Ministers, or military Officers?

Lemonade and Porter for those who chuse to refresh themselves in an adjacent room.'

Morning Chronicle October 27

343. November 1, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Can a member of a Commonwealth, alienate himself therefrom, and regain the liberty of the state of nature, upon the laws of natural justice? or Is a union with Ireland, somewhat similar to that with Scotland, to be wished; and, as things are now situated, would it be for the mutual interest of Great Britain and Ireland?'

Adjourned.

Morning Chronicle October 28/A Short History of the Westminster

344. November 1, 1779 King's Arms Society

'Whether it is politically necessary, that an opposition should always exist in a Government like that of Great Britain?'

Question 'was very ingeniously argued, and went in the negative'.

Morning Chronicle

345. November 2, 1779 The Lyceum for the Investigation of all Questions in HISTORY, POLICY and LITERATURE, Black Horse Tavern, New Bond Street

'Is not the conduct of the Irish Parliament, at this time, ungenerous and unjust? and, Is the present method of carrying on the American war, in a depredatory manner, likely to bring that people back to their allegiance?'

Gazetteer

346. November 3, 1779 Select Society, Old Theatre, Portugal-street, Lincoln's-inn Fields

'Whether the conduct of the City of London with respect to Mr. Wilkes, is, or is not reprehensible?'

Admission Six-pence.

Morning Chronicle

347. November 4, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether, considering the manners of the present age, a single or a married life is most likely to produce happiness?'

Gazetteer November 2

348. November 5, 1779 Apollo Society

'Whether not a union between Great Britain and Ireland be the best mode of redressing the grievances of that country, and securing this?'

Morning Chronicle November 4

349. November 8, 17779 Westminster Forum

'Is a closer union with Ireland, somewhat similar to that with Scotland, to be wished, and as things are now situate[d], would it be for the mutual interest of Great Britain and Ireland?'

Carried in favour of free trade and against union.

Morning Chronicle November 4/A Short History of the Westminster

350. November 8, 1779 King's Arms (or new Robin Hood) Society 'Whether smuggling is not as great an evil as robbery, when considered in its effects upon commerce and the community?

There are now no less [than] six advertising disputing societies in this metropolis, besides some smaller ones who do not advertise; - 'tis remarkable that those of them which admit ladies, allow no liquour; and those who allow liquour, admit no ladies; there is one indeed, in the Strand, which admits both ladies and liquour, all for four pence; but that is for religion - the cheapest of all subjects.'

The first Question 'passed in the negative, - as did also, Whether the passion of love can exist for more than one object at the same time?'

Morning Chronicle

351. November 9, 1779 Lyceum, Black Horse

'Is the present mode of carrying on the war in America likely to bring that people back to their allegiance?'

Gazetteer

352. November 10, 1779 Morning Chronicle

'A correspondent, under the signature of Dubious, desires that some of our readers would propose the following question at Coach-maker's Hall: - In which did Mr. Garrick display the greatest excellence - in tragedy or comedy?'

353. November 11, 1779 Morning Chronicle

'As the disputing societies are within a few months much encreased, they are intended the next session to constitute part of the Premier's budget; a license must be taken out by every person letting a room for the discussion of political, moral, or religious questions, and for which they are to pay 5001. to the Government.

A person who was present a few nights since at the Westminster Forum, in the Haymarket, was asked by his friend what he thought of it, "a little snug hot house for sedition", replied the other.'

354. November 11, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Would a free trade in Ireland be a prejudice to this country?'

Gazetteer November 9

355. November 15, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Whether the Administration in abandoning the Island of Jamaica, have not, so far, abdicated the Government of Britain, and acknowledged their incapacity of holding the reins?'

Vote went against Administration.

Morning Chronicle/Short History of the Westminster

356. November 15, 1779 (new Robinhood or) King's Arms

'Whether is a love of glory, or a propensity to cultivate the fine arts, the more desirable quality in a sovereign? and, Whether are the theatres (on the whole) schools of virtue or of vice?'

The first Question went in favour of the fine arts; the second question went in favour of virtue. 'Then a question, "Whether the acquisition of knowledge, or the communication thereof, affords the highest satisfaction to the human mind?" went for the latter.'

Morning Chronicle

357. November 18, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Would a free trade in Ireland be a prejudice to this country?'

Gazetteer November 16

358. November 22, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Whether the Livery of the city of London, ought, or ought not to reward Mr. Wilkes's conduct as a Magistrate and Member of Parliament with the lucrative office of Chamberlain?'

Only two spoke against him, 'there being none hardy enough to oppose so popular a hero'. Vote in favour of Wilkes.

Morning Chronicle/A Short History of the Westminster

359. November 22, 1779 (New Robin Hood or) King' Arms

'Whether State Lotteries are, on the whole, more beneficial or injurious to the public at large?'

Morning Chronicle

360. November 25, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Is extensive commerce necessary to the well-being of this country?'

Gazetteer November 23

361. November 29, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Is Government in honour bound to support American Refugees?'

Great majority determined government not so bound.

Morning Chronicle/Short History of the Westminster

362. December 2, 1779 Coachmakers hall

'Is fortitude in adversity, or temperance in prosperity, the greater virtue?'

Gazetteer November 30

363. December 3, 1779 Apollo Society

'To which ought we attribute the present language in the Irish Parliament, Constitutional Freedom or Factious discontent?'

Morning Chronicle

364. December 6, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Whether the encouragement given by this country to our inveterate enemies, the French and Spaniards, is not at all times impolitic, and in the present crisis dangerous?'

Decision that we ought not to encourage them.

Morning Chronicle/Short History of the Westminster

365. December 7, 1779 The Lyceum for the investigation of all questions in history, policy and literature, Black Horse, New Bond Street 'Is the conduct of Holland justifiable in refusing to deliver Paul Jones, and the vessels captured by him, and belonging to his Britannic Majesty, after having been required by the Ambassador from Great Britain to do so?'

Gazetteer

366. December 9, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Is not the restoration of annual parliaments, and of an equal representation, indispensably necessary to preserve this country from its present dangers, secure the Constitution and perpetuate the glory and freedom of Englishmen?'

Gazetteer December 7

367. December 13, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Have or have not the noble Lords who have withdrawn from Administration shewn themselves friends to their King and Country in so doing?'

Decision was that these Lords had shown themselves to be friends.

Morning Chronicle/Short History of the Westminster

368. December 14, 1779 The Lyceum

'Are the Irish Constitutionally or Politically entitled to be Independent of the British Legislature?'

Gazetteer

369. December 16, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Ought not the delay of the Ministry respecting Ireland to be considered as a criminal neglect that merits the public censure of the whole nation?'

Gazetteer December 14

370. December 20, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Which of the two is the most hurtful to civil society, the Spendthrift or the Miser?'

Carried against Spendthrift.

Morning Chronicle/Short History of the Westminster

371. December 23, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it not impolitic and illiberal to speak of the French nation as our natural enemies?'

Gazetteer December 21

372. December 27, 1779 Westminster Forum

'Whether the Calamities of the Empire are to be attributed more to the intrigues of the Cabinet, the venality of Parliament, or the profligacy and servility of the people?'

Seven hundred men and women attended this debate. Adjourned. Short History of the Westminster

373. December 28, 1779 The Lyceum

'Is the conduct of that part of the Opposition who left the House of Commons when Lord North moved his propositions respecting Ireland proper or improper?'

Gazetteer

374. December 30, 1779 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether the Livery of London ought to petition Parliament for leave to elect a new Member, since one of their Representatives is now in the Grenadas, where he has by oath transferred his allegiance to the French king?'

Gazetteer December 28