London debates
1791

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London Record Society

Publication

Author

Donna T. Andrew (compiled and introduced by)

Year published

1994

Pages

298-318

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'London debates: 1791', London debating societies 1776-1799 (1994), pp. 298-318. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=38855 Date accessed: 23 September 2014.


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1710. January 3,1791 City Debates, returned to Cornhill, opposite the 'Change

'Which ought a Lady to prefer for a husband, the man whom she regards who possesses no return of affection over he who tenderly loves her, but to whom she unfortunately has an aversion?'

Question by the 'request of a Lady, now a widow, who was circumstanced as this question described, and who unfortunately married the man of her heart, who did not regard her. . . Our fair correspondent attributes all her past misfortune to the election she made; and declares that if she had, on the contrary, married the man who tenderly loved her, time and his merit would have altered her opinion, and assured her happiness.'

Daily Advertiser January 1

1711. January 5, 1791 Free Debates on a Superior Plan, Great Room, Maiden lane, Bedford Street Covent Garden

'Which opinion is more conformable to the true principles of the Constitution - Doctor Price's, who in his Discourse on the Love of our Country, says, that the King of Great Britain is almost the only lawful King in the world, because the only one who owes his Crown to the choice of his people - or Mr. Burke's, who, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France, asserts that this doctrine affects our Constitution in its vital parts? Amongst a People proud of their Free Constitution, and sensible of the vigilance with which it should be guarded, it is conceived, that whatever tends to instruct them in their rights, or remind them of their liberties, must meet attention and encouragement. Under this idea, a Society will be formed for the discussion of Political and Historical Questions.'

Admission one shilling.

The World January 3

1712. January 6, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal salvation maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester?'

Rev. Dr. Clarke opened the debate.

Daily Advertiser January 1

1713. January 6, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Which is the most injurious Character to Society, an ignorant Physician, a covetous Divine, or a dishonest Lawyer?'

Daily Advertiser January 5

1714. January 10, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester?'

Daily Advertiser January 8

1715. January 12, 1791 Free Debates on a Superior Plan

'Which Opinion is more conformable to the true principles of the Constitution - Doctor Price's, who, in the Discourse on the Love of our Country, says, that the King of Great Britain is almost the only lawful King in the World, because the only one who owes his Crown to the Choice of his People - or, Mr. Burke's, who, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France, asserts that this Doctrine affects our Constitution in its vital parts?'

The World January 11

1716. January 13, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester?'

Daily Advertiser January 12

1717. January 13, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Do the Cures, said to be performed by Animal Magnetism deserve to be credited, as the effect of a valuable discovery in nature - or to be considered as an imposition upon the credulity of mankind?'

Daily Advertiser January 12

1718. January 17, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester?'

Daily Advertiser January 15

1719. January 20, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Would either of the following Lsws tend to prevent Seduction and Prostitution, viz. A Law to compel every Man to marry who has willfully remained single till the age of 30, or to allow those who are fond of Matrimony to have two Wives?

A Lady, who has lately perused the celebrated work of the Rev. Mr. Madan in favour of Polygamy, and who has made the causes of female ruin, a subject of her particular attention, has solicited the Managers of this Society to propose the above question for public debate. She is desirous of knowing the opinion of an enlightened assembly upon the consequence of allowing in this Country a plurality of wives.'

Daily Advertiser January 19/World January 20

1720. January 20, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester?'

Daily Advertiser January 19

1721. January 24, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester?'

Daily Advertiser January 22

1722. January 26, 1791 Free Debates on a Superior Plan

'Which would more promote the Interest of this Kingdom, the Abolition or Renewal of the East-India Company's Charter?'

The World

1723. January 27, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester? Two Persons last Monday evening hissed a Reverend Gentleman who defended the Universal Restoration. To prevent such unbecoming Behaviour (a Debt due to our Reverend Attendants) proper Persons will be appointed to conduct such offending Characters out of the Hall; but we hope this Hint will be sufficient, as the Managers wish no Person to attend this Institution, who (if unhappily not possessed the Charity of a Christian) cannot behave with the Politeness of a Gentleman.'

Daily Advertiser January 26

1724. January 27, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Does the circumstance of the Queen of France, wearing a dagger to prevent by suicide an ignoble assassination, argue more the fortitude of ancient virtue, or the petulance of female pride?'

Times

1725. January 31, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester? While two Gentlemen were pourtraying the striking Scene of a future Judgement . . . that awful Silence reigned throughout the Assembly which, while it was a just Tribute to the impressive Force of their Eloquence, proves, that even in an Age of Levity like the present, a popular and numerously frequented Institution can be maintained sacred to the Improvement of the mental Powers, the establishment of proper Opinions in Divinity, and the Glory of that omnipotent Being who light up Reason in the human Breast to examine his Works, to investigate his Mercies, and to pay the Tribute of Adoration due to his inestimable Bounty.'

Daily Advertiser January 29

1726. February 3, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it possible, by judicial Astrology, to prophecy or foretell any Event that is to happen to the material World, or the good or ill Fortune of Individuals?'

Daily Advertiser February 2

1727. February 3, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester?'

Daily Advertiser February 2

1728. February 7, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester?'

Daily Advertiser February 5

1729. February 10, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is Beauty, Virtue, or domestick Prudence, the most amiable in a Wife?'

Daily Advertiser February 9

1730. February 10, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester?'

Daily Advertiser February 9

1731. February 14, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester?'

Daily Advertiser February 12

1732. February 17, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is a Lady justifiable in admitting the Addresses of two Lovers at the same Time?'

Daily Advertiser February 16

1733. February 17, 1791 City Debates

'Would not Parliament's enacting the following Law totally annihilate all the baleful Effects arising from the Crime of Seduction - Government providing a proper Asylum for all the existing Objects of its fatal Influence - and obliging in future every single Seducer to marry the unfortunate Female - and every married Man guilty of the Crime to allow her a Maintenance till she enter into Wedlock?

The Publick has long, and perhaps too justly, complained of the Frivolity of many Questions which allude to the Female Sex. The Managers of this Society are determined (supported as they are not only by a numerous attendance of Ladies, but honoured with the Presence and Sentiment of the most wise and enlightened among their own Sex) to admit none but what (like the present) appeal powerfully to the Female Heart in whatever Situation, and yet admit the Display of that Eloquence, and the reasoning Powers for which this Institution has long been held in Celebrity.'

Daily Advertiser February 16

1734. February 18, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most agreeable to reason and revelation, the Arminian Tenets of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, the Calvinistic Decrees upheld by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield and other, the Swedenburgh Theology or the Doctrine of universal restoration maintained by the Rev. Mr. Winchester? This Question having continued 16 Evenings has of Course prevented the Managers obliging many Persons who have honoured them with other Subjects, they therefore found it impossible to adjourn it to any other Evening but for the following Circumstance: A Party of Calvinists took Possession of the Hall at an early Hour, their Speakers rose in Succession, and by that Means, and the Length of their Orations (which indeed were splendid) occupied almost the Whole of the Evening, one Rev. Gentleman only, and he with difficulty, being heard, who was of a different Opinion; they even took the Advantage of speaking till, by the Lateness of the Hour, the Gentleman, whose Right it was to close the Debate, was prevented replying, and then clamorously demanded the Decision: To prevent such unfair Advantages, and to obtain an unbiased Decision on this truly momentous Subject, the following Regulations will be observed this Evening, the Chair (to allow Time) will be taken at Half past Seven o'Clock; Preference of Hearing will be given to Divines; no Gentleman, except the Closer of the Debate, allowed to speak more than ten Minutes; and no two Speakers of the same Opinion, on any Account, permitted to follow each other.'

Decided in favour of Universal Restoration.

Daily Advertiser February 16

1735. February 21, 1791 City Debates

'Is the Obedience exacted by Husbands from their Wives a Punishment on the Sex for the first Woman's Transgression, or was Eve originally created in a State of Inferiority to Adam?'

The author [of the question] noted that the 'fair are in all respects equal to the males, that this Obedience is a Usurpation on the Part of Man and an Infringement on the natural rights of the Female World'.

Daily Advertiser February 18

1736. February 24, 1791 City Debates

'Is not the Eagerness with which Widows and Widowers enter again into Wedlock, a Proof of the superior Happiness enjoyed in that State, and of the folly of old Maids and Bachelors in remaining single?'

Daily Advertiser February 23

1737. February 24, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Are Ecclesiastical Establishments directed by Scripture, advantageous to Religion, or beneficial to civil Society?'

Decided in negative on all issues.

Daily Advertiser March 2

1738. February 28, 1791 City Debates, Kings Arms Hall, Cornhill

'Is not the eagerness with which Widows and Widowers enter again into Wedlock, a proof of the superior happiness enjoyed in that state, and of the folly of Old Maids and Batchelors in remaining Single?'

Daily Advertiser February 26

1739. March 3, 1791 City Debates

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

This Subject on the first View appears to partake much of the ludicrous, doubtless many Ideas calculated to awake the risible Faculties of the Audience will be adduced on the Blanks in the matrimonial Lottery . . . but the chief End of the Conductors of this Society is to hold up in Terrorem the gloomy List of Blanks in the State Lottery, the Folly and Credulity of Dreamers, the Iniquity of Insurance Offices, kept open in Defiance of the Legislature, and the Evils which result to the Lower Orders of the People from a universal Spirit of Gambling being disseminated among them.'

Daily Advertiser March 2

1740. March 3, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Would the Passing the Bill now pending in Parliament for the Relief of the Roman Catholicks be consistent with the Security of the Protestant Religion, and with the Safety of the British Constitution?'

Decided that the bill could safely be passed.

Daily Advertiser March 2

1741. March 7, 1791 City Debates

'Are the cures attributed to Animal Magnetism performed by the operations of conceit in the patients, the power of Satanic influence, some occult principles in philosophy, or is the whole an imposition of interested persons to take advantage of the credulity of Mankind?

The audience was highly gratified by an Oration from that ingenious Lecturer Mr. Holloway, who, in an elegant Train of Reasoning, supported by numerous learned Authorities, proved himself a most powerful Advocate for the Science.' Dr. Stearn also spoke to the question.

Daily Advertiser March 5

1742. March 10, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Would it be consistent with Justice and sound Policy to grant relief to the Roman Catholicks, while the Protestant Dissenters are refused an equal Participation of civil and religious Liberties with the Members of the established Church?

It is proposed, with the concurrence of several eminent Catholick and Protestant Ministers, who consider free debate not only as the birthright of Englishmen, but, like the invaluable Liberty of the Press, the means by which truth is discovered, and error dispelled.'

Daily Advertiser March 9/The World

1743. March 10, 1791 City Debates

'Are the cures attributed to Animal Magnetism performed by the operations of conceit in the patients, the power of Satanic influence, some occult principles in philosophy, or is the whole an imposition of interested persons to take advantage of the credulity of Mankind?'

Daily Advertiser March 9

1744. March 14, 1791 City Debates

'Are the cures attributed to Animal Magnetism performed by the operations of conceit in the patients, the power of Satanic influence, some occult principles in philosophy, or is the whole an imposition of interested persons to take advantage of the credulity of Mankind?'

Five to six hundred people usually attend.

Daily Advertiser March 12

1745. March 17, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Are the Female Sex as capable of Sincerity in Friendship as they are of Constancy in Love?'

Daily Advertiser March 16

1746. March 17, 1791 City Debates

'Are the cures attributed to Animal Magnetism performed by the operations of conceit in the patients, the power of Satanic influence, some occult principles in philosophy, or is the whole an imposition of interested persons to take advantage of the credulity of Mankind?'

Daily Advertiser

1747. March 21, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the greater Calamity, either to a Lover or Husband, the Death or Infidelity of the beloved object?

The many recent instances of infidelity in the conjugal state being lately the subject of conversation in a polite assembly. Several married Gentlemen averred no evils could equal those resulting from falsehood and inconstancy in a beloved Wife. This was opposed by a young Gentleman as being no comparison to the distress of a fond Lover, whose warm affections were fixed on a lovely and virtuous female and met a reciprocal return, but whom the cold hand of death had torn from his embraces and buried with all his delightful expectations in the gloomy sepulchre of mortality.'

Daily Advertiser March 19

1748. March 24, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Do the Cares of a Family, and the Confinement of a domestick Life, afford a sufficient Excuse for those who wilfully remain in a single State?'

Daily Advertiser March 23

1749. March 24, 1791 City Debates

'Is the Conduct of Mr. Pitt in appropriating the unclaimed Dividends to the publick Service, a patriotick Measure warranted by the Emergency of the State, or an Innovation on national Credit and private Property?'

Question raised by merchants and stockbrokers who think it inimical to the true interest of the nation.

Daily Advertiser March 23

1750. March 28, 1791 City Debates

'Does the real Religion that is conspicuous in many of the Followers of the late Messrs. Whitfield and Wesley compensate for the Hypocrisy and Enthusiasm which have been fostered under their venerable Names?

The Conductors return their unfeigned Thanks to the ingenious Mr. Hamilton Reid for his elegant Monody on the death of the late Mr. Wesley.'

Daily Advertiser March 26

1751. March 31, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Would it tend to prevent Adultery and Divorce if that Part of the Marriage Ceremony which says "As long as you both shall live" was expunged, and instead thereof the following Words inserted, "So long as you both can agree"?

This Society being universally considered as a Court of Equity as well as a School of Eloquence, every Question that concerns the Interests of the Community, the Happiness of Individuals, or that can affect the fine and laudable feelings of the Human Heart, will always meet with a welcome Reception. Upwards of 20 Ladies have united their Solicitations for a publick Debate upon this Subject; and as it is of great Importance to all who are or intend to be married, the Ladies as well as Gentlemen will be asked to express their Assent or Dissent to the proposed Alteration.'

Daily Advertiser March 30

1752. March 31, 1791 City Debates

'Has Methodism, as established by the Rev. Messrs. Whitfield and Wesley, promoted the interests of real Religion, or only increased the Number of Hypocrites and Enthusiasts?'

The 'Question was adjourned, and the Alteration made, at the particular Request of several Persons, who considered the Statement of last Evening as peculiarly partial to Methodism, and who pledged themselves to prove, by a Relation of various Examples (this Evening) of the Folly and Credulity of their Followers, that the Tenets of Messrs. Whitfield and Wesley have been more productive of Superstition and Enthusiasm than real religion.'

Daily Advertiser

1753. April 4, 1791 City Debates

'Has the Practice of giving large Fortunes with Daughters been more Productive of Good, in establishing the Credit and Happiness of the marriage State, or of Evil, by inclining Men to marry for Money rather than Love, and causing innumerable Disappointments in the tender Passions?'

Daily Advertiser April 2

1754. April 7, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the Passion of Love or Jealousy the more prevalent among the Female Sex?'

Daily Advertiser April 6

1755. April 7, 1791 City Debates

'Is Mrs. Gunning's Letter to the Duke of Argylle a sufficient Refutation of the Charges brought against her Daughter; or was the young Lady guilty of using Artifice with one Lover, in order to secure the Affections of another?'

The World

1756. April 11, 1791 City Debates

'Is the assertion of Dr. Johnson true, that the greater part of bad husbands are made so by the misconduct of their wives?

From this debate, the unhappy in the married world may be induced to amend their conduct, and the single of both sexes learn to avoid the evils and experience the comfort and happiness intended by the great author of our being to result from the sacred enjoyment of wedlock.'

Daily Advertiser April 9

1757. April 14, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it consistent with the Character of a Christian and a Man of Sense to believe that the Death of a Friend may be known by a supernatural Token, or that a departed Spirit ever appeared, and conversed with any Mortal?'

Daily Advertiser April 13

1758. April 18, 1791 City Debates

'If a Gentleman has gained the Affection of a Lady, and solemnly promises her marriage, but afterwards feels a stronger Passion for another, which ought he to marry?

The two ladies immediately concerned intend to be present; they as well as their sex in general who attend may expect much instructive entertainment from this interesting debate; they may learn to guard their hearts from giving too easy access to the seducing softnesses of love. How far a promise of marriage may be relied on, and whether happiness can be expected in wedlock, independent of a mutual and sincere regard for each other.'

Times

1759. April 21, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it not more difficult for a good Husband to reclaim a bad Wife [than] it is for a good Wife to reform a bad Husband?'

Daily Advertiser April 20

1760. April 21, 1791 City Debates

'Which is most consistent with Religion and Probability, a Reliance on the Predictions of judicial Astrology, an Opinion that Dreams foretell future Events, a Confidence in the powers of Animal Magnetism for the Cure of human Maladies, or the Belief that departed Spirits sometimes hold Converse with Mortals, and appear at the Moment of Dissolution by any supernatural Token, to absent Friends and Relatives?'

Daily Advertiser April 20

1761. April 25, 1791 City Debates

'Which is most consistent with reason and probability, a reliance on the predictions of judicial astrology, an opinion that dreams foretell future events, a confidence in the powers of animal magnetism for the cure of human maladies, or a belief that departed spirits sometimes converse with mortals, and appear at the moment of dissolution by any supernatural token, to absent friends or relations?

An eminent astrologer has requested permission to answer the observations of the celebrated magnetist who spoke on last evening. . . Either of the parties willing to demonstrate by example before the audience this evening the authenticity of their science, may depend upon every necessary accommodation.'

Times

1762. April 28, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the Conduct of Mr. Fox or Mr. Pitt, respecting a War with Russia, the more consistent with the Principles of the Constitution and the Welfare of the British Nation?'

Daily Advertiser April 27

1763. April 28, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the happiest State, a Maid, a Wife, or a Widow?'

Daily Advertiser April 27

1764. May 2, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the happiest state, a Maid, a Wife or a Widow?'

Daily Advertiser April 30

1765. May 5, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Would the Abolition or Continuance of the Slave Trade be more likely to promote the commercial Interests and national Dignity of Great Britain?

So interesting to the Feelings of Humanity, so important to the Honour and Character of this Country, to its Trade, Commerce and political Security, is this Question considered, that this Society . . . was visited by several Members of the House of Commons, Gentlemen at the Bar, and a great Number of the most respectable trading and commercial Men in the Kingdom.'

Daily Advertiser May 4

1766. May 5, 1791 City Debates

'Which has been productive of most Misery among Mankind, unlawful and disappointed Love, inordinate Avarice, or unbounded Ambition?'

Daily Advertiser May 4

1767. May 9, 1791 City Debates

'Is the Assertion of Dr. Goldsmith on Seduction (in his celebrated Novel of the Vicar of Wakefield) true, that Women are much more unforgiving to female frailty than Men?'

Daily Advertiser May 7

1768. May 12, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Would the Abolition or Continuance of the Slave Trade be more likely to promote the commercial Interests and national Dignity of Great Britain?'

Daily Advertiser May 11

1769. May 12, 1791 City Debates

'Did the Sentiments of Mr. Burke on the French Revolution, in opposition to Mr. Fox (particularly his Assertion - "There are Men in this Country who have conceived the infernal Project of fundamentally overturning its Constitution" - and his Declaration - "He should from that Time excommunicate himself from the Party for ever -") indicate the patriotick Guardian of the British Constitution, or the enthusiastick Advocate for arbitrary Power?'

Daily Advertiser May 11

1770. May 16, 1791 City Debates

'What is the first Cause of Love?'

Daily Advertiser May 14

1771. May 19, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Would the Abolition or Continuance of the Slave Trade be more likely to promote the commercial Interests and national Dignity of Great Britain?'

Almost unanimously carried in favour of Abolition.

Daily Advertiser May 18

1772. May 19, 1791 City Debates

'What is the first Cause of Love?'

Daily Advertiser May 18

1773. May 23, 1791 City Debates

'Supposing a Father to have three Daughters, the eldest an uncommon Beauty, the next of a superior understanding, and to leave his whole

Fortune to the youngest (who is possessed of neither), which of the three stands the best chance for a Husband?'

Daily Advertiser May 21

1774. May 26, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Which of the three celebrated Characters has discovered the greatest Knowledge of the British Constitution, and appears to have its Welfare most at Heart, Mr. Fox, Mr. Burke or Mr. Pitt?'

Daily Advertiser May 25

1775. June 2, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Which of the three celebrated Characters has discovered the greatest Knowledge of the British Constitution, and appears to have its Welfare most at Heart, Mr. Fox, Mr. Burke or Mr. Pitt?'

Daily Advertiser 1

1776. June 9, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Can the Slave Trade be justified on any Principles of Humanity, Justice or sound Policy?'

Daily Advertiser

1777. August 22, 1791 City Debates

'Did the late Riots in Birmingham originate in groundless Apprehensions raised by the Tory Principles of Mr. Burke's Pamphlet, or from any improper Conduct of the Protestant Dissenters in celebrating the French Revolution in this Country?'

City Dissenters propose this debate.

Daily Advertiser August 20

1778. August 25, 1791 City Debates

'Did the late Riots in Birmingham originate in groundless Apprehensions raised by the Tory Principles of Mr. Burke's Pamphlet, or from any improper Conduct of the Protestant Dissenters in celebrating the French Revolution in this Country?'

Audience determined 'there being only six Hands held up in the negative' that Birmingham riots caused by Burke's principles.

Daily Advertiser August 24

1779. August 29, 1791 City Debates

'Was not the trial of Mr. Rose an evident proof of the political duplicity of Mr. Pitt, and of the absolute necessity of a Parliamentary Reform?'

The World

1780. September 1, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the Constitution of France, as now settled by the National Assembly, likely to prove beneficial to its inhabitants, and to promote the tranquility of Europe?

The signal Revolution in France, the subsequent labours of the National Assembly, and the numerous productions that contain sentiments favourable or unfriendly to the proceedings of that Legislative Body, present a grand and extensive theme to the political speculator. A restless ambition directing the arms of France during its former system of Government, has been urged as the cause that has so frequently involved this country in the carnage and expences of war. How far the ancient enmity between the two kingdoms is likely to cease, and in what degree the tranquility of Europe may be promoted by the provisions of the French Constitution, are points that will doubtless be elucidated by the respective talents and information of the historian, philosopher and active politician.'

Daily Advertiser August 29

1781. September 1, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the happiest period of man's life, when courting a wife, when married to a wife, or when burying a bad wife?'

This Question is 'a relief from the more important subjects that have lately engaged their attention, and a suitable compliment to the fair part of the creation, by whom this institution is numerously attended'.

Daily Advertiser August 31

1782. September 5, 1791 City Debates

'Can any Circumstances justify a Lady of receiving the Addresses of more than one Lover at the same Time?'

Daily Advertiser September 3

1783. September 8, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the happiest state, marriage or a single life?

The Managers, thus honoured by the constant attendance of the beautiful, the gay, and the virtuous of one sex, and the learned, ingenious, and intelligent of the other, pledge themselves for perseverance in their usual conduct, particularly extending every possible indulgence to juvenile merit; cultivating on every opportunity those powers of female eloquence which they conceive to be the brightest ornament of British literature.'

Daily Advertiser September 7

1784. September 8, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the Constitution of France, as now settled by the National Assembly, likely to prove beneficial to its inhabitants, and to promote the tranquility of Europe?

In this ancient seminary of elocution the celebrated Mr. Paine (as well as some of the first characters at the bar) frequently spoke.'

Daily Advertiser September 7

1785. September 12, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the happiest state, marriage or a single life?'

Daily Advertiser September 10

1786. September 15, 1791 City Debates

'Does the Passion of Jealousy arise from an Excess of Love, or from the mean Suspicion of an ignoble Mind?

Indeed, such is the popular estimation of this (the oldest and most respectable Society for Free Debate) that those young Gentlemen who are anxious to attain the necessary, though difficult art of Public Speaking, will here have the opportunity of addressing a numerous, candid and intelligent audience; and at the same time, in the Orations which are delivered in this Seminary of Erudition, have placed before their observance, as models for juvenile elocution, talents of the most splendid nature, supporting the dignity of virtue, defending the principles of truth, and exploring the rugged path of Science.'

Daily Advertiser September 14/World

1787. September 15, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the Constitution of France, as now settled by the National Assembly, likely to prove beneficial to its inhabitants, and to promote the tranquility of Europe?'

Daily Advertiser September 14

1788. September 19, 1791 City Debates

'Supposing a Spirit (prior to its Existence in this World) had Knowledge of the peculiar Joys and Sorrows attendant on each Sex, and being left at Liberty to make its Choice, which would it probably prefer to inhabit, a Male or a Female Body?

We cannot help thus publicly soliciting . . . that the elucidation of this interesting subject may be adorned with the display of that female eloquence from which this society has already received so many obligations.'

Daily Advertiser September 17/The World

1789. September 22, 1791 City Debates

'Which has occasioned most Mischief among Mankind, Quack Doctors, Trading Justices, or Methodist Preachers?

This is a Society for free Debate. We cannot prevent those laughable Stories, told at the Expence of Methodist Preachers; all we can say is that our Institution is open to their Defence, particularly while they can boast such advocates as our learned Correspondent.'

Daily Advertiser September 21

1790. September 22, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Do not the comforts of matrimony more than counterbalance all the cares and anxieties attending it?'

Daily Advertiser September 21

1791. September 26, 1791 City Debates

'Ought the present Frequency of Divorce to be ascribed to the Depravity of Bachelors, the Inattention and Misconduct of Husbands, or the Levity and Folly of the Female Character?'

Daily Advertiser September 24

1792. September 29, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Which of the two Bodies of Men, the Members of the Church of England or the Dissenters, have rendered most Service to this Country, either as literary Characters or Supporters of the Constitution?'

Question brought about because of the letter of Dr. Tatham (of Oxford) to Woodfall's Diary of August 8th.

Daily Advertiser September 28

1793. September 29, 1791 City Debates

'In which Situation is most Happiness to be found, the elevated Walks of Wealth and Grandeur, the busy Scenes of Trade and Commerce, or humble Shades of domestick Ease and Retirement?'

Daily Advertiser September 28

1794. October 3, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the more pitiable Situation, a worthy Husband married to a bad Wife, or an amiable Wife married to a dissolute Husband?'

Daily Advertiser October 1

1795. October 6, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Which of the two Bodies of Men, the Members of the Church of England or the Dissenters, have rendered most Service to this Country, either as literary Characters or Supporters of the Constitution?'

Daily Advertiser October 5

1796. October 6, 1791 City Debates

'Ought not the Word Obey to be struck out of the Marriage Ceremony?'

Daily Advertiser October 5

1797. October 10, 1791 City Debates

'Which is more calculated for the Glory of the respective Nations and the Happiness of Individuals, the French or British Constitutions?

Several illustrious French refugees (now in this country) will be present; many of the first literary Characters of the Age are expected to speak; we forbear to particularize Names, however exalted. The Sentiments of Messrs. Mackintosh, Payne and Dr. Priestley will doubtless take the Lead in this important Investigation.'

Daily Advertiser October 8

1798. October 13, 1791 The World

A HINT TO SLEEPY MAGISTRATES

'It is a fact, that there is now a house in Brownlow-street, Drury-lane, where the following business is done - in the day, Fencing - in the evening a Hop, and private accommodations for Ladies and Gentlemen - and on Sunday, a hodge-podge inflammatory society of Arians, Socinians, Muggletonians, &c. &c. debating, and to use their own term, illustrating the Scriptures.'

1799. October 13, 1791 City Debates

'Which is more calculated for the Glory of the respective Empires, and the Happiness of Individuals - the French or British Constitution?'

Daily Advertiser October 12

1800. October 13, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Ought the different proceedings against the late Birmingham Rioters, and those of London in the year 1780 to be attributed to the unequal atrocities of the criminals, or to a narrow prejudice against the Protestant Dissenters?

As this Society is considered to be the organ of the public mind upon questions of great political concern, the greatest candour will be shewn to Gentlemen on both sides.'

Daily Advertiser October 12

1801. October 17, 1791 City Debates

'Is the assertion of that ancient Philosopher, Socrates, true, that "Women in Mischief are wiser than Men"?'

Decided Question in the affirmative.

Daily Advertiser October 15

1802. October 20, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Which of the three following events, is to be considered as the most striking instance of opposition to political tyranny, the exclusion of James the Second and his posterity from the throne of England, the independence atchieved by the States of America, or the late Revolution in the ancient Government in France?'

Daily Advertiser October 19

1803. October 20, 1791 City Debates, returns to Capel Court

'Which is the most depraved Character, the Betrayer of his Friend, the Alienator of a married Lady's affections from her Husband, or the Seducer of unsuspecting Virgin Innocence?

Question sent by 'a Clergyman who was a Passenger from India in the Fitzwilliam, where the late unfortunate seduction of a young Lady terminated in the death of herself and her Seducer'.

The Fair Orator who often spoke at this society, published An Essay on the Ruin of Female Honour.

Daily Advertiser October 19

1804. October 24, 1791 City Debates

'Which is the most depraved Character, the Betrayer of his Friend, the Alienator of a married Lady's affections from her Husband, or the Seducer of unsuspecting Virgin Innocence?

The above Question . . . was proposed by a young Lady, about 25, who has two Sisters, one of whom by incautiously entering into Marriage is most unhappily united with a worthless Husband; the other (the eldest branch of the family) is, after discarding a numerous train of admirers, some for want of one perfection, some for want of another, left at the age of 45 in a state of hopeless virginity.

The Managers think it necessary to apprize the Ladies and Gentlemen who patronize this Institution, that there is not a Vestige of the Society left in Cornhill. All Annunciations . . . of the City Debates being held there, or in any other Place . . . are the Fabrications of necessitous and illiterate Persons to mislead the Publick.'

Daily Advertiser October 22

1805. October 27, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Which of the three following events, is to be considered as the strongest instance of opposition to political tyranny, the exclusion of James the Second and his posterity from the throne of England, the independence atchieved by the States of America, or the late Revolution in the ancient Government in France?'

Daily Advertiser October 26

1806. October 27, 1791 City Debates

'Can a Lady whose heart is entirely disengaged, expect Happiness, or her parents any justification, when, by their commands, she marries a man of opulence, for whom she has no real affection?'

Daily Advertiser October 26

1807. October 31, 1791 City Debates

'Are those Laws consistent with Justice, Humanity, and national Prosperity, which, by restricting the Blood-Royal intermarrying with the ancient Nobility of the Realm, compel them either to form continental Alliances, or remain in the single State?'

Daily Advertiser October 29

1808. November 3, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Have not Ecclesiastical Establishments in all Countries tended to the Support of Arbitrary Power?'

Daily Advertiser November 2

1809. November 3, 1791 City Debates

'Which most deserves the Ridicule of Mankind, the captious old Batchelor, the censorious old Maid, or the Widow who having buried a worthy Husband, marries again to the Prejudice of her infant Family?'

Daily Advertiser November 2

1810. November 7, 1791 Society for Free Debate, King's Arms, Change-Alley, Cornhill

'Is the Assertion of Rochefoucault true, which maintains that mutual Love is like Apparitions talked of by all, but seen by none?

The Conductors of this Institution respectfully acquaint the Publick, that the late Managers of the Society held here have no Concern in the present, which is principally composed of Law Students, who, emulous of several distinguished Barristers, are desirous of instituting a School of Eloquence, in which the Utile and the Dulce may be blended, render the Auspices of a liberal and enlightened Audience, in the Beams of which alone modest Merit is found to expand.'

Daily Advertiser November 5

1811. November 7, 1791 City Debates, removed to Capel-court, Bartholemew-lane

'Is learning a desirable qualification in a Wife?'

Daily Advertiser

1812. November 10, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Have not Ecclesiastical establishments in all ages tended to the support of Arbitrary Power?'

Daily Advertiser November 9

1813. November 10, 1791 City Debates

'Did the French National Assembly act wisely in degrading Marriage from a Divine Institution to a Civil Contract?

The conduct of the National Assembly in rendering the Marriage Ceremony a mere Bargain between Party and Party, independent of all Divine Authority, justly begins to alarm all the European ladies.'

Daily Advertiser November 9

1814. November 14, 1791 City Debates

'Which have more widely deviated from the manly Character of our Male and virtuous conduct of our Female Ancestors, the Ladies of the present Age, by becoming Toxopholites, private Actresses, and whirling in all the Eccentricities of Fashion, or the modern fine Gentleman, in making themselves Crops, Boxers, Lobby-Loungers, etc.?'

Daily Advertiser November 12

1815. November 17, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Have not Ecclesiastical establishments in all ages tended to the support of Arbitrary Power?'

Daily Advertiser November 16

1816. November 17, 1791 City Debates

'Which have more widely deviated from the manly Character of our Male and virtuous conduct of our Female Ancestors, the Ladies of the present Age, by becoming Toxopholites, private Actresses, and whirling in all the Eccentricities of Fashion, or the modern fine Gentleman, in making themselves Crops, Boxers, Lobby-Loungers, etc.?'

Daily Advertiser November 16

1817. November 21, 1791 City Debates

'Which have more widely deviated from the manly Character of our Male and virtuous conduct of our Female Ancestors, the Ladies of the present Age, by becoming Toxopholites, private Actresses, and whirling in all the Eccentricities of Fashion, or the modern fine Gentleman, in making themselves Crops, Boxers, Lobby-Loungers, etc.?'

Daily Advertiser

1818. November 24, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the insurrection at Saint Domingo to be attributed to the declamations and writings of the advocates for the abolition of the Slave Trade, or to the cruelty and injustice of that species of traffick?

The question is introduced at the request of many respectable Gentlemen who consider, that at a period like the present, when the sun of Liberty is rising in every part of Europe, and when the hearts of millions are rejoiced, and their hands extended in warm congratulations upon the recovery of a great nation from slavery, a public enquiry into the causes of the late insurrection in the West India Islands, and the treatment of the negroes, as well as the justice and policy of the Slave Trade, must meet the cordial approbation of the public.'

Daily Advertiser November 23

1819. November 24, 1791 City Debates

'Whose Conduct ought more to be avoided by the Fair Sex in the Season of Courtship, the Lady's, who by taking too little Caution before Marriage, gets a bad Husband, or her's, by taking too much, dies an old maid?'

Daily Advertiser

1820. December 1, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the insurrection at Saint Domingo to be attributed to the exertions and writings of those who have interested themselves to procure an abolition of the Slave Trade, or to the cruelty and injustice of that species of traffick?'

Daily Advertiser November 30

1821. December 8, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is not the war now carrying on in India disgraceful to this country, injurious to its political interests, and ruinous to the commercial interests of the Company?'

Times

1822. December 15, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Is not the war now carrying on in India disgraceful to this country, injurious to its political interests, and ruinous to the commercial interests of the Company?'

Decision almost unanimous that war is unjust, disgraceful and ruinous.

Daily Advertiser

1823. December 17, 1791 Westminster Debates, Queen of Bohemia, Wych Street, Drury Lane

'Which would a Man be most strenuous to preserve in case of imminent Danger, and without the Ability of saving more than one, his Wife, Mother or only Child?'

Daily Advertiser

1824. December 22, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Would it be most for the interest of this country, that the territorial possessions in India should still continue in the hands of the present East India Company, be taken under the sole and immediate direction of the Legislature, or be relinquished to the native inhabitants of the country?'

Daily Advertiser December 21

1825. December 29, 1791 Coachmakers Hall

'Would it be most for the interest of this country, that the territorial possessions in India should still continue in the hands of the present East India Company, be taken under the sole and immediate direction of the Legislature, or be relinquished to the native inhabitants of the country?'

Daily Advertiser December 28