Last Month's Author Spotlight > In Good Society…

Thomas Rowlandson's Coffee House Quarrel

Thomas Rowlandson’s Coffee-house quarrel

A list of societies of which William Nicholson was a member:

The Cannonians (around 1780) – this was the name of an informal dining club that met in a cookshop in Porridge Island near St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields.

Richard Kirwan’s Philosophical Society (1780-1787) had no official name, but was often called the Chapter Coffee House Society, after its main meeting place. William Nicholson joined in 1783, proposed by Jean-Hyacynthe de Magellan and John Whitehurst, and was elected joint secretary with William Babington in 1784.

General Chamber of Manufacturers of Great Britain and Ireland (1785-1787) Josiah Wedgwood was the first chairman and proposed Nicholson as secretary.

The Society for the Improvement of Naval Architecture (1791-1796) established by Mr John Sewell, a publisher and friend of Nicholson, who proposed him as a member from the outset.

The Royal Institution, Committee for Chemical Investigation and Analysis (June 1801– ) Nicholson was appointed to this committee with Anthony Carlisle, presumably proposed by Humphry Davy.

The Geological Society of London (1807–) Nicholson joined as a member in 1812, proposed by Anthony Carlisle, James Parkinson, Arthur Aikin (a founder of the society) and Richard Knight.


By Sue Durrell. Original material from

The Life of William Nicholson, 1753–1815


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