Annual Lecture 2016

Date: Saturday, 6 August
Time: 4:00-5:00 pm
Place: Wordsworth Trust Jerwood Centre, Grasmere, UK


We are very pleased to announce that Dr Patty O’Boyle will give the fifth Annual Thelwall Lecture on 6 August 2016 on the subject of “Celebrity, Scandal and Reform: John Thelwall and the Beautiful Boyles.” Dr O’Boyle’s project is partly based on her discovery of the catalogue of contents of Thelwall’s London Institute (when it came up for auction after his bankruptcy). Dr O’Boyle has provided the following summary of her lecture:

“The lecture will tell the story of (Patrick) Boyle’s Register and Court Guide, Thelwall’s marriage, and the scandal of Carlos O’Callaghan’s imprisonment for “defending the ladies’ honour” by striking the son of the Bishop of Downe with his whip for insulting them when Thelwall and O’Callaghan were driving their respective carriages back from Greenwich after viewing the Prize ships. O’Callaghan was subsequently jailed and left with only bread and water. The scandal went on for weeks and led to the involvement of Hobhouse, Byron’s friend, and to the reform of County Jail conditions. So, by a circuitous route, the jail system was reformed. There will be three or four main elements discussed: the Court Guide and its importance as the first real directory of London residents, Thelwall’s Institute and his ownership of the Champion and his eventual bankruptcy, his connection with the O’Callaghans, and the story of the events surrounding O’Callaghan’s imprisonment.”