Some Early Lyrists

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

On tuesday 1 march 1887, Arthur Conan Doyle attended and spoke about "Some Early Lyrists" at the Portsmouth Literary and Scientific Society (PLSS) meeting held at the Penny-street Lecture Hall (Portsmouth).


  • President/Chairman
    • Right Rev. Dr. Virtue, Bishop of Portsmouth
  • Speakers
    • Mr. Hugh S. MacLauchlan (lecturer)
    • Rev. Dr. Virtue
    • Dr. A. Conan Doyle
    • Rev. H. Maxwell Egan Desmond
    • Mr. J. Hay
    • Dr. J. Ward Cousins
  • Attendees
    • General A. W. Drayson, F.R.A.S.
    • Rev. H. Maxwell Egan Desmond, M.A., F.R.G.S.
    • Rev. Dr. W. Stern
    • Dr. C. C. Claremont
    • Colonel C. Mumby
    • Mr. J. Hay
    • Mr. G. L. Green
    • Mr. John Brymer
    • Mr. G. Ollis
    • Mr. J. M. Ollis, R.N.
    • Mr. Lewis P. Lewis, R.N.
    • Mr. W. Inglis, R.N.
    • Mr. A. Howell
    • Mr. C. Foran
    • Mr. A. Armstrong
    • Mr. H. Moncreaff
    • Mr. W. G. P. Gilbert
    • Mr. F. Brymure
    • Mr. S. Blinkhorn
    • Mr. J. Stein
    • Mr. J. Brickwood
    • Mr. S. Pittis
    • Mr. C. S. Wills
    • Mr. E. T. Maine
    • Mr. H. Parke
    • Mr. R. B. Smith
    • Mr. R. Rice
    • Mr. E. Martell
    • Mr. J. Douglas Watson
    • Mr. G. F. Bell
    • Dr. J. Ward Cousins
    • Dr. A. Conan Doyle (Hon. Sec.)
    • and many ladies
  • Elected members
    • Dr. G. Dimmer
  • Nominated for membership
    • Captain S. Burton

Conan Doyle contribution

Dr. CONAN DOYLE, in proposing a vote of thanks to the Lecturer, said he thought they would agree that the matter of which it was composed and the manner in which it had been put together were equally excellent. He was glad the lecturer had chosen the Elizabethan period for his examples of poetry, because he thought that about that time it had attained its zenith, and the lesson was that the nation was in as lusty boyhood, and as such went in for enjoying themselves. Since there was such a demand at the time for lyric poems and songs for the people it was only natural that there was the supply. (Hear, hear.) At that time the people considered themselves a most musical people — not as they were now — and agents were then sent from the various cathedrals on the Continent to procure English choristers to sing at their festivals. The first blow which music received was from Cromwwell, whose troops cut down the maypoles and spoilt the amusements of the people, and when it became the fashion to call children Elizabethia and Sophonisba instead of Polly or Mary — these exalted expressions of their language it was that caused the poetry of the nation to dwindle.

Full Report