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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

The Anglo-American Banquet (article 15 june 1898)

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The Anglo-American Banquet is an article published in The Sketch on 15 june 1898.

Report of the Anglo-American Banquet attended by Arthur Conan Doyle on 3 june 1898 at the Hotel Cecil.

The Anglo-American Banquet

The Sketch (15 june 1898, p. 334)

There cannot be a doubt but that the banquet given at the Hotel Cecil on June 3 was calculated to do a great deal of good in cementing an alliance between the two great English-speaking peoples. It is true that the speeches were not upon a very high oratorical level. "If you want to join the Nations, you must stifle their orations," was the epigram of a humorist present. The United States are proud of their after-dinner speaking, but, unfortunately, Americans were not the most prominent factors in the speech-making at the Anglo-American banquet. That was just as well, no doubt, from the point of view of the efficacy of this banquet as illustrating English sympathy with the States, but perhaps it was unfortunate from the point of view of those who had to listen to speeches which were inordinately long and inordinately dull, although each speech, taken separately, had, of course, many points of merit. Colonel Taylor, indeed, who is President of the American Society in London, gave the best-delivered speech. As a representation, however, of English sentiment, no gathering could have been happier, more representative, or better-organised. Lord Coleridge, as chairman, represented a name honoured throughout the United States as well as Great Britain — the late Lord Chief Justice. The Bishop of Ripon is a thoroughly popular dignitary of the Church of England, and Dr. Clifford equally represents the best traditions of Nonconformity. Lord Brassey and Sir William Des Voeux spoke as great colonial administrators, and Professor Dicey as one of our most prominent publicists, while Sir Frederick Pollock and Mr. George W. Cable adequately touched the literary traditions of the two countries. Deference was apparently given to the feeling existing in the United States against France at this moment by printing the menu in English — a very rare thing at a banquet at one of our leading hotels, and not achieved, it is understood, without considerable protest on the part of the head cook.

As The Sketch is very widely read in America, it is, perhaps, well to put in tabulated form the leading representatives of Anglo-Saxondom that were present. Dr. Conan Doyle, by the way, sends a protest to the Times against the use of the word Anglo-Saxon, as not including Irish, Welsh, and Highlanders, and makes an appeal for the phrase "Anglo-Celtic." Apart from the fact that there were apparently only two Irishmen present at the banquet, of whom Dr. Conan Doyle was one, the phrase "Anglo-Celtic" would have to include an enormous population which does not know the English tongue — the inhabitants of Brittany, for example, to say nothing of those who, like many Welshmen, Irishmen, and Highlanders, use the English tongue only from commercial compulsion, and have a preference in their heart of hearts for their traditional Gaelic.


  • Lord Coleridge.
  • Earl Grey.
  • Earl of Carlisle.
  • Sir William Des Voeux.
  • Right Hon. Evelyn Ashley.
  • Sir Norman Lockyer.
  • Viscount Powerscourt.
  • Sir Henry S. Cunningham.
  • Sir Walter Besant.
  • Sir George Scott Robertson.
  • Sir Richard Temple.
  • Sir Somers Vine.
  • Sir Frederick Pollock.
  • Lord Kinnaird.
  • Lord Brassey.
  • Sir Walter Peace.
  • Sir Joshua Fitch.
  • Sir T. J. Lipton.
  • Sir Colin Scott Moncrieff.
  • Sir Martin Conway.
  • Sir W. G. Cameron.
  • Sir Lewis McIver.
  • Sir Alexander Moncrief.


  • Bishop of Ripon.
  • Dr. Munro Gibson.
  • Dean of Hereford.
  • Dr. Clifford.
  • Bishop Thoburn.
  • Dr. Brooke Herford.


  • George W. Cable.
  • Mrs. W. K. Clifford.
  • Professor A. V. Dicey.
  • Gelett Burgess.
  • Louis N. Parker.
  • Dr. Aubrey.
  • Joseph Knight.
  • Professor Westlake, Q.C.
  • Mrs. C. N. Williamson.
  • T. C. Thomson.
  • W. G. Sheldon.
  • William Sharp.
  • Percy Bunting.
  • W. H. Hudson.
  • Dr. Conan Doyle.
  • Dr. Garnett.
  • Douglas Sladen.
  • T. Fisher Unwin.
  • Jerome K. Jerome.
  • "Anthony Hope."
  • Julian Ralph.
  • Sidney Lee.
  • H. D. Traill.
  • Miss. Beatrice Harraden.
  • C. F. Keary.
  • P. W. Clayden.
  • Mackenzie Bell.
  • J. Maclaren Cobbam.
  • Mrs. Leighton.
  • James Bowden.


  • Mr. St. Loë Strachey, the Spectator.
  • Mr. Alfred Harmsworth, Daily Mail.
  • Mr. H. W. Massingham, Daily Chronicle.
  • Sir John R. Robinson, Daily News.
  • Mr. W. L. Courtney, Daily Telegraph.
  • Mr. A. W. A'Beckett, Punch.
  • Mr. W. T. Stead, Review of Reviews.
  • Editor of the Illustrated London News.

Dr. Villiers Stanford, Madame Antoinette Sterling, Mr. George Henschel, and Sir Miles Fenton were also present.

Anglo-American Banquet


Friday, June 3rd, 1898.



Toast — "The Queen."

Toast — "The President of the United States"

  • The Chairman.

Toast — "Our Kin beyond the Sea"

  • Proposed by—
    The Lord Bishop of Ripon
  • Supported by—
    The Rt Hon Lord Brassey
  • Responded to by—
    Colonel Taylor (President of the American Society in London) and Sir George William des Voeux, G.C.M.G.)

Toast — "The Old Country"

  • Proposed by—
    Mr R. Newton Crane (Ex President of the American Society in London)
  • Responded to by—
    The Rt Hon Earl Grey

Toast — "Our Common Language and Letters"

  • Proposed by—
    PROFESSOR A. V. Dicey
  • Responded to by—
    Mr George Washington Cable

Toast — "The Chairman"

  • Proposed by—
    Sir Frederick Pollock, Bart