Abstract: The teaching and practice of rhetoric at Trinity College, Dublin, in the eighteenth century have been little discussed in the literature. This article describes the curriculum and pedagogy related to the old and “new rhetoric” of the Scottish enlightenment as disclosed by documents in the archives of Trinity College Library; the published lectures of two Erasmus Smith Professors of Oratory and History, John Lawson and Thomas Leland; and the lectures of Thomas Sheridan on elocution. Minutes of the student historical clubs in which debates and harangues are preserved illustrate the interests of the students, their techniques of debate, and the demonstrative exhortations of their officers. The student orations chronicle the gradual absorption of the principles of the new rhetoric at the College.

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