A literary party at Sir Joshua Reynolds’s’
by D. George Thompson, engraving 1851
NPG D14518
(CC licence)

The Society holds regular meetings throughout the year, comprising a lunch followed by a speaker. These are held at various locations across the UK, but the usual venues are Lichfield (March), London (May), Edinburgh (August), Bath (October) and Auchinleck House (November).

The London meeting is usually held in mid-May, in memory of the meeting of James Boswell and Samuel Johnson in Thomas Davies’s bookshop in Covent Garden on 16th May 1763. The Auchinleck meeting is timed around the date of Boswell’s birth on 29th October 1740. The Presidential Address is traditionally given at this meeting.

Details of upcoming meetings are listed in the latest Newsletter for Spring 2021.

Due to the current Covid restrictions, the next meeting of the Society, in May 2021, will be conducted via Zoom. Further details will be provided to members nearer the time.

Past Meetings & Speakers

2 March 2020 (Lichfield): Professor Gordon Turnbull, Yale, ‘Boswell, Burns and Alexander (“wee”) Millar: The Battle for the Parish of Kilmaurs’

12 October 2019 (Bath): Professor Norma Clarke, London University, ‘Boswell and The Club’ 

23 August, 2019 (Balmuto Castle, Fife): Dr Andrew Boswell, ‘The Life and Times of Thomas Boswell (1483-1513)’
[a video recording of this talk is available here]

2 March 2019 (Lichfield): Professor Jerry White, ‘Debt and the Marshalsea in Boswell’s London’

24 October 2018 (Auchinleck), Dr Ralph McLean, ‘James Boswell and the National Library of Scotland’

24 August 2018 (Edinburgh): Sonia Anderson, ‘James Boswell and Sir Alexander Dick of Prestonfield’ 

2 March 2018 (Lichfield): Joanne Wilson, ‘Boswell’s Bookcase: exploring Johnson’s biographer in the Birthplace collection’

25 October 2017 (Auchinleck): Professor Christopher A. Whatley, ‘The Scots and the Union: Then and Now’

7 October 2017 (Bath): David R. Boswell, ‘A Genealogical Chase’

27 September 2017 (Edinburgh): Roger Craik QC, ‘Boswell’s Children’

2 March 2017 (Lichfield): Dr Graham Nicholls, ‘Boswell and Johnson: the end of the friendship’

26 October 2016 (Auchinleck): Dr Susan Rennie, ‘Boswell’s Dictionary of Scots’

15 October 2016 (Bath): Michael Bundock, ‘The Fortunes of Francis Barber’

28 October 2015 (Auchinleck): Mark McLean, ‘The Friendship between Lord Hailes and James Boswell’

17 October 2015 (Bath): Eric Christen, ‘Boswell’s Visit to Rousseau Motiers December 1764’

16 May 2015 (London): Dr Cecil Courtney, ‘Belle de Zuylen and James Boswell’

2004–2005: Luncheon at Auchinleck House celebrating half a millenium of Boswell of Auchinleck, 1504-2004