Thomas Hobbes (portrait, 17th century)

The Thomas Hobbes Society was founded in Malmesbury in 1996 and included in the town council’s list of voluntary associations. It was relaunched as the Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury Society (THoMS) in 2016 with Emeritus Professor Gregory Andrusz as its new chairman.

Its principal aim is to promote the discussion of the ideas of Thomas Hobbes, the historical context in which they were engendered and their influence on subsequent social and political theorising. This is to be achieved through the holding of two annual events. The first one is the Hobbes supper which takes place on the last Friday in November. This is a THoMS members only occasion.

During the course of the supper a guest speaker is invited to give an informal 15-20 minute talk on a general theme associated with Thomas Hobbes and his period.

The second event, which in 2017 took place on 7th October, will normally be held in late Spring or early summer and will from 2018 be an all day programme commencing with lectures and discussions on the life and philosophy of Thomas Hobbes by leading specialists on the subject. The evening will be given over to a miscellany ranging from performances of extracts from Jacobean  and Restoration playwrights, whose wit and cynicism will be adapted to the modern world, to a performance of English baroque music or folk music played on period instruments in one of several venues in the town.

Each year the speakers will talk and lead discussions on a specific theme as diverse as 'Similarities in the Thought of Thomas Hobbes and Niccolo Machiavelli', 'Thomas Hobbes on Sovereignty, Social Order and Civil Strife' and 'Hobbes's Insights into the Human Condition'.



Previous speakers at the
Hobbes Supper

1996        Professor Roger Scruton
1997        Professor J.G.A. Pocock
1998        Dr. Kinch Hoekstra
1999        Cllr. John Bowen
2000       Dr. Noel Malcolm
2001        Dr. Glen Burgess
2002        Professor Terrell Carver
2003        Dr. Christopher Ray
2004        Dr. Keith Robinson
2005        Professor Ray Billington
2006        Mr. Ian Henderson
2007        Mr. Geoff Coram & Mr. Nigel                  Gillhead
2008        Dr. Michael Cuthbert
2009        Dr. Finn Spicer
2010         Dr. Naomi Goulder
2011          Revd. Canon Douglas Holt
2012         Mrs. Jane Hack
2013         Mr. Gerald (Gerry) Merrison
2014         Professor Andrew Stables
2015         Mr. Krys Knopik
2016         Professor Angie Hobbs
2017         Mr. Tony McAleavy
2018 Mr. J0nathan Rée