The Askesian Society — was a debating club for scientific thinkers in London (1796-1807). The name was taken from the Greek term Askesis, meaning 'training' or 'application'.
It was founded by William Allen, who allowed the use of his laboratory at No. 2 Plough Court for the Society's scientific experiments. The other two principal founders were Richard Phillips and William Haseldine Pepys, both Quakers from the Lombard Street area.
The club was formed to fill the void after the departure of Bryan Higgins and his chemistry lectures.
They often held theatres for "laughing gas evenings", where members would watch as fellows would sup nitrous oxide and stumble around the stage.
- Richard Hamblyn - The Invention of Clouds (2001) ISBN 0-330-39194-1
- Torrens H. S. The Askesian Society and the British mineralogists. In. The making of the Geological Society of London. London: GSL,2009. P. 135-141