The British Learned Society: A History from 1660 onward

Monday, February 3, 2020 - 17:15
Contact person
Dr Cristina Neagu
01865 276265
Talk / Lecture

Monday, 3 February 2020, at 5: 15 pm
Christ Church Upper Library

We would like to invite you to another in a series of Upper Library talks by Allan Chapman

By 1660, several European Academies had come into and passed out of existence, being largely Courtly bodies created by a Royal or noble personage.  Yet when the Royal Society of London was established in 1660, it had to pay its own way, and run its own affairs, as its Patron, HM King Charles II, was broke.  The Fellows were described in 1667 as 'Gentlemen, Free and Unconfin'd'; or in other words, doing their own thing.  Modelled on the egalitarian 'Fellowship' pattern of the Oxbridge Colleges, the Royal Society set a precedent later followed by the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Academy, the Geological, Astronomical, and Meteorological  Societies, and so on.  Monarchs bestowed Royal Charters, and Loyal Toasts were drunk at Society dinners, but otherwise the Fellows pursued their own course.  In this 200th anniversary year of the Royal Astronomical Society, the lecture will examine how this circumstance came into being, and still continues to flourish today.

All are welcome. The event is free of charge, but spaces are limited. To book a place, please contact the Keeper of Special Collections at Christ Church.