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Royal Society founded 1660 Gresham College and Arundel House

The Royal Society’s motto, is a great mission statement:

 ‘Nullius in verba’ roughly translates as ‘take nobody’s word for it’.

The Enlightenment was possible because of the advances made by individuals in thinking and founding the fundamentals of science and the philosophy of scientific method and analysis. In England the Royal Society had been informally meeting since the 1640’s as a group of like-minded souls and intellectuals. The founding group including one ‘Christopher Wren’ accompanied by 11 others when they formally first met 28 Nov 1660, including Robert Boyle. Wren whilst famous for his architecture was at this time the Gresham’s Professor of Astronomy.

The Society was founded here but would move several times in its history, as you will see with our series of linked posts on this subject. The 12 had gathered with the purpose;

‘found a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning’. 

  • Sir Robert Moray ,one of the founding 12,  informed King Charles II securing his support and approval
  • Society name adopted in 1661, and Royal Charter 1663
  • from the weekly meetings and discussions of scientific matters, experiments and topics, a lirary was soon started and the collections commenced at Gresham
  • After the fire of 1666, it was relocated for some years to Arundel House
  • Members had to be elected and certificates were established and ad to be sponsored by existing members to gain election to the society.
  • This was the start of a great community and forum for advancing scientific thought and progress
Were any of your relatives ever members of the Royal Society? There is more history of the Society contained on the Society’s site, our interest is its significance in creating the firmament that was to spark the period of the enlightenment and some of the colourful characters and inspiring minds who were fellows, members and would significantly impact on what we know of our world creating a path towards not only the Enlightenment but also the Industrial Revolution
Gresham College has been giving lectures for over 400 years: supported by the Lord Mayor as President and the City of London Corporation, Gresham continues to host free lectures for the public in a number of core disciplines
, for more information including a lively historical strand see the Gresham College site and lecture programme