Royal Society

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The Royal Society AKA The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge

In November 1660, Sir Robert Moray requested a Royal Charter from King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London" influenced by Francis Bacon; based on the memberships of both Robert Boyle's Invisible College and John Wilkins 1645 Club AKA The Physico-Mathematical Experimental Learning at Gresham College, 1600;

included: Robert Hooke; William Petty; John Wilkins; Henry Oldenburg (Secretary, Royal Society); Samuel Pepys; Samuel Cowper; Christopher Wren; John Aubrey; Edmond Halley; Isaac Newton; Christiaan Huygens; Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz; Henry Oldenburg; Jonathan Goddard; William Petty; Paul Neile, astronomer;

Similar to the earlier The Philosophical Society of Oxford, the Oxford Experimental Philosophy Club, The "1660 Club of 12" before the Charter was granted.

While a center for Mathematics, Astronomy and all Mechanical Arts, the Society was also the hub of Alchemy in Court as well.

Quote: John Wallis traces the beginnings of the Royal Society to meetings held in London in 1645. "In that year," he writes, "there had sprung up an association of certain worthy persons inquisitive in Natural Philosophy, who met together, first in London, for the investigation of what was called the new or experimental philosophy, and afterwards several of the more influential of the members, about 1648 or 1649, finding London too much distracted by civil commotions, commenced holding their meetings in Oxford." Among those who removed to Oxford were, "first, Dr Wilkins, then I, and soon after Dr Goddard (aka Jonathan Goddard), whereupon our company divided. Those at London (and we when we had occasion to be there) met as before. Those of us at Oxford, with Dr Ward (aka Dr. Seth Ward, Bishop of Salisbury), Dr Petty (aka William Petty), and many others of the most inquisitive persons in Oxford, met weekly for some years at Dr Petty's lodgings, on the like account, to wit, so long as Dr Petty continued in Oxford, and for some while after, because of the conveniences we had there (being the house of an apothecary) to view and make use of drugs, and other like matters as there was occasion (think Alchemy). We did afterwards (Dr Petty being gone to Ireland and our numbers growing less) remove thence, and (some years before his Majesty's return) did meet at Dr Wilkin's (aka John Wilkins) lodgings in Wadham College." John Aubrey; Thomas Sprat aka Pindarick Sprat, Bishop of Rochester and Chaplain to King Charles II and Dr Walter Pope, his half-brother all differ slightly in their tales of the Origin, but all acclaim John Wilkins. Robert Boyle was a latecomer to The Invisible College, but a founding member of the Royal Society (aka the Philosophical Club) which followed, and to which he introduced his master mechanic, Dr. Robert Hooke. Other early members were Dr. Ralph Bathurst; Mr Matthew Wren; Dr Christopher Wren ; Lawrence Rooke (aka Laurence Rooke), astronomer, (1622–1662); Anthony Wood; Benjamin Woodroffe;

On November 28, 1660, the Invisible College was embodied, and became a tangible reality. At a meeting held in Gresham College, twelve persons of eminence in science and in other ways "formed the design," as the first Journal Book of the Royal Society records, "of founding a College for the promotion of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning."* quotes in The Life and Times of John Wilkins, by Patrick A. Wright-Henderson, 1910