The Society was established by a Royal Charter, awarded on 29 March 1783, with a Supplementary Charter awarded 22 April 2019, and is governed by a set of Laws, most recently updated by agreement of the Fellows on 30 November 2022.
The original Royal Charter of the Society can be found in the Society offices. A transcription of the Latin is available here:
The original Supplementary Charter of the Society can be found in the Society offices. The wording is available here:
The Royal Charter states that the Society “will order itself and its course of actions and its business in accordance with the statutes, ordinances, rules and byelaws made or to be made by it, with the power from day to day as need arises of changing and revoking the same and making new ordinances in their place as they shall judge suitable and convenient, provided they are just, good and equitable, and so long as they are in no particular contrary to the laws of this kingdom.” To that end the Society has a set of Laws (see right) that govern how the Society operates and describes out, for example, how to become a member, how subscriptions are set, and how members are elected to Council.
Council have agreed a process to support Law 8, the removal of any Fellow whose actions or behaviour might in the opinion of Council bring the Society into disrepute. This can be downloaded as a PDF here.
The Laws of the Society, as agreed by Fellows at the Anniversary Meeting on 30 November 2022 are as follows:
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