lost notes of royal society

Wow. The 1661-1682 minutes of The Royal Society were found in a Hampshire home and are up for auction at Bonhams on the 28th of March. They’re expected to fetch a million pounds, which the Royal Society doesn’t have.

The unnamed family in whose home they were found didn’t know what they had, and claim the notes have been been in the family for as long as they can remember.

I find it a bit distasteful that these important records are going up for auction without giving the RS time to raise funds and/or to study them thoroughly. I hope someone comes through with the dosh and bequeaths them back to the source.

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3 responses to “lost notes of royal society

  1. I would sell my first born to get my hands on or even run my eyes over those documents. Sadly, I’ve borne no saleable offspring and cannot afford to be the fairy godmother the RS needs. However, this does not stop me from salivating over them. I want to read Hooke’s report on Margaret Cavendish, the duchess of Newcastle’s visit to the RS. The known, surviving reports of that visit focus on her sartorial eccentricities, so I’d really love to know what Hooke has to say about the occasion.

  2. Who says the Royal Society can’t afford it? Every year the RS has a surplus of income over expenditure of more than £2million. It has tens of millions of income from bequests and trusts. The question is not whether the RS can afford the document but how much it wants it.

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