Society of Antiquaries of London

The official logo of the Society of Antiquaries of London
The Society of Antiquaries of London (SAL) is a learned society "charged by its Royal Charter of 1751 with 'the encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries'."[1] It is based at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London (a building owned by the UK government), and is a registered charity.[2]

Members of the society are known as fellows and are entitled to use the post-nominal letters FSA after their names. Fellows are elected by existing members of the society, and to be elected persons shall be "excelling in the knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other nations" and be "desirous to promote the honour, business and emoluments of the Society."

The society retains a highly selective election procedure, in comparison with many other learned societies. Nominations for fellowship can come only from existing fellows of the society, and must be signed by at least five and up to twelve existing fellows, certifying that, from their personal knowledge, the candidate would make a worthy fellow. Elections then occur by anonymous ballot, and a candidate must achieve a ratio of two 'yes' votes for every 'no' vote cast by fellows participating in the ballot to be elected as a fellow.[3]

Fellowship is thus regarded as recognition of significant achievement in the fields of archaeology, antiquities, history and heritage.

The first secretary for the society was William Stukeley.[4]

As of 2017, the society has a membership of 3,055 fellows.[5]

A precursor organisation, the College of Antiquaries, was founded c. 1586 and functioned largely as a debating society until it was forbidden to do so by King James I in 1614.

The first informal meeting of the modern Society of Antiquaries occurred at the Bear Tavern on The Strand on 5 December 1707.[6] This early group, conceived by John Talman, John Bagford, and Humfrey Wanley, sought a charter from Queen Anne for the study of British antiquities; its projected ventures included a series of 35 books to be issued. The proposal for the society was to be advanced by Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, but his dismissal from government caused it to become idle.[4] The formalisation of proceedings occurred in 1717,[7] the first minutes at the Mitre Tavern, Fleet Street, are dated 1 January 1718. Those attending these meetings examined objects, gave talks, and discussed theories of historical sites. Reports on the dilapidation of significant buildings were also produced. The society was also concerned with the topics of heraldry, genealogy, and historical documents.[4] In 1751, a successful application for a charter of incorporation was sought by its long-serving vice president Joseph Ayloffe,[8] which allowed the society to own property.[4]

This page was last edited on 11 July 2018, at 13:38 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Antiquaries_of_London under CC BY-SA license.

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