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SAMUEL PEPYS AND THE ROYAL SOCIETY

Nature volume 71, pages 415416 (02 March 1905) | Download Citation

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Abstract

MAGDALENE COLLEGE, Cambridge, with which the name of Samuel Pepys is indissolubly associated, held in his memory at the college on Thursday last, his birthday, a reunion which may become an annual event. Some of the institutions with which he was more especially connected were invited to send delegates to this gathering. Thus the Royal Society was represented by one of its secretaries and its foreign secretary. From the immortal Diary it appears that the first proposal that Pepys should join that Society was made to him in the spring of the year 1662 by his friend Dr. Timothy Clerke, who offered to bring him “into the College of Virtuosos and my Lord Brouncker's [P.R.S.] acquaintance, and to show me some anatomy; which makes me very glad, and I shall endeavour it when I come to London.” Two years, however, elapsed before his election. From the minute-books of the Society it appears that he was unanimously elected and admitted on the same day (February 15, 1664)—a rapidity of procedure which contrasts with the much more leisurely action of the present day. He records that he “was this day admitted by signing a book and being taken by the hand bv the President, my Lord Brunkard, and some words of admittance said to me. But it is a most acceptable thing to hear their discourse and see their experiments. … After this being done they to the Crowne Taverne; behind the 'Change, and there my Lord and most of the company to a club-supper.”

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https://doi.org/10.1038/071415c0

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