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The ‘Historical Society of Science’, 1841

Nature volume 130, pages 429430 (17 September 1932) | Download Citation



IN Isis for July 1932, Mr. H. W. Dickinson gives an account of the Historical Society of Science founded in London in 1840 by J. O. Halliwell and Thomas Wright. Halliwell, who was born in Chelsea on June 21, 1820, and died near Brighton on Jan. 3, 1889, was a most remarkable man, and even as a boy had a passion for collecting MSS. He matriculated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1837, and before he was twenty years old had written a life of Samuel Morland and edited Sir John Mandeville's “Travels”. In 1839 he was elected F.S.A. and F.R.S. The prospectus of the short-lived society for the study of the history of science said that its object was “to render materials for the history of the Sciences accessible to the general reader, by the publication of manuscripts, or the reprinting of very rare works connected with their origin and progress in this country and abroad”. The Duke of Sussex became the president of the Society, and on the council were de Morgan, Palgrave, Baden Powell, Gardner Wilkinson, Prof. Robert Willis, and others. But though its start was an auspicious one, the Society had but a short life and came to an end within a year. Halliwell—or Halliwell-Phillipps as he was called in later life—was a great writer on Shakespeare. He arranged and described the Stratford-on-Avon archives and initiated the movement for the purchase of the site of New Place, Shakespeare's residence there.

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