Chairmen of the Board of Visitors 1710–1964


  1. The President of the Royal Society was automatically Chairman of the Board of Visitors.
  2. George Airy, as Astronomer Royal was constitutionally required to stand down from the Board while President (1871–1873).


List of names of the Presidents

1710–1727        Sir Isaac Newton
1727–1741        Sir Hans Sloane, Bart
1741–1752        Martin Folkes
1752–1764        George, Earl of Macclesfield
1764–1768        James, Earl of Morton (Lord Aberdour)
1768–1768        James (afterwards Sir James) Burrow
1768–1772        James West
1772–1772        James (afterwards Sir James) Burrow
1772–1778        Sir John Pringle, Bart
1778–1820        Sir Joseph Banks, Bart, PC
1820–1820        William Hyde Wollaston
1820–1827        Sir Humphry Davy, Bart
1827–1830        Davies Gilbert (formerly Giddy)
1830–1838        HRH The Duke of Sussex
1838–1848        Joshua Alwyne Compton, Marquess of Northampton
1848–1854        William Parsons, Earl of Rosse
1854–1858        John, Lord Wrottesley
1858–1861        Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, Bart
1861–1871        Sir Edward Sabine, KCB
1871–1873        Sir George Biddell Airy, KCB  – Visitors chaired by President of RAS during this period
1873–1878        Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, OM, GCSI
1878–1883        William Spottiswoode
1883–1885        Thomas Henry Huxley, PC
1885–1890        Sir George Gabriel Stokes, Bart.
1890–1895        Lord Kelvin (Sir William Thomson), PC, OM
1895–1900        Lord Lister, PC, OM
1900–1905        Sir William Huggins, OM, KCB
1905–1908        John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh, PC, OM
1908–1913        Sir Archibald Geikie, OM, KCB
1913–1915        Sir William Crookes, OM
1915–1920        Sir Joseph John Thomson, OM
1920–1925        Sir Charles Scott Sherrington, OM, GBE
1925–1930        Ernest, Lord Rutherford of Nelson, OM
1930–1935        Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, OM
1935–1940        Sir William Henry Bragg, OM, KBE
1940–1945        Sir Henry (Hallett) Dale, OM, GBE
1945–1950        Sir Robert Robinson, OM
1950–1955        Edgar Douglas Adrian (afterwards Lord Adrian, of Cambridge), OM
1955–1960        Sir Cyril (Norman) Hinshelwood, OM
1960–1964        Sir Howard (Walter) Florey (afterwards Lord Florey, of Adelaide and Marston), OM