Text of the Warrant setting up the Board of Visitors (1710)

To our Trusty and Well-beloved the President of the Royal Society for the time being




Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. Whereas we have been given to understand that it would contribute very much to the improvement of Astronomy and Navigation, if we should appoint constant Visitors of our Royal Observatory at Greenwich, with sufficient powers for the due execution of that trust; we have therefore thought fit, in consideration of the great learning, experience, and other necessary qualifications of our Royal Society, to constitute and appoint, as we do by these presents constitute and appoint, you, the President, and in your absence the Vice-President, of our Royal Society for the time being, together with such others as the Council of our said Royal Society shall think fit to join with you, to be constant Visitors of our said Royal Observatory at Greenwich: authorising and requiring you to demand of our Astronomer and Keeper of our said Observatory, for the time being, to deliver to you, within six months after every year shall be elapsed, a true and fair copy of the annual observations he shall have made. And our further will and pleasure is, that you do likewise, from time to time, order and direct our said Astronomer and Keeper of our said Royal Observatory, to make such Astronomical Observations as you in your judgment shall think proper. And that you do survey and inspect our Instruments in our said Observatory; and as often as you shall find any of them defective, that you do inform the principal officers of our Ordnance thereof; that so the said instrument may be either exchanged or repaired. And for so doing this shall be your warrant. And so we bid you farewell. Given at our Court of St. James's, the 12th day of December, 1710, in the ninth year of our reign.

By her Majesty's command, H. St. John.