Text of the Warrant reconstituting the Visitors (1820)

George R.


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 regular 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 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 the said Royal Society shall from time to time think fit to join with you, to be regular Visitors of our said Royal Observatory at Greenwich during our pleasure, authorizing 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 our Lord High Admiral, or the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral, that so the said instruments 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 at Carlton House, the nineteenth day of May, 1820, in the first year of our reign.


By his Majesty's Command,



To our Trusty and Well-Beloved, The President of our Royal Society for the time being.