THE BOARD OF VISITORS OF THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH.
TRUSTY and well-beloved, We greet you well. Whereas We did by Warrant under Our Royal Sign Manual, bearing date the 27th day of January in the first year of Our Reign, constitute and appoint the President of the Royal Society for the time being, and the President of the Royal Astronomical Society for the time being, together with certain other persons therein named and described, to be regular Visitors of Our Royal Observatory at Greenwich. Now know ye, that We have revoked and determined, and do by these presents revoke and determine, the said appointment, and every clause, article, and thing therein contained. And further know ye, that 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 execution of that trust. We have therefore thought fit, in consideration of the great learning and experience, and other necessary qualifications of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society, to constitute and appoint, as We do by these presents constitute and appoint, you
The President for the time being of the Royal Society,
The President for the time being of the Royal Astronomical Society,
together with Our trusty and well-beloved,
William Earl of Rosse,
Sir John William Lubbock, Baronet,
Rear-Admiral William Henry Smyth,
The Very Reverend George Peacock, Doctor in Divinity, Dean of Ely,
The Reverend William Whewell, Doctor in Divinity, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge,
Major-General Edward Sabine,
Fellows of the Royal Society;
The Lord Wrottesley,
Charles Babbage, Esq.,
Samuel Hunter Christie, Esq.,
Manuel J. Johnson, Esq.,
Sir John Frederic William Herschel, Baronet,
John Couch Adams, Esq.,
Fellows of the Royal Astronomical Society;
Sir James South, Knight,
the Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford for the time being,
the Plumian Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge for the time being,
the Hydrographer of' Our Navy for the time being,
to be regular Visitors of Our Royal Observatory at Greenwich during Our pleasure; provided always, that neither the Astronomer Royal for the time being, nor any of his Assistants, shall be a Visitor of Our said Royal Observatory. And We do authorize and require you from time to time to order and direct Our said Astronomer and Keeper of Our said Royal Observatory to make such Astronomical Observations and calculations 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 any shall be found detective or insufficient for the present wants of Astronomy, 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 either be exchanged or repaired or new ones may be procured. And that you do from time to time make such suggestions and representations to Our Lord High Admiral or to the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral, touching the said Observatory, and its library and instruments, the observations and calculations, as shall, in your judgment, be conducive to the credit of Our Observatory and to the promotion of astronomical and nautical science.
And Our further will and pleasure is, that Our Astronomer and Keeper of the said Observatory for the time being do deliver to you every three months, if required by you, in writing, under the hand of your chairman, a true and fair copy of all the observations he shall have made, and of all the calculations relating to those or other observations made at Our said Observatory. And that such number of copies of the said observations and calculations be printed as Our Lord High Admiral or the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord
High Admiral shall consider expedient. And when Our said Astronomer and the Councils of the said Royal Society and Royal Astronomical Society shall have been supplied with as many copies as they may desire to distribute for the benefit of science, the remainder shall be sold at such price as Our Lord High Admiral or the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral shall fix.
And Our further will and pleasure is, that you do meet annually at Our said Observatory on the first Saturday in the month of June, and at such other times as may seem expedient to the President of the Royal Society (being a Visitor), or if not, to Our Lord High Admiral, or the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral. And that at such meeting the President of the Royal Society (being a Visitor) shall take the chair, or in his absence the President of the Royal Astronomical Society (being a Visitor), or in the absence of both the said Presidents, that the members present shall elect a chairman for the time being among themselves. And that at every such meeting seven members shall form a quorum.
And Our further will and pleasure is, that you be empowered to appoint a Secretary, who shall perform the usual duties of Secretary at your meetings, and shall take charge of your books and papers, and shall receive for his trouble such stipend as to Our Lord High Admiral, or to the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral, shall seem fit. And also that our said Lord High Admiral or Commissioners shall be empowered to pay such sums as they may think proper, in the nature of reimbursement of travelling expenses, to such of the Visitors as usually reside at a greater distance than ten miles from Our said Royal Observatory.
And our further will and pleasure is, that if any one of Our Visitors (not being such by virtue of his office) shall not attend the Annual Meeting for three successive years without assigning such an excuse for his absence as shall be deemed sufficient by a majority of Our Visitors present at a meeting, he shall cease to be a Visitor; and as often as a vacancy shall occur in the lists of Visitors selected from the Fellows of the Royal Society or of the Royal Astronomical Society, by death, resignation, or otherwise, the same shall be filled up by the President of the Society (being a Visitor), in whose list such vacancy may have happened, from the Fellows of that Society, but if such President be not a Visitor, the appointment shall he made by the Council of the Society of which he is President from the Fellows thereof. And for so doing this shall be your Warrant. And so We bid you farewell.
Given at, Our Court at St James’s, the Fifth day of June 1858 in the Twenty-first Year of our reign
By Her Majesty’s Command (signed) S.H.WALPOLE
To Our trusty and well-beloved the President of the Royal Society, the President of the Royal Astronomical Society, and the other persons herein appointed Visitors of Our Royal Observatory of Greenwich.