Artefact of the month July 2013 - Minutes of the First meeting of ZSL Council
July is the anniversary month of both the birth and death of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, founder of ZSL and our first President. We are featuring an item from ZSL's Archives, the minutes of the first meeting of ZSL's Council. This was the only Council meeting attended by Raffles as he died soon afterwards.
Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles was born July 1781. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Java and founded Singapore. On his return to England he helped to found the Zoological Society of London(ZSL) and became the first president of the Society.
This first meeting of the newly formed Council was held on May 5th 1826 with Raffles in the Chair as President. The meeting consisted of plans to organise the Society such as electing Vice-Presidents and forming Committees including a Committee for the formation of a Library.
The minutes are signed by Raffles.
The other members of Council attending the meeting were:
Earl of Egremont
Earl of Darnley
Sir Everard Home
J. G. Children
Mr Charles Baring Wall
In a subsequent meeting on April 3 1827 Council agreed to admit `Lady Fellows' to the Society, an important decision as it was so unusual at that time for women to be able to join learned societies. ZSL encouraged womens' interest in zoology from a very early time and continues to encourage the interest of women in zoology and other sciences. Join us for Soapbox Science at the Southbank - some of the UK’s best scientific brains will take to the street on Friday the 5th of July, from 12pm to 3pm for Soapbox Science, a one day event organised by the Zoological Society of London Soapbox Science speaker biographies 2013 .
The minutes of Council are an important continuous record of ZSL's activities since 1826, these are perhaps the most important of the records in ZSL's Archives as they detail the decision-making of the Council of Fellows that run the Society.
We have remembered Raffles in previous `July Artefacts' :
Memoir of the life and public services of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, F.R.S. &c. particularly in the government of Java, 1811-1816, and of Bencoolen and its dependencies, 1817-1824, with details of the commerce and resources of the Eastern Archipelago, and selections from his correspondence / by his widow. (see the July 2012 Artefact)
Plaque in memory of Sir Stamford Raffles (see the July 2011 artefact)
Raffles letter to Sir Everard Home (see the July 2010 Artefact) .
History of Java (see the July 2009 Artefact) .
Portrait of Sir Stamford Raffles by Sir James Lonsdale (see the July 2007 Artefact) .
ZSL's Archives form part of the `special collections' of ZSL Library, you are welcome to visit and consult/view them but an appointment is necessary Library Regulations for Special Collections (96 KB)Please email email@example.com or telephone 020 447 6293 to make an appointment.
Many resources are available in the Library and no appointment is necessary to use these, however if you are a ZSL member please bring your membership card. Non-members will need proof of address and photographic ID if you are not already a member of ZSL.