History of the Royal Society of London

Sprat, T.

full facsimile text available at Google Books

Despite its title, this book doesn't have much history because it was published in 1667, only seven years after the Society was founded. Thomas Sprat, at the time canon of Lincoln Cathedral, was a founding member whose charge was to explain the Society's purpose and the standards of the new philosophy based on empirical data and reasoning, what we now call science.

On the fronispiece:

on the left with the books is Prince Rupert, the Society's third founding member and its president when the volume was published. He was a favorite of newly restored Charles II in the center.

On the right, pointing to the scientific instruments, is the "Renovator of the Arts", Francis Bacon.

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