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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

XV. The Progress of Science

§ 16. Origin and Beginnings of the Royal Society

It was men such as these that re-established the Royal Society in 1660. Exactly a century earlier, the first scientific society, the Academia Secretorum Naturae of Naples had its origin. This was followed by several others, most of them but short-lived, in Italy and in France. Among English or Teutonic folk, the Royal Society was the earliest to appear, and, even if we include the scientific societies of the world, it has had the most continuous existence. Indeed, before its birth, it underwent a long period of incubation, and its inception was in reality in 1645. At that date, a society known as the Philosophical, or, as Boyle called it, the “Invisible,” college came into being, which met from time to time at Gresham college and elsewhere in London. During the civil war, this society was split in two, some members meeting in London, some at Oxford, but the meetings, wherever held, were at irregular intervals. On the restoration, the meetings were resumed in London and, in 1662, the society received the royal charter.