Victorian London - Entertainment and Recreation - Museums, Public Buildings and Galleries - Royal Society of Literature

ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE, 4, ST. MARTIN'S PLACE, CHARING CROSS. Founded in 1823, "for the advancement of literature," and incorporated by royal charter, Sept. 13th, 1826. George IV. gave 1100 guineas a year to this Society, which has the merit of rescuing the last years of Coleridge's life from complete dependence on a friend, and of placing the learned Dr. Jamieson above the wants and necessities of a man fast sinking to the grave. The annual grant of 1100 guineas was discontinued by William IV., and the Society has since sank into a Transaction Society, with a small but increasing library. The opposition of Sir Walter Scott to the formation of a literary society of this kind was highly injurious to its success. "The immediate and direct favour of the sovereign," says Scott, "is worth the patronage of ten thousand societies."

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

ROYAL SOCIETY OP LITERATURE, 4 St. Martin's Place, was founded in 1823 by the Bishop of Sarum. The object of this Society is the advancement of literature, by the publication of inedited remains of ancient literature, and of such works as may be of great intrinsic value, but not of that popular character which usually claims the attention of publishers. Entrance fee, 31. 3s; annual subscription, 21. 2s. Meetings of the Society on every second and fourth Wednesday from November to June in each year.

Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers, 1865