Alphabetical List of Fellows of the Royal Society who were Freemasons


Alphabetical List of Fellows of the Royal Society who were Freemasons





This is an attempt to list Fellows of the Royal Society (FRS) who were freemasons.

It was first issued in January 2010 and this second edition is issued in January 2012. Both have been compiled, on behalf of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, by Bruce Hogg, assisted by Diane Clements.

The Royal Societys website includes two lists of Fellows, from A-J and K-Z, with approximately 8000 names recorded for the period 1660-2007. There is no comparable listing of freemasons and their details have been drawn from a variety of sources as described below. This is unlikely to be a complete list of the freemasons who were FRS and any additions and corrections are welcomed and will be added to future updates of this list. Please email with details of these to the Library and Museum at

This list draws on various papers published in the Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (AQC), in the Masonic Year Book Historical Supplement, based on the 2nd edition of that work, published in 1969, with a Supplement in 1976, and Colin Dyers The Grand Stewards and their Lodge (Grand Stewards Lodge, 1985) cited as Dyer. Several references are made to three fairly comprehensive papers, two by J. R. Clarke, The Royal Society and Early Grand Lodge Freemasonry, published in AQC 80 (1967), pp. 110-19 cited as Clarke (1); and The Medical Profession and Early Freemasonry, published in AQC 85 (1972), pp. 298-311 cited as Clarke (2); and one by Trevor Stewart in his 2004 Prestonian Lecture entitled English Speculative Freemasonry: Some Possible Origins, Themes and Developments, published in AQC 117, pp. 116-82 cited as Stewart.

Further background information has been obtained from entries in The Complete Peerage (2nd edn), Burkes Peerage (106th edn, 1999), and from numerous articles in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography cited as ODNB.

All dates are in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. All forenames, so far as possible, have been anglicized. To differentiate between the two rival Grand Lodges between 1751 and the Union in 1813, PGL, signifies the Premier Grand Lodge (nicknamed The Moderns) and AGL the Antient, or Atholl, Grand Lodge. UGLE signifies the United Grand Lodge of England for the period from and after 27 Dec 1813 to date. Two names are quoted as FRS in Clarke (1) but do not appear in the official list of Fellows on the Royal Societys website: the first, William Mears, is quoted by Clarke, pp. 110-1, 117-8 (but possibly a Fellow with a differently spelt surname and with a different forename) and the second, Francis Scott, 2nd Earl of Delorain(e), is quoted by Clarke, p. 118. A third name, Thomas Wright, FRS [allegedly 1735], is quoted by Stewart, p. 163 and also does not appear in the official list. All three have been omitted. In addition, another well-known freemason, William Cowper, Clerk of the Parliaments 1716-40 (1740), Sec to PGL, 1723-27, DepGM 1727, is recorded in MYBHS, pp. 6 & 10, and in Stewart, p. 132, as being a FRS, but he is not included in the List of Fellows on the Royal Societys website.

A list of the lodges, mainly in London, but occasionally elsewhere of which the Masonic FRSs were members were included in their respective papers by Clarke (1) and Stewart, but for the sake of current readers and researchers, the Appendix, Part I, contains what it is hoped to be a comprehensive list, mainly based on John Lane, Masonic Records 1717-1894 (2nd edn, 1895; 2000 reprint) cited as Lane, supplemented by current information based on Directory of Lodges and Chapters, 2006 [UGLE, 2006] cited as DLC. The Appendix, Part II, contains a list of abbreviations found in this study, which it is hoped will assist the non-masons to understand the various honours, ranks or offices included in the text that were bestowed on many of the Masonic FRSs and others mentioned.

To save a certain amount of space, many abbreviations have been used in this study, the vast majority of which are listed in Part II of the Appendix.



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