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Abstract

Under the 1824–1826 presidency of William Buckland, the still young Geological Society negotiated with the Government a very important advance in terms of the official recognition of the Society and the emerging science of geology that the Society represented, by obtaining a prestigious new legal status in the form of a Royal Charter of Incorporation. Then, under William Fitton’s presidency, in 1828 the government granted the Society rent-free accommodation for both its meetings and its rapidly growing library and museum in the government offices in Somerset House, London. The objectives behind these two related moves are considered, although it is unfortunate that little of the detailed background documentation to these developments seem to have been preserved within either Society or government records. A brief account of what might have been – the possibility of seeking a Coat of Arms for the newly Chartered Society – concludes the story.

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