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Founders of the Royal Institution of Great Britain


25 People in sitter grouping:

Founded in 1779 by the leading scientists of the day, the Royal Institution of Great Britain was established for the advancement of scientific research and discovery and for 'the application of science to the common purposes of life'. In the same year, George Finch, 8th Earl of Winchilsea was elected the institution's first president to advocate the sciences and new technologies to the general public. 21 Albemarle Street was acquired in 1799 to provide laboratories, lecture theatres and living quarters. In 1810, it became a public institution through an Act of Parliament and today, anyone is eligible for membership, with no academic or annual subscription required. In 1825, Michael Faraday delivered the first series of Christmas lectures, aimed at introducing science to 'a juvenile auditory'. These series of lectures with demonstrations would became a distinctive and enduring feature of the institution.

George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer

George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer

1758-1834
First Lord of the Admiralty
Sitter associated with 31 portraits
Samuel Wesley

Samuel Wesley

1766-1837
Composer and organist; nephew of John Wesley
Sitter in 2 portraits
William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce

1759-1833
Philanthropist and reformer
Sitter associated with 33 portraits
George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea

George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea

1752-1826
Cricket patron and promoter and first president of the Royal Institution
Sitter in 1 portrait
Thomas Young

Thomas Young

1773-1829
Physician, physicist and Egyptologist
Sitter associated with 7 portraits

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