image DC_1_1_01
Image number: RS.15103
Credit: ©The Royal Society

First Royal Charter of the Royal Society


15 July 1662


Charles II (1630-1685, British)


Unknown, Artist

Object type

Archive reference number



height (painting): 643mm
width (painting): 868mm


Content object


Top left, inside a calligraphic 'C', is a fine ink and wash portrait of Charles II, surrounded by calligraphic flourishes. In the top centre is the royal coat of arms, flanked by a tulip and carnation in ink and wash. The top border further includes drawings of a plant with fruits, flowers and insects. The eagle whose wing spreads beyond the right-hand border is copied from a model book of birds, Diversae avium species (1654), designed by Francis Barlow, etched by Wenceslaus Hollar and issued by Peter Stent. To the sides are acanthus-style scrolls with floral patterns in ink, wash and body colour. At the bottom left, close to the binding, is a signature of the scribe, 'F. B[eale]'.

The total cost of the Royal Patent was £88 18 s. 8d. to the Royal Society (paid between February and August 1662).

Object history

For the English translation of the Charter, see The Record of the Royal Society of London, 4th edn (London: The Royal Society, 1940), pp. 226-37.

Related Fellows

Charles II (1630-1685, British)

Associated place

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