Founding members

The first meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh took place in the Old Library of Edinburgh University on Monday 23 June 1783. It was decided that all members of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh should automatically become Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Its inception included 179 founding members of the Society who could be defined as the ‘original fellows’.

RSE founder’s medal inscribed to James Flint in 1783 | © Stewart Attwood 2023

William Cullen, Alexander Monro, and William Robertson were instrumental in obtaining the Royal Charter in 1783.

List of founding Fellow

  1. Alexander Abercromby, Lord Abercromby
  2. William Alexander
  3. John Amyatt
  4. James Anderson
  5. John Anderson
  6. Thomas Anderson
  7. Archibald Arthur
  8. William Macleod Bannatyne, formerly Macleod, Lord Bannatyne
  9. William Barron (or Baron)
  10. James Beattie
  11. Giovanni Battista Beccaria
  12. Benjamin Bell of Hunthill
  13. Joseph Black
  14. Hugh Blair
  15. James Hunter Blair (until 1777, Hunter)
  16. Robert Blair, Lord Avontoun
  17. Gilbert Blane of Blanefield
  18. Auguste Denis Fougeroux de Bondaroy
  19. Ebenezer Brownrigg
  20. John Bruce of Grangehill and Falkland
  21. Robert Bruce of Kennet, Lord Kennet
  22. Patrick Brydone
  23. James Byres of Tonley
  24. George Campbell
  25. John Fletcher- Campbell (until 1779 Fletcher)
  26. John Campbell of Stonefield, Lord Stonefield
  27. Ilay Campbell, Lord Succoth
  28. Petrus Camper
  29. Giovanni Battista Carburi
  30. Alexander Carlyle
  31. John Chalmers
  32. William Chalmers
  33. John Clerk of Eldin
  34. John Clerk of Pennycuik
  35. John Cook of Newburn
  36. Patrick Copland
  37. William Craig, Lord Craig
  38. Lorentz Florenz Frederick Von Crell
  39. Andrew Crosbie of Holm
  40. Henry Cullen
  41. William Cullen
  42. Robert Cullen, Lord Cullen
  43. Alexander Cumming
  44. Patrick Cumming (Cumin)
  45. John Dalrymple of Cousland and Cranstoun, or Dalrymple Hamilton MacGill
  46. Andrew Dalzel (Dalziel)
  47. John Davidson of Stewartfield and Haltree
  48. Alexander Dick of Prestonfield
  49. Alexander Donaldson
  50. James Dunbar
  51. Andrew Duncan
  52. Robert Dundas of Arniston
  53. Robert Dundas, Lord Arniston
  54. Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville
  55. James Edgar
  56. James Edmonstone of Newton
  57. David Erskine
  58. Adam Ferguson
  59. James Ferguson of Pitfour
  60. Adam Fergusson of Kilkerran
  61. George Fergusson, Lord Hermand
  62. Robert Findlay
  63. James Flint
  64. William Forbes of Pitsligo and Monymusk
  65. Benjamin Franklin
  66. William Franklin
  67. Andrew Frazer (Fraser)
  68. Alexander Garden
  69. John Gardiner (Gardner)
  70. Alexander Gerard
  71. James Gillespie
  72. Thomas Gordon
  73. Cosmo Gordon of Cluny
  74. James Grant of Grant
  75. James Gregory
  76. John Grieve
  77. Henry Grieve
  78. Matthew Guthrie
  79. William Hamilton
  80. Robert Hamilton
  81. Robert Hamilton
  82. Alexander Hamilton
  83. James Hamilton
  84. Robert Henry
  85. George Buchan-Hepburn of Smeaton Hepburn (until 1764 Buchan)
  86. George Hill
  87. John Hill
  88. Francis Home
  89. John Home
  90. George Home of Wedderburn & Paxton
  91. John Hope
  92. David Hume of Ninewells
  93. John Hunter
  94. Andrew Hunter of Barjarg
  95. James Hutton
  96. William Irvine
  97. George Jardine
  98. Alexander Keith of Ravelston and Dunottar
  99. Louis F. de Lauraguais (Lauragais),
  100. Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
  101. John Leslie
  102. James Lind
  103. James Lind
  104. John Logan
  105. William Lothian
  106. Andrew Lumsden (Lumisden)
  107. John Macfarlan of Ballancleroch, (until 1765 Warden)
  108. John Macgowan
  109. Henry Mackenzie
  110. James Stuart- Mackenzie
  111. John Maclaurin, Lord Dreghorn
  112. Roderick Macleod
  113. Hugh Macleod
  114. Allan Maconochie of Kirknewton, Lord Meadowbank
  115. John Main
  116. George Clerk- Maxwell of Penicuik (until his marriage, Clerk)
  117. Joseph McCormick (M’Cormick)
  118. William Miller of Glenlee, Lord Glenlee
  119. Thomas Miller, Lord Barskimming 1766-88, Lord Glenlee 1789-
  120. John Moir
  121. David Stuart (Steuart) Moncreiff of Moredun
  122. Donald Monro
  123. Alexander Monro of Craiglockhart and Cockburn
  124. James William Montgomery of Stanhope
  125. William Morehead of Herbertshire
  126. John Mortland (Morthland) of Rindmuir
  127. John Mudie
  128. William Nairne of Dunsinnan, Lord Dunsinnan
  129. Fletcher Norton
  130. William Ogilvie
  131. John Playfair
  132. John Pringle
  133. Mark Pringle of Haining and Clifton
  134. David Rae of Eskgrove, Lord Eskgrove
  135. Thomas Reid
  136. William Richardson
  137. Thomas Robertson
  138. William Robertson
  139. James Robertson
  140. William Robertson, Lord Robertson
  141. John Robison
  142. John Roebuck of Kinneil
  143. John Rogerson
  144. Adam Rolland of Gask
  145. John Ross
  146. James Russell
  147. John Russell
  148. Daniel Rutherford
  149. Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch
  150. George Skene
  151. Robert Small
  152. William Smellie
  153. Adam Smith
  154. Hary Spens
  155. John Stedman (Steedman)
  156. Edward Stevens
  157. Alexander Stevenson
  158. Matthew Stewart
  159. Dugald Stewart
  160. John Stewart (Steuart)
  161. John Stuart
  162. Charles Stuart
  163. George Stuart
  164. John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute
  165. Jean Joseph Sue
  166. William Traill (Trail)
  167. William Tytler of Woodhouselee
  168. Alexander Fraser Tytler of Woodhouselee(1792), Lord Woodhouselee
  169. James Veitch of Elliock, Lord Elliock
  170. Nicholas Vilant
  171. John Walker
  172. George Wallace
  173. Andrew Wardrop
  174. James Williamson
  175. Alexander Wilson
  176. Charles Wilson
  177. Patrick (Peter) Wilson
  178. William Wright
  179. John Young

Other history of the RSE