Was up at Freemasons’ Hall in London yesterday and popped in to the Freemasonry and the Royal Society Exhibition in the Library and Museum of Freemasonry. The main thrust of it is that many of the founders of the Royal Society were – and perhaps their current members still are – Freemasons, e.g. Elias Ashmole, Desaguliers, etc.
The stated origin of the Royal Society is illuminating to say the least:
The origins of the Royal Society lie in an “invisible college” of natural philosophers who began meeting in the mid-1640s to discuss the ideas of Francis Bacon. Its official foundation date is 28 November 1660, when 12 of them met at Gresham College after a lecture by Christopher Wren, the Gresham Professor of Astronomy, and decided to found ‘a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning’. This group included Wren himself, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, Sir Robert Moray, and William, Viscount Brouncker.
History of the Royal Society
In other words, what we have here is not just a Masonic institution, but a group of individuals who attempted and succeeded to create a society based on the model of the Rosicrucians – i.e. the Invisible College.