Founded in 1754 by William Shipley, a drawing‐master from Northampton, supported by Viscount Folkestone and Lord Romney. Its objective was to ‘encourage Arts, Manufactures and Commerce’ and the method was to raise funds by subscription in order to award prizes for useful talents and inventions. The early members included Johnson, Goldsmith, Hogarth, Gibbon, Pitt, Chippendale and Banks. In 1774 it moved into the premises in the Adelphi, built by the Adam brothers, which it has occupied ever since.
Subjects: British History.