The Welsh Marches is an imprecisely defined area along the border between England and Wales in the United Kingdom. The precise meaning of the term has varied at different periods; the English term Welsh March was used in the Middle Ages to denote the marches between England and the Principality of Wales, in which Marcher lords had specific rights, exercised to some extent independently of the king of England. In modern usage, "the Marches" is used to describe those English counties which lie along the border with Wales Shropshire and Herefordshire, sometimes adjoining areas of Wales. However, at one time the Marches included all of the historic counties of Cheshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. After the decline and fall of the Roman Empire which occupied Britain until about AD 410, the area, now Wales comprised a number of separate Romano-British kingdoms, including Powys in the east. Over the next few centuries, the Angles and others conquered and settled in eastern and southern Britain.
The kingdom of Mercia, under Penda, became established around Lichfield, established strong alliances with the Welsh kings. However, his successors sought to expand Mercia further westwards into what is now Cheshire and Herefordshire. Campaigns and raids from Powys led around about AD 820, to the building of Wat's Dyke, a boundary earthwork extending from the Severn valley near Oswestry to the Dee estuary; as the power of Mercia grew, a string of garrisoned market towns such as Shrewsbury and Hereford defined the borderlands as much as Offa's Dyke, a stronger and longer boundary earthwork erected by order of Offa of Mercia between AD 757 and 796. The Dyke still exists, can best be seen at Knighton, close to the modern border between England and Wales. In the centuries which followed, Offa's Dyke remained the frontier between the Welsh and English. Athelstan seen as the first king of a united England, summoned the British kings to a meeting at Hereford in AD 926, according to William of Malmesbury laid down the boundary between Wales and England the disputed southern stretch where he specified that the River Wye should form the boundary.
By the mid-eleventh century, Wales was united under Gruffudd ap Llywelyn of Gwynedd, until his death in 1063. After the Norman Conquest, King William of England installed three of his most trusted confidants, Hugh d'Avranches, Roger de Montgomerie, William FitzOsbern, as Earls of Chester and Hereford with responsibilities for containing and subduing the Welsh; the process was never permanently effective. The term "March of Wales" was first used in the Domesday Book of 1086. Over the next four centuries, Norman lords established small marcher lordships between the Dee and Severn, further west. Military adventurers went to Wales from Normandy and elsewhere and after raiding an area of Wales fortified it and granted land to some of their supporters. One example was Bernard de Neufmarché, responsible for conquering and pacifying the Welsh kingdom of Brycheiniog; the precise dates and means of formation of the lordships varied. The March, or Marchia Wallie, was to a greater or lesser extent independent of both the English monarchy and the Principality of Wales or Pura Wallia, which remained based in Gwynedd in the north west of the country.
By about AD 1100 the March covered the areas which would become Monmouthshire and much of Flintshire, Radnorshire, Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire. This amounted to about two-thirds of Wales. During the period, the Marches were a frontier society in every sense, a stamp was set on the region that lasted into the time of the Industrial Revolution. Hundreds of small castles were built in the border area in the 12th and 13th centuries, predominantly by Norman lords as assertions of power as well as defences against Welsh raiders and rebels; the area still contains Britain's densest concentration of motte-and-bailey castles. The Marcher lords encouraged immigration from all the Norman-Angevin realms, encouraged trade from "fair haven" ports like Cardiff. Peasants went to Wales in large numbers: Henry I encouraged Bretons, Flemings and English settlers to move into the south of Wales. Many new towns were established, some such as Chepstow, Monmouth and Newtown becoming successful trading centres, these tended to be a focus of English settlement.
At the same time, the Welsh continued to attack English soil and supported rebellions against the Normans. The Norman lords each had similar rights to the Welsh princes; each owed personal allegiance, as subjects, to the English king whom they were bound to support in times of war, but their lands were exempt from royal taxation and they possessed rights which elsewhere were reserved to the crown, such as the rights to create forests and boroughs. The lordships were geographically compact and jurisdictionally separate one from another, their privileges differentiated them from English lordships. Marcher lords ruled their lands by their own law—sicut regale as Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Gloucester stated— whereas in England fief-holders were directly accountable to the king; the crown's powers in the Marches were limited to those periods when the king held a lordship in its own hands, such as when it was forfeited for treason or on the death of the lord without a legitimate heir whereupon the title reverted to the Crown in escheat.
At the top of a culturally diverse, intensely feudalised and local society, the Marcher barons co
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England. The county town is the city of Winchester, its two largest cities and Portsmouth, are administered separately as unitary authorities. First settled about 14,000 years ago, Hampshire's history dates to Roman Britain, when its chief town was Winchester; when the Romans left Britain, the area was infiltrated by tribes from Scandinavia and mainland Europe, principally in the river valleys. The county was recorded in the 11th century Domesday Book, divided into 44 hundreds. From the 12th century, the ports grew in importance, fuelled by trade with the continent and cloth manufacture in the county, the fishing industry, a shipbuilding industry was established. By the 16th century, the population of Southampton had outstripped that of Winchester. By the mid-19th century, with the county's population at 219,210 in more than 86,000 dwellings, agriculture was the principal industry and 10 per cent of the county was still forest. Hampshire played a crucial military role in both World Wars.
The Isle of Wight left the county to form its own in 1974. The county's geography is varied, with upland to 286 metres and south-flowing rivers. There are areas of downland and marsh, two national parks: the New Forest, part of the South Downs, which together cover 45 per cent of Hampshire. Hampshire is one of the most affluent counties in the country, with an unemployment rate lower than the national average, its economy derived from major companies, maritime and tourism. Tourist attractions include the national parks and the Southampton Boat Show; the county is known as the home of writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, the childhood home of Florence Nightingale and the birthplace of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Hampshire takes its name from the settlement, now the city of Southampton. Southampton was known in Old English as Hamtun meaning "village-town", so its surrounding area or scīr became known as Hamtunscīr; the old name was recorded in the Domesday book as Hantescire, from this spelling, the modern abbreviation "Hants" derives.
From 1889 until 1959, the administrative county was named the County of Southampton and has been known as Southamptonshire. Hampshire was the departure point of some of those who left England to settle on the east coast of North America during the 17th century, giving its name in particular to the state of New Hampshire; the towns of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portsmouth, Virginia take their names from Portsmouth in Hampshire. The region is believed to have been continuously occupied since the end of the last Ice Age about 12,000 BCE. At this time, Britain was still attached to the European continent and was predominantly covered with deciduous woodland; the first inhabitants were Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. The majority of the population would have been concentrated around the river valleys. Over several thousand years, the climate became progressively warmer, sea levels rose. Notable sites from this period include Bouldnor Cliff. Agriculture had arrived in southern Britain by 4000 BCE, with it a neolithic culture.
Some deforestation took place at that time, although during the Bronze Age, beginning in 2200 BCE, this became more widespread and systematic. Hampshire has few monuments to show from these early periods, although nearby Stonehenge was built in several phases at some time between 3100 and 2200 BCE. In the late Bronze Age, fortified hilltop settlements known as hillforts began to appear in large numbers in many parts of Britain including Hampshire, these became more and more important in the early and middle Iron Age. By this period, the people of Britain predominantly spoke a Celtic language, their culture shared much in common with the Celts described by classical writers. Hillforts declined in importance in the second half of the second century BCE, with many being abandoned. Around this period, the first recorded invasion of Britain took place, as southern Britain was conquered by warrior-elites from Belgic tribes of northeastern Gaul - whether these two events are linked to the decline of hillforts is unknown.
By the Roman conquest, the oppidum at Venta Belgarum, modern-day Winchester, was the de facto regional administrative centre. Julius Caesar invaded southeastern England in 55 and again in 54 BCE, but he never reached Hampshire. Notable sites from this period include Hengistbury Head, a major port; the Romans invaded Britain again in 43 CE, Hampshire was incorporated into the Roman province of Britannia quickly. It is believed their political leaders allowed themselves to be incorporated peacefully. Venta became the capital of the administrative polity of the Belgae, which included most of Hampshire and Wiltshire and reached as far as Bath. Whether the people of Hampshire played any role in Boudicca's rebellion of 60-61 CE is not recorded, but evidence of burning is seen in Winchester dated to around this period. For most of the next three centuries, southern Britain enjoyed relative peace; the part of th
The England–Wales border, sometimes referred to as the Wales–England border or the Anglo-Welsh border, is the border between England and Wales, two constituent countries of the United Kingdom. It runs for 160 miles from the Dee estuary, in the north, to the Severn estuary in the south, it has followed broadly the same line since the 8th century, in part that of Offa's Dyke. The administrative boundary of Wales was confirmed in the Local Government Act 1972. Whether Monmouthshire was part of Wales, or an English county treated for most purposes as though it were Welsh, was settled by the 1972 Act, which included it in Wales; the modern boundary between Wales and England runs from the salt marshes of the Dee estuary adjoining the Wirral Peninsula, across reclaimed land to the River Dee at Saltney just west of Chester. It loops south to include within England an area southwest of Chester, before rejoining the Dee, loops east of the river to include within Wales a large area known as Maelor an exclave of Flintshire, between Bangor-on-Dee and Whitchurch.
Returning to the River Dee as far as Chirk, the boundary loops to the west, following Offa's Dyke itself for about 2 miles, including within England the town of Oswestry, before reaching the River Vyrnwy at Llanymynech. It follows the Vyrnwy to its confluence with the River Severn, continues southwards, rising over Long Mountain east of Welshpool. East of Montgomery, the boundary again follows the line of Offa's Dyke for about 2 miles, before looping eastwards to include within Wales a large area near Churchstoke, it runs westwards to the River Teme, follows the river southeastwards through Knighton before turning south towards the River Lugg at Presteigne, within Wales. The boundary continues southwards across hills to the River Wye, follows the river upstream for a short distance to Hay-on-Wye, on the Welsh side of the border, it continues southwards and rises through and across the Black Mountains, following the Hatterall Ridge past Llanthony on the Welsh side and Longtown on the English side, to reach the River Monnow near Pandy.
It generally follows the river, past Pontrilas and Skenfrith, towards Monmouth, looping eastwards to include the town itself and a surrounding area within Wales. At Redbrook, the boundary again reaches the Wye, follows the river southwards, past Tintern and Chepstow on the Welsh side, to its confluence with the Severn at the Severn Bridge; the boundary continues down the Severn estuary towards the Bristol Channel, with the small island of Flat Holm being administered as part of Wales and the neighbouring island of Steep Holm as part of England. The boundary passes between Flintshire, Wrexham County Borough and Monmouthshire in Wales and Cheshire West and Chester, Shropshire and Gloucestershire in England. There are several places where the border runs along the centre of a lane or street, resulting in properties on one side of the street being in Wales and those on the other side being in England. Notable examples include the main street of Llanymynech. Before and during the Roman occupation of Britain, all the native inhabitants of the island spoke Brythonic languages, a sub-family of the Insular Celtic languages, were regarded as Britons.
The clear geographical divide between the mountainous western areas of southern Britain and the lower-lying areas to the east was reflected in the pattern of Roman occupation. The main Roman military bases for the control of what became Wales were beyond the mountains, at Deva and Isca Augusta, all located close to the national border; when the Roman garrison left around 410, the various parts of Britain were left to govern and defend themselves. The western area Wales, had become Christian, soon comprised a number of separate kingdoms, the largest being Gwynedd in the northwest and Powys in the east. Powys coincided with the territory of the Celtic Cornovii tribe whose civitas or administrative centre during the Roman period was at Viroconium. Gwynedd, at the height of its power, extended as far east as the Dee estuary. From the 5th century onwards, pagan tribes from the east, including the Angles and Saxons, conquered eastern and southern Britain, which became England. In the south, the Welsh kingdom of Gwent broadly covered the same area as the pre-Roman Silures, traditionally the area between the rivers Usk and the Severn estuary.
It was centred at different times on Venta, from which it derived its name, Isca Augusta. Gwent allied with, at various times was joined with, the smaller Welsh kingdom of Ergyng, centred in present-day southern Herefordshire west of the Wye; the name Glywysing may indicate. The Battle of Mons Badonicus, circa 500, could have been fought near Bath between the British, the victors, Anglo-Saxons attempting to reach the Severn estuary, but its date and location are uncertain and it may well have taken place in Somerset or Dorset. However, it is more certain that the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex emerged in the 6th and 7th centuries in the upper Thames valley and Hampshi
The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic, spanning 60 million years from the end of the Silurian, 419.2 million years ago, to the beginning of the Carboniferous, 358.9 Mya. It is named after Devon, where rocks from this period were first studied; the first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian. Free-sporing vascular plants began to spread across dry land, forming extensive forests which covered the continents. By the middle of the Devonian, several groups of plants had evolved leaves and true roots, by the end of the period the first seed-bearing plants appeared. Various terrestrial arthropods became well-established. Fish reached substantial diversity during this time, leading the Devonian to be dubbed the "Age of Fishes." The first ray-finned and lobe-finned bony fish appeared, while the placoderms began dominating every known aquatic environment. The ancestors of all four-limbed vertebrates began adapting to walking on land, as their strong pectoral and pelvic fins evolved into legs.
In the oceans, primitive sharks became more numerous than in the Late Ordovician. The first ammonites, species of molluscs, appeared. Trilobites, the mollusc-like brachiopods and the great coral reefs, were still common; the Late Devonian extinction which started about 375 million years ago affected marine life, killing off all placodermi, all trilobites, save for a few species of the order Proetida. The palaeogeography was dominated by the supercontinent of Gondwana to the south, the continent of Siberia to the north, the early formation of the small continent of Euramerica in between; the period is named after Devon, a county in southwestern England, where a controversial argument in the 1830s over the age and structure of the rocks found distributed throughout the county was resolved by the definition of the Devonian period in the geological timescale. The Great Devonian Controversy was a long period of vigorous argument and counter-argument between the main protagonists of Roderick Murchison with Adam Sedgwick against Henry De la Beche supported by George Bellas Greenough.
Murchison and Sedgwick named the period they proposed as the Devonian System. While the rock beds that define the start and end of the Devonian period are well identified, the exact dates are uncertain. According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the Devonian extends from the end of the Silurian 419.2 Mya, to the beginning of the Carboniferous 358.9 Mya. In nineteenth-century texts the Devonian has been called the "Old Red Age", after the red and brown terrestrial deposits known in the United Kingdom as the Old Red Sandstone in which early fossil discoveries were found. Another common term is "Age of the Fishes", referring to the evolution of several major groups of fish that took place during the period. Older literature on the Anglo-Welsh basin divides it into the Downtonian, Dittonian and Farlovian stages, the latter three of which are placed in the Devonian; the Devonian has erroneously been characterised as a "greenhouse age", due to sampling bias: most of the early Devonian-age discoveries came from the strata of western Europe and eastern North America, which at the time straddled the Equator as part of the supercontinent of Euramerica where fossil signatures of widespread reefs indicate tropical climates that were warm and moderately humid but in fact the climate in the Devonian differed during its epochs and between geographic regions.
For example, during the Early Devonian, arid conditions were prevalent through much of the world including Siberia, North America, China, but Africa and South America had a warm temperate climate. In the Late Devonian, by contrast, arid conditions were less prevalent across the world and temperate climates were more common; the Devonian Period is formally broken into Early and Late subdivisions. The rocks corresponding to those epochs are referred to as belonging to the Lower and Upper parts of the Devonian System. Early DevonianThe Early Devonian lasted from 419.2 ± 2.8 to 393.3 ± 2.5 and began with the Lochkovian stage, which lasted until the Pragian. It spanned from 410.8 ± 2.8 to 407.6 ± 2.5, was followed by the Emsian, which lasted until the Middle Devonian began, 393.3± 2.7 million years ago. During this time, the first ammonoids appeared. Ammonoids during this time period differed little from their nautiloid counterparts; these ammonoids belong to the order Agoniatitida, which in epochs evolved to new ammonoid orders, for example Goniatitida and Clymeniida.
This class of cephalopod molluscs would dominate the marine fauna until the beginning of the Mesozoic era. Middle DevonianThe Middle Devonian comprised two subdivisions: first the Eifelian, which gave way to the Givetian 387.7± 2.7 million years ago. During this time the jawless agnathan fishes began to decline in diversity in freshwater and marine environments due to drastic environmental changes and due to the increasing competition and diversity of jawed fishes; the shallow, oxygen-depleted waters of Devonian inland lakes, surrounded by primitive plants, provided the environment necessary for certain early fish to develop such essential characteristics as well developed lungs, the ability to crawl out of the water and onto the land for short periods of time. Late DevonianFinally, the Late Devonian started with the Frasnian, 382.7 ± 2.8 to 372.2 ± 2.5, during which the first forests took shape on land. The first tetrapods appeared in the fossil record in the ensuing Famennian subdivisi
Charles Robert Darwin, was an English naturalist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors is now accepted, considered a foundational concept in science. In a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, he introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s, the scientific community and a majority of the educated public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations, it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution.
Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life. Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh. Studies at the University of Cambridge encouraged his passion for natural science, his five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author. Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin began detailed investigations, in 1838 conceived his theory of natural selection. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority, he was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay that described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories.
Darwin's work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871 he examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, his research on plants was published in a series of books, in his final book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Actions of Worms, he examined earthworms and their effect on soil. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey. Since 2008, a statue of Charles Darwin occupies the place of honour at London's Natural History Museum. Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on 12 February 1809, at his family's home, The Mount, he was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin. His grandfathers Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood were both prominent abolitionists.
Both families were Unitarian, though the Wedgwoods were adopting Anglicanism. Robert Darwin, himself a freethinker, had baby Charles baptised in November 1809 in the Anglican St Chad's Church, but Charles and his siblings attended the Unitarian chapel with their mother; the eight-year-old Charles had a taste for natural history and collecting when he joined the day school run by its preacher in 1817. That July, his mother died. From September 1818, he joined his older brother Erasmus attending the nearby Anglican Shrewsbury School as a boarder. Darwin spent the summer of 1825 as an apprentice doctor, helping his father treat the poor of Shropshire, before going to the University of Edinburgh Medical School with his brother Erasmus in October 1825. Darwin found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so he neglected his studies, he learned taxidermy in around 40 daily hour-long sessions from John Edmonstone, a freed black slave who had accompanied Charles Waterton in the South American rainforest.
In Darwin's second year at the university he joined the Plinian Society, a student natural-history group featuring lively debates in which radical democratic students with materialistic views challenged orthodox religious concepts of science. He assisted Robert Edmond Grant's investigations of the anatomy and life cycle of marine invertebrates in the Firth of Forth, on 27 March 1827 presented at the Plinian his own discovery that black spores found in oyster shells were the eggs of a skate leech. One day, Grant praised Lamarck's evolutionary ideas. Darwin was astonished by Grant's audacity, but had read similar ideas in his grandfather Erasmus' journals. Darwin was rather bored by Robert Jameson's natural-history course, which covered geology—including the debate between Neptunism and Plutonism, he learned the classification of plants, assisted with work on the collections of the University Museum, one of the largest museums in Europe at the time. Darwin's neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge, to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican country parson.
As Darwin was unqualified for the Tripos, he joined the ordinary degree course in January 1828. He preferred shooting to studying, his cousin William Darwin Fox introduced him to the popular craze for beetle collecting.
The Copley Medal is an award given by the Royal Society, for "outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science." It alternates between the biological sciences. Given every year, the medal is the oldest Royal Society medal awarded and the oldest surviving scientific award in the world, having first been given in 1731 to Stephen Gray, for "his new Electrical Experiments: – as an encouragement to him for the readiness he has always shown in obliging the Society with his discoveries and improvements in this part of Natural Knowledge"; the medal was created following a donation of £100 to be used for carrying out experiments by Sir Godfrey Copley, for which the interest on the amount was used for several years. The conditions for the medal have been changed several times. A second donation of £1666 13s. 4d. was made by Sir Joseph William Copley in 1881, the interest from that amount is used to pay for the medal. The medal in its current format is awarded with a £ 25,000 prize. Since its inception, it has been awarded to many notable scientists, including 52 winners of the Nobel Prize: 17 in Physics, 21 in Physiology or Medicine, 14 in Chemistry.
John Theophilus Desaguliers has won the medal the most winning three times, in 1734, 1736 and 1741. In 1976, Dorothy Hodgkin became the first and, the only female recipient. "Royal Society: Copley Medal"
Royal Geographical Society
The Royal Geographical Society is the UK's learned society and professional body for geography, founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences. Today, it is the leading centre for geographers and geographical learning; the Society has over 16,500 members and its work reaches millions of people each year through publications, research groups and lectures. The Society was founded in 1830 under the name Geographical Society of London as an institution to promote the'advancement of geographical science', it absorbed the older African Association, founded by Sir Joseph Banks in 1788, as well as the Raleigh Club and the Palestine Association. Like many learned societies, it had started as a dining club in London, where select members held informal dinner debates on current scientific issues and ideas. Founding members of the Society included Sir John Barrow, Sir John Franklin and Sir Francis Beaufort. Under the patronage of King William IV it became known as The Royal Geographical Society and was granted its Royal Charter under Queen Victoria in 1859.
From 1830 to 1840 the RGS met in the rooms of the Horticultural Society in Regent Street and from 1854 -1870 at 15 Whitehall Place, London. In 1870, the Society found a home when it moved to 1 Savile Row, London – an address that became associated with adventure and travel; the Society used a lecture theatre in Burlington Gardens, London, lent to it by the Civil Service Commission. However, the arrangements were thought to be rather squalid. A new impetus was given to the Society's affairs in 1911, with the election of Earl Curzon, the former Viceroy of India, as the Society's President; the premises in Savile Row were sold and the present site, Lowther Lodge in Kensington Gore, was purchased for £100,000 and opened for use in April 1913. In the same year the Society's ban on women was lifted. Lowther Lodge was built in 1874 for the Hon William Lowther by Norman Shaw, one of the most outstanding domestic architects of his day. Extensions to the east wing were added in 1929, included the New Map Room and the 750 seat Lecture Theatre.
The extension was formally opened by HRH the Duke of York at the Centenary Celebrations on 21 October 1930. The history of the Society was allied for many of its earlier years with'colonial' exploration in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the polar regions, central Asia especially, it has been a key associate and supporter of many notable explorers and expeditions, including those of Darwin, Stanley, Shackleton and Hillary. The early history of the Society is inter-linked with the history of British Geography and discovery. Information, maps and knowledge gathered on expeditions was sent to the RGS, making up its now unique geographical collections; the Society published its first journal in 1831 and from 1855, accounts of meetings and other matters were published in the Society Proceedings. In 1893, this was replaced by The Geographical Journal, still published today; the Society was pivotal in establishing Geography as a teaching and research discipline in British universities, funded the first Geography positions in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
With the advent of a more systematic study of geography, the Institute of British Geographers was formed in 1933, by some academic Society fellows, including Andrew Charles O'Dell, as a sister body to the Society. Its activities included organising conferences, field trips and specialist research groups and publishing the journal, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers; the RGS and IBG co-existed for 60 years until 1992. In 1994, members were balloted and the merger agreed. In January 1995, the new Royal Geographical Society was formed; the Society works together with other existing bodies serving the geographical community, in particular the Geographical Association and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. In 2004, The Society's historical Collections relating to scientific exploration and research, which are of national and international importance, were opened to the public for the first time. In the same year, a new category of membership was introduced to widen access for people with a general interest in geography.
The new Foyle Reading Room and glass Pavilion exhibition space were opened to the public in 2004 – unlocking the Society intellectually and physically for the 21st century. For example, in 2012 the RGS held an exhibition, in the glass Pavilion, of photographs taken by Herbert Ponting on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's expedition to the South Pole in 1912; the society is governed by its board of trustees called the council, chaired by its president. The members of council and the president are elected from its fellowship; the council consists of 36 members, 22 of which are elected by fellows and serve for a three-year term. In addition to the elected trustees, there are honorary members; the society has five specialist committees that it derives advice from Education Committee Research Committee Expedition and Fieldwork Committee Information Resources Committee Finance Committee Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich The Earl of Ripon Sir George Murray Sir Roderick Murchison Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson Sir Clements Robert Markham Sir George Taubman Goldie Major Leonard Darwin Earl Curzon of Kedleston Douglas Freshfield (1914–1917