History of the LMS

A History of the London Mathematical Society


The London Mathematical Society dates back to 1864.

Augustus De Morgan's wife, writing after his death described how the London Mathematical Society was founded:-

It was in the year 1864 that Mr Arthur Cowper Ranyard and George [George De Morgan, Augustus De Morgan's son] were discussing mathematical problems during a walk in the streets, when it struck them that it would be very nice to have a Society to which discoveries in mathematics could be brought, and where things could be discussed like the Astronomical. It was agreed between the young men that this should be proposed and that George should ask his father to take the chair at the first meeting.

At a preliminary meeting to discuss setting up the Society on 7 November 1864, the name London Mathematical Society was chosen. In fact this was meant to be the first proper meeting of the Society but Augustus De Morgan was ill and could not attend. The chair at this preliminary meeting was taken by T A Hirst and the date for the first meeting proper was set for 16 January 1865.

At the 16 January 1865 meeting the chair was taken by Augustus De Morgan who gave the first address setting out what the aims and practices of the Society should be. This meeting was attended by 27 mathematicians who were joined as members by a further 43 during the first year of the Society.

The first six Presidents of the Society had all become members before the end of its first year of operation.

It is worth noting that, except for De Morgan, who refused a Fellowship of the Royal Society, all presidents of the London Mathematical Society have been Fellows of the Royal Society of London.

MacTutor links:

London Mathematical Society
History of the LMS
Presidents of the LMS
LMS Presidential Addresses
LMS Honorary Members

LMS Prizes etc:

LMS De Morgan Medal
LMS Berwick Prize
LMS Whitehead Prize
LMS Senior Whitehead Prize
LMS Naylor Prize

Other Web sites:

LMS Web site
Other LMS prizewinners


Index of Societies, honours, etc.
Welcome page Biographies Index
History Topics Index Famous curves index
Chronology Time lines
Mathematicians of the day Anniversaries for the year
Search Form Birthplace Maps

JOC/EFR August 2009

The URL of this page is:
http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/Societies/LMShistory.html