Royal Asiatic Society Governance: Royal Patronage

Scope and Content

The patronage material includes original Charters and royal letters, and institutional correspondence concerning the Patronage of the Society.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland was first formed in 1823. It applied for Royal Patronage on its founding and in June 1823 it was announced that the King had granted the Society the title "Royal" and its charter for "the investigation of subjects connected with for the encouragement of science, literature and the arts in relation to Asia" is dated 11 August 1824. The Society has continued to enjoy the patronage of the monarch until 2000 when Prince Charles became the current Patron.


The material was arranged according to the reigning monarch acting as Patron. Though there is no material for some of the Patrons, a series has still be created to show the succession and to inform where related material may be found. The series are:

  • RAS GOV3/1 - George IV
  • RAS GOV3/2 - William IV
  • RAS GOV3/3 - Victoria
  • RAS GOV3/4 - Edward VII
  • RAS GOV3/5 - George V
  • RAS GOV3/6 - Edward VIII
  • RAS GOV3/7 - George VI
  • RAS GOV3/8 - Elizabeth II
  • RAS GOV3/9 - Charles, Prince of Wales

Access Information

Mostly Open. The current twenty years are closed for confidentiality reasons. Please contact the archivist. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

As part of the institutional records, they have always been part of the Society's possessions.

Archivist's Note

This material was catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2019.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

These form part of the institutional records of the Royal Asiatic Society.

Related Material

The Minutes of Council Meetings (RAS GOV1) should be researched in conjunction with this material in order to gain a fuller picture of the Patronage history of the Society.


Geographical Names