By Charles Tanford & Jacqueline Reynolds

Royal Society, London

The original meeting place for the Royal Society was at Gresham College (destroyed in the great fire of 1666). It has, subsequently, had a number of homes: Arundel House in the Strand, a building on Crane Court (off Fleet Street), then Burlington House off Piccadilly, and now on Carlton House Terrace, above “The Mall” leading out from Buckingham Palace. The Crane Court house was used during Newton’s presidency. On May 2,1715, Newton, Halley, and other notable figures observed a total eclipse of the sun from the roof of the building. The time of the eclipse had been accurately predicted by Halley. (Crane Court today is lined by law offices, but it retains the narrow seclusion of the days of yore. There is no plaque.)