Royal Society

The Royal Society was formed with the avowed object of increasing knowledge by direct experiment; and it is worthy of remark, that the charter granted by Charles II. to this celebrated institution declares that its object is the extension of natural knowledge, as opposed to that which is supernatural.

Dr. Paris (Life of Sir H. Davy, vol. ii. p. 178) says: “The charter of the Royal Society states that it was established for the improvement of natural  science. This epithet natural  was originally intended to imply a meaning, of which very few persons, I believe, are aware. At the period of the establishment of the society, the arts of witchcraft and divination were very extensively encouraged; and the word natural  was therefore introduced in contradistinction to supernatural.”