Statutes of the Society of the Antiquaries of Scotland (1792)

‘Seal of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland’, in Archaeologia Scotica: or Transactions of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, volume I. Printed by W. and A. Smellie, printers to the Society, for W. Creech, Edinburgh, and T. Cadell, London, 1792.


"THE number of ordinary members shall not exceed two hundred, exclusive of the office-bearers; by these, and the other members, the officers, censors, council, and ordinary, honorary, correspondent, and associated members, shall be chosen..."


I. EACH candidate for admission, as an ordinary member, shall be recommended by three members, and his election, at the ensuing meeting, shall proceed by ballot. A majority of two thirds of the members present shall entitle the candidate to be admitted. And the annual election of officers shall be made on St Andrew’s day, or, if that is not a lawful day, on the Tuesday immediately following, of which proper intimation is lo be given by the Secretary.

II. THE officers shall consist of a President, five Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer, and a Secretary, who shall have the charge of the effects of the Society, and another for foreign correspondence, together with a Latin and a French Secretary, who shall be elected in the same manner as ordinary members.

III. BESIDE the above officers, four Censors shall be annually chosen, for the purpose of revising such papers and communications as are to form the transactions of the Society. After the Censors have made their remarks in writing upon any paper, these remarks and proposed corrections are to be communicated to the author, who may either adopt or reject them as he shall think proper. The censors shall annually, at the meeting for the election of officers, report to the Society the title of every paper which has been submitted to their inspection, and at the same time recommend such of them as they shall judge most proper for immediate publication. The opinion and recommendation of the Censors shall immediately be laid before a general meeting, and approved or rejected by ballot. But if, upon any such question, the number of balls for and against shall be equal, the farther consideration of it shall be adjourned to the next meeting of the Society: And if, upon the second ballotting, the number of balls shall also be equal, the question shall be determined in the negative; but no entry shall be made of such determination in the minute-book.

IV. A COUNCIL of seven shall be annually chosen, of which the Secretary shall always be one. They, together with the Vice-Presidents, shall superintend and examine the accompts and funds of the Society, and transact all the ordinary business thereof. Three shall be a quorum.

V. EACH ordinary member, at his admission, shall pay two guineas to the funds of the Society, and one guinea annually on St Andrew’s day. Any member paying twelve guineas, beside the dues of admission, shall be from thenceforth exempted from annual payments; and the management of the funds of the Society shall be under the direction of the officers, and the ordinary subscribing members.

VI. THE names of the donors to the Society shall be entered in a book kept for that purpose. When their donations amount to the sum of ten pounds, their names shall be inscribed in some conspicuous part of the Society’s Musaeum.

VII. THE proceedings of theSSociety shall be regularly entered into the minute-book by the Secretary, and signed by the presiding member. All papers given in shall be read in the order of their dates; and each paper, after being read, shall be committed to the censors, for their examination, and report, before it is engrossed in the book of the transactions.

VIII. THE number of ordinary members shall not exceed two hundred, exclusive of the office-bearers; by these, and the other members, the officers, censors, council, and ordinary, honorary, correspondent, and associated members, shall be chosen; and the death of any member of the Society shall be noted on the margin of his subscription to the statutes.

IX. THE ordinary meetings of the Society shall be held on every second Tuesday during the sederunt of the Court, of Session, and in the vacation on the first Tuesday of every month; and, in the absence of the President and Vice-Presidents, the senior member on the roll shall take the chair.

X. THE principal objects of the Society shall be the ancient, compared with the modern state of the kingdom, &c. as in article 7th at the end of the Earl of Buchan’s preliminary discourse.

XI. THE Secretary shall be impowered to sign the statutes of the Society for such members as are admitted into it, and cannot conveniently sign the same at the time of their admission, and for such presiding members as may not have had it in their power to sign the minutes of the meeting wherein they presided.

XII. AND, lastly, we the undersigning members oblige ourselves to observe and fulfil the above statutes, and conform ourselves to all the future regulations and by-laws, which may be made by the Society, and regularly entered into their minute-book.


1780. Dec. 18.
NO question shall be put on any motion, unless it be seconded.

WHEN any member speaks, he shall stand up, and address himself to the chair; and, when one or more offer to speak at the same time, the presiding member shall determine who shall be first heard.

1781. June 5. 
THE Secretary shall not allow, on any account, the papers belonging to the Society, of which he has not copies, to be borrowed out of his custody by any of the members.

A PROPER descriptive catalogue of the donations made to the Musaeum shall be published occasionally.

Dec. 18.
ALL persons proposed as honorary members, shall be notified to the general meetings by a recommendation from the council, and shall be elected by ballot.

NO person withdrawing himself from the Society, or who has
been rejected, shall be again eligible, unless four-fifths of the balls
upon a ballot be in his favour.

1782. Jan. 8.
THE election of Curators shall be annual, and each year one of them, at least, shall be changed.

1782. Jan. 28
CANDIDATES for admission as ordinary members, shall be announced immediately after the reading of the minutes; and no candidate shall be either announced or ballotted, unless eighteen members be present.

NINE members are requisite to constitute an ordinary meeting of the Society.

July 23. 
THE President, or any member, shall call to order any person who, from inattention, may at any time stumble into premature discussions, or frivolous queries, which are always repugnant to the public business of the general meetings.

Ip any member neglect or refuse to pay his annual contribution for three months after St Andrew’s day, he shall be considered as having relinquished his seat in the Society; and the Secretary is directed, each year, at the first general meeting in March, to lay before the Society a list of the names of such members as have vacated their seats by with-holding their annual payments. He is at the same time instructed to give timely notice, each year, by letter, to those in arrear, a week at least before the said meeting in March.

1783. Jan. 7.
IN order to prevent irregularity, and to fix the mode of procedure at the ordinary meetings, the following order is to be observed at all such meetings, viz.

Imo, To hear the minutes of the preceding meeting read.

2do, To hear the candidates for admission announced.

3tio, To ballot for such candidates as have been properly recommended
at the preceding meeting, or by the council.

4to, To see the production of the letters relating to the Society, and received since the preceding meeting, all or any of which may be read upon the motion of any member, if it be seconded.

5to, To hear such motions read as any of the members may have prepared in writing, and to put the question on them, providing they are seconded.

6to, To hear such reports as any of the officers, or those commissioned by the Society, have to make, and to determine thereupon.

7mo, To hear the paper of the night read.

8vo, To hear a descriptive inventory of donations read.

9no, To order thanks to the donors.

10mo, To be informed of the time and place of the next meeting.

Such pertinent remarks as are made on what passes in the meetings of this Society, shall be admissible; but all questions or discussions extraneous to the order of the business above mentioned, and all reflections on the conduct or determinations of the Society, unless tabled in writing, to be answered and determined upon at a subsequent meeting, are totally inadmissible.

1783. Sept. 2.
EACH candidate for election, as a correspondent member, shall be recommended in writing by three members, and shall be balloted for at the meeting subsequent to such recommendation, in the same manner as candidates for admission as ordinary members.

1783. Dec. 16.
THE Secretary shall not, without an order of the Society, lend out any of the effects in the Musaeum to any person whatever.

1784. July 13.
EACH correspondent member, on his admission, shall pay two Guineas to the funds of the Society,

1784. Nov. 2.
No member in arrear shall be permitted to vote in any matter concerning the funds, or the disposal of the cash of the Society.

1791. April 5.
EVERY person who recommends a correspondent member to this Society, shall, previous to the admission of such member, be considered as bound either to pay, or procure payment of two guineas, as his admission fee.

NOTWITHSTANDING this law, the Society, from particular reasons, shall always have it in their power to bestow gratis admissions on correspondent members.


Statutes of the Society of the Antiquaries of Scotland, in Archaeologia Scotica: or Transactions of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, volume I. London: Printed by William and Alexander Smellie, printers to the Society, for William Creech, Edinburgh, and T. Cadell, in the Strand, Booksellers to the Society, 1792, pp. XIV-XX. Full text from