The history of a medical society like an autobiography serves a larger purpose than that of merely recalling the events in the life of the society or of the individual. Each may mirror the state of medical science and art, or the social and political conditions of the periods recalled. One would naturally turn to the story of the Royal Medical Society of England in the first decade of the nineteenth century for an idea of the state of British medicine at that time, just as one would go to the autobiography of John Stuart Mill to show how men of his era were variously swayed by intellectual and emotional tendencies.
The history of a medical or scientific society, like all history, is largely biographical. It is concerned mostly with the character and achievements of its individual components.
The beginnings of the Society in 1884 reflect the stage of the