By Robert Lomas
Published Jan 2010
In 1660, within a few months of the restoration of Charles II, a group of twelve men met in London to study the mechanisms of nature. The Royal Society was born and with it modern, experimental science.
The Invisible College is a fascinating account of the turbulent political, economic and religious background to the formation of the Royal Society – an era of war against the Dutch, the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London. In particular, it reveals the hidden motives of one man, Sir Robert Moray, who built on his experience of another organisation to structure and gain finance for the Royal Society. This other body, the ‘Invisible College’ as Boyle called it, is known today by the name of Freemasonry.