As amended and Revised 1922, 1937, 1949, 1953, 1959, 1962, 1973, 1983, 1984,1988, 2002, 2006, 2011, 2017, 2020 and 2022.


  1. The Hunterian Society was founded on 3rd February 1819, for the cultivation and promotion of the Science and Practice of Medicine. The Society’s motto is Ratio Societatis Vinculum.
    In furtherance of its public benefit objects, the Hunterian Society shall have all or any of the following powers:
    To award prizes and to make grants towards the expenses of undertaking, communicating and encouraging research and other original work in the history of medicine, particularly, but not exclusively, to that  relating to the work of John Hunter;
    ii.     To prepare, publish, acquire and circulate material for the purpose of  promoting the objects of the Society;
    iii.    To establish and maintain a library of literature, recordings and other materials relating to the work of John Hunter.


  1. The Society shall consist of Fellows, Honorary Fellows, Life Fellows and Associate Fellows. Fellows, other than Honorary Fellows and Associate Fellows, on admission will normally be registered Medical Practitioners, Veterinarians, Dentists, Nurses or Medical Scientists. Other related professionals such as Medical Ethicists, Information Technologists and Medical Historians will be considered by Council up to a limit of 10% of the Fellowship. The Council may also elect as Honorary Fellows distinguished men or women, who need not be Medical Practitioners.
  1. The Officers of the Society shall be elected from the Fellows, and shall consist of a President, a President-Elect, normally two Vice-Presidents, an Honorary Treasurer, an Honorary Secretary, a Curator and an Editor.
  1. The Council of the Society shall consist of the Officers and normally up to four other Fellows. The Council shall conduct the management of the affairs of the Society.
  1. All the members of Council shall act as the Charity Trustees of the Society and have responsibility for controlling the management and administration of the Charity and its property.
  1. The Council shall have the power to co-opt up to three Fellows for specific purposes, who will act until the next AGM.
  1. The terms of office of members of Council will be three years and renewable. Members would not normally serve more than two terms consecutively but would be able to stand again after one year. At least one member of Council will have been elected a Fellow within the last ten years.
  1. The standing Committees of Council shall be the Finance and Investment Committee, the Editorial Board and the Museum Committee. The Council shall have the power to form further Committees for specific purposes.
  1. A General Administrator will manage the day to day running of the Society.


  1. Any Candidate for admission as a Fellow shall be proposed by no fewer than two Fellows, who have personal knowledge of the Candidate.
  1. An Election shall take place at the first available meeting whether in person or by electronic means by a show of hands or by ballot if requested. A 75% majority by the Fellows present shall be necessary to elect. A newly elected Fellow shall normally be admitted at an open meeting by the President.
  1. Any candidate who has been unsuccessful at the ballot shall not be eligible for re-nomination within twelve months.
  1. Every Fellow and Associate Fellow (with the exception of Honorary Fellows and Life Fellows) shall on election pay an entrance fee and an annual subscription of such sum as shall from time to time be determined by Council, and for which he or she shall be entitled to have electronic access to Transactions and Archives on the website of the Society.
  1. Annual subscriptions shall become due on 1st day of January of each year, or such other date, as shall from time to time be determined by Council.


  1. The power of proposing Honorary and Life Fellows shall be vested solely in the Council; but the mode of election shall be the same as in the case of Fellows. A notification signed by the President and the Honorary Secretary shall be sent to the newly elected Honorary or Life Fellow. 
  1. Honorary and Life Fellows shall enjoy the same rights and privileges as ordinary Fellows. They shall not exceed twenty in number.


  1. Spouses or partners of Fellows in good standing shall be offered the status of Associate Fellowship upon the decease of the Fellow.
  1. Medical, Dental and Veterinary students may also be elected as Associate Fellows and on qualification may be invited to become full Fellows.
  1. Associate Fellows, upon the payment of an annual membership fee shall receive all normal correspondence sent to other Fellows, have the right to attend all the meetings of the Society, but will not have the power to vote nor to hold Office within the Society.


  1. Any Fellow desirous of resigning must give a written notice of his or her intention to the General Administrator and the Honorary Secretary and will be considered liable for any subscription already due at the time of notice.
  1. The name of any Fellow in arrears with his or her subscription shall, at the discretion of the Council, be erased from the list of Fellows.
  1. If the conduct of any Fellow, either without or within the Society, shall, in the opinion of the Council, be injurious to the character and interest of the Society, the Council shall have power, at a Special Meeting, to expel him or her from the Society, unless a satisfactory explanation of his or her conduct is forthcoming.


  1. The Council shall meet at least three times each year and five members shall form a quorum. The votes shall not be taken by ballot unless at the request of the mover and seconder of any proposition; in cases of equality the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.
  1. A Special Meeting of Council may be called at the request of three of its Members, with twenty-one days written notice being given in writing or by electronic means, and the object of the Meeting specified.
  1. The Council shall regulate the ordinary business of the Society and arrange and issue a programme for the ensuing Session.
  1. Should a vacancy occur in any of the offices, the Council shall be empowered to fill the same vacancy by co-option of another member of Council for the remainder of the Session.
  1. The Council shall be empowered to make such Byelaws as the welfare of the Society may demand; but no alteration or addition to the Laws shall be allowed, unless approved by a two-thirds majority of the Fellows present and voting at a General Meeting and no alteration or addition to these Laws shall affect the objects of the Society or this Law. All intended alterations or additions must be recommended by Council.
  1. The Council shall be empowered, by resolution and for reason assigned, to vary the dates and other arrangements of the Meetings of the Society.
  1. Meetings of the Society, Council and sub-Committees may be held in person or by other means as Council may from time to time decide.
  1. Power of Amendment: The Council may recommend any changes to the Society’s governing document other than changes to the Society’s purposes (objects), dissolution or trustee benefit provisions.
  1. All property belonging to the Society shall be under the control and guardianship of the Council as Trustees. 


  1. All Officers of the Society and other members of the Council shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
  1. A nomination list shall be prepared by the Council, and distributed among the Fellows at least twenty-one days before the Annual General Meeting.
  1. Any Fellow has the right to propose alternative Officers or other members of Council and to demand a ballot, provided that the proposal is seconded by another Fellow and notice is given at least fourteen days before the Annual General Meeting.


  1. The President shall be a Fellow of at least five years’ standing and be elected annually for a maximum of two consecutive terms. He or she shall regulate all the proceedings of the Society and Council, state and put questions, interpret the application of the rules and regulations, and decide every doubtful point. He or she shall check irregularities and enforce the observance of the laws. He or she shall sign the Minutes of General and Council Meetings.
  1. The President-Elect shall be elected annually for the year preceding the taking of office as President.
  1. The Vice-Presidents will normally be the two most recent past Presidents.
  1. In the absence of the President, the President-Elect, one of the Vice-Presidents, the Honorary Treasurer, or some other Fellow chosen by the Council or Meeting shall perform his or her duties. 


  1. The Honorary Treasurer shall keep a record of the accounts, chair the Finance and Investments committee, submit the Annual Report and Accounts to the Charities Commission, and keep the list of registered charity Trustees up to date.
  1. The Honorary Treasurer shall be responsible for ensuring that payments of all authorised invoices are made in a timely manner and recorded.
  1. The Honorary Treasurer shall ensure that the Accounts be prepared and audited for submission to the Council prior to the Annual General Meeting. 


  1. The Finance and Investment Committee shall consist of the Honorary Treasurer as chair, the President, the President-elect and up to three other Fellows, who will normally previously have served as officers of the Society and will be elected at the Annual General Meeting. The term of office of the ‘other Fellows’ will be of three years.
  1. The responsibilities for management of both the General Fund and the Rudolph Fund shall be delegated to the members of the Finance and Investment Committee. 


  1. The Honorary Secretary shall attend all the Meetings of the Society and Council. He or she shall take the Minutes of the Society’s Meetings, including the Annual General Meeting, communicate with the entrants for the Hunterian Scholarship and the Hunterian Prize, and help to prepare the Annual Report.
  1. The Honorary Secretary shall serve for up to three years and is eligible for re-election for a further term of up to three years. 


  1. The Editorial Board shall consist of the Editor as chair, a Web-Editor and up to three other Fellows, who will normally be current or past Members of Council and will be elected at the Annual General Meeting. The term of office of the ‘other Fellows’ will be of three years.
  1. The members of the Editorial Board shall be responsible for the preparation and publication of the Transactions.
  1. The Web-Editor will be appointed by Council and will be responsible for keeping up to date the information about the Hunterian Society on the web site.


  1. The Museum Committee shall consist of the Curator as chair, the President, the President Elect, the Treasurer and up to three other Fellows, elected at the Annual General Meeting. The term of office of the ‘other Fellows’ will be of three years. 
  1. The members of the Museum Committee will assist the Curator and shall be responsible for the catalogue, maintenance and safe custody of the Hunterian Collection of the Society. 


  1. The General Administrator is a salaried employee of the Society and shall transact the general business of the Society in accordance with the duties and responsibilities laid down in the job description prepared and approved by the Council. He or she shall attend Council Meetings and take Council Minutes.


  1. The Ordinary Meetings of the Society shall normally be held at least once a month, from September to June inclusive, or at such times as the Council consider expedient.
  1. Fellows are encouraged to introduce guests at Meetings. The President shall invite guests to participate in the discussions.
  1. All speakers will be encouraged to provide the Honorary Secretary and the Editor of the Transactions with a transcript of their talk or their audio-visual presentation, or to allow a recording if delivered electronically.
  1. All speakers are encouraged to have their talks published in the Hunterian Society Transactions and deposited in the Archives on the website of the Society. 


  1. The Council shall invite some eminent authority to deliver the Hunterian Society Lecture at a Meeting during the session. 


  1. The Hunterian Society Oration shall be delivered annually by a distinguished Fellow or a notable contemporary figure in Science or the Arts at a regular Meeting of the Society. Although the primary purpose of the Oration is to commemorate the life and work of John Hunter, and also of his brother William Hunter it is not intended to exclude from the scope of the Annual Oration topics bearing upon the History of Medicine, the relation of Medicine to other sciences and to human life in its widest sense. 


  1. An Anniversary Dinner shall be held each year, at a place convenient to the Fellows, in the month of February, near to the birthday of John Hunter, on 13th 


  1. The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held once every year at a date to be determined by the Council. Notice in writing or by electronic means of twenty-one days must be given to all Fellows. The Annual General Meeting will have the purpose of electing Officers, receiving the Reports of the Council and Auditors and approving amendments to the Laws.
  1. A Special General Meeting shall be convened by the Council, either at the request of a majority of its own members, or of twelve Fellows not on the Council. Notice in writing or by electronic means of twenty-one days must be given to all Fellows, and the object of the meeting specified. No subjects shall be discussed at such a Meeting excepting those for which the Meeting shall have been convened. 


  1. The awards of the Society are the Hunterian Medal, the Hunterian Scholarship(s) and the Hunterian Prize and are awarded at the discretion of the Council.
  1. The Hunterian Medal shall be awarded at the discretion of Council from time to time to an individual who is judged to have made an outstanding contribution to the Science and Practice of Medicine.
  1. The Hunterian Scholarship to assist with the fees and examination for a History of Medicine Course including that of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London shall be awarded at the discretion of Council from time to time to a fully registered, non-Consultant grade doctor, dentist, medical scientist, medical student, veterinary student or dental student on the basis of the submission of a dissertation with some relevance to John or William Hunter or medicine in the 18th Century.
  1. The Hunterian Prize shall be awarded at the discretion of Council from time to time to a student or practitioner of non-consultant grade in medicine, including veterinary medicine, dentistry or a medical scientist on the basis of an essay on a subject of relevance to John or William Hunter or medicine in the 18th Century to be presented to a meeting of the Society.


  1. Wheresoever the terms “medicine” and “medical” are employed in these Laws, they shall be understood as including surgical, obstetrical and all other branches of medical science and art, including veterinary and dental practice.
  2. The following form of words shall normally be used to admit a newly elected Fellow:

“In compliance with the vote of the Hunterian Society and by the authority invested in me, I admit you a Fellow of the Society”.