The aim of the Society's founders was to improve Ireland's economic condition by promoting the development of Agriculture, Arts, Science and Industry. Initially confined to publishing pamphlets on new discoveries and best practice, the Society as a publishing house developed and broadened its remit to include scientific journals and books.
It grew out of the 18th century desire for agricultural and industrial improvement. Membership reached 300 by the 1740s, with a royal charter being received in 1750. The society offered grants (‘premiums’) for land reclamation, livestock breeding, fisheries, and textiles. The ‘Royal’ title was added in 1820 and today the RDS has its HQ at Simmonscourt in Ballsbridge, Dublin where it host hundreds of events throughout the year incl the Horse Show.
Several gentlemen having agreed to meet in the Philosophical Rooms in Trinity College Dublin in order to promote Improvements of all kinds, and Dr. Stephens being desired, took the Chair.
It was proposed and unanimously agreed unto, to form a Society, by the name of the Dublin Society, for improving Husbandry, Manufactures, and other useful arts.
It was proposed and resolved, that all the present, and all such who should become members of the Society, shall subscribe their names to a Paper, containing their agreement to form a Society for the purposes aforesaid.
Ordered that a Committee of all the members present do meet next Thursday., in the Philosophical Rooms in Trinity College Dublin to consider of a Plan or Rules for the Government of the Society, any three thereof to be a Quorum, and that notice be sent to the members in Town, the day before the time for meeting. The Society adjourned to this day fortnight.
Present: Judge Ward. Dr. Stephens.
Sir Th. Molyneux. Dr. Magnaten.
Th. Upton, Esq. Dr. [John] Madden.
John Pratt, Esq. Dr. Lehunte.
Rich. Warburton, Esq. Mr. Walton.
Rev. Dr. Whitecomb. Mr. Prior.
Arthur Dobs, Esq. W. Maple.
A HISTORY OF THE ROYAL DUBLIN SOCIETY
HENRY F. BERRY