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subscribers being therefore 157. To these, if we add 39 honorary members and 8 associates, our total numbers appear to be 231.
Only one member has been removed by death during the past year, but that member has been identified with the Society in a remarkable manner, although latterly he did not often appear amongst us. This was Dr. Duncan, the late medical officer of health for the borough, whose paper “On the physical causes of the high rate of mortality in Liverpool,” read before the Society in February and March, 1843, and afterwards published, was the means of calling attention to sanitary questions in so prominent a manner, that to it may be distinctly traced the movement which resulted in the passing of that most important act of Parliament usually known as the “Health of towns bill.” Dr. Duncan was for more than a quarter of a century a member of the Society, and formerly a very active one, having for several years filled the important post of Treasurer. Of late years, failing health greatly impaired his natural activity, and having visited Scotland in the spring with the hope of benefiting his constitution, he expired suddenly at Elgin, in May last.
Although, however, happily, neither by resignation nor by death, we have yet lost from among us a gentleman whose place it will be difficult to fill, by the retirement to his native country of Dr. Ihne, the president of the Society. A member of the Society for 13 years, Dr. Ihne has ever taken an active interest in its progress and usefulness, and has from time to time contributed, from his stores of classical and philological learning, papers of the greatest interest and value. Few scholars possess a wider, and withal a sounder, knowledge of the branches of literature he specially cultivated, and his departure will be felt by the Society as no less involving the loss of a profound scholar than of a true-hearted gentleman. Dr. Ihne has several times occupied the position of vicepresident, and at the last annual meeting, he was unanimously elected to the rank of President. Instead, however, of filling the chair for three years, he has, to our regret, been obliged to resign it at the end of the first session, and is now settled on the banks of the Neckar, and in the classical atmosphere of Heidelberg, whither the best wishes of the Society follow him.
The retirement of Dr. Ihne leaves the presidential chair vacant, and you will be called upon this evening to exercise your votes in the election of a worthy successor from the general body of the Society.
The volume of Proceedings for the past session is nearly ready, and will shortly be in the hands of the members. Though not quite so large as those of recent years,
the matter will be found no less varied than instructive. From various circumstances only half the papers read during the session have been printed entire-a proportion which is somewhat smaller than usual.
The Society's library continues to be increased, and more especially by transactions of foreign societies, which are often difficult of access. It is hoped that before the end of the year the obstacles which have hitherto intervened may be removed, and the promised bookcases may be constructed. When that has been accomplished there will be no further delay in the cataloguing of the books, the completion of series, and the general availability of the library to the members at large.
The delegates from the Society to aid in the management of the Gallery of Inventions and Science have to make a more favorable report than heretofore. The gallery has been furnished by the aid of liberal subscriptions, and was opened to the public on the occasion of the marriage of the Prince of Wales, 10th March last. It now contains a large number of interesting models and inventions which have been deposited
by the owners or patentees, and form a very interesting collection. The Committee are of opinion that it only requires to be more widely known among inventors to cause it to become a very valuable and useful institution ; and this they hope that time will gradually effect.
The only important change in the conduct of the Society, made during the last session, was the passing of a bye-law, providing for the admission of ladies to the meetings on certain occasions, to be fixed upon by the Council. This plan has been tried, and found to operate very successfully. During the session four meetings were held at which the papers were of sufficient general interest to warrant the Council in inviting ladies. An average attendance of upwards of twenty-five ladies was the result, besides a considerably increased number of members and friends. The publicity thus given to the Society and its objects appears to warrant the continuance of the custom, and abundantly to counterbalance the small additional expenditure involved in providing refreshments for the increased numbers.
The annual dinner of the Society was held at Rock Ferry in the latter part of May, and although, owing to unfortunate weather, the attendance was not large, sufficient encouragement was given as to lead the Council to believe that such social meetings of the members of the Society are highly desirable.
It is desired to draw the attention of the Society to the forthcoming tercentenary anniversary of the birth of our great national poet and dramatist, William Shakspere, which will occur on the 23rd April, 1864. Such an interesting event is being naturally seized upon by the literati of all classes and all tenets, and the National Shakspere Committee now includes nearly every man of eminence in the literary world. Moreover, branch committees are being formed in all the principal towns, and the Council would wish the members of the Society to combine in some way, to be hereafter delibe
rated upon, in order that Liverpool may not be wanting in its homage to the genius which has ennobled the national character, and through it the whole human race.
The number of papers promised for the forthcoming session leads to the hope that there may be ample material for discussion at the meetings, and also that the Proceedings will experience no decline in interest or usefulness. At the same time your Council wish to impress upon the members of this Society the importance of keeping up the standard of the papers which go forth to the literary and scientific world as the product of the session's work. Nor is it sufficient that the standard be merely maintained as a stationary one,-it is necessary that it should be advanced and improved each year, if we would keep pace with other publishing Societies, and maintain a position worthy of the enterprise and intelligence of the town whose science and literature we represent.
The Council especially invite brief communications upon subjects of original research, feeling assured that the interest of the meetings and the durability of the published papers alike depend upon the originality and freshness of the matter brought before the Society.
In conclusion, and in compliance with Law 36, the retiring Council recommend the five following gentlemen for election upon the Council for the ensuing year, viz. Dr. J. B. Edwards, F.C.S.; Mr. J. T. Towson, F.R.G.S.; Mr. Chas. Edwd. Rawlins, jun. ; Mr. James Birch, and Mr. S. H. Behrend, M.A.
J. ROBBERDS, V.P.
It was moved by Mr. HIGGINSON, and seconded by Dr. HIBBERT TAYLOR—"That the Report now read be adopted, and that the portion relating to the late Dr. Duncan be
extracted, and sent, with the regretful remembrances of the Society, to his widow.”
The TREASURER then presented his accounts, audited by Mr. Baruchson and Mr. Redish.
Moved by Mr. REDISH, seconded by Rev. W. BANISTER, and carried—“That the accounts now presented be passed." The following office-bearers were then elected :
President (for three years):
Hon. Secretary :
The following gentlemen were also elected members of the Council:
Rev. J. Robberds, J. C. Redish, Alfred Higginson, Rev. H. H. Higgins, Arnold Baruchson, J. T. Towson, Charles E. Rawlins, jun., James Birch, and S. H. Behrend, M.A.
Messrs. W. G. Drysdale and J. MʻFarlane Gray were balloted for, and duly elected ordinary members of the Society.
The following gentlemen were elected to act as delegates from the Society to act on the Committee for the Management of the Gallery of Inventions :~Mr. A. Higginson, the Rev. Dr. Ginsburg, the Rev. J. Robberds, Dr. Nevins, and Dr. Collingwood.
The consideration of the approaching Shakspere Tercentenary, which was to have been discussed at this meeting, was postponed for want of time.