The Society was founded in 1833 as the Entomological Society of London, the successor to a number of short-lived societies dating back to 1745. The foundation of the society began with a meeting of “gentlemen and friends of entomological science“, held on 3 May 1833 in the British Museum under the presidency of John George Children. Those present were the Reverend Frederick William Hope, George Robert Gray, Cardale Babington, William Yarrell, John Edward Gray, James Francis Stephens, George Thomas Rudd and Thomas Horsfield.. They decided that a society should be convened for the promotion of the science of entomology in its various branches and it should be called the Entomological Society of London. The Society started to amass a library and insect collection. Several publications were purchased by John Obadiah Westwood on behalf of the Society.
Women were allowed membership and had the same rights as the men. The first regular publication of the Society was produced in November 1834 under the title Transactions of Entomological Society of London.
The first meetings of the Society were held in the Thatched House Tavern, St. James’s Street. The Society’s activities took place in various other meeting places before the headquarters at 41 Queen’s Gate was bought in 1920, where the Society stayed until 2007 when the Mansion House at St Albans was purchased.
In 1885 a Royal Charter was granted to the Entomological Society by Queen Victoria and the privilege of adding the word “Royal” to the title was granted by King George V in 1933, the Centenary of the Society’s foundation.
Many eminent scientists of the past, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace to mention but two, have been Fellows of the Society. To this day, the Royal Entomological Society has an international Fellowship recognised for their vast scientific contribution.