This account of our Society is based to some extent on my Presidential address, which was given on 19 October 1977 and was devoted to the first fifty years.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century there was an upsurge of interest in mathematics that resulted in the foundation of a number of mathematical societies in different countries. The London Mathematical Society (1865), the Moscow Mathematical Society (1867), the Société Mathématique de France (1873), the Edinburgh Mathematical Society (1883) and the New York (later American) Mathematical Society (1888) were all founded in this period. There had, of course, been earlier more local societies, such as the Spittalfields Mathematical Society, which flourished over a long period before becoming defunct, as well as one or two much older bodies, for example the Mathematische Gesellschaft in Hamburg (1690), which still survive.
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