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Royal Institution of Great Britain

Pepys, William Hasledine (1775-1856)


Reference code(s): GB 0116 William Hasledine Pepys Collection

Held at: Royal Institution of Great Britain

Title: Pepys, William Hasledine (1775-1856)

Date(s): 1805-c1862

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 2 boxes; 0.23 metres

Name of creator(s): Pepys, William Hasledine, 1775-1856. Man of science.


Administrative/Biographical history:

William Hasledine Pepys was born the son of W H Pepys, cutler and maker of surgical instruments, in London, in 1775. His educational background is not known. In 1796 he founded the Askesian Society, which led to the foundation of the British Mineralogical Society, the Geological Society and the London Institution, in Finsbury Square, London. He was an original manager of the London Institution and was Honorary Secretary from 1821 to 1824. He became the Treasurer and Vice-President of the Geological Society. He worked on soda-water apparatus in 1798 and also researched into using mercury contacts for electrical apparatus and tubes coated in India rubber to convey gases, inventing the mercury gasometer as a result. In 1807 he invented a type of eudiometer, and in 1808 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. He extended his father's business into making instruments for the philosophical discipline. He was active in the management of the Royal Institution of Great Britain (RI) and was its Vice-President in 1816. He published papers of his work in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and in Philosophical Magazine with William Allen (1770-1843). He was a Quaker and he died in Kensington, London in 1856.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of William Hasledine Pepys include correspondence to and from various recipients, relating to various issues such as surgical instruments, club nominations and the Royal Institution of Great Britain (RI), c1805-1862 in: Pep A (Green Folder), Pep B (Brown Folder), Pep C (1836 Folder), Pep D (Autographs), Pep E (Miscellanea). Pep F (Royal Institution) is a bound volume containing various notices of meetings, proposed bye-laws and accounts relating to the RI, 1806-1810.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

As outlined in the Scope and Content field.

Conditions governing access:

Access to bona fide researchers by appointment with the Keeper of the Collections or the Assistant Archivist, the Royal Institution of Great Britain (RI).

Conditions governing reproduction:

Reproduction of material is permitted at the discretion of the Keeper of the Collections, RI.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

General catalogue at the RI; card index at the RI.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: general catalogue at the RI; card index at the RI. Detailed catalogue to be prepared. Description compiled by Miss Ivone Martins, Assistant Archivist, RI.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: April 2001.


Personal names
Babington | William | 1756-1833 | physician and mineralogist
Brande | William Thomas | 1788-1866 | chemist
Children | John George | 1777-1852 | Colonel in the Royal Engineers
Pepys | William Hasledine | 1775-1856 | man of science

Corporate names
Geological Society
London Institution
Royal Institution of Great Britain

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