Though established by Royal Charter in 1902, the fledgling British Academy had no financial resources beyond the subscriptions of its first Fellows: a bid to the Treasury for ‘assistance from public funds’ was rebuffed in 1904. To remedy the situation, the Secretary of the Academy, Israel Gollancz, turned to a close circle of friends and persuaded them to endow lectures to be given under the auspices of the Academy – thereby increasing its funds and providing it with a valuable opportunity to raise its public profile. In November 2008, Professor Graham Davies FBA gave a lecture to mark the
centenary of the first of these lecture series, the Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology. Here Professor Davies explores the origins of this donation.
• Graham Davies
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