Fellowships of Learned Societies

Sixth in the order of precedence of letters after name comes the following (in order):

(a) Fellowships of Learned Societies
(b) Royal Academicians and Associates
(c) Fellowships, Memberships, etc, of Professional Institutions, Associations, etc.
(d) Writers to the Signet

These letters follows Orders and Decorations conferred by the Crown, Royal Appointments, other Appointments (Queen's Counsel, Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant) and university degrees.  All letters after the name are preceded by the abbreviation Bt (Baronet) - if applicable - and Esq.

Fellowships of Learned Societies

Fellowships fall into two categories:
(a) Honorific, i.e. nomination by election
(b) Nomination by subscription.

Normally only honorific fellowships are used in social correspondence, such as FRS or FBA.

Fellowships by subscription are generally restricted to correspondence concerning the same field of interest, for example a writer to a Fellow of Zoological Society on the subject of zoology will include FZS after the name.

There is no recognised order for placing these letters. Strictly speaking, they should be arranged according to date of foundation or incorporation of the societies concerned, but some hold that those with a Royal Charter should take precedence.

In practice, where one society is indisputably of greater importance than another the letters are usually placed in that order. Alternatively, the fellowship of the junior society may be omitted. If such precedence cannot be determined, the letters may be placed in order of conferment.  Where this is not known, they may be placed in alphabetical order.

Where a fellow is pre-eminent in a particular subject, the fellowship of a society connected with this interest may either be placed first, or his other fellowships omitted.

The following are some of the principal learned societies, with their dates of incorporation:

Fellow of the Royal Society

FRS

1662

Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries

FSA

1707

Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

FRSE

1783

Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature

FRSL

1823

Fellow of the British Academy

FBA

1901

Presidents of some societies have special letters to signify their appointment, for example, the President of the Royal Society has PRS after his name, but these letters are used only within the particular society.

The Royal Society of Literature bestows an award limited to ten recipients, the Companion of Literature. The letters CLit are placed before the fellowship (CLit, FRSL).

See Royal Academicians

See Professional Fellowships

See Writers to the Signet

 

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