The Royal Society of Medicine was established in 1805 and granted a Royal Charter by His Majesty King William IV in 1834. A Supplementary Charter was granted in 1907 by King Edward VII. The Society is a registered charity and its charity number is 206219. The affairs of the Society are regulated by its Charters and its By-Laws, which were substantially revised on 30 September 1997. A further Supplemental Charter was granted on 10 February 1999. The By-Laws have since been updated and revised, most recently in 2009.
The objects of the Society laid down by the 1834 Charter are the cultivation and promotion of Physic and Surgery and of the Branches of Science connected with them. The Supplementary Charter of 1907 empowered the Society to create Sections for the cultivation and promotion of any branch of medicine or any science connected with, or allied to, medicine. The Supplemental Charter of 1999 provides for a postal ballot of Fellows where necessary and for simplified procedures for future Charter changes. It also provides for specific powers of investment through a separate Schedule of Investment Powers. The Schedule provides that Council shall arrange for the investments to be kept under review by one or more investment experts and may appoint an investment manager who is a proper and competent person to whom the power to buy and sell investments for the Society on behalf of Council in accordance with the investment policy laid down may be delegated.