Leicester Literary & Philosophical Society, locally known as the Lit & Phil, was founded in 1835 by Dr G. Shaw and Mr. A Paget. Its nominal President was Sir Henry Halford of Wistow, Royal Physician to George III, George IV and William IV, but its Acting President was Dr Shaw, who had been involved in the early days of the Manchester Scientific Society.

The style “literary and philosophical” seemed to embrace all the intellectual as distinguished from the practical and religious sides of life. The Society was not intended to specialise in any particular branch of knowledge but the subjects introduced should be of intellectual interest, should not be of a religious or political nature and be as much as possible undisturbed by political or sectarian strife.

The Society has long established Geology and Natural History Sections, which each have their own websites, and organise a variety of activities including summer field trips, winter lecture programmes and workshops.

Almost 200 years later, the Lit & Phil lectures are free to members but can be attended for a fee by non-members. As well as their lecture series they also publish reports, papers and support Leicester Museums & Galleries.

The Society was influential in establishing New Walk Museum (now Leicester Museum & Art Gallery) in 1849, the City Library in the 1860s and Leicester University College (now the University of Leicester) in 1920.

Visit the Lit & Phil website for more information on the society and details of their upcoming events.