William Godwin's Diary


The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) was founded by East India employee Sir Stamford Raffles (1781–1826) in 1826. The London Zoological Garden, the world's first scientific zoo, opened to Fellows of the Society and their guests only (to protect the animals from the ‘vulgar’) on 27 April 1828 in Regent’s Park. A breeding farm (which closed in 1834) and a museum were also opened. A year later, the Zoo was granted a Royal Charter by King George IV.

See 'Gardens of the Zoological Society', in A Picturesque Guide to the Regent’s Park (London, 1829) and Sofia Ǻkerberg Knowledge and Pleasure at Regent’s Park: The Gardens of the Zoological Society of London during the Nineteenth Century (Umeå: Umeå University Press, 2001).