The story of the end of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh (P.S, E.) in 1783, is linked with that of the founding of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (S.A.S.) (1780) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (R.S.E.), both of which were given Royal Charters sealed on 6 May 1783. It is a story which has been admirably told by Steven Shapin. He persuasively argued that the P.S.E. was a casualty of bitter quarrels rooted in local Edinburgh politics, in personal animosities and in disputes about the control of cultural property and intellectual leadership. In all this he was surely correct just as he was in finding the principal actors in this controversy to be: David Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan; the Reverend Dr John Walker, Professor of Natural History in Edinburgh University; Dr William Cullen, Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine and Vice-President of the P.S.E.; Mr William Smellie, Printer to the Society of Antiquaries; Henry Home, Lord Kames, S.C.J. and President of the P.S.E.; Sir George Clerk-Maxwell, Vice-President of the P.S.E.; John Robison, Professor of Natural Philosophy and Secretary to the P.S.E.; Edinburgh University's Principal, William Robertson; the Curators of the Advocates Library: Ilay Campbell, Robert Blair, Alexander Abercromby, Alexander Fraser Tytler, Professor of Public Law; Henry Dundas, Lord Advocate (1775–August 1783) and M.P. for Midlothian. In a peripheral way, the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons were probably also involved; so too were Lord Buchan's brothers, Henry and Thomas Erskine, Foxite Whigs who opposed Dundas politically. Henry Erskine displaced Dundas as Lord Advocate in August 1783. After the change of ministry on 18 December 1783 he was ousted, but became Dean of the Faculty of Advocates in 1785. National as well as burgh politics touched these disputes and gave the parties of the Erskines and Dundas and his friends some leverage in London.