Politically within the society, the mid-18th century featured a " Whig supremacy" as the so-called "Hardwicke Circle" of Whig-leaning scientists held the society's main Offices. Named after Lord Hardwicke , the group's members included Daniel Wray and Thomas Birch and was most prominent in the 1750s and '60s. The circle had Birch elected secretary and, following the resignation of Martin Folkes , the circle helped oversee a smooth transition to the presidency of Earl Macclesfield , whom Hardwicke helped elect.  Under Macclesfield, the circle reached its "zenith", with members such as Lord Willoughby and Birch serving as vice-president and secretary respectively. The circle also influenced goings-on in other learned societies, such as the Society of Antiquaries of London . After Macclesfield's retirement, the circle had Lord Morton elected in 1764 and Sir John Pringle elected in 1772.  By this point, the previous Whig "majority" had been reduced to a "faction", with Birch and Willoughby no longer involved, and the circle declined in the same time frame as the political party did in British politics under George III , falling apart in the 1780s.