Leaving a Legacy

Gifts in wills can make an enormous difference in supporting the next generation of historians.


Please consider leaving a legacy to the Royal Historical Society. Together we can help innovative research happen, advocate for historians of all kinds, and shape the future of the discipline.

Find out more about how your gift would support us.

A gold bulla depicting an enthroned king.

Golden bulla recto, treaty of perpetual peace between England and France, 1527. National Archives.

Remembering the RHS in your Will

The two most common forms of legacy are residual and pecuniary. A residual legacy would leave a set percentage of your estate, and would therefore be unaffected by inflation. A pecuniary legacy is a specific sum of money and additional steps are required to protect it from inflation.

We would always advise you seek qualified legal advice when writing or amending your will, to ensure that your interests are protected and your wishes properly recorded. If you are considering leaving us a gift in your will, please do get in touch so that we fully understand your wishes and are able to honour your intentions in full.


There are 4 different types of legacy:


1. Residuary

The residue of your estate is the value remaining once all pecuniary legacies, debts, fees, and other charges have been met. You might decide to leave all, or a percentage, of the residue to the Royal Historical Society. The advantage of a residuary legacy is that its value will not be eroded by inflation.

2. Pecuniary

This is a simple legacy of a specified sum of money. To protect it from inflation, this sum can be linked to the Retail Prices Index.

3. Gifts in kind

A legacy need not be in the form of money. You may wish instead to leave specific assets such as property, stocks and shares, works of art, or other valuables.

4. Reversionary

This is a legacy which requires the fulfilment of a certain condition, or event, or specific criteria: for example, an individual may leave their entire estate to their spouse to use in their life time, and on their death the bequest reverts to charity.


Inheritance Tax Benefits

There are benefits to your estate if you leave a legacy to the Royal Historical Society as we have charitable status. Our Charity Number is 206888. You can reduce the taxable assets of your estate and cut the amount of inheritance tax due. You can find more information about the Government’s Charity 10 legislation on the HMRC website

If you would like to discuss your intentions, please contact Adam Hughes, CEO, in the RHS Office. You are welcome to email, write or call on +44(0) 20 3821 5214.


IMAGE: Flowers and Grasses of the Four Seasons, late-16th century, circle of Kano Mitsunobu, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, public domain