The first Honorary Secretary of the BSA was George Augustin Macmillan (1855-1936) who served for ten years (1886-97). He held this alongside the same position for the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. (He subsequently became a Trustee in 1900).
Macmillan was replaced by William Loring (1865-1915), a former student of the School (Cambridge Studentship, Craven Studentship), a member of the Managing Committee, a former Fellow of King's College, Cambridge (1891-97), and Examiner for the Board of Education (1894-1903). During his leave of absence serving in the Boer War (1899-1901; corporal, 19th [Lothians and Berwickshire] Company, Imperial Yeomanry, 1900-1 (D.C.M.); Lieutenant in the Scottish Horse, 1901-2), Macmillan deputised for him. Loring was also the Honorary Secretary for the British School at Rome. He served as Secretary for the BSA until 1903 when he was appointed Director of Education under the West Riding County Council (1903-5).
Loring's place was taken by John ff. Baker Penoyre (1870-1954) who had been a student at Keble College, Oxford, an assistant master at Chigwell School (1896-1900), and had then been admitted to the BSA in 1900/01; he also acted as an extension lecturer on classical art and archaeology at Oxford University. The position of Secretary also attracted a salary of £40 per year. Like Loring he acted as Secretary to the British School at Rome (1904-12). In 1904 he was appointed Secretary for the Hellenic Society at £80 per year (where he also served as Librarian at £60 per year). In 1906/07, 1907/08 Penoyre was granted a year's leave of absence for 'travel and research', and was re-admitted to the BSA. He was replaced by Katherine Raleigh (the translator of The Gods of Olympus ).
From 1911 (to 1920) Caroline Amy Hutton, another former student (1896/97), served as acting Honorary Secretary. She had been serving as joint editor of the Annual from 1906.