The University of London: The Constituent Colleges

Pages 345-359

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.

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Bedford College

Argent between two flaunches paly bendy or and sable a cross pattee throughout gules voided of the field, surmounted by an open book of the second on a chief of the third an antique lamp gold inflamed proper [Granted 1913]

Bedford College (fn. 2) was founded in 1849 in 47 (now 48) Bedford Square. The foundation was financed by Mrs. Elisabeth J. Reid (1789-1866), a philanthropist of varied interests and nonconformist background, who wished to establish 'a College for Women, or something like it'. Her foundation differed from Queen's College, Harley Street, founded in 1848 with similar objects, in that teaching at Bedford was unsectarian and both sexes were represented on the governing body.

For the first forty years of its existence the College had no full-time teachers. Courses were organized within a liberal curriculum: Arts subjects predominated in early timetables, although courses in natural science were also included. Sixty-eight students attended during the first term; but it was soon realized that many had received an inadequate basic education, and from 1853 to 1868 a school was conducted in the College building.

Mrs. Reid died in 1866 leaving much of her estate in trust for 'the promotion of female education'. These resources were used in the first instance by the Trustees to re-establish Bedford College in more adequate premises. The College was incorporated in 1869, and five years later moved to new premises in York Place, Baker Street.

From 1878 the London University degree examinations were opened to women, and teaching in the College immediately developed to meet the requirements of degree candidates. Early developments were concentrated in the Department of Science, and between 1876 and 1885 professorships in Chemistry and Physics, Zoology, Physiology, and Geology were instituted. To meet the growing demand for science teaching a College extension in East Street was opened in 1891. By this date the College comprised sixteen departments, an Art school, and classes in music and singing. Student numbers varied from 100 to 120, with a teaching staff of about 28.

Miss (later Dame) Emily Penrose was appointed first Principal in 1893. In the following year the College received for the first time L.C.C. and Treasury grants. Recognition as a school of the University followed in 1900, when twelve members of the College staff were granted the status of University teacher. A bequest of £12,500 enabled the College to purchase in 1908 a long lease on South Villa, a house standing in 8 acres in Regents Park. Building commenced in 1911, and the new College premises, which included residential accommodation for 80 students, were opened in 1913.

Improvements in the academic standing of the College were made possible by a gift of 100,000 guineas from Sir Hildred Carlile. Four Hildred Carlile chairs-in English Literature, Latin, Botany, and Physics-were endowed, and these were subsequently made into University chairs. Further changes between 1914 and 1922 included the inauguration of new Departments of Dutch Studies (1915), Social Studies (1918), and Geography (1920), and the closure of the Art school and Teacher Training Department in 1914 and 1922 respectively.

By 1919 there were more than 600 students, and the accommodation and residence problems were acute. Temporary huts in the quadrangle were erected in 1920 to meet immediate needs, and work on a College extension began in 1927. The new premises, called Tuke Building, were opened in 1931. South Villa was then demolished. To meet residential requirements the College acquired in 1918-19 two groups of houses in Dorset Square, N.W. 1, and Adamson Road, N.W. 3. These formed the basis of two halls of residence, known after 1925 as Notcutt House and Bedford College House respectively. By 1939 more than one-third of the students lived in College residences.

On the outbreak of the Second World War Bedford College was evacuated to Cambridge. Here, with some assistance from the Cambridge teachers, the teaching programme was maintained until 1944, when Bedford College returned to London. The College buildings and Notcutt House had been severely damaged by enemy action in 1941, and teaching recommenced in temporary premises. Serious accommodation problems resulted from the post-war increase in the number of students from 680 in 1945 to 836 in 1948. The College acquired The Holme, a house adjoining the College, in 1945, and Hanover Lodge in the Outer Circle in 1947. These were developed chiefly for residential purposes. Rebuilding of the College premises was completed in 1952, and further extensions were opened in 1957 and 1960.

After 1945 teaching facilities were considerably expanded. By 1948 all nineteen departments of the College were under professors of the University. The number of postgraduate students increased from 49 in 1945 to 113, of whom 36 were men, in 1958. By 1962 the College had 864 undergraduates and 118 postgraduate students and a teaching staff of 138.


Birkbeck College

Chequy or and sable on a pale argent a sword gules a chief of the second thereon an owl of the third between two antique lamps of the first inflamed proper [Granted 1949]

In 1823, stimulated by the activity of George Birkbeck (1776-1841), a science lecturer who had earlier established an evening institute for working craftsmen in Glasgow, Thomas Hodgskin and J. C. Robertson, editors of the Mechanic's Magazine, proposed a scheme for establishing a similar institution in London. They were immediately joined by Birkbeck, who was then working as a physician in London, and a committee was formed to draft a constitution for what was styled the London Mechanic's Institution. Classes opened in 1824 in a Monkwell Street chapel, and the Institution then had between 650 and 750 subscribing members. Within a few months new premises were found in Southampton Buildings, Holborn.

From the outset the Institution, instructing industrial workers 'in the Principles of the Arts they practise and in the various branches of Science and useful knowledge', was attacked by conservative critics. The founding Committee was itself divided as to whether or not the Institution should be dependent on charitable contributions from the moneyed classes. In 1824 Robertson and Hodgskin severed their connexion with the Institution on this issue. By 1826 it was becoming doubtful whether the persons attending the Institution were those for whom it was originally intended, and the Committee redefined the term 'working class' as 'comprehending all those members who work and do not employ journeymen'. Women were admitted to lectures from 1830, but the arrangement was only tentative and by 1833 the Committee was reconsidering 'the propriety of admitting females . . . through the front entrance'.

During the early period the Institution provided systematic instruction in basic general education. By 1839 the curriculum included classes in English grammar, French, Latin, writing, mathematics, geography, shorthand, and book-keeping. Lectures were given on chemistry, experimental philosophy, and natural history. Although little attention was paid to social studies, the courses were attacked during the 1830's by Thomas Carlyle and by those who criticised the education of a 'steam-intellect society'. (fn. 4) By 1839 classes were attended by 1,081 students, including eleven women.

George Birkbeck died in 1841 and policy decisions were then vested in a committee. Without Birkbeck's strong guidance the fortunes of the Institution began to decline. By 1850 there were only 651 students and there was a debt of £400; seven years later the number had fallen to 436. An appeal for government support in 1857 resulted in an official inquiry and the publication of a report strongly criticising the work of the Institution. Classes were said to be 'cumbrous and inefficient' and the students more concerned with amusement than instruction.

Although the report advocated a radical reorganization of the Institution, the direction of its future development was in fact dictated by developments within the University of London. The charter granted to the University in 1858 and revised in 1863 enabled part-time as well as full-time students to enter for London University degree examinations, and resulted in a rapid increase in the number of students attending the Institution. A further stimulus to the Institution's educational activity was given in 1866 by the adoption of a sub-committee report advocating the formation of an Educational Council to supervise teaching, and the addition to the curriculum of classes in algebra, geometry, and advanced mathematics. By 1868 the classes were attracting 3,000 students, many of whom entered for University examinations.

The status and financial position of the Institution were still, however, uncertain. New premises in Fetter Lane were opened in 1885, and the number of students continued to increase. Although 4,059 students attended the Institute in 1888, the Selborne Commission of that year referred to it as one of the 'less authoritative' institutions, and it was not included in the proposed charter for a teaching university.

Some financial support was obtained from the Charity Commission in 1889 at the cost of a connexion with the City of London College to form the 'City Polytechnic'. This development had little practical effect on the academic character of the Institution. Classes continued to be organized 'to meet the requirements of the University of London', and the connexion with the polytechnic movement merely increased the ambiguity of the Institution's status. The City Polytechnic was dissolved in 1907, and the Birkbeck Institution adopted the style of Birkbeck College.

Between 1895 and 1913 a number of changes occurred in the College. From 1895 the Principal was appointed as a full-time salaried official; a new salary scale for teaching staff was introduced; and subjects were reorganized on a departmental basis. After 1908, as part of an L.C.C. policy for concentrating technical and commercial subjects in other institutions, a number of classes in economics and metallurgy were transferred or discontinued, and the Art School was closed in 1913. The scope and standard of teaching was further influenced by the demands of London University examinations. By 1910 of the 1,038 students attending the College 326 were studying for University examinations.

The Royal Commission's report of 1913 urged the development of Birkbeck College as 'the natural seat of the constituent College for evening and other part-time students'. Further progress was halted by the outbreak of the First World War; but in 1920 the College was admitted as a school of the University for a probationary five-year period. No fulltime day University students were admitted after the session 1920-1, and a new Constitution, providing, inter alia, for direct representation of the Student Union on the governing body, was adopted in 1921. The College was admitted permanently as a school of the University in 1933.

Between 1921 and 1939 the College's academic and social facilities expanded steadily. College societies were formed, and playing fields at Greenford (Mdx.) were acquired in 1920. A portion of the Bloomsbury site was allotted for new College premises in 1930. Building commenced in 1939, but only the steel frame had been erected when work had to stop in 1940.

The College remained open during the Second World War. Courses for day students were provided; evening tuition was suspended; and part-time students attended during daylight on Saturdays and Sundays. Evening courses were reintroduced in 1945. Work on the College building recommenced, and new premises in Malet Street were completed in 1951. Work on a further extension began in 1964.

In 1961 facilities for postgraduate study in all Honours subjects were offered in the Faculty of Arts. All departments of the Faculty of Science, which included those of Botany, Zoology, and Geology, offered postgraduate and special laboratory facilities. At September 1961 the 1,511 internal students were divided almost equally between the Arts and Science faculties.


Imperial College of Science and Technology

Per fesse in chief quarterly 1st and 4th gules three lions passant gardant in pale or armed and langued azure; 2nd or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory counter flory gules; 3rd azure a harp or stringed argent and in base or an open book inscribed with the word SCIENTIA [Granted 1908]

The Imperial College of Science and Technology, (fn. 5) constituted by royal charter in 1907, is the result of the union of three institutions, the Royal College of Science, the Royal School of Mines, and the City and Guilds College, which were established in South Kensington in the later 19th century.

The forerunner of the Royal College of Science was the Royal College of Chemistry, established in 1845. It was administered by a Council under the presidency of the Prince Consort, who largely contributed to its success; his personal intervention secured the appointment of August von Hofmann, Privatdozent at the University of Bonn, as Professor of Chemistry. The College aimed to promote 'the prosecution of such researches as may become of public benefit and tend to the general advancement of this important science'. It first opened in 1845 in a temporary laboratory at 33 George Street. In 1846, however, no. 16, Hanover Square was leased and new laboratories, completed in 1847, erected on the vacant frontage on Oxford Street. Initially there were about 40 students, among whom were Frederick Abel, Warren de la Rue, Charles Mansfield, Henry Bessemer, and William Henry Perkin. (fn. 6)

The development of the Royal School of Mines was closely linked with that of the Geological Survey. In 1841 Thomas de la Beche, the founder of the Survey, instituted the Museum of Economic Geology to 'exhibit the practical applications of geology to the useful purposes of life'. Instruction in mineralogy, metallurgy, and analytical chemistry was given to a limited number of students at the Museum, then in Craig's Court, Westminster. In 1851 the Prince Consort opened a new building for the Museum in Jermyn Street, and in the same year the government approved de la Beche's scheme to establish, in association with the Museum, a school to be known as the 'Government School of Mines and Science applied to the arts', for instruction in mining and applied science.

De la Beche drew the staff of the School from his officers on the Survey. Amongst them was Lyon Playfair, who became Professor of Chemistry jointly with his post of Chemist to the Survey. When he resigned in 1853 to become Secretary of the new Science and Art Department of the Board of Trade, the Chair of Chemistry was offered to Hofmann. The Royal College of Chemistry was in financial difficulties and its Council saw a solution of their problems in Hofmann's acceptance of this offer and the incorporation of the College with the School of Mines. This took place in 1853. Hofmann continued to preside over the Oxford Street laboratories, which although now the Chemistry Department of the mining school, continued to be known as the Royal College of Chemistry until 1872.

One of the effects of the Great Exhibition of 1851 was the creation of a demand for scientific technical education. The Science and Art Department was established in 1853 to 'promote the advance of the Fine Arts and of Practical Science'. The School of Mines was placed under the control of this Department (which in 1899 merged into the Board of Education). The Department at first attempted to broaden the basis of instruction at the School and to give it the character of a centre for a prospective system of technical education of which only a branch would be mining education. This was a policy strongly advocated in later years by T. H. Huxley, who became Professor of Natural History in 1854. The School was renamed 'The Metropolitan School of Science applied to Mining and the Arts' in 1853. The influence of Sir Roderick Murchison, the successor of de la Beche as Director of the School, and his supporters led to the subordination of the study of pure science to that of mining. In 1857 the name of the School became 'The Government School of Mines' and in 1859 the scope of its training was limited by the cessation of various science courses; in 1863 it finally became the 'Royal School of Mines'.

The accommodation at the Museum soon became inadequate for the School and it overflowed into adjacent premises. In 1870 the Royal Commission for Scientific Instruction recommended the removal of the School of Mines and the Royal College of Chemistry to new premises in South Kensington. In 1872 the Chemistry, Physics, and Natural History Departments were moved to the new building in Exhibition Road which was later called the 'Huxley Building'. The Applied Mechanics Department followed in 1873, Geology in 1877, and Metallurgy in 1880. The Mining Department was the last to move in 1891, thus breaking the final link with the Museum and Survey.

Training courses for teachers, which had begun in 1869 with summer courses only, were established in 1873. H. G. Wells was a notable student at these courses. The general expansion of the scientific teaching of the School was recognized by its reorganization in 1881 when it was re-established as the 'Normal School of Science and Royal School of Mines'. Huxley was appointed the first Dean. Two types of training were now offered within the one institution, which, however, came to be regarded as two associated schools, each with a distinct character and tradition and its own diploma: the Associateship of the Royal School of Mines for students of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Associateship of the Normal School of Science for students of Pure Science. The name 'Royal College of Science' was adopted in 1890.

The building in Exhibition Road quickly became overcrowded, and many classes had to be held in temporary accommodation. In 1898 the Government decided to erect a new building for Chemistry and Physics on a site on the south side of Imperial Institute Road, the gift of the Commissioners of the 1851 Exhibition. These new premises were not completed, however, until 1906.

In 1876 a meeting of the Corporation and Livery Companies of the City of London drew attention to the need for 'the promotion of Education ... throughout the country, and especially of technical education'. As a result, the City and Guilds of London Institute was founded in 1878, and in the following year H. E. Armstrong and W. E. Ayrton were appointed to organize classes in Chemistry and Physics in what was to become the Finsbury Technical College. Enlarged plans for a 'Central Institution or College for the advanced education of those who had acquired sufficient knowledge of science or the arts to profit by instruction in the industrial application of these' were realized when in 1881 the foundation-pillar of the institution was laid by the Prince of Wales. The new College, known as the Central Institution, was opened in 1884. The first four professorships were in Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and Mechanics, and Mathematics, and the College developed primarily as a school of engineering. In 1893 the College became known as the Central Technical College of the City and Guilds of London. The number of students increased from 28 in the first session 1885-6 to over 200 by 1898.

By 1900 it was being claimed that British universities were lagging behind continental and United States institutions in providing technical training. A Departmental Committee of the Board of Education was appointed in 1904 to study the matter. Sir Francis Mowatt was appointed Chairman only to resign owing to ill-health. R. B. Haldane (later Lord Haldane) succeeded him. In its report, published in 1906, the Committee concluded that the provision of more facilities for advanced technological education was essential. The Committee recommended that the three South Kensington Colleges should form the nucleus of 'an institution or group of associated Colleges of Science and Technology, where the highest specialized instruction should be given, and where the fullest equipment for the most advanced training and research should be provided in various branches of science, especially in its application to industry'. As a result the Imperial College of Science and Technology was incorporated in 1907, (fn. 7) and admitted as a school of the University in 1908. Representatives of the nation's scientific and industrial interests sat on the governing body, and Dr. H. T. Bovey of McGill University was appointed first Rector. The former diplomas of the constituent colleges were retained by the new College and a new diploma of membership of the Imperial College instituted for postgraduate work.

In 1907 the College had almost 600 full-time students; by 1914 the number had increased to 800. An extension to the City and Guilds College and the present building of the Royal School of Mines were ready for occupation in 1913. In the same year a chair of Chemical Technology was established and the Department of Chemical Technology moved into new premises south of Prince Consort Road in 1914. Within the School of Mines a sub-Department of Oil Technology was instituted in 1913, and a professorship of Economic Mineralogy established in 1914. In the same year the Bessemer Laboratory was opened to provide instruction in Mining and Metallurgy. Tywarnhale Mine, near Truro, had been purchased in 1909 for instruction in mine surveying.

The First World War stimulated the growth of the College. A Department of Technical Optics was set up in 1917, and later incorporated in the Physics Department. The Zaharoff Chair of Aviation, the first of its kind in the country, was established in 1919, and in the following year the first Chair of Meteorology in Britain was founded. In the Department of Chemical Technology a Chair of Chemical Engineering was established in 1926. In the same year the Goldsmiths' Extension building was completely occupied and opened by the Duke of York (later King George VI). The post-war influx of students brought the number attending the College to 1,080, where it remained fairly static for the next decade.

A student hall was built in the Beit Quadrangle in 1926, and enlarged in 1931 to accommodate some 100 students. A biological field station was set up at Slough in 1928, and used until the College purchased Silwood Park near Ascot in 1947. Silwood has since accommodated a number of other College activities. The athletic ground at North Wembley, which had been bought as a war memorial, was acquired by the local authority in 1936 and land at Harlington was purchased by the College to replace it. The building of the Royal School of Needlework, at the junction of Exhibition Road and Imperial Institute Road, was purchased by the College in 1934. In 1949 the premises were fully occupied by the College and renamed the Unwin Building.

Imperial College was selected by the Government in 1953 as an instrument in a national attack on the problem of providing more university-trained scientists and technologists. The College agreed to double its size, to provide for 3,000 students, and to complete the programme in ten years. A second decade of expansion started immediately afterwards as a result of the Government's acceptance of the recommendation on national targets for student numbers of the Committee on Higher Education. The College has continued to receive special support from the Government.

Building after 1953 was concentrated in the area between Prince Consort Road and the South Kensington museums, Exhibition Road and Queen's Gate. The Hill building to house the Aeronautics, and Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology Departments, was opened in 1957, and the Physics building in 1960. The East Quadrangle was completed; the Mechanical Engineering building, facing Exhibition Road, was built in four stages- the first being completed in 1959 and the last in 1965. To make way for the later stages of the building part of the old City and Guilds College building was demolished in 1962 and the remainder, along with the Unwin building, in the following year. On the south side of the Quadrangle the new Civil Engineering building was occupied in 1963, and to the west the Electrical Engineering Department moved in 1962 to what will be the highest building in the precinct. The Quadrangle was closed by the southern extension of the Royal School of Mines which was completed in 1964. On the south side of Imperial Institute Road the new building for Biochemistry was erected on the site of part of the existing Royal College of Science building.

The expansion of the academic buildings was paralleled by an extension of the social and residential facilities. The Union building was doubled in size in 1956, and a new floor added to the Beit Hall of Residence in the following year. The College acquired the neighbouring Prince's Gardens in 1956 for comprehensive development and the first new hall of residence there, Weeks Hall, was opened in 1959. The second stage, which came into use in 1963, was the South Side building containing four halls of residence (Falmouth Hall, Keogh Hall, Selkirk Hall, and Tizard Hall) and refectories and common rooms for general College use.

By October 1964 some 3,100 students were attending the College. Numbers were divided between the faculties of science and engineering in the proportion of two to three, and more than one-third of the students were postgraduates. The academic staff of the College at that time numbered 535 and was headed by 65 professors. In 1965 a scheme was introduced by which prominent industrialists and others in government establishments could have conferred on them by the College the title of Visiting Professor by virtue of their part-time share in its work.

The physical expansion of the College was accompanied by other significant developments. The major change towards a residential community came with the opening of the South Side building with rooms for nearly 400 students. Academic changes were mostly absorbed within the existing departmental structure; only two new departments were created- Biochemistry and The History of Science and Technology-but postgraduate studies tended to become interdepartmental in scope. To further the work of the College powerful and expensive facilities were installed; the College Computer Unit was set up in 1964 and the University of London Nuclear Reactor was erected at the College Field Station where it is managed by the College for the University. A scheme for the incorporation of the School of the Architectural Association as a fourth constituent college was approved in principle. Another link with fields of study bordering on the College's main interests was the joint sponsorship with the London School of Economics and Political Science of the new London Graduate School of Business Studies. Traditional and close connexions with overseas, and particularly the Commonwealth, were formally strengthened when in 1963 the College entered into a special relationship with the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.


The theological controversy attending the foundation of London University (University College) in 1827 (fn. 9) resulted in the foundation of King's College in 1829. Press rumours of a metropolitan college controlled by the Established Church appeared in 1827; but the idea was first openly defined early in 1828 by Dr. George D'Oyly, Rector of Lambeth, in an open letter to Sir Robert Peel. Discussion followed, and a concrete scheme emerged during the summer of 1828. A public meeting, with the Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington, in the chair, and attended by the Archbishops of York, Canterbury, and Armagh, and two members of the Cabinet (Peel and Aberdeen) was held in June. A provisional committee of twenty-seven was appointed to raise funds, and to frame regulations and building plans. The sum raised by subscription was inadequate, (fn. 10) but a site lying between the Strand and the Thames (fn. 11) was granted to the College by the Crown and building began in 1829. In the same year the College was incorporated as an institution 'for the general education of youth in which the various branches of Literature and Science are intended to be taught, and also the doctrines and duties of Christianity . . . inculcated by the United Church of England and Ireland'. Government of the College was vested in a council consisting of nine official governors, five of whom were ecclesiastics, eight life governors, a treasurer, and 24 other members of the Corporation.

By the time of the College opening in October 1831 the chairs of Mathematics, Classical Literature, and the double chair of English Law and Jurisprudence had been filled, but those of English Literature and History were still vacant. From the outset medical teaching formed a particularly important part of the College syllabus, and six medical chairs were instituted. William Otter, a clergyman, was appointed first Principal and lecturer in divinity.

For teaching purposes the College was divided into a Higher department and a Lower or Junior department (later known as King's College School) housed in the basement and at first staffed by only three teachers. Within the Senior department teaching was divided into three courses: a general course, comprising divinity, classical languages, mathematics, English literature, and history; the medical course; and, thirdly, miscellaneous subjects, such as law, political economy, and modern languages, which were not related to any systematic course of study and depended for their continuance on the attractiveness of the lecturer and the supply of 'occasional' students. Tuition in the general course was of an elementary nature more appropriate to a school than to a university. By the end of the first session there were 764 students on the College roll, of whom 162 were in King's College School.

The School was successful from the outset. It provided tuition for the sons of middle-class parents, teaching not only classics and mathematics, but also modern languages and natural science. By 1833 there were 319 pupils, and two years later, despite an attempt by the College to limit the number to 400, the roll contained 461 boys. By 1836, under a scheme instituted in 1829 for the affiliation to King's College School of those schools pledging themselves to the religious principles of the College, eleven grammar schools were 'in union with King's College'.

Numbers in the Senior department, unlike those in the School, remained almost stationary during the first five years of the College's existence. Death and resignations occasioned a number of staff changes during this period. One of the most important appointments was that of Charles Wheatstone to the professorship of Experimental Philosophy. In the medical school inefficiency and the divided loyalties of the staff occasioned a steady decline in attendance. By 1834-5 the number of regular students had fallen to 42, several of the staff had resigned, and the school began to show a loss.

In 1833 the general course was reorganized to form a continuous course of study leading to the award of the certificate of an Associate of King's College (A.K.C.). The river frontage of the College was completed during 1834-5, and, with the institution in 1836 of the degree-conferring London University, a period of limited expansion began.

An Engineering department was opened in 1838 with 31 students. In the following year there were 50 students, and 58 by 1840. The department continued to expand: a workshop in the basement was opened, and in 1840 teaching in Architecture was added to the syllabus. From this course there emerged in 1886 the Division of Architecture and Building Construction, transferred in 1913 to University College.

In 1839 the College leased St. Clement Danes' parish workhouse in Portugal Street and converted the building into a College hospital. It was opened in 1840 and initially contained 120 beds. Ten years later the College council purchased the premises, and in 1851, acting under powers conferred by the King's College Hospital Act, transferred them to the corporation of the Hospital established by that Act. The old building was then demolished, and the first wing of a new Hospital opened in 1861.

A formal proposal to establish a Theological department was made in 1846. Three professors of divinity were appointed, and work began at Easter 1846 with 33 students. By 1852-3 the number of students had increased to seventy-eight. A house adjoining the College was purchased in 1847 and opened as a hall for theological students; but this scheme failed to pay its way and the hall closed in 1858.

The establishment of the Theological department stimulated the growth of the General department. The number of students taking the general course increased from 121 in 1846-7 to 156 in the following session. A number of assistant staff members were appointed, and four new chairs, of Chinese (1847), International Law (1848), Landscape Drawing (1851), and Practical Chemistry (1851), were established. Students in the General department, however, still worked to secure entrance to Oxford and Cambridge; few sat for London University examinations, to the syllabuses of which the King's College course was not adapted. From the late 1850's onwards the numbers and standards of the General department began to decline. There were only 58 students by 1866, and the list of honours taken at Oxford and Cambridge by King's men had dwindled. Reorganization of the curriculum failed to check the decline. The growth of the Theological department was curtailed by its inability to confer degrees in divinity, and by 1863 there were only 41 theological students.

Developments in the School further retarded the growth of the College. By 1843 there were nearly 500 pupils, but many remained at the School beyond the normal age of 16 and proceeded immediately to Oxford or Cambridge. Hence the School began to rival rather than complement the College. Numbers in the School declined slightly after 1846, falling to 463 in 1850, when the council decided that the curriculum was not meeting the demands of children wishing to enter business, and divided the establishment into two sections, 'classical' and 'modern'. This division became effective in January 1851 when the modern side had 128 pupils.

The general decline was partly concealed by the success of the evening department which was opened in 1855. Classes were offered in sixteen subjects, and, initially, teaching was undertaken by members of the College staff. The project was immediately successful and in 1858-9, when there were 378 students, special teachers were appointed. By 1865 there were 654 evening students.

After the resignation in 1868 of the fourth Principal, Dr. Richard Jelf, the council were able to revise the duties of the Principal. In future he was to act as chaplain, lecture frequently, summon and preside at staff meetings, and retire at the age of 65. Alfred Barry, Headmaster of Cheltenham College, was appointed fifth Principal, and he strongly supported the claim of the teaching staff to share in the government of the College. In 1870 new regulations were drawn up 'for establishing departmental and general boards', and the general board immediately began to take an active part in determining College policy.

The General and Theological departments, however, continued to decline. By 1884 there were only 39 students in the General department. Numbers in the Theological department dropped to 24 in 1876, but a number of reforms revitalized the department during the late 1870's. Under reciprocal arrangements theological associates of King's were enabled to attain the Durham B.A. degree after one academic year's residence in Durham University. The extension of evening classes to the Theological department resulted in an increase in the number of students to 79 by 1881.

The appointment in 1877 of Joseph Lister to the professorship of clinical surgery at King's College Hospital greatly benefited the medical faculty. The introduction of Lister's techniques for the antiseptic treatment of surgical cases gained the Hospital an international reputation.

In 1882 the King's College London Act, embodying the recommendations of a committee appointed to consider constitutional revision, was passed. The original constitution was annulled, and the objects of the College extended to include the education of women. (fn. 12) Despite this development, however, the College continued to decline in the face of competition from the new degree-conferring universities. Numbers in the medical department dropped from 223 in 1884 to 132 in 1897, and by 1893 the General department had 10 students and a staff of twenty-five. Several attempts were made to revitalize the department: in 1888 it was divided into separate departments of arts and science; in 1893 the term 'department' was discontinued in favour of 'faculty', and the science faculty was then entirely disassociated from that of arts. Neither faculty, however, had a syllabus geared to the requirements of the London University degree examinations, and they still suffered from the competition of the secondary schools, including King's College School itself.

The School itself, however, was declining with the increasing competition of the big London schools. The number of pupils dropped from 612 in 1880 to 166 in 1897, and the School began to lose money. Hence it became, instead of a help, an additional financial burden to the College. By 1895 the College accounts showed a deficit of nearly £8,000 and the overdraft stood at £28,000. Government aid was made conditional on the relaxation of religious tests for College teachers and students. Tests for students were abandoned in 1895, when both the government and the L.C.C. made grants to the College. In 1897 the School was removed from the Strand building to premises near Wimbledon Common.

The reconstitution of the University of London in 1900 had a marked effect on the character of King's College. College courses were revised with a view to preparing candidates for the University degree examinations, and inter-collegiate courses were instituted. The College then began to revive. By 1912 there were 104 degree students in arts and 74 in science; occasional and evening students brought the totals to 1,160 in arts and 389 in science.

Under the King's College London Act of 1903, which amended the 1882 Act, religious tests for teachers, except for the staff of the Theological department, were abolished. The Treasury and L.C.C. grants were then increased, and the College's finances began to improve. Further reforms were effected under the King's College (Transfer) Act of 1908 which became operative in 1910. The clinical departments of the medical school and the School were placed under independent governing bodies; the Theological department separated from the rest of the College under the governance of a College council; and the secular departments were incorporated in the University of London.

A period of rapid expansion followed. King's College Hospital was moved from the Portugal Street building to new premises begun in 1908 on a site in Denmark Hill, Camberwell. The move involved great changes in the structure of the medical faculty, and the pre-clinical and pre-medical teaching given in the College was separated from the clinical studies conducted in the Hospital. A house on Champion Hill, near the Hospital was acquired in 1914 and reopened as a hall for medical and other students. In the same year a hall for theological students was opened in Vincent Square, Westminster.

The influx of students after the end of the First World War strained existing facilities to the limit. Numbers increased from 1,775 in 1917-18 to 3,879 in 1919-20. The departments of Chemistry, Physics, Botany, Geology, Zoology, Pharmacology, and Electrical Engineering were extended, and, among other temporary expedients, classes were held in the Principal's house. The possibility of removing the College premises to a Bloomsbury site, offered by the government, was considered, but finally rejected in 1925. Further additions to the Strand premises then began. A site above Aldwych tube station was acquired and a new block (opened in 1929) built to provide accommodation for the departments of Geology, Geography, History, Education, and Classics. In 1930 a two-storey building was erected on the roof of the main building to house the Hambleden Department of Anatomy, and to provide accommodation for research in Physiology.

During the Second World War the College was evacuated to Bristol University. Part of the Strand building was demolished by enemy action in 1940. When the damage was being repaired, the vaults under the quadrangle were replaced by a two-storey laboratory (opened in 1952) for the departments of Physics and Civil and Electrical Engineering. During the 1950's the College acquired for future development further premises in the Strand, Surrey Street, and Drury Lane. A faculty of Music was established in the College in 1964.

At October 1964 the College had 2,432 internal students and staff of 268.


The London School of Economics and Political Science

Sable a beaver passant or on a chief of the second two closed books purpure clasped leaved and decorated gold [Granted 1922]

In 1894 H. H. Hutchinson, a member of the Fabian Society, died, having appointed Sidney Webb his executor and one of five trustees empowered to dispose of the residue of his estate. Webb decided to use the £10,000 available under Hutchinson's will to found in London a school which would provide teaching and research facilities in economics on the lines of the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques in Paris. A committee was formed, and W. A. S. Hewins appointed first Director of the School. The Society of Arts and the London Chamber of Commerce took an active interest in the project, and financial support was given initially by the Fabian Society. Some leading Fabians, in particular Bernard Shaw, attempted, unsuccessfully, to impose collectivist principles on the School. The first prospectus outlined the School's objects as 'the study and investigation of the concrete facts of industrial life and the actual working of economic and political institutions as they exist or have existed, in the United Kingdom or in foreign countries'.

The School opened in October 1895, offering twelve courses of evening lectures and a three-year course in economics, economic history, and statistics. More than 200 students enrolled in the first term, and by the end of the first session there were 281 students, including 87 women. Initially the School occupied premises at 9 John Street, Adelphi; but in 1896 moved to rooms at 10 Adelphi Terrace. Many lectures were given in the premises of the London Chamber of Commerce in Eastcheap and at the Hall of the Royal Society of Arts. The British Library of Political Science, under the direction of the School, was opened in the Adelphi Terrace premises in 1896. The library provided important research facilities, and by 1900 the School was said to be 'one of the largest centres in the United Kingdom for postgraduate research'.

For the first twenty years of the School's existence financial resources were inadequate, and initially all the staff, except the Director, were part-time. Sidney and Beatrice Webb lectured at the School, and both assisted with the administration. (fn. 14) During this period the School was essentially a place for evening study, and not until 1906-7 were regular day-time lectures established. The School, however, continued to expand. A Students' Union was founded in 1897, and nearly 400 students attended the School during 1897-8. Following the establishment of a Faculty of Economics and Political Science within the reorganized University of London, the School was admitted in 1900 as a school of the University. The School's three-year course then became the basis of the new B.Sc. (Economics) degree. These developments occasioned an increase in the number of students from 443 in 1901-2 to 1,275 in the session 1904-5. The first of the School's new buildings, the Passmore Edwards Hall, was erected in 1902 on a site in Clare Market allotted by the L.C.C. In the same year the School was incorporated, with Sidney Webb as Chairman of the Governors.

The School continued to expand rapidly during the early 20th century. A lectureship in Sociology was established in 1904, and a Department of Social Science instituted in 1912. By the session 1912-13 there were 2,137 students, and a report submitted to the University in 1913 drew attention to the serious overcrowding of the School's premises. Expansion plans were suspended on the outbreak of the First World War, during which a sessional average of 1,242 students attended the School. In 1918-19 this figure increased to 2,273, including 224 U.S. soldiers; and the institution in 1919-20 of a new Commerce degree contributed to a further increase to 3,016 students in 1919-20. Grants from the L.C.C. and from the City Appeals Committee enabled extensions to be started, and in 1920 the foundationstone of the present 'Old Building' was laid. Between 1923 and 1937 the School's accommodation was more than doubled. In 1925 the L.C.C. acquired premises in Houghton Street, and a new building on this site together with two additional storeys built on the roof of the 1920 building were opened in 1928. The first section of a new building on the east side of Houghton Street, containing lecture and tutorial rooms, was erected in 1931-2. During the same session a gift from the Rockefeller Foundation enabled a complete reconstruction and expansion of the Library to be planned. The work, which involved the reconstruction of the greater part of the Passmore Edwards Hall and the rebuilding of the corner block purchased from the St. Clements Press in 1929, was completed in 1934. In the following year the School acquired the former Smith Memorial Hall adjoining the School.

A parallel expansion of the School's academic functions also took place during this period. Funds provided by the Sir Ernest Cassel Trustees enabled the number of full-time academic staff to be increased from 17 in 1919-20 to 79 in 1936-7. New chairs were instituted in English Law, International Law, International History, Economic History, and International Relations, and the School was recognized in the University's Faculties of Economics and Laws (1921), of Arts for Geography and Sociology (1922), and for History and Anthropology (1924). In 1929 a course for social workers in Mental Health was established, and a department of Business Administration was instituted in 1930. A Modern Languages department was established in 1934-5 and a Civil Service course in the following session. The work of the School's teachers and research students was continuously published, particularly in the School's Economica (established 1921) and Politica (established 1934). Between 1920 and 1939 the number of full-course students increased until occasional students represented only one-third of the total. During the same period the number of postgraduate students increased from 32 to 293.

During the Second World War the School was housed in Peterhouse, Cambridge. Considerable expansion followed the return of the School to London in 1945. Academic developments included the institution of courses in Trade Union Studies, Personnel Management, Child Care, and for Overseas Service officers. New and additional chairs were established in Accounting, Anthropology, Economics, Social Geography, Public Law, Public Administration, Social Administration, and Sociology. New diplomas in Economic and Social Administration and in Operational Research were instituted in 1960. At September 1961 the School had 2,138 internal students, of whom 1,577 were in the Faculty of Economics, and a full-time academic staff of 128.

After 1945 minor additions to the School premises were provided by erecting new rooms on the roofs of the Houghton Street buildings. Work began in 1960 on adapting for School use the building in Clare Market formerly occupied by the St. Clements Press; the building was occupied in 1961. In 1960 the School also acquired the freehold of a site north-west of the St. Clements Buildings.


Queen Elizabeth College

Argent a cross gules between four blazing hearths proper [Granted 1930]

Members of the staff of King's College participated in the foundation of Queen's College (1848) and of Bedford College (1849), and this interest in women's education was maintained. In 1871 a course of lectures was instituted 'for ladies in Richmond and Twickenham in connection with King's College'. This idea was further extended during the 1870's, and in 1877, on the private initiative of the Principal and some staff members of King's College, Mrs. William Grey, a leading figure in women's education, and others, a lecture course for women was instituted in the Kensington Vestry Hall. Attendance during 1878 averaged 500, and in 1879 the classes were removed to a house in Observatory Avenue, Kensington.

In 1881 the King's College council adopted a committee recommendation that the College should establish a department for the higher education of women. The raising of funds proved difficult, and lectures continued to be held in Observatory Avenue until 1885 when premises in Kensington Square were acquired and opened as the women's department of King's College. The department was to be governed, under the King's College council, by an executive committee. A 'Lady Superintendent' ('Vice-Principal' from 1891) was appointed to administer the department under the ex officio headship of the Principal of King's College.

After the appointment of Miss Lilian Faithfull as second Vice-Principal in 1894, the character of the department changed rapidly, and work was geared to the London, Oxford, and Cambridge entrance examinations. Further incentives were provided by the foundation in 1899 and 1903 by the Merchant Taylors' and Skinners' Companies of entrance scholarships; by the opening of the Associateship of King's College to women in 1899; and by the introduction of day-training students in 1903. Numbers increased from 367 in 1905 to 600 in 1908. Two more houses in Kensington Square were purchased in 1908 and by 1911 had been incorporated into the original premises.

A new course in household and social sciences was instituted in 1908. The new department was heavily endowed, and separation from King's College was considered. The 1908 Transfer Act envisaged an independent 'King's College for Women' within the University of London, but this policy was reversed after the publication of the Haldane Report (1913) recommending the establishment in Kensington of a university department of household and social science and the discontinuation of plans for a college of general education in arts and sciences. These recommendations were accepted in 1914 and when the rest of the women's departments were absorbed into King's College in the Strand in 1915, the Department of Household and Social Science moved into premises on Campden Hill. The new institution maintained a connexion with King's College until 1928, when it was constituted a separate college under the title of King's College of Household and Social Sciences and admitted as a school of the University. In 1953 the College was incorporated as Queen Elizabeth College.

In addition to teaching in household science and nutrition, the College provides instruction in biochemistry, chemistry, botany, mathematics, microbiology, physics, physiology, and zoology. At September 1961 the College had 208 internal students and a permanent staff of forty-five. (fn. 16)


Queen Mary college

Azure upon three several clouds (the sun - beams issuing ) three ancient imperial, crowns tripled all proper on a chief gules an open book also peoper embellished and clasped or and inscribed SOLI DEO HONOR ET GLORIA in letters sable between two mullets also or [Granted 1921]

Queen Mary College, Mile End Road, evolved from the efforts of J. T. B. Beaumont (1774-1841), a successful artist, author, and businessman, to improve the conditions of the inhabitants of the East End of London. (fn. 17) At his own expense Beaumont founded, on a site in Beaumont Square, The New Philosophical Institute, with a building in the Renaissance style, comprising a large hall, library, museum, and class and committee rooms. After Beaumont's death in 1841 the capital of the trust fund which he had established for the purpose of bringing higher education to the people of the East End was kept intact, and the income applied to the upkeep of the Philosophical Institute. In 1879 the Institute closed for lack of support. (fn. 18) and a group of local people complained to the Charity Commissioners that Beaumont's original trust fund was being misappropriated. The Charity Commission held an inquiry and in 1882 advanced a new scheme for the management of the Beaumont trust. Sir Edmund Hay Currie, who had been a member of the London School Board and Chairman of the London Hospital, was appointed Chairman of the revised trust.

Currie immediately began to broaden the scope of the trust by seeking a new site for an enlarged educational and recreational institution. He eventually settled on the site occupied by the Bancroft almshouse and school; an establishment founded in 1735 by the Drapers' Company at the bequest of one of their members, Francis Bancroft. The school moved to another site in Essex, and the Beaumont trustees acquired the premises with the help of £20,000 given by the Drapers' Company on condition that the trustees incorporated a technical school in their scheme.

Interest in the social conditions of the East End was further stimulated by the publication in 1882 of Sir Walter Besant's novel All Sorts and Conditions of Men (fn. 19) which had, as its central theme, the establishment in the East End of a worker's Palace of Delight. This was so similar to the plans proposed by Sir Edmund Currie and his committee that their scheme was soon dubbed 'a People's Palace for East London'.

Currie enlisted the support of the Prince of Wales, the Lord Mayor of London, Quintin Hogg (the founder of the Polytechnic), and other leading figures. In 1886 Queen Victoria consented to become Patron of the new institution and later that year the Prince of Wales laid the foundation-stone. His mother opened Queen's Hall, the People's Palace recreational centre, in the following year and herself laid the foundation-stone of the new Technical School. The interest of the Royal Family helped the Beaumont trustees to raise about £75,000 towards the cost of the buildings which included a concert hall, winter garden, library, and swimming-bath, in addition to the schools. The trustees, however, neglected to raise a sufficient sum to endow the building, and as a result the project was soon in debt. An appeal for financial aid was made to the Drapers' Company, and in order to limit vandalism in the new premises the membership requirements were modified so that continuing members had to take some sort of educational course before using the recreational facilities.

As a result of these policies the educational side quickly became more important than the recreational, and this led directly to the appointment in 1892 of a Director of Studies. The Drapers' Company, which had continued to support the foundation, increased its annual grant to £7,000, and the City Parochial Foundation voted an annual sum of £3,500. In a further attempt to revitalize the scheme the objects of the departments were redefined, and the growth of the educational department stimulated by the granting of concessions to students. In 1894 the Drapers' Company voted £5,000 for the erection of an engineering laboratory and workshops, and subsequently the educational facilities of the People's Palace developed rapidly.

The first Director, J. L. S. Hatton (1865-1933), who served as Director and, later, Principal for forty-one years, exercised considerable influence on the development of the College. Under him tuition was formally divided into day and evening courses, (fn. 20) and classroom work combined with workshop instruction. The College also provided instruction and granted its own certificates in a wide range of trade courses; provided Civil Service courses; and taught art up to art master's certificate standard. These reorganizations resulted in the conditional recognition of the College in 1907 as a school of the University in the Faculties of Arts, Science, and Engineering. Permanent recognition was made dependent on the continued development of the College, and in particular on the provision of an adequate library. In order to improve the standing of the College, evening courses were almost entirely discontinued, and the number of full-time students increased from 38 in 1903 to 232 in 1914.

In 1908 separate committees to administer the recreational and educational sides of the People's Palace were established. The two sides subsequently diverged to the point of opposition, until in 1913 the College was finally separated from the People's Palace, and a College Council established. The Drapers' Company continued to give financial support to both schemes, and in 1914 granted £15,000 for the erection of a Chemistry building. These developments resulted in the permanent recognition of the College as a school of the University in 1915.

For some years extension of the College premises was limited by the lack of suitable sites. In 1931, however, Queen's Hall was burnt down. It was subsequently rebuilt on adjoining premises, allowing the College to expand on the original site. A royal charter incorporating the College as Queen Mary College was granted in 1934. The first university High Voltage Laboratory in the country was opened at the College in 1936, but further expansion was temporarily halted by the Second World War, during which the College was evacuated to King's College, Cambridge. After 1945, however, land was acquired in Bancroft Road (1948), Grantly Street (1951), and on the site of St. Benet's church (1951). A Nuclear Engineering laboratory, the first university establishment of its kind in the country, was opened in 1953 and extended in 1960. Sections of a new Engineering building came into use at regular intervals after 1958, and the first two stages of a new Physics building were opened in 1960 and 1962. The People's Palace was purchased in 1954, and after extensive alteration reopened two years later as a Great Hall.

Post-1945 developments considerably increased the size of the College. In June 1965 there were 1,532 internal students, with an academic staff of 176. Research facilities were provided in most departments, and special research laboratories were attached to all scientific and engineering departments.

Student societies were organized by the Union Society, established in 1908. For many years the College's athletic facilities were limited, and teams played on the Drapers' Company's ground at Leyton. In 1937, however, a grant from the Drapers' Company enabled the College to purchase extensive athletic grounds near Brentwood (Essex).


In 1788 the Odiham (Hants) Agricultural Society, whose membership was drawn from farmers between Basingstoke and Aldershot, published a memorandum regretting the absence in England of an institution providing instruction in veterinary science and, particularly, in scientific farriery. The Society expressed an intention, if sufficient funds could be raised, of sending students to the Alfort School near Paris, one of four continental veterinary schools then in being. Shortly after this decision, Charles Vial de St. Bel, who had been trained as a veterinary surgeon at the world's foremost veterinary college, the Royal School of Lyons, came to England. In 1790 he published his Plan for establishing an Institution to cultivate and teach Veterinary Medicine. In the following year the London committee of the Odiham Agricultural Society at a general meeting of subscribers changed its title to The Veterinary College, London, appointed Vial de St. Bel Professor to the College, and passed a vote of thanks to the Duke of Northumberland who had agreed to act as president. In January 1792 St. Bel began his first course of lectures to 4 resident pupils in a building on the site near St. Pancras church still occupied by the College.

St. Bel died in 1793, and Edward Coleman was then appointed Principal. Coleman, whose reputation rested largely on his dissertation on the human eye, was intimate with many leading medical figures, and soon after his appointment the Medical Examining Committee, consisting of eminent physicians and surgeons, was set up to examine students for the diploma. This system continued until the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons was instituted in 1844 and became the examining body for the profession. In 1830 the king granted his patronage and the College assumed the style of The Royal Veterinary College. Coleman was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1831, and on his death eight years later was succeeded as Principal by his assistant, William Sewell.

During the 1840's the College began to expand. The advent of Charles Spooner as Principal on Sewell's death in 1853 coincided with the beginning of additional building. Further additions were made in 1879. The College was incorporated under royal charter in 1875.

In 1892 Professor (later Sir John) M'Fadyean was appointed to the staff of the College, subsequently becoming Dean in 1894. He applied techniques developed by Pasteur and Koch to the development of veterinary science. His researches into tuberculosis, glanders, and Johne's disease were of fundamental importance and his skill and academic attainments greatly benefited the reputation of the College.

By 1925, however, the College buildings were dilapidated and financial resources inadequate. These deficiencies were exposed in the report of a departmental committee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries published in 1929. The committee recommended that the College should be rebuilt on the Camden Town site, and its governing body reconstituted.

A new charter, based on the committee's recommendations, was granted to the College as the Royal Veterinary College and Hospital in 1936. The old premises were demolished, and the present building, erected with the aid of government grants, was opened by King George VI in 1937. The building of the Beaumont Animals' Hospital for the treatment of animals of the poor, which adjoins the main building, was financed by a private bequest of £25,000. Studies in the reconstituted College were divided into six departments-of Surgery and Obstetrics, Medicine, Animal Husbandry, Physiology and Chemistry, Anatomy, and Pathology. In 1937 there were 350 students and an academic staff of thirty-six.

On the outbreak of the Second World War the work of the College was transferred to Streatley (Berks.), the University of Reading, and Sonning (Berks.). The Beaumont Hospital, however, remained open throughout the war. When, after 1945, the departments of Medicine and Surgery remained at the temporary field station at Streatley the remaining departments returned to Camden Town.

In 1944 an interdepartmental committee recommended that veterinary studies should be given full university status, a degree in veterinary medicine becoming a registrable qualification. Five years later the College was admitted as a school of the University in the Faculty of Medicine. From October 1952 all undergraduates in the College pursued the course of studies for the degree of Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine in the University of London.

The College acquired an estate at North Mimms (Herts.) in 1955 for use as a field station where students spend their final year, and the departments of Medicine and Surgery were transferred from Streatley to the new premises in 1958. In 1956 a new charter was granted to the College as The Royal Veterinary College. At September 1961 the College had 367 internal students, of whom 20 were in the faculty of Science, and a full-time teaching staff of sixty-four.


School of Oriental and African Studies

Argent a cross gules in the first quarter a sword in pale points upwards of the last on a chief also gules an open book proper between a lotus bud on the dexter and a lotus slipped and leaved on the sinister both or [Granted 1918]

During the 19th century facilities in London for teaching and research in Oriental studies were meagre and concentrated in University and King's Colleges. Oriental Languages and Literature were taught at King's College from 1833, and University College had chairs of Hebrew, Oriental Literature, and Hindustani. In 1907, in response to a request from the University Senate, a Treasury departmental committee, under the chairmanship of Lord Reay, was appointed to consider the organization of Oriental studies in London. The commission's report, presented in 1908, concluded that there was an 'urgent need for the provision of suitable teaching in London for persons about to take up administrative or commercial posts in the East and in Africa', and recommended the establishment of 'a School of Oriental Studies in the University of London to give instruction in the languages of Eastern and African peoples, Ancient and Modern, and in the Literature, History, Religion, and Customs of these peoples. . . .' The Reay Committee's recommendations were not immediately implemented, but in 1910 the Secretary of State for India appointed a departmental committee to 'formulate in detail an organized scheme for the institution in London of a School of Oriental Languages upon the lines recommended' in the Reay Report.

Following the report of the second committee, the School of Oriental Studies, London Institution, was established by royal charter in 1916 and admitted as a school of the University. Premises in Finsbury Circus that had formerly housed the London Institution for the Advancement of Literature and the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (founded 1807) were transferred to the School under the London Institution (Transfer) Act of 1912. Dr. E. D. (later Sir Denison) Ross, Keeper of the Stein Antiquities at the British Museum and previously Professor of Persian at University College, was appointed first Director of the School. The staffs of the Oriental departments of University and King's Colleges were transferred to the new institution, and the first students entered in January 1917. By July 1917 the School contained 125 students.

The Finsbury Circus premises were sold in 1936, and teaching and administration were transferred temporarily to Vandon House and the library to Clarence House, Westminster. Work on a new building on the Bloomsbury site began in 1938, but building was suspended on the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1938 the Charter was amended and the title of the School changed to School of Oriental and African Studies.

During 1939 the School was transferred to Christ's College, Cambridge, but returned to London in the following year. Part of the Bloomsbury premises was occupied in 1941, and until 1946 the School shared the building with the Ministry of Information. As the Second World War spread across North Africa, Asia, and the Far East the work of the School in providing language courses increased, reaching a peak in Chinese and Japanese, with a record number of 1,029 students in the session 1945-6.

An interdepartmental committee, reporting in 1946, recommended that the whole field of Oriental and African studies should be developed in London, while only a restricted range of subjects should be covered in other universities. The academic work of the School was subsequently organized in ten departments: India, Pakistan, and Ceylon; South East Asia and the Islands; the Far East; the Near and Middle East; Africa; Phonetics and Linguistics; History; Law; Anthropology and Sociology; and Economic and Political Studies. The School is largely a research institution, but at May 1965 had approximately 500 full-time and 100 part-time students, with an academic staff of 185. (fn. 23)

In 1950 Sir Percival David presented to the University his unique collection of Chinese ceramics and associated library. This gift led to the construction of the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art (opened 1952), which is administered in association with the School. Pending the construction of permanent premises the Foundation is housed at 53 Gordon Square, W.C. 1.


The School of Pharmacy

Argent on a bend azure between two mortars in each a pestle proper a rod of Aesculapius or on a chief of the second a Tudor rose raditated between two open books also proper edged and clasped gold [Granted 1950]

The School of Pharmacy was founded in 1842 by the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, incorporated in 1843 as a society 'for the purpose of advancing Chemistry and Pharmacy and promoting a uniform system of Education of those who should practise the same . . .'. (fn. 24) Initially the School was accommodated in 17 Bloomsbury Square, and the premises included one of the first practical Chemistry laboratories in the country to be opened for public courses. Lectures and practical work were organized in preparation for the diploma examination of the Pharmaceutical Society.

In 1925 the School was admitted as a school of the University in the Faculty of Medicine (non-clinical). Courses for the degree of Bachelor of Pharmacy were then introduced, but the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society continued to govern the School. In 1926 the Society established pharmacological laboratories for the purpose of investigating methods of biological assay of drugs and to provide facilities for the testing of trade preparations. These laboratories were incorporated into the School in 1932, and the institution was then renamed the College of the Pharmaceutical Society.

Work on a new building in Brunswick Square began in 1938, but on the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 work was suspended and the School evacuated to University College, Cardiff. After returning to London in 1945, the Pharmaceutical Society appealed to the University for assistance in maintaining the School. The institution was reconstructed as a limited company in 1949 and control was vested in a body representing the University, the Pharmaceutical Society, and the academic staff. A charter of incorporation was granted to the School in 1952. Work on the Brunswick Square building recommenced in 1954. The first stage of the new premises was occupied in 1955, and the building was completed in 1960.

At October 1964 the School had 210 internal students, of whom approximately 50 were postgraduates, and a permanent academic staff of thirtynine. (fn. 25)


University College originated in the early 19th-century foundation in Gower Street designed to provide a non-sectarian university in London. (fn. 26) During the early 1820's the projected 'London University' was discussed by the poet Thomas Campbell with contributors to his publication, The New Monthly Magazine. The scheme was welcomed by Brougham, who was supported by Hume, Warburton, and the disciples of Jeremy Bentham. (fn. 27) Brougham quickly replaced Campbell as effective leader of the movement and after 1828 the poet took no part. A provisional committee was appointed in 1825 and the first prospectus for the new university appeared in the same year. (fn. 28) The provisional committee was replaced by a Council which was elected in 1826. A site in Gower Street was purchased by subscription, and the foundation-stone of what later became known as University College was laid by the Duke of Sussex in 1827.

Lectures in Arts, Laws, and Medicine began in October 1828. Initially there were approximately 250 students, of whom 54 were in the medical school. Tuition was based on the Scottish pattern of instruction by lectures with exercises and examinations, and represented a deliberate departure from the methods of the older universities. The disputed question of formal religious instruction was avoided by providing that the new university should be wholly non-residential.

The first department to be securely established was the medical school. In an attempt to replace the existing empirical training (fn. 29) by co-ordinated medical education, studies in the department were systematically divided among a number of specialists. By 1838 some informed opinion considered the medical school to be 'the best in Europe'. (fn. 30) The number of students in the medical school increased from 183 in 1828-9 to 390 in 1834-5. In 1832 the proprietors resolved to raise money by mortgage to build a hospital on the west side of Gower Street. The foundation-stone was laid in 1833 and the building was ready to receive patients by 1834.

A boys' school in connexion with the university was opened at 16 Gower Street in 1830. It moved into the university building in 1832, and the numbers attending continued to increase. The institution was marked throughout by its original approach. There were no compulsory subjects, no rigid form system, and no music, religious instruction, or flogging.

During the years 1830-1 there was an involved quarrel between the University Council and the professors as to the amount of control exercisable by the Council over the academic staff. After a period of public dispute, resignations, and expulsions, an academic Senate was instituted in 1832, and the conduct of the ordinary business of the University was transferred from the Council to a committee of management. These changes were embodied in new by-laws substituted in 1842 for the original deed of settlement.

In 1836, after prolonged opposition by the London medical bodies and the older universities, (fn. 31) a charter of incorporation was granted to the university as University College, London. A new University of London was incorporated on the same day under a charter granting the power to award degrees to candidates from University College, King's College, or any other approved institution. (fn. 32)

These constitutional changes were followed by a period of depression, particularly in the medical school where the number of students declined from 497 in 1837-8 to 161 in 1863-4. In other departments, however, student numbers remained fairly constant and three new chairs, of Architecture, Engineering, and Geology, were founded in 1841, and an important stimulus given to chemical education in England by the institution in 1845 of a chair in Practical Chemistry and the foundation of the Birkbeck Laboratory

The fortunes of the College began to revive during the 1860's. Fresh by-laws were drawn up in 1869. These empowered the College to provide instruction for persons of both sexes, and to add Fine Arts to the studies specified in the Charter. A number of bequests, chiefly from Felix Slade, enabled the College to build the first stage of a new north wing (opened 1871) to house a department of Fine Art, subsequently known as the Slade School. The department grew rapidly, and by 1875, when the Council had to restrict admissions, there were 220 students. A separate faculty of Science was established in 1870, and the institution in 1878 of chairs in Chemical Technology and Mechanical Technology illustrate the efforts of the College to promote experimental science. In the Faculty of Medicine a chair of Hygiene and Public Health was established in 1869.

Between 1866 and 1874 a regular series of evening classes was held in the College. The seventeen general courses included instruction in writing, book-keeping, and elocution. The number of evening students reached 120 in 1869-70, but had declined to 55 by 1874 when the experiment was discontinued.

The general academic revival during this period, particularly marked in scientific studies, was reflected in an increase in the number of students in the College from 387 in 1863 to 911 in 1873. During the same period numbers attending the School rose from 386 to 680.

Women, were admitted to some special and evening lectures during the 1860's and mixed classes were first held during 1872-3. Subsequently women gradually infiltrated into all classes. By 1878 there were 309 women students, and their number steadily increased. College Hall, Byng Place, was opened as women's hall of residence in 1882.

By 1880 the intellectual life of the College was rapidly outgrowing the administrative framework within which it was confined. This was recognized in 1885 by the admission to the Council of three members of the Senate. The number was increased to six in 1888. The College received its first parliamentary grant in 1889 and the first L.C.C. grant five years later. Extensions and modifications to the College buildings during the 1880's and early 1890's secured adequate accommodation for all the existing departments. The south wing of the main building was completed in 1876 and the north wing in 1881. New engineering laboratories were built in 1893.

Under the University of London Act of 1898 the College became in 1900 a school of the University and entered upon a period of rapid development. In 1907 the College was incorporated in the University. The School was then created a separate corporation and moved to Hampstead, while in the medical school clinical studies were separated from the pre-clinical and pre-medical work conducted in the College. During the period 1900-25 the number of students in the College rose from 1,098 to 2,426, of whom 1,074 were women. In 1900 thirty-seven students took the bachelor's degree; 216 proceeded to the degree in 1925. Development was most marked in the Faculty of Arts. Eight students proceeded to a degree in Arts in 1900, but by 1925 the number had increased to eighty-five. (fn. 33)

The rapid growth of the College during the first quarter of the century raised problems of administration, accommodation, and finance. The office of Principal was established in 1900. In 1907 this title was changed to that of Provost. The College site was enlarged by the purchase of property which included houses in Gower Street (1919-23), premises in Gower Place (1911), and the church of All Saints, Gordon Street (1912). New buildings were erected for Physiology (1909), Pharmacology (1912), and Anatomy (1923). The Great Hall, constructed out of All Saints church, was opened in 1927. This expansion was largely financed by benefactions from the L.C.C. and the Rockefeller Foundation, and by £228,000 subscribed to the Centenary Appeal Fund.

The increase in student numbers during this period was accompanied by a proportionate increase in the number of academic staff from 131 in 1908 to 255 in 1925-6, and to 347 in 1947. Not until the 1930's, however, were conditions of service satisfactorily regulated. A salary scheme was established in 1930, and an Academic Staff Appointments and Promotion Committee set up in the following year.

Association with the teaching university necessitated considerable changes in the character of the work of the College, and during this period each department gradually assumed its place and special responsibilities within a University school. The number of postgraduate students increased from 24 in 1903-4 to 515 in 1925-6. Specialization resulted in the transfer of some departments to other institutions and the integration of others with similar departments in other colleges. Oriental Studies were transferred in 1917 to the newly-established School of Oriental Studies and the Department of Hygiene and Public Health was removed on the opening of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1929. In the Faculty of Arts particularly there was a steady growth of specialization and inter-collegiate work. A department of Scandinavian Studies was founded in 1918 and a department of Dutch Studies, in co-operation with Bedford College, in 1919. From 1927 onwards the Department of Political Economy was rebuilt, and the number of students in this department increased from 27 in 1927-8 to 177 in 1936-7. The reorganization of the Department of Architecture which had begun in 1903 was completed by the amalgamation of the architectural departments of University College and King's College in 1913. A department of Town Planning was added to the Bartlett School of Architecture in 1914, and a School of Librarianship (after 1947 the School of Librarianship and Archives) was founded in 1919.

On the outbreak of war in 1939 the College was dispersed among a number of English and Welsh universities. During 1940-1 the buildings were much damaged by enemy action. Although some departments returned to the Gower Street premises in 1944 and the remainder in 1945, the return to normal working was slow. Repairs and the construction of new buildings were retarded by national economies and a shortage of money and sites. Substantial government grants subsequently enabled the College to acquire gradually the freeholds of adjacent properties, so that by 1963 the College owned almost all the property within a rectangular area bounded by Gower Street, Torrington Place, Gordon Square, Gordon Street, and Gower Place. Sites were thereby provided for a Biological Sciences Building to house departments of Anthropology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Botany, and for a new Engineering Building which was erected with the aid of £400,000 raised from industry. Difficulties in controlling planning and building operations necessitated the creation in 1948 of a new administrative post of Bursar as head of a separate department dealing solely with properties, buildings, and connected services.

Academic developments after 1945 included the establishment of a number of new chairs. The number of academic staff, including honorary members, rose from 360 in 1947 to 717 in 1962. To alleviate the difficulty of finding accommodation in London, the College opened small blocks of staff flats in Nevern Square (1949) and Hornton Street (1950).

Student numbers increased from 3,339 in 1947-8 to 3,836 in 1961-2. Postgraduates numbered 537 in 1947-8 and 1,071 in 1961-2. The problem of providing residential accommodation for students was accentuated by the changing character of the Bloomsbury district. A site in Fitzroy Square was acquired and work on a hall for 130 students began in 1961. Two small halls-Bentham Hall (men), Cartwright Gardens, and Campbell Hall (women), Taviton Street-were opened in 1952 and 1954 respectively, but by 1962 there were still only 723 residential students. After 1962, however, the College received endowments totalling more than one and a half million pounds and was able to tackle the problem of student accommodation. By 1964 there were 970 residential students, and the building programme provided for accommodation for 1,400 students by 1968.

Academic expansion after 1900 was also accompanied by increasing student activity. The College Union was formed in 1893, and between 1900 and 1925 sixty-one student societies, most of which have survived, were founded. The Men's and Women's Unions were amalgamated as a single Union in 1954. The former Seamen's Hospital at 25 Gordon Street was converted to house the Students' Union and some academic departments in 1959. An athletic ground at Perivale was purchased in 1908, but this was sold shortly before the Second World War and grounds covering 90 acres purchased at Shenley (Herts.).


Westfield College for women was founded in 1882. (fn. 34) The initial scheme for a residential London college resulted from a meeting between Miss Constance Maynard, an ex-student of Girton College, Cambridge, and Miss Dudin Brown, an heiress with religious and educational interests. Miss Brown gave £10,000 in trust for 'founding and perpetuating a College for the higher education of women on Christian principles': two houses in Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, were rented; and Miss Maynard, with five students, began work there in October 1882.

The foundation suffered at first from its isolation as a private venture and from financial poverty. For some years Miss Maynard worked gratuitously, and funds were raised by holding drawing-room meetings at which she spoke. In 1890 the College Council purchased Kidderpore Hall, a Georgian house in Kidderpore Avenue. The cost of the house, grounds, and alterations resulted in a debt of £10,000, which was met by a mortgage and debentures. Financial insecurity and inadequate equipment were the main grounds on which the College was refused admission as a school of the University after the reorganization of 1898. (fn. 35) In 1902, however, temporary admission in the Faculty of Arts was granted on the understanding that the Council would try to remedy the deficiences of the College. Bequests from Miss Dudin Brown and Mrs. Alexander Brown enabled the outstanding debentures to be cancelled and the mortgage debt to be paid off. A library, two lecture rooms, and a dormitory wing were added during 1904-5, and the curriculum was extended to include a course in Botany. By the time Miss Maynard retired in 1913 the number of students in the College had increased to sixty. A further gift covered the purchase of a house opposite the College in 1917, but by this time it was clear that Westfield could not survive without large-scale financial support. Permanent admission to the Faculty of Arts of the University was sought, but the terms of the original trust deed restricting representation on the College Council to members of the Church of England were unacceptable to the University and to the London County Council. After protracted negotiations, a compromise was reached in 1919 and the L.C.C. and University Grants Commissioners then voted grants totalling £4,000 a year. Substantial additions were made to the College buildings between 1920 and 1930. The College Chapel was erected by private subscription in 1929 to commemorate the work of Miss Anne Richardson on her retirement after thirty-eight years, first as lecturer and then VicePrincipal. Recognition as a school of the University was granted to the College in 1929, and four years later Westfield was incorporated under royal charter.

The College was admitted as a school of the University in the Faculty of Science in 1959, and new departments of Botany, Chemistry, Physics, and Zoology were instituted in 1961. A new science block in Kidderpore Avenue was opened officially by Queen Elizabeth II in 1962. (fn. 36)

In May 1964 the College secured an amendment of the Charter to permit the admission of men students at all levels. The first men undergraduates entered the College in October 1964. At that date the College numbered approximately 485 undergraduates and 50 postgraduates, of whom about half were men. There were more than 80 members of the Senior Common Room, including 12 Professors of the University. (fn. 37)


  • 1. Only those institutions classed as 'non-medical' and in receipt of University Grants Committee grants (see University of Lond. Calendar (1962-3), 385) are included. The treatment of institutions not in receipt of U.G.C. grants is reserved for inclusion in the topographical accounts of the ancient parishes in which they are situated. Since most of the University medical schools have evolved from or within institutions which themselves have a longer history it seems desirable to treat their early history and later teaching functions together. Accounts of the medical institutions have therefore also been reserved to the appropriate topographical sections. For a general discussion of the position of medical education in the University see pp. 315-44. Royal Holloway Coll. (Surr.) and Wye Coll. (Kent), founded in 1879 and 1893 respectively, are also excluded. For a note on the early history of Royal Holloway Coll. see V.C.H Surr. iii. 421. The accounts of the constituent colleges are arranged in alphabetical order. This section was completed in 1963, and any reference to a later time is dated.
  • 2. This history is based on M. J. Tuke, Hist. of Bedford Coll., Bedford Coll. Calendar (1960-2), and information supplied by the Coll.
  • 3. This history is based on C. D. Burns, Short Hist. of Birkbeck Coll., and Birkbeck Coll. Calendar (1961-2). See also T. Kelly, George Birkbeck.
  • 4. G. M. Trevelyan, British Hist. in the Nineteenth Cent. 164.
  • 5. This account is based on information provided by the College, Imperial Coll. Calendar (1964-5), and Imperial Coll. 1953-63: report on a decade of expansion.
  • 6. For Perkin's later activities as a manufacturing chemist in Greenford (Mdx.) see V.C.H. Mdx. iii. 214.
  • 7. See p. 333.
  • 8. This section is based on F. J. C. Hearnshaw, Centenary Hist. of King's Coll. 1828-1928, and King's Coll. Calendar (1964-5).
  • 9. See below.
  • 10. For the circumstances in which many subscriptions were withdrawn see Hearnshaw, op. cit. 56.
  • 11. The Strand premises are situated in the old par. of St. Mary le Strand, Westminster. For details of the history of the site see J. W. Hales, The Site of King's Coll. from 1552 (1881).
  • 12. For the foundation of King's Coll. for Women and the emergence from it of Queen Elizabeth Coll. see p. 353.
  • 13. This account is based on Sir Sydney Caine, Hist. of the Foundation of London School of Economics, Lord Beveridge, London School of Economics and its Problems 1919-1937, F. A. von Hayek, 'The London School of Economics 1895-1945', Economica, Feb. 1946, pp. 1-31, Janet Beveridge, An Epic of Clare Market, and London School of Economics Calendar (1963-4).
  • 14. For details of the part played by the Webbs in the School's early history see Lord Beveridge, 'The London School of Economics and the University of London', The Webbs and Their Work, ed. Margaret Cole, pp. 41-53, and Beatrice Webb, Our Partnership, passim.
  • 15. This account is based on Hearnshaw, Hist. of King's College, and Queen Elizabeth Coll. Prospectus (1963-4).
  • 16. Ex inf. the Coll. Secretary.
  • 17. The history is based on G. S. Godwin, Queen Mary College: an adventure in education, Queen Mary Coll. Calendar (1962-3), East Lond. Papers, iii (1), and information provided by the Coll.
  • 18. The following paragraphs on the 19th-cent. history of the Coll. are based on information supplied by Mr. O. Tapper of Bow Boys Sch., who in 1964 was engaged in cataloguing primary material relating to the College.
  • 19. See S. T. Bindoff, 'East End Delight', East Lond. Papers, iii (1), 31.
  • 20. Day and evening classes had existed from 1888.
  • 21. This account is based on Royal Veterinary Coll. and Hospital (brochure prepared to commemorate the opening of new premises in 1937), Royal Veterinary Coll. Prospectus (1963), and information supplied by the Coll.
  • 22. This account is based on P. J. Hartog, Origins of the School of Oriental Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies Calendar (1962-3), and information supplied by the School.
  • 23. Ex inf. the Secretary.
  • 24. This account is based on School of Pharmacy Calendar (1962-3), and School of Pharmacy Dean's Reports, passim.
  • 25. Ex inf. the Clerk to the Council.
  • 26. See above p. 315. Except where otherwise stated, this history is based on information provided by the College Secretary; H. H. Bellot, University Coll. London, 1826- 1926; and University Coll. Calendar (1963-4).
  • 27. For Bentham's connexion with the Coll. see J. H. Burns, Jeremy Bentham and University Coll.
  • 28. The Times, 9 July 1825.
  • 29. For the history of medical educ. see pp. 315-44.
  • 30. Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson, ed. T. Sadler (1869), ii. 196-7.
  • 31. For details of their opposition see p. 316.
  • 32. See above p. 317.
  • 33. The discrepancy between the number of students attending the Coll. and the number taking a degree at the University is explained on p. 320.
  • 34. This history is based on Westfield Coll. 1882-1932 (Jubilee publication), and Westfield Coll. Prospectus 1962-3).
  • 35. See pp. 327-8.
  • 36. The Times, 22 May 1962.
  • 37. Ex inf. the Principal.