Manchester Royal School of Medicine (Pine Street)

  • Reference
      GB 133 MMC/5/3
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 F 4 f
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      79 items

Scope and Content

Perhaps the most significant item in this collection is a minute book of the board of management of the School, 1847-1855 [MMC/5/3/2/1]; this is believed to be the only surviving minutes of any of the proprietary schools in Manchester. Other material includes a lecture notebook of an unknown MRSM student made between 1842-8 [MMC/5/3/15]; prospectuses of the School [MMC/5/3/5]; syllabuses of lectures [MMC/5/3/5]; information relating to students [MMC/5/3/6 and MMC/5/3/9], and staff [MMC/5/3/8]. There is also a small body of papers on the amalgamation with Owens College in 1872 [MMC/5/3/17].

Administrative / Biographical History

The Manchester Royal School of Medicine (MRSM) was founded in 1825 by Thomas Turner [1793-1873]. The School was based at Pine Street in central Manchester, close to the Manchester Royal Infirmary in Piccadilly. The School was commonly referred to as 'Pine Street School.' Although some forms of medical lectures had been undertaken in Manchester before, the School was the first attempt to provide a systematic medical education in Manchester. It was the first medical school in the English provinces.

The MRSM was typical of the provincial medical schools which grew up in the wake of the Apothecaries Act, 1815, which granted its licenses to practice medicine to individuals who could demonstrate they had attended a series of relevant medical lectures. From the outset, the Society of Apothecaries recognised certificates of attendance at lectures of the School from candidates for the LSA. However, the Royal College of Surgeons in London, the other main examining body, declined to recognise the School's certificates. The School was recognised by the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) in 1825. The Medical Department of the Army and Navy also recognised testimonials for candidates for commissions from the School's teaching staff.

The MRSM was extended in 1832 and in 1836 William IV granted the School the title 'Royal'. Teaching was undertaken in a winter and (from 1837) summer sessions, and each session would open with an introductory address. The school was well-equipped - it had the largest medical museum in the provinces, with over ten thousand specimens (the museum was transferred to Owens College Medical School in 1875). In 1840 Turner had purchased the museum of Gregory Smith's medical school in Windmill St., London. The School was also equipped with a chemical laboratory and a library.

The School had an impressive line-up of teachers including: William Smith (physiology), Edward Lund (anatomy), James Lomax Bardsley (medicine and materia medica), Henry Browne (medicine), J.E. Morgan (medicine), John Atkinson Ransome (surgery), his son, Joseph Ransome (surgery), Thomas Radford (midwifery), Edward Stephens (pathology), Frank Renaud (pathology), Richard Hunt (diseases of the eye), Leo H. Grindon (botany), John Dalton (chemistry). John Dalton had lectured on pharmaceutical chemistry when the School first opened.

The School proved an influential model for other provincial medical schools which were established in Sheffield, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham and other cities in the 1820s and 1830s.

In 1858, MRSM took over the Chatham St. Medical School. In 1872 the School amalgamated with Owens College to form the Medical School of the College. It has been customary to date the origins of the University of Manchester Medical School back to the creation of Pine Street School in 1825.


The material is arranged into the following series:

  • MMC/5/3/1 - General history
  • MMC/5/3/2 - Minute books
  • MMC/5/3/3 - Pictures and plans
  • MMC/5/3/4 - Business arrangements
  • MMC/5/3/5 - Syllabuses
  • MMC/5/3/6 - Student registers
  • MMC/5/3/7 -Advertisements/Prospectuses
  • MMC/5/3/8 - Staff
  • MMC/5/3/9 - Students
  • MMC/5/3/10 - Lectures
  • MMC/5/3/11 - Admission tickets to lectures
  • MMC/5/3/12 -Papers relating to certificates and medals
  • MMC/5/3/13 - Prizes
  • MMC/5/3/14 - Social events
  • MMC/5/3/15 - Lecture notes
  • MMC/5/3/16 - The Hunter table
  • MMC/5/3/17 - Amalgamation with Owens College.

Related Material

Registers of students at the School from the late 1850s to the amalgamation with Owens College in 1872 are kept as part of the University of Manchester Archives; consult the University Archivist at JRUL for further information.