University College London Council

Scope and Content

Letters to Sir (Thomas) Gregory Foster from various correspondents concerning the membership of the College Council, the body Governors, and the body of Fellows.

Administrative / Biographical History

University College London was formally founded as the University of London on 11 February 1826. It was originally set up as a joint stock company as it did not initially receive a Royal Charter. The new 24-member Council adopted the building design submitted by William Wilkins (who was later to design the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square). Academic sessions of the University started in October 1828. It was renamed University College London (UCL) and received its Royal Charter on 28 November 1836. On the same day, a new University of London was established with the power to award degrees in medicine, arts and laws to students from both UCL and King's College London. University College School was founded and opened in 1830. University College Hospital, so named from 1837, was founded as the North London Hospital in 1834. In 1869 the first series of 'lectures for ladies' was given at UCL, under the auspices of the London Ladies' Educational Association. The first mixed classes for men and women were held in 1871. In October 1871 the Slade School of Fine Art was opened in the newly-built north wing of the University. Women were admitted for the first time as full degree students to the Faculties of Science and of Arts and Laws in 1878. Under the University College London (Transfer) Act of 1905, in 1907 UCL was incorporated into the University of London and ceased to have a separate legal existence, also parting company with University College Hospital and University College School. Women were first admitted as full students to the Faculty of Medicine in 1917. In 1978 a new Royal Charter restored UCL's legal independence from the University of London. In 1986 the Institute of Archaeology was incorporated into UCL. The School of Slavonic and East European Studies merged with UCL in 1999.

Foster was born on 10 June 1866; educated at University College School and University College London (UCL); graduated with honours in English Language and Literature, 1888; awarded the degree of PhD by Strasburg University for a thesis on the old English poem 'Judith', which was also published, 1892; taught in the English department at UCL as Quain student, 1894-1899; also Professor of English Language and Literature at Bedford College for Women, London, 1897-1900; Assistant Professor at UCL, 1900-1904; appointed Secretary to UCL, 1900; elected Principal, 1904; the title was changed to Provost, 1907; knighted, 1917; Vice-Chancellor of London University, 1928-1930; created a baronet, 1930; died in London, 24 September 1931.

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