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The Establishment of the Royal College of Chemistry: An Investigation of the Social Context of Early-Victorian Chemistry Author(s): Gerrylynn K.

Roberts Source: Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences, Vol. 7 (1976), pp. 437-485 Published by: University of California Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27757361 . Accessed: 06/01/2014 19:26
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The Establishment of theRoyal College

of Chemistry: An Investigation of the Social Context of Early-Victorian Chemistry


BY GERRYLYNN
The Royal

K. ROBERTS*

constraints,1 the College, under the academic direction of A. W. one of became scientific Hofmann, England's most productive centers in terms both of the individuals to whose training it con

in October College of Chemistry opened in London its it first when relied During exclusively on eight years severe and labored under financial private support consequently 1845.

Hofmann's

tributed and, concomitantly, of the scientific work which it gen accounts by contemporary witnesses of the erated.2 Retrospective establishment and development of the Royal College of Chemistry, as well as subsequent historical treatments, have tended to follow

of these successes

College universities, and he tended to argue backwards from the achieve ments Jie valued to the goals of the English institution. The establish
* MK7 about Faculty 6AA, of Arts, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes,

lead in evaluating the significance of the College in terms in teaching and research.3 Hofmann evaluated the standard of the science pursued in the German the against

taken

was the College individuals. from some 760 ?3900 1853, when By into a general science over by the government and incorporated school, to a handful and student fees provided the number of supporters had dwindled from fees, up to 1853 of its income. Total the bulk contributions, apart to about and given

1At its opening the Royal College of Chemistrywas backed by pledges of

England.

names the amounts and addresses and The ?10,300. to 1852 are recorded of in Royal to the College up College pledged List of Members, 1844-1846," College Imperial Chemistry, "Alphabetical "Subscribers of Chemistry, C/2; and Royal Archives, London, College College amounted C2/2. Archives, London, College College Imperial are also in Royal of Chemistry, of the Report College in in the Laboratories and Researches Conducted of Chemistry College Royal of in "Royal and 1848-49-50-51 the Years 1851); College (London, and Donors, 1846-1852," figures Some summary Chemistry," Committee ^Between varying Students, in First of Council October of 1845-1859," of Report on Education 1845 study. and See the Science 1853, (London, July Royal College of Department p. 416. 1854), some 356 enrolled students of Chemistry, College and Art the for

periods

College London,

Imperial

of "Register C/6/1. Archives,

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438

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

merit of the College was, in Hofmann's view, a "natural" response in institutional terms to the claims of a new scientific discipline and a

of the Royal College of Chemistry. Liebig's works of chemical propa were cited extensively in the prospectuses circulated to pro ganda mote interest in establishing the College; a Liebig pupil was ap

teacher Justus Liebig generated in England during the early 1840's for the possi bility of applying the fruits of chemical research. not without foundation, it does not Although Hofmann's view is a provide completely satisfactory basis for evaluating the significance establishment

new pedagogy?analytical organic chemistry and systematic labora in of which had been de instruction methods?both research tory As Hofmann abroad.4 presented it, the College owed its veloped to the enthusiasm that his German

cited Liebig's works to reinforce indigenous trends already under way before the 1840's, so Liebig received further publicity through

its first director; and the academic pointed objectives of the institution were derived from Liebig's laboratory program at the University of Giessen. However, it is unclear how much enthusiasm for chemistry Liebig would have generated had there been no previ ous interest in the subject in England. The College's propagandists

The

College's

productivity

is investigated

College of Chemistry (1845-1853):


diss., England (Ph.D. and Appendix cited II; hereafter 3A. W. "A Page of Hofmann, of the Royal of Days College 145-153; Victorian

A Social History of Chemistry inEarly

in Gerrylynn

K. Roberts,

The

Royal

8 Johns Hopkins University, 1973), Chapter as Roberts, RCC. Scientific History: of the Early Reminiscences

8 (1871), Journal Chemistry," of Science, Sir F. A. Abel, "The History of the Royal College of Chemistry and Reminiscences of Hofmann's "Journal of the Chemical Society, Professorship, 1 580-596; (1896), and of the Conditions "Personal of Reminiscences Playfair, Led to the Establishment of the Royal the Appointment of its Professor," ibid., pp. 575 Lyon which Register of the Associates and Old Students of

69, pt. Hofmann College 579;

with Historical Introduction and Biographical Notices and of Science College Portraits and more of Past and Present Professors (London, 1896); recently, "A. W. Hofmann and the Founding of the Royal of John J. Beer, College 37 (1960), Sir Patrick Journal Education, Chemistry," 248-251; of Chemical Linstead, 1961); 15-32; Mines: The see Prince Consort and and "The also idem, Notes the Founding of Imperial College Records of the Royal Society, Chemical of the Royal Department under A. W. Hofmann," (London, 17 (1962), of School Ambix, 17

theRoyal College of Chemistry, the Royal School ofMines and theRoyal

of Chemistry and Theodore G. Chambers,

(1970), 153-181.

Jonathan Bentley, Its Origins and

Development

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GERRYLYNN the movement the German demic and Hofmann's obscures

K. ROBERTS

439

needs and aspirations which gave it form.6 This study examines the issues that were of concern to the groups which received and responded to the appeal for support for an English chemical school during the early 1840's, and it shows how these issues came to be reflected in the institution itself. The found ers of the College

evaluation of the College from the German point of view the fact that it was an English institution shaped by its early-Victorian context. The establishment of the Royal College of Chemistry must be investigated in the light of the contemporary

to establish the College of Chemistry.5 To focus on of the College is to stress unduly its aca research functions and to neglect its other purposes. connections

actively involved in the College's early or public figures, and few were history widely influential scientific were primarily interested in chemistry; the College was founded by people looking for solutions to what were, for the most part, par Few ticular chemical problems. Nonetheless,

solicited support frommedical men, chemists and as well as from members druggists, agriculturists, and manufacturers, of existing scientific societies. They also sought government funds. of the individuals most

their efforts in founding the

It is not surprising of Scientific that, 4Hofmann, History," p. 145. "Page should have of his German chemical from the vantage chair, Hofmann writing career. He German in terms of his subsequent his English construed experience of the some irony that while reminiscence idealized this noted with preparing College Germany models accurate, (ibid., he for was for also preparing the Devonshire had testimony Commission, already existed on the which

in of chemistry teaching was educational seeking of the College for twenty-five was years

application the ideal model

in Britain.

If Hofmann's

view

in England

p. 153). a College the Science of Chemistry for Promoting for Establishing 5Proposal to Agriculture, Arts and Medicine and its Application 1844), British (London, See also, To Agriculturists: No. ff. 21-29. Additional 40553, MSS, Museum,

To

a Supplement to theProposal for Establishing College of Chemistry (London, to the and n.d.), Proposal for Establishing a College of Chemistry: Supplement
Both and Metallurgists the Proprietors n.d.). (London, supple of Mines of the Council "Minutes see Royal can be dated, of Chemistry, College 1845 and 25 January 5 March the College, 1845, 1845-1851," Imperial London, C/3/3. College Archives, and the Structure "Individualism in the Physical the institutional of British Science in 1830," how

ments of

College

6J. B. Morrell, Historical Studies richly diversified

3 (1971), Sciences, context of English

192-201, science was.

indicates

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440
College

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

Royal tions of the functions of science scientific developments. THE EARLY-VICTORIAN

reveal general early-Victorian attitudes towards science.7 The College of Chemistry was more a product of English percep than a response to continental

CHEMICAL

CONSTITUENCY

Throughout the early nineteenth century, the study of chemistry was closely allied to the study of medicine in England. The educa tional demands of themedical profession had long influenced chemi cal curricula, and the medical schools remained important centers

for the study of chemistry through the 1840's.8 During the 1830's and 1840's the English medical profession underwent reorganization, and consequently education was a prominent issue within the medi cal community.9 It was then that, for professional as well as scien tific reasons, laboratory instruction in practical chemistry (other than by apprenticeship) became required of medical students. The traditional three-tiered division of medical practitioners into physi cians, surgeons, and apothecaries still applied legally, but in practice the boundaries were becoming blurred. There was an increasing

tendency for members of all divisions of the profession to assume the responsibilities of a new sort of medical man, the general practi tioner, while still legally retaining their traditional functions and educational requirements as set out by the Royal College of Physi cians, the Royal College of Surgeons, and the Worshipful Society a newer division of medical practi of Apothecaries. Meanwhile,

to the study of institutions 7This is discussed in Steven Shapin approach and Arnold as a Research Tool in the History of Thackray, "Prosopography Science: The British to 1900," Scientific 1700 Community, History of 12 (1974), 1-28. Science, J. K. Crellin, "The Development pp. of the of Chemistry in Britain through Medicine and

8See the unpublished dissertation (UniversityCollege London, 1969) by


1700-1850," 14, 20.

view of professional between relationship problems and medical see S. W. F. Holloway, "Medical education, reorganization in England, Education A Sociological 1830-1858: 49 Analysis," History, 299-324. in evaluates structure the of the medical (1964), Holloway changes as a to long-term in English profession response changes society brought about See also, Charles The Evolution by the Industrial Revolution. Newman, of Medical in the Nineteenth Education and Sir George Century (London, 1957),

Pharmacy: 9 For a general

Clark, A History of the Royal College of Physicians of London


1966), 2, 671-696.

(Oxford,

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GERRYLYNN tioners?the
position.10

K. ROBERTS chemists and druggists?moved to consolidate

441
its

the sole right to license general granted the Society of Apothecaries in The license was awarded on and Wales.11 practitioners England the basis of examinations candidates

The emergence of the general practitioner was reflected in institu tional developments. The Apothecaries' Act of 1815 recognized that the apothecary was by then essentially a general practitioner, and it

aware that its medical London.12 Although College to practice through one of to have would probably qualify graduates its the English licensing authorities, University College modelled on that of the University of Edinburgh. medical curriculum mainly It offered a four year course of systematic training inmedicine and University sciences, providing a concerted program for general that could be followed within a single institution. practitioners abreast of Scottish developments, University College of Keeping students in 1829,13 the year fered practical chemistry to medical that the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh began to require the ancillary of its candidates three-months training in practical chemistry. Senti

set by the Society, covering courses which at a number of recog and could, generally had to, study A further institutional stimulus toward gen nized medical schools. eral practice was the founding in 1826 of the Medical Faculty of

of the three orders of medical functions practitioners was and his internal medicine, the sphere of the physician of the to diagnose the and write function was surgeon sphere prescriptions; was to the was and his function external medicine, operations; perform was to compound medicines of the apothecary function by prescribed original "Medical See Holloway, and required Education," by surgeons. physicians of Medical and Newman, emergence Education, pp. 1-22. The pp. 304-311, is discussed in the eighteenth and druggists chemists century by Crellin, 10Traditionally, were well defined: the of Chemistry," "Development "The W. F. Holloway, nS. 10 (1966), Medical History, in terms sional 12For although sometimes Rose of the social rivalries. as University the sake of clarity, I will refer to this institution College, as the London and to 1836 it was known from 1826 University called the University of London. p. 234. Apothecaries' 107-129, of Act 221-236. of 1815: Holloway profession A Reinterpretation," this Act analyzes and its intraprofes

history

the medical

College London:
Bradford, Centenary 13Bellot,

1826-1926

Addresses,

and Medical London Education," "University College ed. R. W. Chambers pp. 5-26. 1927), (London, p. 125. University College,

(London, 1929), pp. 143-168, 215-248; John


in

See Hugh

Hale

Bellot,

University

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442

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

appointment.15 Scottish precedents to require in have the also may Society of Apothecaries prompted a 1830 that its chemistry lecturers have laboratory and "competent" apparatus, and in 1832 to recommend that they include training in in their basic chemistry and analysis manipulation In October time the University College which 1835, by course an had lapsed (except for extramural class given by practical one of Turner's early students), the Society of Apothecaries began to require evidence of training in practical chemistry from candidates chemical courses.16 for its license.17
14J. B. Ambix,

formally recommended that the subject be required in university medical curricula, practical chemistry had been taught at the University of Glasgow and, extramurally, in Edinburgh; but attendances at these voluntary classes were low and finances precarious.14 The first Professor of Chemistry at University College, Edward Turner, had been an extra mural teacher of practical chemistry in Edinburgh, which may have in 1831 been the reason for his London

merit in favor of compulsory practical chemistry formedical students developed in Scotland during the 1820,s among those who felt that practical training was essential for understanding chemical science. Before the Scottish Universities Commission

required and Documentary Taken the Commissioners the Uni Before for Visiting versities with Appendix and Index?Edinburgh. of Scotland Parliamentary 533. Hereafter cited as Edinburgh Evidence. (1837), Papers, XXXV 15Bellot, University College, pp. 127-128.

"Practical in the University of Edinburgh," Morrell, Chemistry 16 (1969), Also three months of practical 69-73. chemistry were for candidates of the Army Medical See Evidence, Oral Department.

to be Observed of Apothecaries, Intend 16Society Regulations by Students as Themselves in England and Wales, ing to Qualify for Practise Apothecaries 1832 the Royal (London, p. 4. There was some rivalry between 1833), College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Society of Apothecaries. The former, with considered the qualifications of the reason, Yet the Apothecaries' of Act had 1815 to alone the license Apothecaries right general own. ("Return Edinburgh by the Royal College of Surgeons, some latter to be inferior to its granted the of Society in England

Edinburgh

practitioners to the Commission,"

Evidence, p. 210). Appendix, to be Observed of Apothecaries, Intend 17Society Regulations by Students as Themselves in England and Wales, ing to Qualify for Practise Apothecaries 1835 Evidence for the extramural class is cited in Bellot, (London, 1835). College, College

course at 127. the practical p. Ironically chemistry since none of the probably lapsed due to low enrollment, bodies the subject; yet the Society of Apothecaries' English qualifying required more were 1835 stringent requirements, including chemistry, practical as a result of the overall instituted success of the medical University College University University curriculum (ibid., pp. 215-248).

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GERRYLYNN The Medical

K. ROBERTS

443

Faculty to organize a course of summer for the of 1837, but he died in Febru practical chemistry to The teach practical chemistry to medical students ability ary.18 was undoubtedly a consideration in the choice of Turner's successor in the Chair of Chemistry, Thomas Graham.19 Graham learned

order at the behest of the Medical

Faculty of University College, anxious tomaintain its to the Society's new reacted reputation, requirement by suggesting that Turner institute a practical course. He prevaricated, arguing correctly that the requirement would not become operative for some time. The following year College authorities gave Turner a direct

give practical instruction stimulated the establishment of extramural practical classes. In addition, Graham had some experience teaching practical chemistry as a private instructor and at the Andersonian
Institution.20

chemistry within the context of the Scottish practical tradition. He studied at the University of Glasgow under Thomas Thomson, and at the University of Edinburgh under T. C. Hope, whose failure to

Graham offered one term of practical chem During 1837-1838, istry, and during the following academic year, two terms. However, re enrollment was not high, despite the Society of Apothecaries' fee the of low ?4 the minimal and per term, relatively quirement, commitment of three hours per week.21 The students were not alone in lacking enthusiasm for the new course; Graham himself was reluctant to teach it. To the College Secretary, he expressed

18 of London, "Senatus Minute 9 January 19 March Book," 1836, University and 27 January Records Office. 1837, University London, College Hereafter cited as University "Senate Minutes." London, College was essentially in the hands of the realized that the appointment 19Graham Medical letter to James Graham, 29 April in Graham, 1837, Faculty (Thomas 1836, R. Angus Smith, Reid, p. 39). Boswell RCC, Certainly The Life the other well and Works of Thomas candidates, Graham Richard short-listed [Glasgow, 1884], and David Phillips See Roberts, chemistry.

were

qualified

to teach

practical

course is described in J. B. Morrell, Pro "Thomas Thomson: of Chemistry British Journal for the History and University Reformer," 4 (i969), and idem, "The Chemist Breeders: The Re 245-265, of Science, of Liebig 19 (1972), and Thomas search Schools 1-46. Thomson," Ambix, fessor On see idem, "Practical On Graham's limitations, Hope's Chemistry." experi see Thomas in letter to Mrs. Graham, 19 November ence, Graham, 1827, Graham, Smith, Thomas pp. 31-32. 21 Annual and 1837, 1838, London, University College Reports (London, ten percent of those who about should have taken it in the first 1839). Only

pp. 23-28. 20Thomson's

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444

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COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

professor's only funds were students' fees, from which he had to meet all course expenses (including outfitting a laboratory) as well as derive a personal income. High fees risked reduced enrollments; low fees forced the professor to take on other jobs to earn a living. If he took on other jobs, he had less time for teaching practical chemistry, which conflicted with one of the most important features of labora tory instruction, close personal supervision. For financial reasons, professors favored large lecture courses and viewed small laboratory

of undertaking the extraordinary trouble and pecuniary loss which it will for some time involve/'22 Commenting that his first course had run at a deficit, Graham pointed out that the system was at fault. A

financial complaint that was to recur in all efforts to institute courses on practical chemistry in England: "The teaching of practical to in is London have the most beneficial influence chemistry likely on the progress of experimental science, otherwise Iwould not think

courses with dismay. At King's College London, where, as at University College, medical new require studies were important, the Society of Apothecaries' ment met resistance at first. J. F. Daniell, Professor of Chemistry, argued that there was more than one definition of the term "practi
cal chemistry."

It is probable that [the Society of Apothecaries] meant to require that students should be instructed in chemical manipulation?i.e.

of those who should have taken it in the year and about twenty percent reason was second course was not that Graham's year enrolled. One possible oriented: "The student will be in exercised medically processes conducting from all the departments of chemistry, & in the manipulations of testing and analysis. He will substances used structions from which an w. many mineral of becoming opportunity acquainted in the arts particularly the metals and their ores, & receive in in assaying. A course of reading will also be pointed out to him have

he may derive explanations and additional information respecting the processes which letter to C. C. engage his attention" Graham, (Thomas late November No. 4416, Atkinson, 1838, University College Correspondence, University London, College College Archives). 22Thomas letter to C. C. Atkinson, 1 December Graham, 1838, University to No. 4440. Wanting the course, the Medical College Correspondence, keep to provide forced the College additional of Lon Faculty money (University of Management "Committee 14 March 1839 and 22 March don, Minutes," Records 1839, University London, Office; College "Council 7 August Minutes," 1839, University Office). University College College London, London, Records

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GERRYLYNN

K. ROBERTS

445

that their hands

... istry. [I] dwell upon the practical application of science to the Arts and illustrate the processes of the different manufactures, of Metallurgy, Domestic Economy, Pharmacy etc.?and all thismight be, and frequently is, learnt without touching a retort, handling the crucible tongs, or soiling the fingerswith aqua fort is.23 Daniell was content of attendance usual course, particularly in view of the financial problems of labora tory teaching. He had to alter his course, however, when the Uni issued the requirements for its new medical de versity of London one term of in the grees spring of 1839. The curriculum included was no to be medical school recognized practical chemistry, and to sign the Society of Apothecaries' certificates his attended for who in practical chemistry students

But practical chemistry has a much larger meaning than this of handicraft and the lectures which I am in the habit of delivering from this table are meant to convey in common with those of other schools, instruction in Practical as well as Theoretical chem

as well as their heads should be instructed and that it should be certified that each had worked at chemical opera tions with his own hands, under competent superintendance.

allow only the most superficial training, Daniell capitulated. The first laboratory course in practical chemistry at King's College London began in the spring of 1840; itwas taught to pay privately. by Daniell's assistant, whom he had the medical of London members profession had actively promoted new the establishment of the University of London, which was felt that one term would

unless it had a laboratory in which students gained practical experi ence in chemistry, pharmacy, and forensic chemistry. Although still a because he opposed in principle to giving laboratory course, partly

chartered in 1836 as a degree granting body with no teaching func tions. The University was empowered to devise course requirements arts or medicine and to set examinations; leading to degrees in the success in these examinations was the student's route to a degree. It
in 1840-1841," Course Lecture for the Chemistry "Inaugural 23J. F. Daniell, c. October in the Daniell London, Collection, 1840, College King's copy

Library. 2*Ibid.

Daniell

tried

university 1838, Lubbock the course 13 March

curriculum Papers, is mentioned King's

to prevent (J. F. Daniell, No. D-7, in King's

this

requirement letter to Sir John Society London, Library.

from

Lubbock,

the new entering 29 November The financing of of the Council,"

Royal College

Archives). "Minutes

1840,

College

London,

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446
was

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

men the new degree would hoped that for intending medical constitute a license to practice, thus circumventing the authority of the three traditional English professional bodies.25 Accordingly, the tried to make it as designers of the University's medical curriculum scientific and rigorous as possible. Based on the Scottish model, the course requirements led to a two-tiered division of University's medical practitioners. Every student received the same basic training; he qualified as a general practitioner by passing an examination for the M.B. degree after four years of course work. If he wished to an examination for the M.D. degree two years specialize he took later. Basic instruction in the sciences was fundamental to theM.B. course; modern, practical training helped define the special expertise of the University of London medical graduate. Practical trainingwas were to include emphasized to the extent that the examinations The University's practical chemistry syllabus was medically ori ented: it included "Practical Exercises in conducting the more im portant processes of General and Pharmaceutical Chemistry; in ap
laboratory operations.26

plying tests for discovering the adulteration of articles of the materia medica, and the presence and nature of poisons; and in the examina tion of Mineral Waters, Animal Secretions, Urinary Deposits, Calculi, etc."27 It is unlikely, however, that the practical chemistry course at was King's College London followed this syllabus, since it required and the Medical the both Department of Civil En Department by as to the Arts and Manufactures. gineering and Science Applied Furthermore, the University College London Medical Faculty, which favored a more general chemical training for its students, opposed

the University's vocational emphasis in its practical chemistry sylla bus.28 By 1840, in addition to the courses at King's and University
25Bellot, cil Minutes," are 1830's. 26University of Medicine: of London, Subcommittee "Minutes of the First who 12, Subcommittee of Study Commence to Consider the Course shall hereafter 1837," of the Faculty of Required their Medi University 7. University "Coun London, College, Chapter College and University "Senate Minutes," London, passim College passim on the instructive in the early for the new medical expectations degree University

Candidates cal Studies, of London,

for Degrees August Senate House College

inMedicine

8, 1837-October Library. Annual London, Calendar

22 August

1837.

27University

College 28King's the University pp. 14, 34. For College utes of the Senate, 1: March Vol. 4th 1837 to June 21st 1843 n.d.), (London, 27 March of London, Senate House cf. Gra 1839, University Library. Also ham's syllabus, supra, n. 21.

London,

p. 19. Reports (London, 1840), Year the 1840 1840), for (London, of London, Min view, see University

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GERRYLYNN

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447

some training in practical Colleges, chemistry was offered at four London medical schools and three provincial ones.29 From 1841, chemists and druggists also actively began to promote the study of practical chemistry to enhance their professional status. concern of the Pharmaceutical Practical chemistry was a major Society of Great Britain, which was established in 1841 with the im object of lobbying against a bill that would have effectively and druggists under the jurisdiction of apothe chemists placed caries.30 The functions of these two medical groups overlapped and caused rivalry. Chemists and druggists were specifically exempted

mediate

from the 1815 Apothecaries' Act, although their role was defined in a negative manner within it. Essentially, chemists and druggists were to be dispensing tradesmen; as such they duplicated in part the duties of apothecaries, who were entitled to dispense medicines as well as to act as general practitioners. Furthermore, as population grew, straining the resources of the medical profession, chemists and druggists became in many instances the poor man's medical prac titioners, illegally prescribing over the counter. Indeed, in the country, chemists and druggists were often the only medical prac titioners. Unlike apothecaries, who had to undergo formal training and whose premises were subject to periodic inspection, chemists and druggists had no educational requirements to fulfill before set

ting up shop (although apprenticeship was the normal route), and were not they subject to legal sanctions for fraudulent practice. resented the encroachment by "unqualified" chemists Apothecaries

and druggists on their functions and income. In their defense, chemists and druggists argued that they performed a needed service and that apothecaries had abdicated their dispensing rights by be areas coming general practitioners. Chemists and druggists in rural faced additional
sold them on

competition
medicines.31

from grocers and oilmen who under

patent

29The don,

Medical

Almanack schools could be Street Medical

or Calendar were studied

1840).

London

of Medical St. Bartholomew's

Information, Hospital,

1840

(Lon

the Aldersgate

School,

chemistry practical and York. 30Jacob Pharmacy Sketch, (1841), (1841), Bell in Great

and Sydenham College. at medical in Birmingham, schools

Guy's Hospital, In the provinces, Bristol,

31Holloway, pp. 6-7; 38-39;

Historical Sketch and Theophilus Redwood, of the Progress of Britain pp. 87-88. 1880), (London, "The Apothecaries' Historical Act," p. 125; Bell and Redwood, 1 Pharmaceutical 80, 91; "Pharmaceutical Journal, Meetings," Jacob Bell, "General "Medical Observations Education," by pp. the Editor," 311-312. Pharm. J., 1 Holloway,

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448
Members of the Pharmaceutical

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

Society objected to the threatened imposition of regulations by outside bodies. They admitted the need for professional control, but wanted to provide their own by means
of

fessional role for the English practitioner after the French and Ger man model. By studying the sciences on which his art was based,

pharmaceutical

education.

Their

object

was

to

create

a new

pro

tion and the mode of action of known medicines and by discovering new medicines. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical chemist's certified scientific knowledge would be seen by the consumer as a guarantee of high quality drugs, so that his business prospects as well as his pro fessional status would be enhanced. The Pharmaceutical Society was to have a central role in creating the new pharmaceutical chemist. Itwas to establish a school, serve as an examining board, become the legal licensing body for chemists and druggists, and operate as a learned society complete with a journal for pharmaceutical subjects. The members hoped that by means status their of formal qualifications, they would raising by eliminate their conflicts with other sectors of the medical pro fession.32 The of 1842, Pharmaceutical but

the business of the new pharmaceutical chemist, but the addition of scientific research to his responsibilities would expand his role. With the cooperation of other medical practitioners, he would help to ad vance the theory and practice of medicine by studying the produc

particularly practical chemistry, the chemist and druggist would elevate himself from the role of tradesman to that of practicing chemist. Selling drugs was still to be scientist, the pharmaceutical

practical a laboratory accommodating only eight students finally opened, the first practical course disappointed the reformers, since it con practical sisted of routine pharmaceutical chemistry. Late in May

Society's school opened in the fall the promised facilities for a laboratory course in 1844. When chemistry did not materialize until October

rather than general operations 1845, the Society's Council ap to proved the expansion of the inadequate teaching laboratory seems were and it that these sometime filled eighteen places, during the 1845-1846 academic year.33
to the Chemists Addressed and Druggists Bell, Observations 32Jacob of on the Pharmaceutical Great Britain (London, Society 1841), pp. 6-8; "Phar maceutical "General Bell, pp. 4-5; Meetings," Observations," pp. 42-43, 75-79. 33Bell, University Observations, of London p. 10; T. E. Wallis, 1964), History of the School of Pharmacy, of the Ince, "The History

(London,

p. 3; Joseph

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449

and Protector of the Rights of the Chemist andChemical Manufacturer published vitriolic attacks on the Pharmaceutical So provements

Many chemists and druggists supported the objects of the Pharma ceutical Society, but not all were satisfied with its performance. The periodical The Chemist or Reporter of Chemical Discoveries and Im

ciety and its founder, Jacob Bell. The editors pointed to the wildly a symptom of the profes fluctuating membership of the Society as sion's lack of confidence in it, and they claimed that members were paying high fees (two guineas per year) and receiving little in return.

They particularly criticized the delay in providing a laboratory and the pedestrian practical course taught there. In their view, the Pharmaceutical Society had fulfilled few of its goals by the time its third anniversary arrived in March 1844, leaving the profession vulnerable in the face of themedical reformmovement of 1844.34 During the 1830's and early 1840's, the tendency to promote

practical chemistry as a medical subject was reinforced by develop ments internal to the subject matter of chemistry. Organic chemistry as a new discipline from chemical studies of the constituent emerged parts of plants and animals. Although there was great controversy about the fundamental theories of organic chemistry, the analytical methods

healthy and diseased living systems; organic chemistry came to be viewed as the key to the study of the physiology and pathology of both plants and animals.35 Consequently, medical men, particularly
School of Pharmacy," Pharm. 1 (1903), p. 282. Ince that Bell

for its investigation (primarily in the Giessen developed laboratory of Justus Liebig) were sound and accurate. In turn, the new methods began to be used to study more systematically the processes through which organic constituents were produced in both

Practice of Medical the Bill for the Better throughout Regulation see editorial comments 2 (1844), under The Chemist, 418; Kingdom," titles throughout 323-324, 144, 178, 226-227, (ibid., pp. 126-127, varying on the Pharmacy to Bill: also Report the Select Committee See 555). from and Index, Minutes Evidence the the with Committee, of of Proceedings gether 387 qq. 954-969, p. 56. See also, Roberts, (1852), Parliamentary Papers, XII United RCC, p. 47. 35Justus Physiology, Agricultural Chemistry Gregory to Agriculture in its Applications and Liebig, Chemistry Organic cited as Liebig, ed. Lyon Hereafter, 1840). Play fair (London, or Organic See also, Justus Liebig, Animal Chemistry Chemistry. in its Applications 1842). to Physiology and Pathology, ed. William

Council. 34 "A

tried to push through plans for a laboratory in 1842 but was balked by the

].,

pt.

suggests

(London,

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450
those argued
curriculum.

ROYAL involved with that organic

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

the University of London medical program, new chemistry should become part of the

cause of analytical organic chemistry was ardently taken up by Thomas Wakley, radical politician, medical reformer, and editor of the polemical medical journal The Lancet. One of Liebig's earliest new discipline to the move English promoters, Wakley linked the ment for medical reform. A strong supporter of the two-tiered di vision of medical practice as institutionalized in the University of The London's

gave publicity to the system of chemical education evolved by Liebig, whose students learned how to do research while learning of chemistry. Wakley argued that the techniques of practical chemistry, including elementary organic analysis, should be studied by candidates for the M.B., so that they would be prepared to do research at the M.D. level. Should the M.B. candidate not go the subject

medical curriculum, Wakley argued that the London M.D. should be a research degree and that the chemical investigation of physiological problems begged for the attention of researchers. He

on to the M.D., he would nonetheless find his knowledge of organic chemistry useful formaking pathological tests and for understanding subsequent advances in treatment. The major obstacle that Wakley the lack of suitable facilities for studying practical organic chemistry in England.36 Practical saw was

relevant to the concerns of the landed interest in a number of ways. The use of scientific knowledge to improve agriculture and the ex ploitation of mineral resources had long attracted the attention of

chemistry attracted the support of English medical men in the early 1840's because, during the preceding decade, it had be come increasingly relevant to their changing professional and scien tific interests, which in turn reflected broader changes in English society. Similarly, by the 1840's, practical chemistry was seen to be

in The Lancet: articles "Review of Elementary Instruction . . . ," 21 October on "Attendance 1843, pp. 101-102; Analysis at 27 "The 18 Class," 1844, Giessen," January p. 591; Liebig's Laboratory on the New College of Chemistry," 7 September 1844, p. 261; "Remarks May Science of Chemistry," "The science of or The 1844, p. 736; pp. 231-232. 36See in Chemical to be for the new professional also considered ganic chemistry was important on discoveries since new medicines in this field and would pharmacist, depend many known ones were of organic origin.

numerous

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451

ciety of England, and the government all began to promote the ap plications of chemistry, particularly of analytical chemistry, to the the 1830*5, landowners problems of landownership. Throughout more to attributed perhaps importance geological than chemical came to that geology needed however, recognize, knowledge. They to be supplemented by chemistry; the former could describe sub
terranean structure, but only chemical

interest in England.37 During the decade preceding the of the Royal College of Chemistry, the British Associ ation for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Agricultural So establishment

stituents.

Soil

analysis

became

an accepted

analysis

could

reveal

its con

agent of agricultural

natural history, and chemistry) that might be of interest to land owners.39 To enable members to take advantage of the information, practicing scientists were asked to report on the latest developments in their various fields. Reports requested in the late 1830's included ones on organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, the relationship be tween chemistry and agriculture, and the relationship between
37For an of early-nineteenth-century example see Morris institutions, through scientific Institution, 1799-1810: A the way Berman, this concern "The Science Early was Years

took considerable During the late 1830's, the British Association interest in the application of science to agriculture. One of its im plicit objects was to serve as a clearing house for the collection and distribution of information (provided by the study of local geology,

improvement.38

expressed of the Royal 38The

Re-evaluation,"

reinforced insufficient was view that geology without chemistry was a a of soils that classification read according by widely suggested monograph to their underlying that used data formation and by supplied geological structure with to correlate soil content: subsurface John analysis Connection their with the Geo On Nature the and Soils, Morton, of Property In on which of Permanently they Rest, and the Best Means logical Formation the Rent and on their Productiveness, and Profits of Agriculture creasing chemical

(1972), 205-240.

Studies,

Science in See Sir E. John Russell, A History of Agricultural 1838). (London, Great Britain, 1620-1954 pp. 81-86. 1966), (London, 39A. D. for the Advance of the British Association "The Origins Orange, ment 6 (1972), Brit. J. Hist. and idem, "The of Science," 152-176, Sci., Provincial Back of Science: The for the Advancement British Association ground," Science Studies, 1 (1971), to establish 315-329. a In 1839, some members at section; this was

unsuccessfully tempted not accomplished until 1912 the Advancement of Science:

separate agricultural The British Association for (O. J. R. Howarth, A Retrospect, 2nd ed. [London, 1831-1931,

1931], p. 85).

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452

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

De la Beche, chemistry and geology.40 At the 1838 meeting, Henry Director of H.M. Geological Survey, stressed the importance of the relationship between chemistry and geology for all landowners, as well as mine owners. He successfully urged the agriculturists to establish a Mining Records Office as an adjunct to the government Survey for use by landowners as a center for scientific information ob about land; he thus realized one of the British Association's In De the la Beche 1839, government successfully persuaded jects.41 to spend ?1500 on yet another extension to the Survey, an office of to the Museum of Economic Geology. The Curator's duty to serve as chemist to the Survey, analyzing and classifying samples sent in by field workers, solving chemical problems for other

Curator was

government departments, performing analyses for private individuals, and lecturing on analytical chemistry, agricultural chemistry, met rhetoric in support of allurgy, and mineralogy.42 De la Beche's

cultural education, the Society hoped to stimulate agricultural One of its activities was to offer prizes for work on progress. topics of current interest. Among the prizes proposed in the first
40British Association, Report for 1840, p. xxiv. 41 and Old Reeks, Register Margaret of the Associates Students of the Royal

both these projects stressed the importance of soil analysis. The Royal Agricultural Society of England, founded in 1838, was also concerned with the application of chemistry and geology to agriculture. By providing a means of communication among agri culturists, sponsoring experiments, and promoting improved agri

School of Mines and theHistory of the Royal School ofMines


pp. 13-14. 1920), 42 Commissioners for the Museum Record Public of Woods of Economic and Forests,

(London,

March

1840 It is difficult to determine how often the curator was con (ibid.). the income from analyses sulted; during the final quarter of 1839, performed for the general letter to the Com la Beche, only ?18 public was (Henry De missioners of Woods and Forests, 31 December 1839 Reeks, Royal [ibid.]). School

Geology, to the govern Treasury Papers, T. 1-3776. Compared a was ment's financial ?1500 See Mr. record, previous large commitment. letter to the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, 20 September Chawner, and T. C. Brooksbank and A. Van Spiegel, letter to the Treasury, 24 1839, Office,

letter to H. M. Treasury, Prospectus 26 February 1839, Great Britain,

that the government used the office rather of Mines, p. 15, suggests than the public. The History Scott-Watson, 43J. A. of the Royal Agricultural Society of 1839-1939 The 18-19. would not, England: pp. (London, 1939), Society work letter to Sir Charles however, directly finance experimental (J. Hudson, more Gordon, 23 November 1840, English Agricultural Society, "Letter Book,"

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453

year was one for a simple and cheap method for analyzing soils which could be used by practical farmers. Thus, the Society already recognized that analytical chemistry was an important subject for the agriculturist and even contemplated setting up its own laboratory with a chemist to perform soil analyses.44 During 1841, Charles G. B. Daubeny, Professor of Chemistry, Botany, and Rural Economy

of chemical and other agents that altered soil conditions, Daubeny made a plea for systematic experimental research on this topic. Such research would require improved agricultural education, both for researchers and for ordinary agriculturists. He pointed out that ex trinsic funding, either from agricultural societies or the government, would have to be found for such highly specialized training. To rein force his plea, he pointed to continental institutions and suggested that English agriculture was not keeping pace with agricultural ad vances because it lacked similar institutions.45

at Oxford, urged the Society to take a more active interest in agri cultural chemistry. Arguing that the future of agriculture rested in part on understanding the nature of soils and themode of operation

somewhat belated report on chemistry and agriculture Daubeny's well have been an attempt to capitalize on the interest aroused may by the 1840 English edition of Justus Liebig's Organic Chemistry in to Agriculture and its Applications Physiology,46 Liebig's intention
For the view on

Royal Agricultural Society Archives). see English educational institutions, Committee Archives. 44Royal July 1838; appointment 45Charles 136-157; Agricultural Society, of Management,"

Society's Society, Royal

Agricultural 1839,

"Minutes Agricultural

financing of the Society

13 February "Committee

of Management p. 19, 1839.

Scott-Watson, Society, Royal Agricultural further inMay of a chemist was discussed B. Daubeny, 1841," idem, "Lecture "Lecture on

18 Minutes," that the indicates

ture, 9 December

to Agricul the Application of Science 3 (1842), the Society, Journal of Royal Agricultural on Institutions of Agriculture," for the Improvement No. Bodleian 278, Oxford University, of Agricultural for the Advancement Library, Science

Sherard MSS, 27 April 1842, Institutions "On Public idem, which Exist in Other Individuals 386. Most research with

and on Plans which have been set on Foot by Countries, a Similar 3 (1842), in Our Own," Intent J. Roy. Ag. Soc, were French. He found his own of Daubeny's continental examples teaching in Oxford 25 May on restricted 1846, 1834-1867," report Liebig's to him in 1838. facilities lack of practical by 28 November 1846, Sherard MSS, which the British Associa

and

(idem, "Diary: No. 264). 46This was tion assigned

organic

chemistry

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454
was

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

to explain agriculture theoretically in terms of organic chemis try, justifying at the same time his chemical theories. The possibility that his theoretical approach might eventually lead to changes in was of course important; the book itself, how agricultural practice ever, was a program for research, rather than a guide to good of practice.47 Liebig began by discussing the chemical constituents various parts of plants and their sources in nature. He then argued that the plant physiologist, gether could determine what

to promote the growth of specific plants, the practice of a simple matter of substituting analytical agriculture would become data into the following equation: combined chemical composition of desired plant (minus) ingredients available in soil and atmosphere chemical composition of required fertilizer. Liebig felt that much more research was needed before such a formula could be applied. For example, he suggested a nationwide series of plant-ash analyses that would look chemically at the same plants grown on different soils.48 Essentially, Liebig suggested a program complementary to soil analysis which had already been ac cepted in England as a legitimate agricultural aid. He showed that

the atmosphere, substances general. Once they showed how all of these conditions could best be

the chemist, and the agriculturist to conditions (heat, light, components of in the soil) influenced plant growth in

going

ficial, could only be understood as an intermediary between soil and plant. Liebig's ideas were favorably received in England partly be cause his research program complemented and even furthered on 49
ones. with some that his English audience would and Correspondence of

plant-ash analysis and soil analysis should be pursued in parallel to aid agricultural practice most efficiently; fertilizers, natural or arti

47Liebig misinterpret

feared,

justification, Reid,

the book

in textbook so that it could be appreciated edition fashion English by non in its Applications to Agriculture chemists and (Justus Liebig, Chemistry ed. 2nd ed. fair, Lyon Play pp. vii-viii). Physiology, 1842], [London, pp. 138, 140. 48Liebig, Agricultural Chemistry, 49Certainly English supporter Liebig's contention agriculturists of Liebig's was

Lyon Playfair [London, 1899], p. 47). Lyon Play fair constructed the second

(T. Weymss

Memoirs

owner and editor of The Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society (Philip
Pusey, Years,"/. "On the Progress Ag. Soc, of Agricultural [1842], Knowledge during the Last Four Roy. 3 169-215).

was that chemistry totally ignored by not justified A (ibid., p. 137). particularly prominent an improving research land program was Philip Pusey,

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GERRYLYNN

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455

Forests, who controlled the Mining Records Office and theMuseum of Economic Geology, were particularly active in this regard, as was the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel. One plan was to add an agri cultural department to an existing university, such as the University of Durham.50 Another plan, proposed in the spring of 1842, was for the Museum of Economic to undertake soil analysis on a Geology a nationwide scale. Such plan would not offend agricultural con servatives, since its implementation had always been envisaged as the combined function of the Museum and the Records Office and since

efforts to Partly because of Liebig's Organic Chemistry, Daubeny's institute training for agriculturists did not go unheeded. In late 1841 and early 1842, the government considered scientific fostering for agriculturists. The Commissioners education of Woods and

government project did not succeed, the attempt resulted in the creation by the Royal Agricultural Society of the (unsalaried) post of Analyst.52 Later in 1843, private individuals set about establishing a school at Cirencester for training agriculturists following a model suggested by In addition to a practical department, the school was to Daubeny. have an academic department. The latter would feature science courses ancillary to which would include "manual par agriculture, in the of soil ticipation" teaching analysis, "etc."53 techniques

the Royal Agricultural Society had previously promoted a similar plan. At the same time, itwas suggested that Liebig's former student Lyon Playfair should be employed by the government to carry out soil analyses at the Museum of Economic Geology. In reality, this was a to a establish thinly disguised attempt plan government funded agricultural research institute and school.51 Although the

Daubeny ardently supported this proposed institution and suggested that the government finance it because such schemes as nationwide analyses were beyond the scope of individual efforts. He hoped that the school at Cirencester would be the first of a network of pro vincial agricultural schools deliberately
Peel,

sited on various geological


1842, British Museum,

50Philip Add. MSS, 51 Royal

letter to Sir Robert Pusey, No. 40500, f. 166.

16 January

2 March "Council Minutes," 1842, Agricultural Society, Royal is mentioned in Reid, The Archives. disguise Society Agricultural Playfair, RCC, pp. 79-81. p. 77. See Roberts, 52 1 March "Council 5 April Minutes," 1843, Agricultural Royal Society, 1843. 53 1 (1843), 383-384; Journal "Agricultural of Education, English College," not specified. the "etc." is unfortunately

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456
formations

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

for undertaking national analytical projects.54 By the end of 1844, the Agricultural College had received sufficient pledges of funds for its planners to apply for a charter; it opened in the fall of 1845. Meanwhile, a national plant-ash analysis project promoted by Liebig, Philip Pusey, and Daubeny was taken up at the British As sociation meeting in September 1844. Thomas Graham, Lyon Play fair, and Edward Solly were appointed to analyze the ashes of plants grown on different soils in the British Isles. The British Association

voted ?50

something to do with the successful launching of this project. Com menting that the presence of country gentlemen at the sessions of the Chemical Section was a "new feature" at this meeting, Thomas Graham felt that they had been attracted by Liebig.56 at the Chemical Section of the British As Although agriculturists sociation may have been new in 1844, their acceptance of chemical analysis as a valid agricultural aid and their promotion of scientific education for agricultural ends were not. The possibility of the re

for the project with the proviso (ultimately fulfilled) that the Royal Agricultural Society also provide funds.55 Liebig at tended the 1844 British Association meeting which may have had

peal of the Corn Laws

improving production; by those seeking support for agricultural education.57 Having weath ered the severe depression of 1839-1842, English agriculturists did not welcome the threat of foreign competition. Whatever the out

increased their interest in scientific means for their increased interest was not overlooked

on Institutions A Lecture 54Charles Daubeny, of for the Better Education the Farming to the Proposed with reference Classes, especially Agricultural near Cirencester, 14 May 1844 College (Oxford, 1844), pp. 11, 27. 55 British The Royal xxiii. Association, 1844, p. for Report Agricultural and voted ?350 for the project Society agreed (Royal Agricultural Society, "Council 5 February to the chemist Minutes," 1845). Solly was analytical Horticultural Royal Horticultural Society, R. Fletcher, The Society (Harold Story of 1804-1968 p. 157). 1969], [London, 56Thomas letter to Mrs. 29 September Graham, J. Reid, 1844, Thomas Graham, p. 44. 5 7 "As soon as the comes on for the discussion Corn-law question the blow will be struck for the establishment the Royal in Smith,

ment,

of parlia of Agricultural Colleges, and your capital letter or rather the extract of it referring to the necessity of in England will be brought under the regenerating chemistry privately of our premier Sir Robert notice Peel by some of my friends at Court" (Lyon letter to Justus Liebig, 27 December Playfair, 1841, Liebigiana 58, Bayerische I am grateful to W. H. Brock of the University of

Staatsbibliothek, Munich). Leicester for this reference.

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GERRYLYNN

K. ROBERTS issue, it made

457
sense to them to advocate increased scientifically

come of the Corn Laws science. would If repeal

Playfair as organic chemist to the Mu landowners were more likely to consult a chemist about the mineral contents of their estates than about soils.59 One reason was the rapid expansion of the railways which made demands on the nation's iron and coal resources. Moreover, in this era of large-scale land sales for railroad rights-of-way, it was prudent to avoid selling land that might prove valuable for other purposes. Landowners were also interested in the possibility of ex ploiting colonial resources.60 Practical chemistry was thought to bear on several contemporary interests of manufacturers and engineers no less than on interests of landowners and medical men. Indeed, some scientific propaganda of this period held up the use of chemistry by manufacturers as a
58Earl Gazette, 59Philip "The of Clarendon, 1011. (1846), Pusey, letter of Lyon "The of Chemistry," London Medical and

production if repeal failed, improve England's competitive position; scientifically increased production would satisfy domestic demand. If the claims of scientific propaganda could be realized even partially, agriculturists' investment in science would be amply repaid.58 It was not only the possibility of applying chemical knowledge to agricultural problems that interested landowners in chemistry at this time. Philip Pusey pointed out that at the time that efforts were being made to install Lyon seum of Economic Geology,

succeeded,

Royal

College

to William Playfair,

Correspondence Archives. 60David 1830-1880," landowners The Spring,

27 October Buckland, No. 594, Imperial College in the Age (1951),

1842,

Papers

London, of Coal

College and

Estate Landed English 11 History, Journal of Economic were on seldom totally dependent from on

3-24,

they made profits sales than from returns of Each

Particulars

Mine,

agriculture railways were more likely to result from land The investments. Mining Guide, Containing capital Its Situation and Foreign, and Produce British

Iron, points out that for their income.

the number that between 1843 and 1853, (London, 1853), pp. iii-iv, mentions 50 to in the from under known market of English grew mining companies a growing outlook the 520. C. R. Fay has noted about "imperial" during a metropolitan start as a should school of science and 1840's: "That 1830's school rich study of mines in mineral were

. . ." of Industry: imperial principle (Palace and its Fruits p. 112). 1951], [Cambridge,

to a country which was itself resting on geology was natural resources where new fields of and also had overseas possessions in it was out; not as yet styled constantly 'imperial', opening A Study of the Great Exhibition

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458
model for both

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

agriculturists and chemists and druggists.61 The manufacturing community had increasing opportunity to demon strate its interest in science through metropolitan institutions such as the Chemical Society (established in 1841) and the Royal Society of Arts journals turers were started during the early 1840's.62 Furthermore, from the late 1830's a number of opportunities arose for manufacturers to take courses in applied science. Most of these courses belonged to In addition, several new (revitalized in the mid-1840's). to the chemical interests of particular manufac catering

programs for training engineers, all of which required chemistry.63 Engineering was developing into a profession and the number of English engineers was growing rapidly. For engineering as for medi cine, the promotion of strict academic entry requirements was a means of affirming professional status. The formal study of applied chemistry and other sciences was directly useful to prospective en gineers and it also helped define their professional expertise.64 The interest of engineers in chemistry was reinforced by the coincidence in engineering practice and in chemistry. Specialities?metallurgical, mining, and gas engineering?developed whose practitioners wanted to put their work on a more scientific developments
basis. 61 see Daubeny, on Institutions, "Lecture E.g., on agriculturists, 1844," p. 9; and William to the Rt. Hon. Lord Wodehouse, President Stark, A Letter of the on the Use Association Manures Norfolk Agricultural of Chemical (Norwich, p. 7. On chemists 1844), 62Tom Sidney Moore A Historical 1841-1941: and Kenneth From scientific and druggists 2 (1844), 2. see, The Chemist, and James Charles Phillips, The Chemical Society, Review also Derek (London, p. 15. See 1947), V. Luckhurst, The Royal 1754-1954 Society of Arts, the mid-1840's, to projects Museum fostering the Society of Arts shifted scientific education. is instructive on from pro The peri scientific

of new

Hudson (London, moting odicals

1954). specific

Serials Scudder, Catalogue of Scientific of All the Transactions Societies in the Natural, including of Learned and Mathematical 1633-1876 Physical, Sciences, (Cambridge, Mass., 1879). 63From there were courses at King's College formal engineering Lon 1838, don and at the University of Durham; the Putney College for Civil Engineers Countries in 1839. opened at King's College Chemical and

listing of the British as is Samuel H. periodicals,

Catalogue

was course manipulation taught in the engineering applied chemistry was taught at both of the other insti it is not clear whether or not laboratory in tutions, although training was cluded RCC, pp. (Roberts, 91-99). 64The classic study of professionalization is A. M. Carr-Saunders and P. A. as of new professions Professions (Oxford, 1933). The emergence to (and agent structure of nineteenth-century of) the changing is evaluated in Philip Elliot, The Sociology of the Professions (London,

The Wilson, a response society

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GERRYLYNN Although

K. ROBERTS

459

one of the origins of chemistry was metallurgy, British was for the most part carried on without re metallurgical practice sort to science. the During early 1840's, it was argued that unless was production improved through the use of science, Britain would lose its resource-based industrial lead and become dependent on

foreign products; many of the problems requiring solution were chemical. It was also argued that science should be applied to a humanitarian problem made prominent by mining disasters in 1842 and 1843. Government the reports on these disasters emphasized necessity of scientific education for professional men connected with mining, and they compared Britain unfavorably with the con

tinent in this regard.65 The coal gas industry suddenly began to ex in pand during the early 1840's; three new companies appeared London alone in 1842 and 1843. With the additional competition, the industry, seeking ever largermarkets and greater consumption, concentrated on making gas suitable for domestic lighting. The problems involved were mainly chemical; a thorough knowledge of organic chemistry, which was just beginning to sort out the products of the distillation of oils and coals, became increasingly important to the gas engineer. Indeed, an enquiry into faulty gas mains in the late 1840,s resulted in the strong recommendation that every gas works employ a chemist, both for its own benefit and for the public's.66

1972). Classes

Men: The Rise of the Professional Professional In 1845, the Institute 1966). England (London, of various of Civil Engineers had 513 members The profession grew categories. to 3,009 Minutes in 1841 in 1851. See "Annual from 959 engineers Report," See also W. J. Reader, in Nineteenth-Century

4 (1845), 6. See also, and Proceedings of Civil Engineers, of the Institute and Returns: Census 1841. Abstract Occupa of the Answers of Great Britain, tion Abstract, MDCCCXLI. 1844 Part I, Parliamentary (587) xxvii-1. Papers, Britain 1844 and Census xxvii-385; of Great Papers, (588) and Civil Condition, Tables II. Ages, 1851, Occupations Population lxxxviii Table of the 1852-1853, (I). Parliamentary Papers, People. Birthplace 54, pp. cxxviii-xclix. 65 to the Proprietors of Chemistry, of Mines, Supplement Royal College Wales Coal The L. South Morris and H. 7; Williams, 4, Industry, J. J. pp. Part II, Parliamentary "Coal Mines Regulation: (Cardiff, 1958); O. O. G. M. MacDonagh, in Victorian in Ideas and Institutions First Decade, Britain, 1842-1852," the motives of early discusses Robson ed. Robert 58, p. 1967), (London, 1841-1875 66"City 261. The Chandler (London, regulations. Commissioners state and A. of the of Sewers," coal gas 4 (1847-1848), 259 Patent Journal, in Dean in the 1840's is discussed industry in Britain The Rise Industry Lacey, of the Gas

The

mining

1949),

pp.

Douglas 73-76.

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460

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

realizing their own ambitions. That the Royal College of Chemistry was eventually founded was due to their talent as entrepreneurs.

given the diversity of chemical interests and the variety of to study chemistry, it is perhaps surprising existing opportunities a to scheme establish a separate practical chemical school was that in the first instance, this scheme was a suggested in 1843. However, saw personal project, the product of the efforts of individuals who the exploitation of the chemical issues of the period as a means of deed,

Thus, as even a cursory survey shows, in early-Victorian England the promotion of the study of practical chemistry was perceived to be relevant to the independent interests of a variety of groups. In

PROPOSALS FOR A SCHOOL OF PRACTICAL CHEMISTRY


for establishing what eventually became the Royal was initiated by two fairly College of Chemistry insignificant early Victorian figures. In November 1843, John Gardner and John Lloyd re Bullock?by training an apothecary and a chemist and druggist, a to Institution that the of the Royal spectively?proposed Managers to the existing Royal "Practical Chemical School" be appended
Institution.67

The movement

Gardner

to his name. and, from 1843, he suffixed "M.D." was from the University of Giessen; his con However, his degree temporary detractors suggested that itwas one of that university's notorious "Doctors 'payable at sight'." During the early 1840's, translated from the German for The Lancet, and itmay well have been in this capacity that he met Liebig. In any case, Gardner visited Giessen with Bullock during this period.68 It was presumably
a Practical cited

Typical entrepreneurs, Gardner and Bullock saw a possibility of great financial gain in the systematic application of science in their occupations. Gardner obtained the license of the Society of Apothe caries in 1829

67[John School," Bullock, 68The could Guildhall M.D.

Gardner 1843, Royal

and

"For John Lloyd Bullock], Institution Archives. Hereafter

Chemical and

as Gardner

"RI, DNB find no

Proposal." lists Gardner record

Library, is in The London

as Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries, but I of his application in the archives of the Society in The The London. first formal record I have found of Gardner's

unsavory of Great

and Provincial Me diced Directory (London, 1850). The of the Giessen M.D. is discussed in The Medical reputation Directory Britain and Ireland for 1845, and ed. by a "Country comp. Surgeon

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career that Bullock further his pharmaceutical studied with Liebig during 1839; he also studied chemistry in Paris. Bullock was listed in contemporary postal directories as a "chemist and druggist" and "operative chemist." Those who styled themselves "operative chemists" generally took on one or more chemically related func tions in addition to retailing; in short, they were the informal pre cursors of pharmaceutical chemists whose role the reformers of the 1840's hoped to institutionalize. Bullock, a member of the Chemical

Society and the Pharmaceutical Society, was greatly concerned about the status of the pharmaceutical profession. During the early 1840's, he waged a vituperative battle with Jacob Bell, who opposed Bullock's idea of restricting Pharmaceutical Society membership to qualifications.69 and Bullock's proposal for establishing a practical chemi cal school was ambitious, and its adoption would have entailed con siderable changes in the Royal Institution. The school was to have Gardner two departments, the first devoted The former was those with academic

to pure science, the second to to be administratively attached applied chemistry. to the Royal Institution, sharing its physical plant; the latter was to be administered independently and located elsewhere, having only an informal "sister-school" relationship to the department of pure science. Like Liebig's university laboratory, Gardner and Bullock's pure science department was to be a center for training students in research methods through laboratory practice in chemical analysis. a such program would equip students to follow any subse Ideally,

and General price

Practitioner" M.D. was

of a Giessen

(London, ?22. See

Strauss and his autobiography bringing "Festschrift visit is in B. Lespius, Giessen Gesellschaft Chemischen der Deutschen Begninders Gesellschaft, p. 8. 69Arnim bei Liebig August 51, Wilhelm pt 2 (1918), Hofmann,"

W. H. Brock for an Old Bohemian, new ed. (London, 1883), p. 268. I thank
to my attention. Evidence for the zur Feier des 50 jahrigen Bestehens ihres 100. Geburtstages des und der Deutschen and Chemischen opposite undChemie photograph caption

1845 purchase The pp. 665-666. 1845), Reminiscences also [G. L. M. Strauss], of

Berichte

Sonderheft,

Wankmiiller, in Giessen," 1967), 15, 886;

"Auslandische

Studierende

der Pharmazie

(Stuttgart,

882-883, (1905), in England and ceutical

in Tubinger Abhandlungen Apothekensgeschichtliche 66 and Druggist, Chemist 12. "The Late Mr. Bullock," on the State of Pharmacy "A Lecture J. Lloyd Bullock, to 2 the Public (1844), 1846, pp. with 17-18. Remarks Galen, on the Pharma Events," 276-282; "Passing

Society," Pharmaceutical Times,

its Importance The Chemist,

5 September

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462
quent chemical career: Whether teacher

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COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

the object of the student be to qualify himself as a of chemistry, to learn the bearing of that science on medicine and physiology, or to become a manufacturer, the same

purely scientific education in the art of research is recommended to all. . . . [E]ven for directly practical purposes, the most purely scientific education is really the best, and ismore certain to lead to

improvements in practice than the most laborious experience in any one manufacture, gained as it generally is, at the expense of that a suitably qualified (meaning German-trained) be appointed to a full-time salaried post as academic

general principles.70 hoped chemist would It was

director of the department. The financial issue was crucial; Gardner and Bullock insisted that over and above students' fees, would be necessary for se funding, curing a full-time academic director. They argued that their proposed applied science department, which would be devoted both to re search on applied problems and to vocational training, would help
funds.

generate

In order to meet the especial exigencies of this country and at once to adopt the mature improvements of the best continental schools, we suggest that as an to the Scientific School, a prac Appendage
70William p. 24. The ment drew

State of the Schools of Chemistry in theUnited Kingdom (London, 1842),


outline of the structure on and activities of the pure science one of this pamphlet by Gregory, Liebig's Professor of Chemistry at King's and Medicine depart former

Gregory,

Letter

to the Rt. Hon.

George,

Earl

of Aberdeen

on

the

heavily British pupils and now An Aberdeen. appeal

recent much-publicized German achievements in organic to the ex chemistry cellent facilities for studying the science at Giessen. He showed in some detail instruction could not be self-financing, to the govern why laboratory pointed ment funds enjoyed and urged the British government by German universities, to follow the German It should be noted that, apart from the example. specific to Giessen, references the style of rhetoric and the arguments used by Gregory are similar to those used on the Present in Remarks State of by D. B. Reid Practical and as with to the Importance Chemistry Pharmacy Suggestions of an Extended Course Practical (Edinburgh, 1838).

College to subsidize in government laboratory in practical struction in the Scottish the pamphlet was chemistry universities, the first description in English of the system of instruction perhaps developed and operated in Giessen. the importance re of chemical by Liebig Stressing search to an industrial and commercial nation such as Britain, Gregory linked to the British

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463

might be taught if deemed Thus,

commercial articles for subscribers; the preparation of all the in a consecutive course; and after articles in the Pharmacopoeia wards the application of chemistry to the Arts, as Dyeing etc., expedient.71

Secondly, because it is desirable that the School should have a direct bearing upon the advancement of Pharmacy and Agricultural ... In this re Chemistry. department, the course of manipulation the analysis of soils or Company; quired by the Apothecaries'

tical laboratory should be provided for the Application of Chemis try to Medicine, Arts and Agriculture. First because an adequate inducement should be held out for and Subscribers Students. obtaining

the second department was to combine the functions of a de partment of technical chemistry (which Giessen had in the 1840's), a institute (which Liebig ran at Giessen),72 and an pharmaceutical

analytical practice. The proposal did not discuss the relationship be tween the teaching and research programs of the two departments except to emphasize that they should be kept separate to prevent the chemistry department from impeding the pure science

applied
department.

on the separateness of the two departments is emphasis in effect Gardner and be would the applied department significant; Bullock's own school, the former serving as secretary and the latter The as scientific director. That in 1843 department of the proposed profit cannot be specifically least was genuinely concerned with providing scientific training for have been pharmacists. But however advantageous the school might
the particular interests ap "RI Note Bullock, Proposal." of the Royal Institution's because long agriculture, possibly Institution," pp. 210 "Royal (Berman, standing involvement with this subject chief concern. A lecture course on chemistry, Bullock's and pharmacy, 216), and to here: was 71Gardner

they intended to use the applied Practical Chemical School for personal documented, and, indeed, Bullock at

pealed

which Royal make

had been given at the of Apothecaries, by the Society recognized would time. The Institution for some department proposed applied to fulfill the rest of the Society's it possible for students requirement, chemistry school out requirement which would attract

the Society's and, conversely, practical to the students department. applied of the pharmaceutical 72The importance with University, university is preparing who 1800-1867." Profession, his course was

pointed a dissertation

ran in parallel Liebig Yale Bernard Gustin, by Chemical "The German entitled to me

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464
to the advancement their subsequent behavior

ROYAL

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OF CHEMISTRY

respective professions, indicates that they were well aware of its In charge of a department of applied profit-making potential.73 re however informally, to the only English chemistry affiliated, an in were excellent search school in chemistry, Gardner and Bullock For example, position to take advantage of paten table discoveries. in 1845, their entrepreneurial activity drew considerable criticism. In that year, Liebig discovered a process that converted a waste into an alternative source of the expensive drug quinine. product in With Liebig's consent, the substance was secretly patented name because English patent laws pro England under Bullock's the discovery was advertised hibited foreign patentees. Meanwhile, as a scientific advance in The Lancet, while a consortium (including raw and Hofmann) Gardner, Bullock, bought up the Liebig,

of Gardner and Bullock's

material. Later, according to the Pharmaceutical Journal, Gardner gave a speech at the College about the substance, inducing several manufacturers to try and make it; only then was it announced that saw the discovery had been patented previously. Contemporaries norms as a the of clear violation this attempted misuse of the College of science and business.74 In December

Gardner

1843, the Managers of the Royal Institution rejected and Bullock's proposal after considerable discussion and internal political maneuvering.75 Gardner and Bullock were un daunted, however; by the time the negative decision was announced, some a provisional committee of their supporters, which included

73In

fact, Jacob ("Letter

Bell

accused

Gardner

the College

to the Editor: Pharm. and

of mercenary motives for supporting Pharm. ]., 6 of Dr. Gardner," Vindication ]., 6 For further 160-172. (1846-1847), see other activities, entrepreneurial

[1846-1847],
74"Amorphous to references Roberts, Practical December Managers," is recorded RCC, 75Professors

150).
Quinine," this pp. incident 143-150. their

and Faraday Delivered Chemistry

on the of School Brande, "Report Proposed to the Managers 19 of the Royal Institution, in Royal of the Meetings of the "Minutes Institution, 1843," 19 December Institution Archives. The final decision 1843, Royal

in the "Minutes," 26 December 1843. See also "Correspondence on the Practical Chemical Institution Archives. 1843, Royal School," Proposed Two letters in this correspondence and Bullock's indicate that Gardner suspect letters to the outcome influenced may have personal motives (Lord Prudhoe, John Barlow, pp. 13 December 1843 and 17 December 1843). See also Roberts, 151-154.

RCC,

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465

members of the Royal Institution, had been assembled.76 Up to the summer of 1844, Gardner and Bullock limited their activities to a to practical chemical school and privately gathering support for a more a for making public appeal. developing sophisticated proposal In June 1844, in an article attacking the Pharmaceutical Society, to launch a school for the Bullock plans publicly announced

chemists for im scientific training of prospective pharmaceutical In Bullock the and Gardner July, published proving profession.77 their Proposal for Establishing a College of Chemistry for Promoting to Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures, the Science and itsApplications and Medicines.78 The title, form, and contents of the new proposal showed that its authors had at the Royal gained valuable promotional experience Institution. The title immediately elevated the institution from a to a "college," united what had been effectively two "school" separate schools

into a single institution, and clearly defined the groups from which support might be sought. Printed instead of a list of thirty hastily handwritten, the new proposal started with five eminent public and scientific figures who were designated a a slate of officers, a London adminis provisional governing body;79 a trative office, and London bank were listed as well. In an obvious effort to improve public relations, the proposal included not only a specific plans for college, but also propaganda for it derived mainly from Gregory's State of the Schools of Chemistry in the United
p. xlvii, suggests that 76Chambers, of the RCC, of the Old Students Register a to establish chemical school had been working and Bullock Gardner practical of Sir Howard committee since 1842 and that a provisional consisting Elphin stone, Thomas formed. the Earl Wyse, There and De la Beche, R. I. Murchison, Henry John Davy, had been and Gregory the Professors Brande, Daubeny, taken had and Bullock that Gardner evidence is confirming of Essex, idea by

on the soundings to the Proprietors the Royal Chemistry

of Chemistry, late 1842 Supplement (Royal College took the plan to p. 5); however, they definitely of Mines, of as their own with Professor the help of Brande, Institution

of Chemistry, Preface. there. See also, Royal "Council," College on the State of Pharmacy." "Lecture 77J. Lloyd Bullock, 78 See of Chemistry, cited as Royal Proposal. College above, n. 5; hereafter it is the last name on the list of the provisional 79Bullock's governing body; on the title page as as the only obscure name. Gardner is conspicuous appears aware of their those listed were not always Secretary. Evidently, provisional of interest in the institution was sufficient the merest expression membership; for their names to go on the list ("Royal College of Chemistry, "Pharm. ]., 6

[1846-1847],

157).

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466
Kingdom Relation The to Commerce,

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

Germany and France in the promotion of it. Emphasizing the theme of competition, the proposal attributed the German lead to the "establishment of schools, where not only practical and systematic is given to students in qualitative and quantitative but where original researches are conducted, in concert by analysis, several individuals skilled in manipulation, and where the professors instruction can work out their problems by the aid of many qualified hands."81 In anticipation of the inevitable counter-suggestion that a new institution would

so central to all the an pursuits of integrated industrial and was it that agricultural society surprising to find Britain lagging

istrywas

of 1842 and Liebig's Familiar Letters on Chemistry and its Physiology, and Agriculture of 1843.80 proposal's propaganda began with the argument that chem

be superfluous given the variety of to study chemistry (indeed, practical chem English opportunities the istry), proposal argued that the College would have a unique function: itwould make it possible for English students to prepare for a professional career in chemistry. Assuming that there were to be students who wanted professional chemists and, implicitly, their who wanted services, the proposal claimed that the employers a route to viable the only profession was through systematic study in research laboratory. To date, English students could learn to do research only by studying privately or by leaving England, both too expensive for the sort of student likely to be interested in chemistry. Arguing

chemical

that student fees should be kept,low at the College and citing Gregory on the probable cost of such an institution, the proposal appealed to both the general public and the government for extrinsic funding. In return, private individuals would receive some direct institution, and the nation would The national benefits were those that Liebig's generally. school was said to have conferred on Germany; the proposal asserted that most of Liebig's students became manufacturers who were
80For see n. 70. Gardner's edition of Liebig's Familiar Lie Institution proposal. was to arouse "the atten

services from the new

benefit

Gregory,

above, in time

Letters

big's tion of governments Schools Relation 81

just appeared indicates preface

to support

that the purpose and an enlightened (Justus Liebig, Physiology, Proposal,

the Royal of the work

of Chemistry" to Commerce, College

public, Familiar and

to the necessity of establishing on Letters and its Chemistry ed. John Gardner Agriculture,

[London, 1843], p. v).


Royal of Chemistry, p. 3.

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467

"silently but surely enabling the productions of Germany to com pete with those of this country."82 Furthermore, a body of science teachers and Germany,
progress.

pharmacists was qualified spreading throughout as scientific advisors and accelerating economic serving

and issues, the proposal Stressing current chemical preoccupations gave specific examples of the importance of chemistry to each of the groups from which it hoped to receive support. The proposal drew the attention of manufacturers acid Liebig's discussion of the sulphuric Letters. There Liebig showed that industry a was crucial industrial chemical and that the principal sulphuric acid in his Familiar of manufacture to

investigation. The problems within

the proposal directed to agriculturists. Although it indicated that was profit from the results of research in organic chemistry a the rhetoric have may definitely long-term prospect, proposal's to believe that an analyst would encouraged the agricultural reader be con immediately useful to him. Furthermore, the propaganda nected the repeal of the Corn Laws with the need for research and extended the theme of foreign competition to mineral resources, another of the British landowner's that

had been discovered by scientific were still many proposal pointed out that there the industry, such as substituting indigenous sources of sulphur for foreign ones, that required chemical solutions. Several references to Liebig's work also appeared in the section of

current method

interests. The proposal suggested resources would reveal of subsoil chemical investigation sources To in tie minerals. this domestic of currently imported and of landowner ship with the prosperity of manufactures recent suggestion that to the Liebig's proposal pointed agriculture, aspect

were to crops in the form of generally applied phosphates, which were accessible in native and present expensive imported guano, fossil beds and could be exploited by chemical knowledge. Finally, the sections of the proposal that discussed the benefits of practical to medical men were cast in reformist terms. The new pharmaceutical propaganda hoped to attract the support of the new the educated chemist, broadly general practitioner (the M.B.), and the new M.D. by showing the relevance of analytical and organic chemistry chemistry to their current professional
S2Ibid., p. 6. Proposed on services science,

and scientific interests.


contributors analyses, included and the

to individual

copies right

of to

College publications nominate scholarship

applied students.

cut-rate

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468
The

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

a brief description of the intended proposal ended with divisions and functions of the College of Chemistry: 1st A Laboratory for original investigations, and for extending the boundaries of this most important national Science, on the of the Giessen laboratory.
upon terms as to encourage young men of

model 2nd

A College
research,

for the instruction of students in analysis and

scientific

talent and scientific taste to apply themselves to Chemistry, and for qualifying public lecturers and teachers. for the application of Chemistry to especial 3rd Departments purposes, as Agriculture, Geology, Mineralogy, and Metallurgy, by the analysis of soils, rocks, etc.; to Medicine, Physiology, and the
Arts.

4th

branch of general education.83 To

The Employment of such means as may appear expedient to the Council for encouraging and facilitating the pursuit of Scientific Chemistry throughout the country, and for making it a

serve any one of these functions would have been a sufficient a single institution; yet, to appeal to enough groups to gain goal for financial support as well as to achieve their personal aims, adequate the initiators of the College of Chemistry proposed to institute them
all.

THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COLLEGE OF CHEMISTRY


and Bullock's Proposal for a Establishing College of as the basis of an unsuccessful served Chemistry appeal to the autumn for in the 1844. Since the of government public funding a at had record of least government fairly strong investigating the feasibility of scientific projects bearing on agriculture, and since the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, was noted for his personal interest in scientific farming, Gardner persuaded landowning supporters of the College to approach the government informally by seeking Peel's After the and with approval. reading proposal meeting Liebig and other scientists, Peel decided against supporting a separate school devoted that it would be only to chemistry. He maintained
*3Ibid., p. 16.

Gardner

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469

both practical and academic grounds. Every facility suggested in the or already available or could be made was either proposal planned available with only slightmodifications of existing institutions, some of which had government financing. Furthermore, to achieve the broad

the study of chemistry with other branches of knowledge in the universities and existing public institutions formed for the Education of youth."84 Peel's position was reasonable on

of the private Putney argued that the successful establishment if genuinely that such for Civil institutions, Engineers proved College could needed, manage independently.85 After this informal appeal to the government had failed, nine of the thirty-fivemembers of the provisional governing body met in a January 1845 and decided to continue the project of establishing a venture. as of completely private college practical chemistry Seven of those attending formed a Provisional Committee charged into a working with transforming vague ideas and aspirations institution.86 At this stage the project passed out of the sole control He of Gardner and Bullock. Provisional Committee responsibilities;
84Sir Robert Add. barely Clark, No. MSS, No.

interscientific objectives of the proposed institution, the isolation of chemistry from other sciences would be counterproduc tive. Peel had a further objection; although he firmly believed in the was importance of applied science, he believed equally firmly that it to the responsibility of individuals, not the government, promote it.

The former served as Secretary to the and had considerable initiative and executive but policy decisions were generally made by Com
letter to Lord 28 October 1844, British Museum, that he was felt so strongly on this point as a to the College (Sir James private individual Add. MSS, 3 December 1845, British Museum, Ducie, 1844, scientific British farm

Peel,

40553, to contribute persuaded letter to Sir Robert Peel,

f. 31.

Peel

ff. 186-190). 40580, 85 Sir Robert 19 November letter to William Buckland, Peel, toward attitude f. 233. Peel's No. 40554, Add. MSS, Museum,

would in fact open, Thomas that the College apparent Ewart and Thomas William of his radical the colleagues support Wakley, to fund the College of Chemistry to persuade Parliament Wyse, attempted which time it was with

ing is discussed inNorman Gash, Sir Robert Peel: The Life of Sir Robert Peel after 1830 (London, 1972), pp. 678-682. Subsequently, in July 1845, by

{Hansard,82, 18 July 1845, cols. 715-716).


86This committee met fifteen times and the next until six months, it organized. which of Chemistry, it was

expanded

over

replaced passim.

tive structure Royal College

Membership

to fifteen its membership administra by the permanent are recorded in and attendance

"Council,"

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470
mittee members.

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

was to principal task Initially, the Committee's a means secure funds for the College by of propaganda campaign. and specialist for advertisements Besides newspapers preparing to the initial a series of it circulated supplements periodicals, as to classes such may be supposed particular proposal "addressed to be interested in the progress of Scientific Chemistry."87 These were far more specific than was the general proposal supplements about the benefits that potential supporters might expect from the to have faith that no longer needed College. Individual supporters in education and research investment chemical their eventually would yield benefits to the community at large; the supplements promised them immediate personal chemical services. to agriculturists reiterated Liebig's The directed supplement theme: it should be the ideal of the enlightened farmer to increase to realizing this ideal was to chemically productivity, and the key analyze

may

to the geological map of the corresponding the whole of Thus, country."88 Liebig's analytical program would to be available finally English landowners; the British Association and the Royal Agricultural Society were already organizing plant be obtained and the College of Chemistry would organize com soil analyses. Furthermore, in line with Daubeny's plan plementary for a series of agricultural colleges, the supplement envisaged a ash analyses,
87Advertisements view, Farmer's were sent The The The to theMining West Briton, Journal, The The Falmouth Lancet, Packet, Medical The Re Times The and and

survey of Britain: "a part of the design of the College geochemical of Chemistry, and one which the Council trust that they shall be to carry out, is to devote a to the supplied with funds department a so of for soils chemical etc.; that, analysis knowledge of example, on the soil the surface, and of the strata immediately beneath it,

the relationship between soil, plants, and fertilizers. It to resolve a current theo suggested that research be undertaken retical controversy (whether plants derived their nitrogen from the soil or from the air) and to solve a problem of immediate practical interest (whether or not potash, an essential ingredient in fertilizers, from sea water). Further, it promised a could be manufactured

Journal, Herald, Journal, Review,

The (London), Pharmaceutical Foreign Medical

The Medical Gazette, Chronicle, Gardners' British Economist, Chronicle, The Chemist, The Athenaeum, The Medical Morning

Chirurgical 88Royal

Review College

of Chemistry, "Council," (Royal College passim). of Chemistry, to Agriculturists, p. 8. Supplement

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GERRYLYNN nationwide London.

K. ROBERTS network

471

The

chemists, agriculture would also benefit provincial pharmaceutical who presumably would be called upon to perform the analyses; the College was to be the point of contact between agriculturists and pharmacists, which may well account for its appointment of twenty nine Provincial Agents in agricultural (rather than industrial) centers throughout the country. At least twenty-six of the twenty nine were chemists and druggists, and, judging from what is known of their practices, at least ten of these would have been designated

of analytical chemists coordinated through establishment of such an analytical network to aid

"operative chemists" had they lived in the metropolis.89 The analytical network would also interest metallurgists and the proprietors of mines, to whom another of the supplements was directed. This appeal was cast in imperial, not merely national, terms: "an incalculable amount of mineral wealth exists in Great Britain its Colonies, and also in India, concealed from its want for of The proprietors only knowledge."90 supplement stressed that the application of chemistry to the problems of mining and

and metallurgy would forestall foreign competition. For example, it was within the province of chemists to develop extraction and sources of for known, domestic abundant, refining processes raw materials that were previously imported. Further metallurgical on possible uses for metals such as research more, might be done to were be in abundant supply, but which were known tungsten that not mined because no one knew what to do with them. Another advantage of the chemical investigation of metallurgical processes as agriculture was that products valuable for other purposes such were waste in All of these materials. discovered be examples might selected

to direct attention to the importance of training research out that chemists as well as analysts. The supplement pointed there be for might already enough analysts metallurgical although purposes, there were not enough scientists: "An analysis is a totally
89Agents were also responsible lists for soliciting and collecting funds for the

College. They were handpicked by Gardner and Bullock. Royal College of


Chemistry, Salisbury, "Subscribers," Collumpton, Penrith, Stourbridge, agents Dudley, in Swansea, Norwich, Chelmsford, Hastings, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Cambridge, Annan Llandidlo, (Dum Bland Melton Mowbray, and Mansfield, Tamworth of Mines, New (the p. 1.

fries), Leicester, ford, Hexham,

Leominster,

Oswystry,

Handsworth, Axminster,

Richmond, Stockton-on-Tees, port (Mons.), site of Peel's seat, a cunning choice). country 90 of Chemistry, Supplement College Royal

to the Proprietors

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472

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

It is precisely in this residue, and in the refuse of mines, that many valuable materials lurk, waiting to be discovered and applied by chemistry."91 Thus, the need for the professional chemist was evident from yet another quarter. to a to the what amounted Meanwhile, supplement directed medical profession appeared as a series of editorials in The Lancet. him of the residue. matter Its editor, Thomas Wakley, who was a vocal supporter of the move ment for the reorganization of the medical profession, placed

different thing to an investigation. When the proprietor of a mine sends a specimen of ore for assay, he is told pretty accurately the amount of marketable metals it contains, but no account is given

on the particular emphasis importance for medicine of the labora the and of tory discipline organic chemistry. He argued that although other schools

provided satisfactory facilities for the study of for limited purposes, the College was needed as a general chemistry
research institute.

We announce with feelings of extreme satisfaction that a plan has been organised and measures have been taken to establish an institution for the promotion of the science of chemistry ... a LABORATORY where young men have the opportunity of acquiring skill in all chemical operations upon such terms as will exclude no person of promising abilities and small means?a LABORATORY wherein researches may be pursued by medical
or chemists under an able

men

in a word, where To

the boundary

superintendance,

and

in concert,?

of the science may be extended.92

serve the interests of medical men and indeed of the other groups from whom support was sought, a network of Provincial Secretaries was distributed throughout the country as a complement to the network of Agents. The Secretaries were to keep local supporters in touch with scientific matters that arose at the College, whereas the Agents were to be more concerned with financial and commercial
91 see Ibid., Roy p. 4. For Porter, an assessment "The Industrial of the contemporary Revolution and state of mining science, of Geology,"

the Rise

in Changing

Joseph Needham, pp. 320-343. 92 "Remarks on 1844, pp. p. 736. 231-232; See

in the History in Honour Perspectives of Science: Essays of eds, Mikulas Teich and Robert Young (London, 1973), the New also "The College Science of of Chemistry," of Chemistry," Chemistry," The ibid., Lancet, 1 September 16 November 1844, 11 October 1845,

ibid.,

"The

College

pp. 403-404.

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473

Thus, supporters of the College would be put in touch with quickly metropolitan developments, and the isolation, which and other metro many provincial members of the pharmaceutical politan societies felt, would be eliminated. Conversely, the Secre taries could suggest projects and report on provincial scientific activities to the College, which in turn would center for scientific information.93 act as a distribution

SUPPORT FOR THE COLLEGE OF CHEMISTRY


are few documentable instances where supporters Although there of the College of Chemistry explicitly stated the reasons for their support, there is ample documentation linking individual supporters with the issues, chemical or otherwise, contained in the College

propaganda. My approach is to look at the general composition of some of the groups that supported the College, and to examine in more detail the interests of some of the key members of the the administrative body that realized the Committee, institution. I have classified according to occupation or principal source of income or sphere of interest approximately seventy-four of the individuals who pledged financial support to the 760 percent of Most Chemistry.94 highly represented were members of College Provisional of the medical community and landowners; accounted for about half of the College's supporters together they and seventy percent of the donated funds. Landowners contributed the various branches
93Royal Secretaries mouth, Dublin College were 10 July 1845 and 4 August of Chemistry, "Council," in Alfreton, located Ashford, Beaconsfield, Bishop's Bromsgrove, Hertford, and York. Cockermouth, Jamaica, Of those Coleford, Leeds (2), identified, Derby, Liverpool, nine were isolation 1845. Wear

Brighton, (3),

Downpatrick, Sunderland, medical men,

Halifax,

Windsor, Torquay, involved four were turers, medical William and men two were and

in the metallurgical industry, chemists. On Irish academic

two were the

textile manufac

the consequent The Life H. McMenemy,

of provincial see of local scientific activities, importance Founder Sir and Times Charles of Hastings, 2, en

Association 1959). (London, of the British Medical 94Academics 31 (chemistry 5, veterinary medicine 9, geology 4, medicine and druggists science school 110, 5, brewers 10, chemists 5), architects gineers with

153 (those 25 (gas engineers 2, landowners 4, journalists 8), financiers interests 18), lawyers interests 135, those with metallurgical agricultural 70 (chemical and solicitors 20, manufacturers 44, glass 4, paper 3, textiles 14), merchants 11, military men 15, 5, metallurgical (non-proprietary) producers 65, surgeons 34 (Roberts, RCC, p. 194 and Appendix I). physicians

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medical men were important, too, for all contributions were vital to an institution. These so positive features of precariously financed the pattern of support for the College highlight an important nega tive feature: prominent academic chemists were conspicuously absent from the list of supporters.95 Medical men alone

twice as much money as medical men, but members of the latter group were most active in establishing the College and administering it as a private institution. Groups other than the landowners and

Society. Many of the chemists and druggists who supported the in their interests; seven College were not narrowly pharmaceutical teen of the twenty-eight metropolitan practitioners were designated and many of the provincial ones could have chemists," "operative been. In addition * some of the provincial chemists and druggists were actively involved in local efforts to promote pharmaceutical reform through education.96
a small of the groups that might Indeed, have been only proportion as its the College. For example, potential constituency supported only 37 members of the Royal of Arts contributed Society ("List of Contributing members of the Society, corrected Trans. Soc. up to 31st December 1844," viewed British tion Association it ("A List of Members of the British Associa supported for the Advancement of Science, March to British 1, 1845," appended 9S

were involved in qualifications and several promoting the University of London medical curriculum or in chemically based research. About three fourths of the chemists and druggists who pledged subscriptions to the College were scattered throughout the provin ces; their support can in some measure be attributed to theirwell Pharmaceutical publicized disappointment with the metropolitan

comprised some twenty-eight percent of the One third of them practiced in London, which College's supporters. partly explains their extensive committee work for the College. two thirds of the physicians and surgeons had Scottish Almost

Arts, 55 [1845], 1-xxiii). Only 86 of the approximately 1800 members of the Association, Report, 1844). Only 46 of the 196 members of the Chemical
Society

]., 195 (1965), 417-420.

it ("A List of Officers and Members of the Chemical So supported in & Proc. Chem. Mem. ciety of London," Soc., 3 [1845-1848]). 96Bristol Chemists' to the Editor," "Letter Pharm. 27 Association, Times, November on the Bill 1847, p. 137. See also Select Committee Pharmacy of 1852 1852, Parliamentary "The Leicester Papers, qq. 1286-1319; (387)-xii, shire Association of Chemists and Druggists," Pharm. 389-390; ]., 4 (1846), "Leicester and Nineteenth Provincial Pharm. J. K. Crellin, Century Pharmacy,"

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to the landowning supporters, the proposed College of was at in offered them little that least not, Chemistry theory, avail It would provide an able through other institutions in England. English parallel to the Agricultural Chemistry Association land, which was established in 1843, and the College's could of Scot activities

supplement the training in agricultural analysis at the Royal service of the Royal and the analytical Agricultural College The official Society. Society's Royal Agricultural Agricultural attitude toward agricultural experimentation was one of constructive conservatism; it preferred to communicate the results of successful was

field trials rather than to promote speculative experiments. Its view that the scientific principles of agriculture could only be discovered through farming, not through laboratory research. In itwas justifiably skeptical about the immediate application of organic chemistry to agriculture, maintaining that the agricultural 1844, results could only be as valid as the scientific principles applied, and that the principles of organic chemistry were less than well estab lished.97 By

supporting the College of Chemistry, members of the Royal Agricultural Society could help bring about the future utility of organic chemistry without risking the Society's resources. At the on a same time they were inorganic project based furthering the soil scheme?to which Society was analysis chemistry?the as well. already committed, and they would receive private benefits Of the landowners and farmers who supported the College, 108 were belonged to the Royal Agricultural Society and 32 of them or of them also its of Council. 33 members officers Further, supported the Royal Agricultural College.98
"Minutes of General Meetings," 1845,"/Minutes," 14 December 6 Roy. Ag. Soc, 1842 23 May

97Royal 1844, Royal 98"List.of

Agricultural Agricultural Governors

Society,

Society Archives. to December and Members "Council

Society, Agricultural Royal as 5,834, more the 1840 than double total membership the Society's of Shareholders," "List Cirencester, Agri Royal 1840). figure (ibid,, 6 May 1 May 1846 cultural pp. 9-15. 1846), (Cirencester, Prospectus, College, also of Chemistry of the College Another twelve non-agricultural supporters (1845), gives belonged metallurgical physicians. to the Royal works, The

3-72.

engineer promoted fertilizers.

or seven proprietors of mines Society: Agricultural two two one and chemists, gas engineer, operative the gas and commercial last four all performed analyses as of gas manufacture of the by-products the use

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476
Given

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OF CHEMISTRY

have feared that competition from such an institution would have forced them to teach unremunerative and time-consuming practical courses themselves." Chemists may have to the obvious objected medical ties of the College, jealous of the autonomy that chemistry had recently achieved as a discipline. They may have objected, too, to the blatant commercialism of Gardner and Bullock, even though it was considered proper, and indeed financially necessary, for academic chemists to do consulting work for extra funds. In any and W. T. Brande, Professor of Chemistry at the case, even Daubeny who Royal Institution, initially had been enthusiastic, quickly lost interest in the College. The interests of the members of the Provisional Committee are important, for this was the group that did the work of seeking support for the College between January and July 1845.100 The three chemists on this committee were marginal figures in terms of their scientific status. At least two of them promoted the College for professional as well as scientific reasons. Robert Warington, a principal founder of the Chemical Society, first studied chemistry particularly
Daniell and Graham, to J. Graham, 29 October school been appended practical to be its director been forced letter Barlow, 1843). 100The n.d., "Correspondence Committee one "For supra, See also Thomas Graham, pp. 443-445. a in Smith, Thomas 1844, Graham, p. 45. Had to the Royal have Institution, Faraday would letter to John against his will (Lord Prudhoe, on the Proposed Practical Chemical School," Clark

chemists prominent English academic developments, pedagogic to support itmore enthusiastically. Some, might have been expected of course, may have feared the effects of such an institution on their own enrollments. Or, like Daniell, Graham, and Faraday, others may

the emphases in the propaganda for the College, the strength nature of the medical and landowning support are not sur and prising. The support highlights the inadequacy of Hofmann's evalua tion of the College of Chemistry solely as a teaching and research institution. Furthermore, had the College been, as he suggested, a "natural" response to the stimulus of continental scientific and

Provisional Bevan),

consisted

of two physicians

(Sir James

one pharmaceutical surgeon (Alexander Nasmyth), chemist five "improving" (John Lloyd Bullock), agriculturists (William Bing ham Baring, Sir Howard Smith of Deanston, the Earl of James Elphinstone, one gas engineer one linen and James Adam Essex, Gordon), (George Lowe), manufacturer Reid, (J. Marshall), and Robert Porrett), three and one chemists radical David Boswell (Robert Warington, educationalist (William Ewart).

and Thomas

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Improving chemistry professionally, by bringing science and practice into closer communication, was certainly one of his aims in promot ing the establishment of the Chemical Society in 1841. Warington may well have viewed the rising professional aspirations of chemists and druggists as likely to subsume the practice of chemistry under pharmacy. Disapproving of the training then available, he undertook the education of his sons himself, introducing them to the laboratory

to the Society of Apothecaries; in the appointed chemical operator was latter post he responsible for dispensing operations, managing at the same time to do some research on organic chemistry. Warington was, not surprisingly, disillusioned with the state of chemistry.

to a chemical lecturer and manufacturer of fine apprentice chemicals. In 1828 he became Edward Turner's assistant at Uni versity College and did some extramural practical teaching in associa tion with Turner's course. In 1831 he became a brewer's chemist, and finally in 1842, after three years with no official post, he was

at a very early age. It may have been in deference to his views that the Chemical Society's original plans included the establishment of a research laboratory. Warington even advised the young F. A. Abel, one of the College of Chemistry's most illustrious subsequently alumni, not to study chemistry because the professional prospects
so poor.101

were

about Robert Porrett, a typical amateur chemist as a civil servant. Before 1820 he did some sound, but employed on inorganic acids; he did no more research until pedestrian, work the 1840's, when he began to work on guncotton. His reawakened interest in chemistry and his friendship with Warington as well as his Less is known

an institu professional isolation may partly explain his support for tion promising a supervised research laboratory formembers' use.102 David Boswell Reid, the third chemist, had an unfortunate profes in Edinburgh and subsequently employed sional history. Trained there to teach practical chemistry as Hope's assistant, Reid lobbied
101J. H. (September (1867-1868), role in the objects, S. Green, Soc. Proc. Chem. "Robert Warington (1807-1867)," 16 Proc. "Robert Soc, 241-246; Roy. pp. Warington," 1957), of the RCC," 1; Sir F. A. Abel, p. 581. On Warington's "History of the Chemical and the Society's establishment original Society Jr., "The Foundation of the Chemical 7 Society," in

The Jubilee of theChemical Society of London (London, 1896), pp. 115-122.


102DNB; Porrett was "Obituary: a founding Robert member Soc, Porrett," J. Chem. of the Chemical Society. (1869), vii-x.

see R. Warington,

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and in 1838 he lobbied the Royal College of London, Surgeons of Edinburgh to make their practical chemistry require ment more extensive.103 In the early 1840's, Reid worked on the chemistry of public health problems in London. Under the auspices of the Privy Council's Committee on Education, he gave a course of College

chemistry from its smothering association with medicine. In 1837, he was an unsuccessful candidate for the chemical chair at University

a separate vociferously and unsuccessfully for the establishment of chair of practical chemistry at the University. His goal, apart from own was to free the securing his professional future, discipline of

lectures in 1842 entitled "Chemistry of Daily Life," arguing that it was essential for the general public to have a knowledge of such as air and topics purification so that they could improve pollution their own living conditions. In 1843, he became president of the Teacher's and organized the curriculum for normal school, which promoted "the general introduc tion of the elements of the sciences in the schools, in particular its London Scientific Association

those facts and principles which explain what science has done for the comfort and economy of daily life; and which form the founda tion of all measures for the improvement of health."104 The Associa tion's plans included a school for instructing teachers in practical science and experimental demonstrations, an experimental labora tory for members' research, and a scientific library. The College of Chemistry would promote scientific education by similar means and thus would fulfill many of the goals Reid had sought over several
years.

the only pharmaceutical member of the Provisional Bullock, Committee, was on the periphery of both the chemical and the medical groups and prominent in neither. The most important man on the Provisional Committee was medical the Queen's

on "Practical D. B. Reid, Remarks 103Morrell, pp. 72-78; Chemistry," Practical After his the about fulminations subservience of Chemistry. to medicine, Reid's for the teaching of practical search for support chemistry from the medical chemistry community Scientific Association," 104"Teachers' Boswell letter to Sir Robert Reid, Peel, MSS, People: 1973), No. 40503, Origins 52-53. ff. 358, of 360-361. The pp. the School is ironic. 1 (1843), 158. Dr. David Eng. J. Ed., 8 March Add. 1842, British Museum, See also, David Science Layton, for the Science Curriculum in England (London,

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a noted medical reformer, physician, Sir James Clark.105 He was credited with being the chief architect of the University of London medical curriculum. Clark's reformism may well have been motivated as a medical by his own tortuous route to prominence practitioner. He took an Edinburgh M.D. in 1817 after eight years as a naval surgeon. From 1819 to 1826, he practiced on the continent, owing his eventual status as a London physician and his royal appointment to contacts made abroad.106

with the progress of Disappointed medical reform by 1842, Clark felt that the University of London was too inefficient to achieve its goal of becoming a licensing board

to replace the three traditional bodies. In pressing his scheme of reform on the Home Secretary, he expressed concern for the as well as the medical profession, arguing that if the pharmaceutical were narrowed to that of a the of activity general practitioner

in the living body";107 after that, in his subsequent medical curriculum, the student would learn the applica tions of chemistry to pathology, physiology, and therapeutics. Furthermore, Clark believed that it was only through training in the basic chemistry that the student could master practical continually in action

doctor, then pharmaceutical activity could be relegated solely to could be trained chemists and suitable educational qualifications was it essential for the pre-medical required of them. Clark felt that student to master the basic principles of chemistry to comprehend "the more complicated processes of that vital chemistry which is

that Thomas the second physician, about is known 105Little Bevan, beyond to the Islington Dispensary, and was a was physician he qualified in Edinburgh, societies. and Hunterian of the Linnean member

William Munk, The Roll of theRoyal College of Physicians of London, 2nd


rev. and enl. The Williams, in Harley "Sir James Clark," 3, 222-226; 1878), (London, view On Clark's Touch pp. 50-92. 1949), (London, careers of Scottish-trained the restrictions hampered collegiate ed. Healing from the Select Committee on Medical Education:

106"Sir

James

Clark,"

Proc.

Roy.

Soc,

19

(1870-1871),

xiii-xix;

DNB;

that English physicians, qq.

L The Royal College of Physicians. Parliamentary Papers, 602-1 (1834),


3724-3732. Letter Ad in a Second on Medical Reform James Clark, Remarks See to the Rt. Hon. Sir James Graham pp. 15, 18-20. 1843), (London, on Education: Medical Committee Select 3739; also 3698, I, qq. 3692-3695, to on Medical in a Letter Addressed and Sir James Clark, Remarks Reform Sir James Graham the Rt. Hon. pp. 17, 42. 1842), (London, 107Sir

see Report

dressed

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480

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OF CHEMISTRY

at the proposed College of principles.108 The chemical program into Clark's fitted program for medical reform: it Chemistry clearly would help train pharmaceutical chemists; it would provide pre medical students with basic training in chemistry; itwould provide chemistry; and it would help specialized training in physiological ease the London chemical professors' burden of practical teach
er,rr 109 ing.

tinental tour, and there is evidence that Baring did so. In the early 1850's, he became involved in the movement for the Teaching of Common Things, and his ideas on it, as presented in a pamphlet launching a prize scheme for teachers, are readily traceable to those

the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, which provided cheap textbooks for the poor.110 The Society gave considerable publicity to the work of two Swiss educational innovators, J. H. Pestalozzi and Emmanuel von It was common for English gentlemen to visit Fellenberg. institution as part of a postgraduate con particularly Fellenberg's

Although five Provisional Committee members had agricultural interests, William Bingham Baring was the only one of them to of Chemistry. His actively in planning the College participate was as for the much by his keen motivated support probably College interest in educational projects as by his commitment to agricultural improvement. From 1828 to 1834, he was active in the Society for

108Sir James Clark, letter to Sir John Lubbock, [1838], Lubbock Papers,
LUB-c. friend dental 260 and 109The surgeon bis, Royal on Society Archives. the Provisional Committee of Clark's who a Nasmyth, training in specialist His research on the pathology of teeth drew ex was an inveterate joiner of scientific and societies was Alexander had received of the College pp. 121, 1842],

protege perhaps surgery in Edinburgh. on

tensively he lived (Dr. K.

rev. ed. Sir D'Arcy Power 2, 88). 1930], [London, letter to Thomas 110William 7 March 1833, Coates, Bingham Baring, for the Diffusion of Useful "Letter Book," Knowledge, University

203; Plan's Lives of theFellows of theRoyal College of Surgeons ofEngland,


Society

chemistry. He to the original next door conveniently premises an P. H. Marx, Erinnerungen [Braunschweig, England

Archives. his membership, served London, College During Baring committees: General Committee for Entertaining Committee, Knowledge, Committee on Trade, for the Journal Committee for Statistics of Education, and Monica the committee C. Groebel, sponsoring the "Farmer's Series." Committee members

College on several

listed in the unpublished dissertation (UniversityCollege London, 1933) by


"The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge," 4.

are

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of Fellenberg.111 He advocated teaching science to the poor to promote a contented, less socially disruptive laboring class. He argued that the application of scientific knowledge would ease daily and that the process of acquiring itwould develop their skill and ingenuity, while enabling them to understand God's design and their place in it.Moreover, Baring argued that itwas not only the poor who needed scientific training: "If we wish to hold our rank among nations, if we intend to maintain that manufacturing source of our national is the chief which ascendancy strength, we life for workers

must

for the Teaching of Common Things, chemistry, because of the direct bearing it had on rural and urban life,was the crucial science. An institution such as the College of Chemistry would not only train teachers for the poor, but it would also provide advanced instruction for those charged with maintaining
supremacy.113

carry this study of common things not only to the schools of the poor, but to our colleges and universities."112 In themovement

England's

industrial

was also Baring in the chemistry, particularly problems During the 1840's,

interested surrounding

in agricultural the use of a

inLord Ash burton [William Bingham Baring], Ashburton Prizes for the
Teaching Between Winchester, school of 'Common Things;' Lord Ashburton and 16th December is suggested education An Account of the Elementary 1853 (London, the Proceedings Schoolmasters of a Meeting at Assembled

English 1750-1880 Educational Innovators, 112 Ashburton Prizes, Ashburton, Somborne Dawes' School, King's Common Study of (David Things the Influence Ewart was

his visit to Fellenberg's 1854); on and Fellenberg in ibid., p. 8. The influence of Pestalozzi The and W. P. McCann, in W. A. C. Stewart is discussed 211-213. pp. 136-143, 1967), (London, to Richard p. 12. Baring was also neighbor a famous in of the Teaching experiment in the Schools: The First Wave?A "Science Dawes," Brit. J. Educational member Studies, with 20

Layton, of Richard another

[ 1972], 38-57; idem,Science for thePeople, pp. 49-53).


113 William Provisional Committee

interests

in education. libraries, member late might cerns.

for public for his campaign he is now best known Although He was an active education. with professional he was also concerned set up during the of Education, which was of the Central Society at

1830*5

to survey education the role that science and abroad; in England con was one of the Society's of education levels all principal play of in Central of Education, See Central Society Society "Prospectus," (London, William 1838). Ewart, information is from DNB, Biographical a Radical Portrait M. P., 1798-1869: of to witnesses in Select by Ewart posed passim.

Education, Papers and W. A. Munford, (London, Committee

See also 1960). on the Pharmacy

questions Bill of 1852,

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Edwin Chadwick

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

fertilizer known as "sewer manure." the Labouring

to Liebig's Agricultural Chemistry, arguing proposal by referring that sanitary reform could be virtually self-financing since profits from the sale of town sewage to agriculturists could fund the drain age systems he advocated. The goal of the Health of Towns Com mission, whose reports in 1844 and 1845 were widely publicized, was to test the practicality of Chadwick's scheme. By 1844, Chadwick

The fertilizer was suggested by in his 1842 Report on the Sanitary Condition of of Great Britain. He supported his Population

company or its principal rival.115 The implementation of a sewer an army of well-trained manure scheme clearly would have required medical, scientific, and technical personnel, particularly analysts for testing the purity of water supplies as well as the quality of fertilizers
114Edwin Chadwick, Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring

of a fertilizer business.114 Baring and three other members of the Sir Howard Committee, James Smith of Deanston, the Earl of either and all backed Chadwick's Essex, Elphinstone, Provisional

had become unwilling to wait for the public sector to take he began to organize a private company which would his scheme; up finance drainage systems and reap the eventual profits from the sale of sewer manure. The improvement of towns would be a by-product

Population of Great Britain, ed. M. W. Flinn (Edinburgh, 1965), pp. 55, 121 122; Liebig, Agricultural Chemistry, pp. 189-203; S. E. Finer, The Life and Times ofEdwin Chadwick (London, 1952), pp. 29, 224, 233.
Metropolitan and pendix see Report on the Select Committee involvement, from the Minutes with Sewage Manure; of Evidence, Together Ap Index. 1846 p. iv. For Papers, Parliamentary (474)?x?535, see James Smith of Deanston, "General of the Sanatory Observations Smith, on the State State of Large Towns of Improvement," and the Means in Report ll5por Baring's

of York

and Other Towns. Health Commission of Towns (London, of Sewer Water to Purposes the Application idem, "On pp. 26-37; to the Establishment culture with a View of an Independent Income Improvement "agricultural" of Towns," member of ibid., pp. 38-45. James was an the Committee Adam associate Gordon,

1845), of Agri for the the fifth On

Chadwick First xiv,

Elphinstone, see Lyon Playfair, letter to Edwin Chadwick, 29 April 1842,


On Essex, see Archives. London, University College College on the the Select Committee from Sewage of Towns, together and Appendix. 1862 of Evidence Parliamentary Papers, (160)? 1-44. Essex also experimented with artificial fertilizers (A. A. Croll, Papers,

of Smith's.

Report with Minutes qq.

to Agriculturists: CrolVs Pure Sulphate and Prepared Important of Ammonia Essence Provisional Committee of Guano p. 9). Three [London, 1844], Sir James Clark, D. B. Reid, and James Smith, served on Chadwick's members, of Towns Health Commission.

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produced. The proposed College of Chemistry would be important both as the focus of a national analytical network and as a training
center

purifying coal gas and improving its illuminating power. He actively on the use of the by-products of gas supported his assistant's* work as fertilizer, and he was a regular participant in a manufacture number of metropolitan scientific and technical institutions. The

The final two Provisional Committee members were a gas engineer and a linen manufacturer. George Lowe, head of the Chartered Gas means for Company in London, was interested in devising chemical

for analysts.

linen manufacturer, J. Marshall of Leeds, did not attend any of the Provisional Committee's meetings, although he might have served the in other ways. After the College opened, he sent in an College research topic on the cultivation of the flax plant.116 applied

CONCLUSION
The Provisional Committee was responsible for recruiting suppor ters for the College of Chemistry and, not surprisingly, the range of chemical interests of the supporters in general was as diverse as that In terms of the total number of of the Committee members. supporters and the amount of capital it attracted, the College of a small Chemistry was project.117 However, its significance for the not in its scale, but in theway that the project was lie historian does varied motives of the founders of the College, and interests in the 1840's, still key role of medical the particularly illustrate the complexity of the social relations of early-Victorian chemistry. To some extent the orientation given to the College by its founders substantiates Liebig's contemporary evaluation of early realized. The

The History see Stirling Everard, 116On Lowe, of the Gas Light and Coke and Bennet Woodcroft, 1812-1949 Alphabetical 1949), (London, Company. Index 1, 1852 2, 1617 to October (London, of Inventions, March of Patentees see W. G. On Marshall, nos. 6179, 11405. 8883, 6276, 8298, 11228, 1854), 1788-1886 Flax Marshalls 1960); Rimmer, Spinners, of Leeds, (Cambridge, J. E. Mayer Flax Plant Chem. Soc, 117The ample, pledges Prospectus, and and

of the Constituents of the Mineral J. S. Brazier, "Analysis the Plants had been Grown," of the Soils on which Quart. J. 78-90. attract support in the same at Cirencester, Royal degree which as did, amassed for ex 500

College the Royal of ?30 p. 8).

2 (1848-1849), did not

College Agricultural before (Cirencester, opening

Agricultural

College,

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Victorian

ROYAL

COLLEGE

OF CHEMISTRY

science: "What struck me most in England was the percep tion that only those works which have a practical tendency awake attention and command respect; while the purely scientific, which
far greater merit, are almost unknown. . . ."118 But the

possess

many purposes illustrates the diversity of the institutional expecta tions (and past disappointments) of the early-Victorian scientific a as The constituency. personal venture; but it owed College began the reluctance, often for sound reasons, of existing English scientific institutions to deal with early Victorian chemical issues. The efforts to establish the College helped to articulate these issues and prompted some hesitant contemporary establishment its eventual to

early-Victorian society: it would assist traditional groups to main tain their status, while simultaneously providing the expertise and status. methodology by which new, professional groups could gain That it was necessary for the College of Chemistry to serve so

of Chemistry also shows that English so narrow as Liebig's derogatory not perceptions comment implied, for it was not merely potentially remunerative results that attracted supporters. More important, "practical" as directly relevant to fundamental concerns of seen was chemistry establishment of the College of science were

institutions to begin to deal with them.119 Furthermore, the terms in which the College of Chemistry was put over to the public indicate that a professional role for the in fields that used distinguishing him from workers was a chemistry, emerging against background of English social serve the Once the established, change. College, through its efforts to diverse aspirations of its supporters, extended the institutional chemist,

118Bence 2, 188 Jones, The Life and Letters of Faraday 1870), (London, comment was made 189. Liebig's in 1844. London 119Both and King's London University College College provided and professorships laboratories of practical teaching chemistry from 1846 as a to the direct of the new College of Chemistry response competition (Univer 8 February "Council and University Minutes," London, 1845, sity College College King's "Committee of Management 24 September Minutes," 1845; "Minutes of 1 It is also London, Council," College August 1845). to view the belated establishment of a teaching tempting laboratory by the as a response in 1844 to the College's Pharmaceutical Society propaganda London, the College of Chemistry itself was taken {supra, pp. 489, 491, 500). Finally, over by the government in 1853 and incorporated in its Metropolitan School of Science which included the Museum of Economic Geology.

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485 based on the science of

a through which profession in evolved chemistry England.120

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I am very grateful to the following institutions for granting me to their manuscript materials and, where appropriate, for me to quote from them: Bodleian Library, British permitting Museum, Imperial College London, King's College London, Norwich City Library, Public Record Office, Royal Agricultural Society, access Royal

Institution, Royal Society, University College London, and I am personally indebted to the archivists University of London. and librarians of these institutions, particularly to Mrs. Jeanne for their London, Pingree, College Archivist, Imperial College patient and enthusiastic help.
120The achieved This

of Chemistry itself and the Royal College are investigated in Roberts, its diverse objectives subject will form the basis of another paper.

extent RCC,

to which chapters 6-8.

it

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