John Bull vs Stinkomalee: Tory opposition in the early days of the University of London (9 Feb 2012)

Uploaded by UCLLHL on 10.02.2012

>> Thank you very much Susan [phonetic].
Is the -- is this sound all right?
[Inaudible] everybody.
Thank you for coming.
It's -- I'm going to open by saying it's strange isn't it?
To think that as we gathered in this distinguished
and internationally known institution,
well known for the excellence of its higher education
and its research that at its beginnings nearly 190 years ago
it was treated widely as a joke.
Plans for the University
of London were also viewed with suspicion.
The new institution seemed to represent a danger to the social
and political status quo to a tory [phonetic] government faced
with agitation for reforms which were finally brought
in by a Whig government in the Great Reform Act of 1832.
Many of the founders and supporters
of this new institution were reforming Whig
and radical members of Parliament
and therefore it's not surprising, perhaps,
that from the start this institution was the object
of press attention much of it hostile.
I'm going to start with an article
in The Times in June 1825.
It's an article entitled The London College
and its give an occurrent of a meeting at the Crown
and Anchor [phonetic] Tavern on the Strand,
the previous Saturday.
[Inaudible] as The Times says about 120 of the gentlemen
who have taken a principle interest in the formation
of The London College or University.
In the chaired [phonetic] meeting was Henry Brougham,
prominent Whig lawyer and politician
of which quite a lot more later
or of whom quite a lot more later.
Supporting Brougham were several other reforming members
of Parliament including Lord John Russell,
third son of the Duke of Bedford [phonetic]
of this parish [phonetic].
And Joseph Hume [phonetic], finder famous
for his dogged attacks on royal
and aristocratic prophlagecy [phonetic] and in particular
on the shenangans in -- with the Navy budget.
Also there was Dr. George Birkbeck,
founder of the London Mechanics Institution in 1823
and at the foot of the table was the poet,
Thomas Campbell [phonetic].
All those present were agreed The Times reported
on the necessity of establishing for the great population
of this metropolis a college
which would comprehend all the leading advantages
of the two great universities while allowing students
to remain at home with their parents thus catering
for their domestic supervision and offering a cheaper education
than could be had at the ancient residential universities
of Oxford and Cambridge.
Brougham announced at the meeting
that he had sounded [phonetic] out various Cabinet members
about the possibility of applying for a royal charter
to establish the new university but had been discouraged.
He was now in the process of putting a private bill
to the House of Commons explaining
to his fellow MPs [phonetic] that there was no intention
at present of conferring degrees.
Those students wouldn't be able at first to take degrees
in the new institution, this was a concession
to the vested interest of Oxford and Cambridge which Brougham saw
as an unfortunate necessity for the time being.
Though they wouldn't be able to take degrees,
they would be offered a full higher degree syllabus.
The founders most radical and contentious step was
to exclude theological teaching.
The syllabus would be much expanded to include in addition
to the traditional subjects of mathematics and classics
and philosophy, they would include science,
literature and the arts.
There would be no religious tests such as those operating
at Oxford and Cambridge where students were obliged
to sign the 39 Articles [phonetic] of the Church
of England in order to take their degrees
and [inaudible] teaching fellows had to do likewise.
At the new university there was to be and still quoting
from The Times account of the meeting, no [inaudible]
to the education of any sect among his Majesty's subjects.
Medical studies were [inaudible]
and London students would have the advantage over their peers
at Oxbridge though this was diplomatically less
by Brougham to be inferred.
They'd have the advantage of combining the academic study
of anatomy and physiology at the university
with attending practical medical classes at one
of the London hospitals.
If you studied medicine at Oxford and Cambridge
at this time, you would have to come up to London at some point
to attend one of the teaching hospitals here.
So clearly a new university in London would be able
to take advantage of the already existing teaching hospitals.
Treading most wearily to avoid stepping on the toes
of the two ancient institutions which would be unlikely
to welcome a London rival,
Brougham described how the money would be raised
for this institution.
The capital, he said, intended
for the undertaking was estimated at 200,000 pounds
and the mode of raising it by transferable shares
of 100 pounds of each.
While The Times which was friendly to Brougham
and friendly to the university continued to report the doings
of this [inaudible] institution in some detail
from its conception in 1825 to the opening of a new building
on Gurry [phonetic] Street to welcome the first intake
of students in October 1828.
The Times had been the chosen vehicle
for the very first public suggestion of a university
for London as early as February 1825 when it carried a long,
diffuse open letter from Thomas Campbell
to Henry Brougham entitled Proposals
of a Metropolitan University.
Now although Campbell didn't put the case as succinctly
as his colleagues would have wished in this letter,
it's apparent that the end
of [inaudible] university was four-fold.
One, to offer higher education in the political
and financially most important city in the world
and thus remove the enigmany [phonetic]
of London having unlike Paris
and many other European cities, no university.
Two, to educate the sons only I'm afraid at this stage
of the expanding middle class.
Three, to welcome non-Anglicans of every kind
by avoiding the religious tests which adhither [phonetic]
to prevented them from graduating
from English universities and four,
to enlarge the curriculum beyond the traditional classical
mathematical and theological education offered
at Oxford and Cambridge.
The radicalism with the proposal did not go as far
as to include higher education for women at this point.
Though when women were finally permitted to take degrees
in 1878 it was at University College London
that the innovation was introduced.
One particular traction for parents stressed by Campbell
in his letter to The Times was the relatively cheapness
of keeping their sons at home instead
of sending them away to live in a college.
He writes, say a man a 1000 pounds of year.
He can hardly send one son to an English university,
to send three sons would cost him at least 750.
Each son kept at home in London, on the other hand,
would cost about 25 to 30 pounds for his education
with perhaps clothing and pocket money amounting to another 25.
Not wishing to [inaudible] the two ancient universities too
much, Campbell does not state explicitly the further
advantages of parents --
to parents of being able to close eye on their offspring
and so to fort the well known propensity of young men
at university to run up wine and tailoring bills not to mention
such costly and tempting pursuits as gambling
and resort to prostitutes.
In the end once the university had been launched
and the dust settled on the controversy it aroused,
the two aims which were to prove truly important and influential
for the education and culture not just of London
but of the whole country were the opening of higher education
to people of all faiths and none
and the expansion of the curriculum.
The University of London which changed its name
to University College London in 1836
when it was finally given degree awarding status,
the university was the first to include a range
of subjects not taught before including several branches
of science and medicine, geography, architecture,
modern history, English language and literature
and other modern languages and literatures including French,
German, Spanish, Italian and Hebrew.
These progressive aims [phonetic] was vigorously
opposed by newspapers supporting the tory [phonetic] government
and defending the special position
of the Church of England.
None entered the lists more [inaudible]
than John Bull [phonetic].
The newspaper founded in 1820
to support the unpopular George the Fourth in his efforts
to keep his estranged wife, Caroline,
from his attending his coronation as Queen.
Brougham had made an eternal enemy of George the Fourth
by acting as Caroline's legal advisor in that matter.
John Bull [phonetic] immediately seized on Campbell's letter
in The Times to his friend, Brougham and began a campaign
to ridicule the new university.
[Inaudible] of its founders recent involvement
in [inaudible] Mechanics Institutions and suggested
that the new university was intended
for the same clientele [phonetic].
It also carried broad exaggerated warnings
about the potential threat to church and state
of a non-Anglican university.
For good measure, it hinted despite Campbell's remarks
designed forestall such objections
that London was a place of moral danger to young men.
A short article in John Bull in February 1825 places Campbell,
Birkbeck and Brougham in the line of fire.
The last of the three having a gift of a name
for satirists [phonetic] was both verbal and visual
and this is number one on your handout.
This is from John Bull 14th of February, 1825.
It is understood that this magnificent national
establishment will speedily be undertaken
under the immediate surveillance of a learned [phonetic]
and liberal committee.
Its objects are evidently of first rate importance
and it's end will be most salutatory.
For instance, it has proposed to instruct butchers in geometry
and telechandlers [phonetic] in Hebrew.
Tailors are to be perfected in Oriental literature
and shoemakers finished up in mathematics.
Servants out of liberty are
to be made good Grecians while lackeys [phonetic] are only
to learn Latin.
Campbell Fellowships so called after the great founder are
to be created for the benefit of dustmen and chimney sweepers.
And a Brougham Exhibition appropriated annually
to [inaudible] housemaids.
To Dr. Birkbeck the nation is already indebted
for a great work of enlightenment,
that's the Mechanics Institutions.
Journeymen, carpenters and tailors and bricklayers
and plasterers now dignified
into [inaudible] artisans will listen
with wandering [phonetic] advantage to the lecturing
of popular professors.
So you see this is John Bull pretending to assume
that the people who are going to be studying
at this new university are laborers and artisans.
This article finishes with a perspective inventive
by John Bull asserting that the new university will be built
in Tothill Fields [phonetic],
a notorious slum near Westminster Abbey.
And that public owners and prostitutes will make a killing.
This is number two on the handout.
The morality of London, it's quietitude [phonetic]
and solibriety [phonetic] appear to combine
to render the capital the most convenient place
for the education of youth.
It is therefore intended to erect a spacious college
with the proper residencies and offices for the reception
of the metropolitan and suburban youth in Tothill Fields.
And in order to meet any objections which heads
of families may make to the pedilous [phonetic] exposure
of their sons to the casualties arising from crowded streets,
a large body of playing respectable females
of the middle age will be engaged to attend students to
and from the college in the mornings
and evenings of each day.
Well attacks and squibs of this kind became common place
as the new university slowly became a reality.
Traditionalists feared the changes
which would form agitation insight
and outside Parliament thought.
That a [inaudible] Catholic disabilities which passed
into law in 1829 and which many Bishops viewed
as putting the Church of England endanger of the Church,
endanger was one of that mantras went round at this time.
And the [inaudible] of a proportion of working men
which came about through the Reform Act of 1832.
The fear of a working class revolution
on the French model was also prevalent.
A new university intended to open opportunities
to [inaudible] marginalize groups might encourage
social unrest.
Campbell and his colleagues were aware of the prejudices
which would greet their project hence the cautious statement
of their aims in Campbell's letter to The Times.
Campbell was a man of some fame as a writer
and though his reputation was in decline, he was a well known
and well connected London literary figure
when he proposed the idea of the university.
He was editor of the New Monthly Magazine
and he was still residually celebrated
for his youthful poem, The Pleasures of Hope published
in 1799 in which he had expressed an imminently
forgettable verse his sympathy with the anti-slavery movement.
So he was properly radical and liberal and much more useful
to the cause of reform than his versifying was Campbell's
experience as a Scot who had graduated at the University
of Glasgow and saw a partial model in the Scottish system.
For [inaudible] established universities,
[inaudible] Glasgow and [inaudible]
of Aberdeen flourished in Scotland with a proud tradition
of lecturing to young men who usually lived at home
as distinct from the college tutorial system that prevailed
at Oxford and Cambridge.
In the Scottish universities there was no religious
requirement in order to graduate.
Several of the founders
of the new metropolitan university had studied
at a Scottish university.
In fact this place was stuffed with Scots in its first years.
Stuffed with them, you can't imagine any meeting
that took place particularly in the medical faculty here
in the late 1820s and early 1830s must have [inaudible] it
was taking place in Edinburgh not in London at all.
Anyway, full of Scots and several
of the founders were Scots.
Either they'd been educated at the Scottish university
because they were Scots or because they were Englishmen
who did not subscribe to Anglicanism.
Brougham, for example, was born and educated
in Edinburgh while Birkbeck was the son
of a Quaker merchant from Yorkshire.
So he too barred from Oxford and Cambridge went
to study at Edinburgh.
Campbell also brought to the new venture a knowledge
of the German educational system having visited Bahn [phonetic]
in 1820 and been struck by the tolerance of all religions
that the recently established university there.
In September 1825 with the new London university plan going
ahead, Campbell went on a fact finding visit to Berlin
where he attended lectures and spoke
with professors coming away impressed
by the encouragement giving to universities in Prussia,
a country where the roads were still sandy tracks,
the carriages were bone shaking and the streets of Berlin were
as yet unpaved but where the universities were havens
of philosophical scholarship.
Campbell's contacts in America, meanwhile,
where his father had had trade connections
and his brother was living in Virginia also came in handy
because it meant that he could bring forward the example
of the new University
of Virginia founded Thomas Jefferson in 1819
with the intention of educating American youth not only
in the traditional subjects but also in medicine,
modern languages, law, politics and economics.
Having helped to set things in motion,
Campbell soon faded from the scene.
His domestic circumstances were difficult.
He had a mentally unstable son and a wife
who was sick and who died in 1828.
His election to the rectorship [phonetic] of Glasgow University
in 1826 meant that his energies and interests were divided
and he missed the ceremony and dinner at the laying
of the foundation stone of London University [inaudible]
on the 30th of April, 1827 because he was
in Glasgow fulfilling his duties there.
He resigned from the [inaudible] Street Counsel on grounds
of ill health a few months before the university opened
to students in 1828.
With that Campbell's contribution ended
and in due course, his name was all but erased
from the record while his first collaborative, the phenomenon
that was Henry Brougham became the chief figure.
[Inaudible] to like itself promotion and promotion
of the interest of the university
of which he was the first president from its opening
until his death 40 years later in 1868, aged 89.
During his long life, Henry Brougham was one
of the most talked about, written about,
and [inaudible] featured people of the age.
In the political fraught [phonetic] 1820s,
I looked into this and it seemed to me
that early George the Fourth himself and the Duke
of Wellington were more often subjects of caricature
and cartoon than Brougham.
And Brougham given his name, you can see how it was spelt
but it was pronounced broom was represented of course either
as a broom causing [inaudible] and [inaudible] or as a lawyer
as he was with Whig and gown brandishing a broom showing
that he was undertaking to sweep [inaudible] stables
of the legal system as it was with his brandishing his broom.
So you constantly see him as a broom or brandishing one
and hence, of course, the joke in John Bull
about [inaudible] housemaids and their broom scholarships.
When this [inaudible] magazine [inaudible] was launched
in 1841 most of Brougham's achievements were already
in the past but he was still a major if controversial figure.
A fact reflected in his appearance
in almost every number of punch [inaudible] during the 1840s
and 1850s.
His accomplishments as a lawyer, journalist
and Whig politician took the breath away.
In Parliament, he agitated in opposition during the 1820s
for a reform of the law and of the voting system.
He argued in favor of extending education, against slavery,
for Catholic rights and helped his own Whig government bring
in the great Reform Act of 1832 after a decade of debating.
Alongside these legal and parliamentary activities,
Brougham helped Birkbeck
to found the London Mechanics Institution
and also the Infant [phonetic] School Society.
He was the chief founder of the Society for the Diffusion
of useful knowledge and wrote many of its pamphlets.
And he became the prime mover of the new university.
All this time actually while he was going off on the law circuit
and doing all these things,
he was also writing copious articles
for the Edinburgh Review which he had helped
to found and The Times.
Not to mention dealing with sexual blackmail
from the notorious courtesan Harriette Wilson
to whom he gave legal advice when she was taken to court
for libel after publishing her memoirs in 1825.
She famously blackmailed several prominent men including the Duke
of Wellington who's famously supposed to have replied
to her threats with publish and be damned.
Well Brougham helped her but by having an affair
with her himself, he fell victim to her threats to tell his wife
and the world of his faults of adultery
and other follies as she wrote.
In the history of University College a speech given in 1897
by the professor of medical juris [phonetic] prudence,
George Vivian Pruer [phonetic], the early days
of the institution were [inaudible]
and Brougham's contribution described.
And this is number three on your handout.
This is describing Brougham.
His mind was like a dry sponge.
It soaked up everything in the shape of knowledge it came
across and before he was 13 he had learned everything
that could teach him at the high school at Edinburgh.
He learned languages, science, philosophy and everything else
without the least trouble.
Lord Brougham was [inaudible] industry and was connected
with the foundation of the Edinburgh Review
and to show you what his mind was it merely stated
that he wrote nearly the whole of one number
of the Edinburgh Review.
And that his articles ranged over a great variety of subjects
from Chinese music to the operation of [inaudible].
His versatility was astounding and it is recorded
that Samuel Rogers, the poet,
when he saw Lord Brougham driving off from [inaudible].
It was Lord Cooper's country house it was said,
there goes Solomon [inaudible], [inaudible], Sir Isaac Newton,
Lord Chesterfield and a great many other persons
in one [inaudible].
Well this phenomenon Brougham presided from the first
at the University of London over a heterogeneous
and sometimes ideologically split group consisting
of radicals, Whigs, utilitarian disciples
of Jamie Binsom [phonetic], Catholics, Jews,
and dissenting Protestants.
And he did it and remained [phonetic] brilliantly.
Most of the meetings were held at his chambers
in Lincoln's [phonetic] Inn.
He regularly fed reports of these
to the press particularly The Times.
He also published long articles in praise of the new university
in the Edinburgh Review and did the reviews rising star Thomas
Babington Macaulay who predicted,
you'll like this I think, in February 1826
that the infant institution was destined to a long, a glorious
and a [inaudible] existence and that it would be the model
of many future establishments.
Macaulay's father, Zachary Macaulay,
was one of the founders of the university.
Now the [inaudible] turned it earnest
in the matter of raising money.
The plan was to [inaudible] at least 150,000 pounds
and the hope was that they would find enough good men and true
in Brougham's words to take shares.
Brougham was famously depicted selling shares as early
as July 1825 by Robert Crookshank [phonetic].
And it's number four on your handout,
you probably recognize it.
Robert Crookshank was the brother
of the more famous caricaturist George Crookshank.
This cartoon called The Political Toyman shows Brougham
in his lawyer's wig and gown walking around Lincoln's Inn
with a model of the London College on his hand.
A book at his waist entitled list of shareholders
and a money bag over his arm inscribed subscriptions.
It was, you see, thought to be intradink [phonetic] to set
about a founding a new serious [inaudible] institution
by selling shares.
Three of the most wealthy founders
of the new university including the financier and campaigner
for Jewish rights, Isaac Lion Goldsmith [phonetic] were
directly responsible for the new university finding its location
not in Tothill Fields but in Bloomsbury.
In 1824 a banker named Bevin [phonetic] had bought a site
of nearly eight acres of undeveloped wasteland
on the Mortimore [phonetic] Estate at the top end
of [inaudible] Street.
[Inaudible] projected square which was going to built
on the site called Marvin Square but this was never built
as the three university founders bought the land from Bevin
for 30,000 pounds and held it
until enough money was raised to start building.
When William Wilkins' neoclassical design was chosen
the [inaudible] was cost for a building and a purpose which was
to help define the character
of the area Blooms [phonetic] Street from that moment
until the present day.
Bloomsbury would from now be associated primarily
with education and culture while visually it was represented
quite frequently by elegant, classical and some said thinking
of the godless college
on [inaudible] street pagan architecture.
And if you wanted to look at the Bloomsbury project you'll find
that my colleagues and I have identified over 300 educational
or cultural reforming institutions which were setup
in Bloomsbury during the 19th century.
Many of them closely related or by the same personnel
as the people who started University College London.
Wilkins designed the Long Building facing [inaudible]
Street with a 10 column Corinthian portico [phonetic]
in the middle topped by a dome and two side wings
with smaller domes in the angles
between the long building and the wings.
When submitting his design Wilkins its grandeur
and unusualness, features which were no doubt attractive
to the founders and this is number five on the handout.
This is Wilkins' description of his design.
There is no example in England of a portico
with 10 columns in front.
It is for this reason that I have chosen
as my prototype the magnificent portico
of the Olympium [phonetic] at Athens, the proportions
of which I have closely followed.
The Times, the friendly Times reported in August 1828
that the building was nearing completion with scaffolding due
to come down before the opening of the college
in two months time when number six on the handout.
As The Times says the public will have an uninterrupted view
of a handsome and commodious structure [inaudible]
of ornament or [inaudible] embellishment defects
which disfigure so many of the public buildings
of the metropolis but are [inaudible] a truly classic
specimen of British and architecture.
Well in the event there wasn't anything money
to complete Wilkins' elegant plan
and the two wings were not built until the 1870s and if you look
at the picture at the head of the handout,
you see that is a drawing of University College
or the University of London as it was when it opened in 1828.
You see it did not have the wings at that time
because money ran out but even in its unfinished state,
the new building was imposing.
However the fact that it was on wasteland
where rubbish was dumped
and dirty puddles abound it was too delightful a gift
for opponents to ignore.
John Bull found a number of ways to insult the new university
as in some way disreputable.
The paper was edited and in fact entirely written
by Theodore Hook [phonetic] a Bloomsbury born prankster
and man without time who had perpetrated the famous Berners
Street hoax in 1809 at the age of 20.
On that occasion, you might've heard of the Burner Street hoax,
he targeted a Mrs. Tottenham ordering a huge number of goods
to be sent to her Berner Street home, wagon loads of coal,
pianos, organs, jewelry and pieces
of furniture of every description.
At the same time as he had [inaudible] the Lord Mayor
of London, the governor of the Bank of England, the Chairman
of the East India Company and other notables to visit her.
And he and a friend sat at the window of a neighboring house
and watched the mayhem that occurred in Berners Street
that day with all these people and all these things turning
up to poor Mrs. Tottenham.
Well, when in 1825 Hook as the editor
of John Bull started writing about the plans
for the new university,
he had only recently left debtor's prison
after losing 12,000 pounds
of government money while he had occupied the post of accountant
and treasurer in Mauritius.
In July 1825 his article entitled Joint Stock Company
Learning Company capital C 100,000 pounds appeared
in John Bull.
Here he pretended to be horrified
at the supposed political
and religious subversiveness [phonetic]
of the new institution and cleverly coupled this attack
with the mania at the time for the floating
of companies dealing in insurance, gas, mining, canals,
and of course the new steam technology.
The implication was that there was something dodgy
about selling shares in the university and that the risk
of collapse was great.
Even more of a gift than this share selling was the foul
smelling site.
In December 1825, a comic poem called Stinker Malee [phonetic]
was printed in John Bull.
To be sung apparently to the tune of Daddy
Down [phonetic] it began and this is number seven
on your handout, the [inaudible] says reason to fade,
my college [inaudible] at length has a name,
go trumpet it forth [inaudible] by land and by sea,
my college is christened [inaudible] stinker [inaudible].
Later in the poem, Hook has Joseph Hume congratulating his
fellow founder Brougham, number eight.
The choice of its site, says Hume, properly falls
to cultivate strong common sense in its halls.
For whoever will come will find my dear [inaudible] very strong
common sense in your stinker malee.
Well on went John Bull with this fun.
Another poem, Stinker Malee fans greeted the soon
to be opened university in April 1828 and in May,
there was an article describing Brougham and his colleagues
as shareholders in the joint stock dirt
and learning company of Stinker Malee.
The nickname Stinker Malee stuck for a time as did others started
by John Bull such as [inaudible] College
or [inaudible] University which also appeared in the titles
of cartoons like William Heath's number nine on your handout.
This was an engraving published
in February 1826 showing Brougham
on the right hand side hammering
on an anvil inscribed public support
with a red hot iron bar named philosophy.
And you'll see on the left hand side various rough looking
individuals saying [inaudible] forever, [inaudible] for me.
This is their take on the philosophy
that they're going to learn.
The most imaginative poem attacking the university was
that by Winthrop Mackworth Praed, a young Tory
and [inaudible] born in 1802 in Bedford [inaudible] Bloomsbury.
His discourse delivered by a college tutor
at a supper party imagines the response
by an Oxbridge Don [phonetic] to the news
of a new rival being founded.
Having urged his colleagues to make opposition
to the radical infidel college, the Don continues
with an awful warning of social revolution and it's number 10.
Tis a terrible crisis for [inaudible] and for [inaudible]
that butchers are learning dissection
and little glass makers become [inaudible]
to study the rules of reflection.
One [inaudible] young Tory a future political star
of the young Bloomsbury resident Benjamin Disraeli also had fun
with a planned university in his debut novel, Vivian Grey.
The first part, of which, was published in April 1826.
Disraeli had been born in 1804 just off Bedford Row.
His father the antiquarium [phonetic] scholar Isaac
Disraeli moved the family to Bloomsbury Square in 1817
to be even nearer the British Museum for his studies.
And being a nonobservant Jew with ambitions for his son,
attended church at St. George's Bloomsbury
where Benjamin was baptized.
Benjamin did not go to university.
He spent some time as a solicitor's clerk and entered
in Lincoln's Inn but he refused a legal career preferring
to write as a journalist and novelist.
Now though a Tory, a young Tory, Disraeli [inaudible] satire
in the anonymously published Vivian Grey not just
at real life radicals but also at [inaudible] Torys.
This is 1850, 26 and it's the last on your handout.
One of these [inaudible] Torys is given the name Sir
Christopher Mobrey [phonetic]
in the novel is a [inaudible] member of Parliament
in his 79th year but still able
to follow a fox though he has no idea of liberal principles
or anything else of that school.
Disraeli mocks Sir Christopher's horror at the idea
of a modern university in London.
This is number 11.
The only thing which is not exactly comprehend is the
London University.
This affair really puzzles the worthy gentleman who could
as easily fancy a county member not being a freeholder
[inaudible] university not being at Oxford or Cambridge.
Indeed to this horror the old gentleman believes
that the whole business is a damnation of hopes
and they should tell him that there's little apprehension
in the course of a century, the wooden polls which are now stuck
about the ground will not be as fair and flourishing
as the most [inaudible] of new college gardens.
The old gentlemen looks up to heaven as if determined not
to be taken in and leaning back in his chair says
for the skeptic and smiling, no, no, no that won't do.
Well against very [inaudible] oppositions
from the real [inaudible] compounding by a lack of funds
and some poor decision making early in the early days,
the new university did eventually and emphatically do.
Though it took several decades of doggy determination
on the part of its supporters and employees,
the university eventually fulfilled Thomas Babbington
Macaulay's apparently outlandish prophecy
that it would set the standard
for the universities of the future.
>> Thank you very much for this very spirited
and entertaining glimpse into UCL's past
and all that it has endured.
We have a -- four minutes left for questions
but it is only four minutes so I would encourage you not to sit
on your questions but to ask them.
>> [Person not miked] Sorry.
Is there documentation going on about the processes,
the political processes happening at UCL at the moment?
It seems very ironic that this has started as such a liberal,
radical institution and where it stands now
in its relationship to no student fees --
>> As you can imagine I couldn't possibly comment.
[ Laughter ]
Which is a shame.
>> I just wonder what Bull would've said if he'd known
about the bones which were discovered at the front
of University College and if you know anything more about --
well I think there's going to be an exhibition but --
>> The bones which were recently found
under the front [inaudible].
>> Yeah.
>> I don't know whether they were thought to be human
but they're now thought to be animal bones, I think.
Are they not?
>> I'm not sure.
I did -- my son's doing archaeology here
and I did a classics archaeology master's recently after I --
you know I had a life being [inaudible] having done a law
degree here and came back to do that.
And I understand there are some human bones
and they're very, very old but --
>> Well there might be.
I mean I can't go into it but the John Bull
and other attackers of what was going on here,
where everybody came to suggest that bodies were being robbed
from graves, you know graves and so on here
by medical students and professors.
Before the passing of the Anatomy Act in 1832
which allowed for dissection of bodies,
before that it was illegal.
It went on.
It went on in Edinburgh [phonetic] all the time
as we know with the [inaudible] hair scandal of 1829 but it --
but John Bull wanted to suggest that it was also going on here
under the -- in the basement of University College.
>> And that's very interesting
because when I did my law degree here in 1975,
there were only six female law students in my year and we had
to [inaudible] many of our law lectures
in the [inaudible] theater
and the young male medical student used to throw bones
at us so there was a lot less security of bones
than now -- then there is now.
>> Okay, well I [crosstalk] --
>> Thank you for that.
The gentleman next to you had a question.
Would you just pass -- no, okay.
Any other questions?
Yes, sir.
>> Oh [inaudible] was founded 20, 30 years earlier.
>> I'm sorry what was?
>> Grecian [phonetic] College.
>> Grecian, yes, Grecian.
>> And [inaudible] what the relationship was between it
and the founders of UCL back in the 1820s?
>> None. None that I've come across.
They may have -- if anybody knows of any I'd be happy
to know them but none that I have come across.
All the people here as I can see were intent
on reintroducing the Scottish system actually mainly
and you know there wasn't --
there was a recognition that there had been higher education
for a longer period in Grecian College
but there was no direct connection.
Not that I know of anyway.