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  Item Reference: KCLCAL-1977-1978-17

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A SKETCH OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF KING'S COLLEGE The Foundation Years University education in London was fostered at the start by radical interests which wished to provide for members of the middle class an alternative to Oxford and Cambridge which they saw as the homes of social privdege and religious exclusiveness The pioneering venture in Gower Street now University College was viewed by some re- formers as too radical in its secularism further university centre was accordingly founded by group of Churchmen designed to promote similar range of traditional and modern studies but with the stipula- tion that the duties of Christianity as inculcated by the Church of England should be included as part of the curriculum An unused part of the Somerset House site on the north side of the Thames was acquired under grant in perpetuity from the Crown and King's College was created by royal charter in August 1829 on the completion of long sequence of negotiations and public discussions in which the Duke of Wellington then prime minister and distinguished group of planners and patrons ecclesiastical and secular took part The work of the College opened in the session 1831-32 with an inaugural chapel sermon by the bishop of London Dr Blomfield on the combination of religious instruction with intellectual culture The first principal to be appointed was Dr William Otter afterwards bishop of Chichester The centenary history of the College by Hearnshaw professor of modern history from 1912 to 1934 covers the period to 1928 Although both King's and University Colleges were much later to be embodied in the University of London this had as yet no corporate existence Its first manifestation appears in the creation in 1836 of chartered examining body for awarding degrees to the students of the two colleges and its growth and influence were marked by the addi- tion in due course of further London colleges and the growth of vast and efficient network of external examining functions For long wlule the conduct of the business of London University moved steadily away from the conception of teaching university serving the interests of non-resident students in the metropolis and it was not until some of the colleges had sought with some persistence to form an independent 21
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