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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
KING'S COLLEGE LONDON: Shareholder and Donor Records
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
19 volumes and 2 boxes


Name of creator(s)

King’s College London

Administrative / Biographical history

King’s College London was founded by Royal Charter in 1829. It was estimated that around £170,000 was needed to build and equip the new College.  By August 1828 £100,000 had been raised by donations and subscriptions in the form of £100 shares, carrying a dividend of not more than 4 percent.  However, Catholic Emancipation and the chosen site of the proposed College divided shareholders and many refused to honour promises to buy shares. The existing shares had failed to yield interest and some shareholders began to lose faith in the scheme. The College tackled this setback by creating shares of £25, but this did little to prevent 150 shareholders withdrawing. Shareholders were often referred to as proprietors and were allowed the privilege of nominating one student for the King’s College School and one student for the College.  Shares of over £100 are referred in the shareholders’ records as ‘First Class’ and those under £100 are referred to as ‘Second Class’.  After 1848 most shares were converted into donations when it became clear that the shares would never yield any interest. The College Charter of 1882 extinguished the ‘First Class’ shareholders claims to pecuniary profit and abolished dividend from the shares but their nomination privileges were retained and could be transferred.  Donors Second Class maintained nomination privileges until their death, but their shares were non-transferable.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Records of the shareholders of King’s College London, 1828-1882, 1907, consisting of registers of shareholders 1828-1882, 1907; registers of transfer of shares 1830-1869; share certificate books, 1829-1863; shareholders correspondence 1828-1846; shareholders student nomination registers, 1839-1876; various forms for share applications.

System of arrangement

Material has been arranged chronologically into the above categories.


Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, can be supplied to appropriate College staff. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive Services, King's College London.

Language/scripts of material
Finding aids

A draft catalogue is available online and in hard copy in the Archive reading room. 

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals
King's College London College Archives
Related units of description

King’s College Secretary’s in-correspondence contains letters written by shareholders that are not in the shareholders papers (KA/IC). 

Description control

Archivist's Note

The collection was formerly catalogued as KSH/AB and KSH/R. Compiled by Katie Mooney.  

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

Jul 2006, updated 2016

Box List(s)

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Main theme(s)


  • Educational finance
  • Higher education
  • Universities
  • Educational administration

Personal names

  • Bagot, Richard, 1782–1854, Bishop of Bath and Wells
  • Boileau, Sir, John Peter, 1794-1869, 1st Baronet, Archaeologist
  • Butler, George, 1774-1853, Headmaster of Harrow and Dean of Peterborough
  • Cotton, William, 1786–1866, merchant and philanthropist
  • Letts, Thomas, 1803–1873, stationer
  • Porter, Jane, 1776-1850, novelist
  • Poynder, John, 1779-1849, theological writer
  • Ryder, Henry, 1777-1836, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield
  • Saumarez, James De, 1757-1836, 1st Baron De Saumarez, Admiral
  • Stuart, John Crichton, 1793–1848, second marquess of Bute


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