King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
In the Beginning ...

Other sources of money

The expense of equipping the College with scientific apparatus such as microscopes, books and coal for the boilers, was considerable.

The College initially received income from treasury bonds and other reserves but soon came to rely on student fees and special charges for a variety of services for its day-to-day running costs.

The Senior Department porter, for example, charged 2s 6d per student per annum to act as cloakroom attendant. Student lockers were rented out annually at 10 shillings. Chapel seating was let out, raising £9 4s in 1837. Dinner in hall was served at six and cost around £5 per term.

Although King's was non-residential some space was made available to raise much-needed funds and provide accommodation to a handful of students. A number of single and double rooms were provided at between £50 and £60 per year.

More expensive still was a set overlooking the Thames - not necessarily the most salubrious lodging before the construction of the Embankment and its sewerage network. The rent included coal and dinner but excluded victuals for which residents were charged extra by the College manciple.

Pay for professors

Professors usually received a combination of salary and a sliding scale of fees. In the mid-1830s, for example, the Professor of Classics was permitted to charge £6 10s per student per year for his first 100 students; the Professor of Mathematics, £6 per year per head up to 100 students and £4 thereafter.

In contrast, the first Professor of Physiology, Robert Bentley Todd, received the princely sum of £9 9s per student. College life was very much a business in that lecturers who failed to attract students could be in debt to the College.

King's offered a more modern syllabus with a strong emphasis on natural and physical sciences, engineering and modern languages. As a non-residential college, King's was also a cheaper alternative to the traditional universities.

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