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

The Provisional Committee

Photograph of a large paper document recording the first meeting of King's College London with members listed for the Provisional Committee, first council and first professors the border is filled with coloured images such as coats of arms and symbols, such as the beehive, the crown and clerical regalia such as a mitre relating to King's, while at the bottom is a drawing of Smirke's design for the main buildingMemorial to beginnings of King's College, 1836The Provisional Committee was set up following the Freemasons' Hall meeting in June 1828 that marked the inauguration of King's.

It was charged with raising funds and beginning work on the College and comprised twenty-seven members who met regularly in offices in Westminster. The membership represented a cross section of the 'great and the good'.

The driving force was the Rev George D'Oyly, who had initiated the King's project with his proposal to Sir Robert Peel. Prominent clergy included the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Howley, the Bishop of London, Charles Blomfield, and Edward Copleston, Bishop of Llandaff and Dean of St Paul's.

Men such as William Cotton, a manufacturer and director of the Bank of England and John Powles, a city financier, represented industry and trade. Edward Locker, a commissioner of Greenwich Hospital, the antiquary William Sotheby, the judge Sir John Nicholl, and the surgeon Benjamin Brodie, were among other representatives of law, academia, the arts and sciences.

The Committee's Secretary was Henry Nelson Coleridge, nephew of the poet. Sub-committees were formed to handle the main business of the committee: finance, building and regulations.

The Provisional Committee's work was transferred to the new College Council in August 1829.

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