Mason Science College

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Not to be confused with Josiah Mason College, a specialist Sixth Form College (established 1983).

Mason Science College was a university college in Birmingham, England, and a predecessor college of Birmingham University. Founded in 1875 by industrialist and philanthropist Sir Josiah Mason, the college was incorporated into the University of Birmingham in 1900. Two students of the college, Neville Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin, later went on to become Prime Ministers of the UK.

History[edit]

Edmund Street elevation of the college shortly after it was built

The college was established by an English industrialist and philanthropist Sir Josiah Mason in 1875.[1][2] The building of the college in Edmund Street, Birmingham was opened on 1 October 1880 and was marked by a speech by Thomas Henry Huxley.[3] In the speech, Huxley considered the opening of the college as a victory for scientific cause and supported Mason's antagonistic views on the classics and theology. The college developed various liberal and vocational subjects, but forced out the artisans. The medical and scientific departments of Queen's College, Birmingham moved to the nearby Mason Science College.[4]

In 1898 it became Mason University College, with Joseph Chamberlain becoming the President of Court of Governors of the college. In 1900 it was incorporated into the University of Birmingham.[5] Students at the College were awarded their degrees by the University of London until the University of Birmingham was established and received degree awarding powers in its own right.

William A. Tilden was professor of chemistry from 1880 to 1894. In September 1893 Noble Prize winner Francis William Aston began his university studies at the college, where he was taught physics by John Henry Poynting and chemistry by Frankland and Tilden.[6]

In 1881 Charles Lapworth became the first professor of geology at the college.[7] In 1891 physics professor John Henry Poynting successfully calculate the mean density of the Earth.[8]

The original Victorian neo-gothic building was demolished in 1962, along with the original Central Public Library and the Birmingham and Midland Institute, as part of the redevelopment within the inner ring road. The current Central Library stands on the site of the old college.

Departments[edit]

During the first academic session of the college in 1880 courses in physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics were offered to students. By 1881 courses in geology and mineralogy, botany and vegetable physiology, engineering, English language and literature, Greek and Latin, and French and German language and literature were also available. From 1882 Medical students at Queen's College, Birmingham were able to attend classes in botany, physiology and chemistry, and in 1892 the medical faculty of Queen's College was transferred to Mason College.[8]

Alumni and faculty[edit]

Notable alumni and faculty of the college include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eric Ives et al, The First Civic University: Birmingham 1880-1980 An Introductory History (Birmingham, 2000), p. 12
  2. ^ Warner, D. and Palfreyman, D., ed. (2001). The State of UK Higher Education: Managing Change and Diversity. Buckingham: Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0335206599. 
  3. ^ "Modern History Sourcebook: Thomas H. Huxley (1825-95): Science and Culture, 1880". Fordham University. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Anderson, Robert (2006). British Universities Past and Present. Continuum. p. 77. ISBN 978-1852853471. 
  5. ^ "Mason College". University of Birmingham. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society Vol. 5, No. 16 (May, 1948), pp. 634-650". JSTOR. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Professor Charles Lapworth LL D FRS". University of Birmingham. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Foundation of the University 1767 -1899". University of Birmingham. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  9. ^ K. Feiling, The Life of Neville Chamberlain (London, 1970), 11
  10. ^ K. Feiling, The Life of Neville Chamberlain (London, 1970), 11-12
  11. ^ http://www.ulrls.lon.ac.uk/resources/general_register_part_3.pdf

Sources[edit]

Coordinates: 52°28′48″N 1°54′18″W / 52.4800°N 1.9051°W / 52.4800; -1.9051

External links[edit]