William Sands Cox

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William Sands Cox, drawing by Thomas Herbert Maguire

William Sands Cox (1802 in Birmingham – 23 December 1875 in Kenilworth[1]) was a surgeon in Birmingham, England. He founded Birmingham's first medical school in 1828[2] as a residential Anglican-based college in Temple Row, where a blue plaque commemorates him on the House of Fraser department store, and in Brittle Street (now obliterated by Snow Hill Station). Cox went on to found the Queen's Hospital in Bath Row (Drury & Bateman, opened 1841) as a practical resource for his medical students.

Blue plaque on House of Fraser in Temple Row

The Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery became the Birmingham Royal School of Medicine and Surgery in 1836 and then the Queen's College in 1843 by Royal Charter. Cox's ambition was for the college to teach arts, law, engineering, architecture and general science as well as medicine, surgery and theology. However, after a major split in the organisation, the non-theological departments moved off into Mason Science College which later became the University of Birmingham leaving the name Queen's College as a theological institution.

The University of Birmingham Special Collections department holds some of Cox's personal papers.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boase, F., Modern English biography, 6 vols, 1892-1921
  2. ^ "Foundation of the University 1767 -1899". University of Birmingham. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  3. ^ University of Birmingham Special Collections - Cox papers
  • A History of the County of Warwick, Volume 7 – The City of Birmingham, ed W. B. Stephens, University of London Institute of Historical Research, Oxford University Press, 1964
  • The Making of Birmingham: Being a History of the Rise and Growth of the Midland Metropolis, Robert K. Dent, Published by J. L. Allday, 1894
  • Men of the Time, 1875

External links[edit]

 Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1887). "Cox, William Sands". Dictionary of National Biography. 12. London: Smith, Elder & Co.