Foundation of the University 1767 -1899

Historical medical equipmentAlthough the University received its Royal Charter in 1900, the foundations for its establishment were being laid for years previously. Already pushing forward the boundaries of research in medicine and the sciences, Birmingham was beginning to change the world.



1767-1768 Mr John Tomlinson holds 29 weeks of medical education seminars. The first such seminars to be held outside London or south of the Scottish border.
1825 William Sands Cox founds the Birmingham Medical School beginning a tradition of medical teaching in Birmingham which continues to this day with current academic areas ranging from cancer studies to stem cell research.
1875 Foundation of Mason Science College by local industrialist and philanthropist Sir Josiah Mason.
1880 The Lapworth Museum of Geology opens; it is now one of the oldest specialist geological museums in the UK and has been formally designated as being ‘of outstanding National and International Importance’.
1882 Departments of Chemistry, Botany, Physiology, Physics and Comparative Anatomy established at Mason Science College.
1891 John Henry Poynting, Professor of Physics, is the first person to successfully calculate the mean density of the Earth.
1898 Mason University College established on 1 January, paving the way for the establishment of the University of Birmingham.