Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Birmingham and Midland Institute

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1852 William Prime Marshall and W. Mathews were joint secretaries of the committee that originated and carried out the formation of the Institute.[1].

1853 Between 5000 and 6000 people attended a meeting to hear of the progress made in establishing the Institute[2]

One of the main promoters was Arthur Ryland, a local lawyer and politician, partner of Thomas Martineau, who wanted to set up the Institute to rectify the dearth of adult education facilities and literary culture in Birmingham. The plan drew widespread support, including that of Charles Dickens, who performed the first public readings of A Christmas Carol to raise funds.[3]

1853 Proposal made to Parliament to grant powers to Corporation of Birmingham to provide land for the Institute and to incorporate the Institution.[4]

1855 Prince Albert laid the foundation stone.

1887 There were 4,600 students enrolled at the Institute studying all branches of science, literature, and music; J. B. Seeley (sic) was President, G. H. Johnstone, C. A. Harrison were vice-presidents, G. S. Mathews was Treasurer, R. F. Martineau was the Hon. Secretary[5]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Obituary of William Prime Marshall
  2. The Times Nov. 19, 1853
  3. Biography of Arthur Ryland, ODNB
  4. [1] The London Gazette Publication date:25 November 1853 Issue:21497 Page:3375
  5. London Gazette 25 March 1887