Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The London Institution, 1805-1933

By Janet Catherine Cutler


This study is an account and analysis of the activities and fortunes of the London Institution from its foundation in 1805 to its final closure in 1933.\ud The Institution, modelled on the Royal Institution, began in 1805 with over £80,000 and a proprietary mainly engaged in trade or commerce. Premises were leased in Old Jewry and later, in 1811, premises were purchased in King's Arms Yard but were found to be unsuitable. Eventually, the managers decided to have a mansion specially built in Finsbury Circus. This was designed by William Brooks, erected by Thomas Cubitt and opened in 1819.\ud Before 1819 no lectures were given nor laboratory work carried out as no suitable accommodation was available. However, a large collection of books was acquired which formed the basis of the Institution's library. Much later, a popular circulating library was added.\ud In 1819, the theatre was opened and lectures commenced. At first, there were courses of lectures intended to give instruction in various subjects but later they were replaced by single lectures as entertainment.\ud It was not until 1841 that W. R. Grove was appointed to work in the laboratory. Scientific work had a patchy career at the Institution before being discontinued in 1884 after H. E. Armstrong resigned.\ud By the 1890s, large sums of money had been spent on repairing the building and the Institution was heavily mortgaged. The managers sought solutions to the problem but after the Royal Commission on University Education in London reported in 1912, the premises were taken over for the School of Oriental Studies. Some proprietors and subscribers remained as continuing members but the Institution closed in 1933 when the School moved to Bloomsbury

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 1976
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (Illus) ] ed 1hoch - Insects at Rome; Insects, at Worlc; Insects at LTeals. (Christmas course. Illuß) 393" ctures, 1890 - 1912, 1897 - 98 (coat) F. C. Selous - Travel and Adventure in South Africa. (Illus) Albert Vandam - An 1hglishman in Paris.
  2. (printed but not published). Dictionary of National Biography. Dictionary of Scientific Biography.
  3. (1912). (Trnvers Ieöt. ) 391, factures, 1890 -
  4. (1910). 11 cont. ) Alfred G. Temple - The Ite-Raphaelite Movement in Bugland - Rossitti, Millais, Holman Hunt.
  5. (1911). 12 (cant. ) Major Greenwood, jnr. - Plague; Its Origin
  6. 148. Letter from Sir Josoph Banka to Sir Franoio Haring, 14 Ootobor 1805. 421'. 11. At the Pablic Record Office,
  7. 1805, Life of William Allen, with selections from his correspondence. 3 vols.
  8. (1748). 1818) Alderman"-, of-City of London (ward of Farringdon
  9. (1768). 1838) Philanthropist. A friend of Henry Thornton and Thomas Babington. An active member of the Afitialavery Society
  10. (1768). 1844) Of 19, Little Moorfields. Evangelical divine.
  11. 1850 (cont'd) 1848 - 49 (cont. ) and shaping of metal work. ) - 4. Soirees :
  12. (1840). 1850. (cont'd) 1841=42 (cont. ) Soirees: Jsn. 19 -
  13. (1850). 1870 (cont! d) 1854 --55--(cont. ) Structure, Production and Forms of Living Beings
  14. 1872. Peat as a substitute for coal.
  15. (1912). 1890 - 91-(contId) Howard Grubb - The
  16. (1890). 1893 - 94 (cont. ) I. Gollanz - Ehglish Bards of the Welsh Marches. Lionel Monck-ton - Opera: Its Evolution and Present Tendency. (Illus) Vivian Lewes - The Chemistry of Cleaning. (Ilius) W. Benham - Old Traditions and Memories of our Own Neighbourhood.
  17. (1912). 1898 - 99 (cunt). w. 11iam J. Russell - How to P=duce a Picture on a Photographic Plate in the I k. (flu)
  18. 21. No lectures delivered. 1821
  19. 3. Music in the theatre 8- 9p. m. Evening dress worn. 1825 _ 76. Afternoon lectures: H. Morley - The Study of Ilglish Literature.
  20. 4-W. Tite - Oa the Discoveries of Ar. Young
  21. (1883). 84 (cont' John Ruskin - The Storm Cloud of the XTXth Century (given
  22. (1887). 88 (cant'd) ß ward Riley -A Generation's Changes in the Ahnufaoture of Iron and Steel.
  23. (1888). 89 (cont'd) Carl Armbruster - Modern Composers of Classical Song - 2, (i) franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms.
  24. (1973). A Catalogue of the Library, 4 vols, 1835-1852. (printed but not published.
  25. (1933). A collection of documents concerned with the School's use of the Finsbury Circus building, 1912-1933, including: Report of sub-committee appointed to negotiate with the continuing members.
  26. A collection of letters, reports, cuttings, etc., 1898 - 1909, concerned with the proposed merger of the
  27. A collection of syllabuses of lecture courses.
  28. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Lectures delivered at the London Institution, 1819 to 1854. preceeded by an historical introductory review by E.
  29. (1918). A Dictionary of London.
  30. A History of
  31. (1962). A History of Adult Education in Great Gritain.
  32. (1968). A History of English Education. London U. P. 5th impression,
  33. (1916). A Memoir of A. Smee. London, 1878, 'Oriental Studies: the first directorship, '
  34. A short account of the Institution nddretsed to the proprietor.
  35. (1970). A Social History of Engineering.
  36. Alderman for Cordwainer Ward in 1807, Later served as Sheriff, City of London.
  37. All minute books, reports and other material originally belonging to the Institution were presented to the library in 1933. a) Printed material and pamphlets.
  38. (1931). An Account of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society: 1855-1930. ' Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society,
  39. (1890). An Astronomer's Thoughts
  40. (1965). An Introductory Discourse, delivered
  41. (1913). AN16.8 collection of manaFersI and auditorsI rerorts, notice `of lectures and other miscellanea. 4 vols. 1805 - 94" Pam 1721 Continuing bye-laws,
  42. Analysis of lectures (excluding soirees), 1820-1912. Unpublished Documents,
  43. Annual Rehort for 1824.
  44. Annual Reports for 1823,1824,1825,1826.
  45. Ants: A Study of Sociology and Politics Amongst Insects. (Illustrated) Arnold
  46. Armstrong - The Life History of Plants and Animals - 6. Arvrtage Bakewell -
  47. (1913). Armstrong papers s Item 436, Letter to Armstrong from Thomas Piper, informing him of 4" At'the Science L eum, London, Minute paper on sale of apparatus at
  48. Astronomical Theory of the Great Ice Age - 2. E. Ray Lankester - The Elements of Bi©logy - 6, Rcam Stoker - Abraham
  49. (1905). Ayrton - Energys American, British and Japanese. (Illus) (Travers leot. )
  50. (1967). Beyond the Blaze.
  51. (1907). Birkbeck -
  52. Birkbeck - On Improvements in Artificial Illumination.
  53. (1964). Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers.
  54. (1805). Collection of the Banks Correspondence:
  55. (1905). Cruise with the Commissioners of Irish Lights. (Ilius by original photo
  56. (1904). Dictionary of British Artists.
  57. (1952). Dictionary of British Landscape Painters. London
  58. (1966). Early Public Libraries. A History of Public Libraries
  59. Early Years at the Royal Institution'.
  60. Eaydon - On the Fine Arts - 6. E. Cowper - On Ynnufacturing Art and Machinery
  61. (1909). Economic Development. (fivers lect. ) Ibx Warchter - European Commercial Federation. (Travers lect. )
  62. Educational lectures: rl
  63. Elements of Meteorology. 3rd edition, 2 vols. London 1845.
  64. (1936). En lg a d,
  65. (1959). Energy Conservation as an Example of Simultaneous Discovery.
  66. (1958). Essays in Sociological Theory. 2nd edn.
  67. (1805). Facsimile of a letter from Sir E Davy to Sir P.
  68. (1913). Fb Pam 171 Report of the General committee,
  69. (1912). fl glich Fblk Sin&ore and Their Songs. (Illuo) John Gerstang - The Hittites: Progrese and Receareh. (Illus) Percy atzgerald - The First Printed Book (Illue) Leon Gaeter - Modern Methode of Artificial Illumination. (Illuzr) 407. hectares, 1890 -
  70. for the Shapin, S. 'The Pottery Philosophical Society, 1819-1835: and examination of the Cultural Uses of Provincial Science. ' Science Studies.
  71. Frederic Harrison - The French Revolution and the Various Histories of it. W. Buggins - The Photogrºphic Spectra of
  72. (1890). Geaussant - Musical Education. Seymour Lucas - The Evolution of an Historical Picture. (Illus) A. Gordon Salamon - The Germination of Barley . (illus) Victor Horsley - Truth and Falsehood as to Leotric Currents in the
  73. (1957). George Birbeck, pioneer of adult education.
  74. (1970). Georgian London.
  75. Haddon - The Decorative Art of Primitive Peoples.
  76. (1958). Henry Edward Armstrong (1848-1937): the
  77. Hodgson - The Life and 'orks of Hogarth. Carl Armbruster - The deice].
  78. Huxley - Some Recent Additions to Our Knowledg^o of th4
  79. Huxley -'The Elemente of Psychology.
  80. (1825). Illustrations of the Public Buildings of London.
  81. Institution: Various Circulars, Letters, cards of admission, etc., relating to the Surrey Institution.
  82. Isvison - On Phr$nology - 4" A. Marcel - On the Teaching of Living Languages.
  83. It was published at irregular intervals in the years 1871
  84. Lacks reports for 1916,1918,1920,1922,1923,1926.
  85. (1903). lb Pam 632 Report to the proprietors from the board of mtinA ers on revised schemes for l. reconstruotion, or 2. rebuilding.
  86. Lecture on the progress of physical science since the opening of the London Institution. (printed but not published) London,
  87. lectures were given by Chapman on water analysis, ý. 359" Lea ea, 1650 - 1870 (cont'd) 1867-- 68 (cont? ) Soirees: DL-c. 18 -
  88. (1904). library committee,
  89. List of lectur@s and soirees. 1840 -1850L 81 4" T. 'Rymer Jones - On the organisation and habits of the higher
  90. (1906). List of proprietors and subscribers of the R. I., 1799-Managers' Minutes Vol. 1. Friday Evening tbetings. 1866 - 1939" File on controversy over Davy- radsy laboratory Accounts,
  91. Loclwer - The Recent Dclipse. (Illus) Sydney J. Hickson - Sedentary Animals. (Illur by diagrams) Hugh Robert Mill - the Story of the Antarotio. (Il1us) William Carruthers - The Plant Friends and Foes of , the
  92. (1957). London (The Buildings of England) Vol. I. The Cities of London and Westminster.
  93. (1907). London Past and Present,
  94. Marquis di Spine to - Oa the Origins of Idolatry -
  95. (1912). meetini of proprietors, summoned for 28 October 1852, SL50/2 Report of the board of mimet, statement of acc nntr n+ -d iisto of office=, proprietors and lit _-gubncriborn Nos.
  96. (1955). Members of Parliament,
  97. (1894). Memorials of Old Haileybury College.
  98. (1912). mery - Company Promoters in Theory
  99. Moseley - Hydroid Corals - Their Structure and Pedigree. Evening lectures: W. Crookes - Experimental Demonstration of Recent researches in Radiant Matter. Walter Severn - The Art of Sketching from Nature, practically
  100. Mudie's Circulating Library and the Victorian Novel.
  101. nndo - On Vegetable Chemistry -
  102. nos. 12/121/2 1912-1937 Transfer of Institution buildings by Act of 1912 to the Commissioners of Works. Subsequent works and maintenance.
  103. Of Lamb's Conduit St. No
  104. (1912). Old London: 1)Old Houses; 2) Old Churches;
  105. On 'the-Varieties of Subet noes used as Food by the Human Race.
  106. On anufactures and Construction (On the Manufacture of Hempden and Wire Rope) - 1. (This should have been a course of 4 lectures, but Cowper died before its completion. Lectures by Rrayley and Hawkins were substituted.
  107. On Astronomy -
  108. On Certain Microscopic Or nnisu, their Genesis and t'lork in the World.
  109. On Chemistry as connected with the Arts
  110. On Elementary Botany, with special reference to the classification of plants -
  111. On Gravitation and the Tides -
  112. On His Ascents in a Balloon to a Greater Elevation. than had been previously attained. 1863-- 64.
  113. On Igneous Meteors and Meteorites
  114. On Involuntary Movements Resulting from Mental Stites -
  115. On Pa7. aenntelogy (Swiney's Lectures, 1st course)- 12. H. Wilkin - On Perspective and Drawing - 4. G. Harvey - Ch North America (History, resources, scenery, north of Virginia, including Canada)
  116. On Palaeontology (Swiney Lectures, 2nd course) - 12 E. Trotmcn - On the History of Architecture -
  117. On Recent Discoveries Relating to the Cuneiform Inscriptions in Assyria and Babylonia. (A oerieo of 1856 57.
  118. On the Advant4gs of Art Education.
  119. On the Antiquities of the Ancient World -
  120. (1867). On the Blacas Collection, recently purchased by the government for the British Museum* Mar. 20 - Robin Allen - On Flags and Banners, their History, Heraldgy and Uses.
  121. On the Characteristic Properties of Certain Elements, Chiefly The Metals - 20 LW.
  122. (1846). On the Correlation of Physical Forces. 6th edition,
  123. On the Fffeots of the Total Eclipse of the Sun
  124. On the First Principles of Biology -
  125. On the Literary Results of the Ezpedition to E apt under Buonaparte.
  126. (1868). On the Nature of the Sun, as Recently Investigated by Astronomers and Spectroscopists and on the Phenomena Attending its Total Eclipse on 18th Aug.
  127. On the Nutritive and. Mechanical Punctiona - 6. 342" Lectures,
  128. On the Physical Pecularities of the Cape of
  129. On the Shapes of Leaves
  130. On the Source of Power which is Utilised in the Practical Application of Voltaic
  131. On the Stereoscope and Binocular Perspective and Their Application to Photography, Drawing and Painting.
  132. Original of the Royal Institution'
  133. (1912). Outposts of =the British linpiro. (111u8) F. Martin-Duncan - Romance of Animal, Life iii the Sea. ) Illus., by unique elides of the oreaturea Romance of Animal Life on Land,
  134. Pam 1715 Proceedings gs of an adjourned moo tine of a j: gnern. l court -of of ýroprietora of the London Institution,
  135. Pam 1716. Report of the committee appointed to investi ate the affairs of the Institution,
  136. Pam 1717 Preliminary report of the committee of prorrietox ,
  137. Pam 1718 Proprietors I cormdttee, 1865: supplement to nrelimin report. 1861* Pam 1719 Tb port by the committee of mann , ment to the special . ne a. 1
  138. Pam 7175 Selected notices of lectures delivered at the Institution during the winter of 1876
  139. Partington -A Course of 8 Lectures to illustrate the Progress of Science to Young People. * *PL-ntioned
  140. Patronage, and the Politics of Science. The founding of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. '
  141. Pearce - The Songs of Schubert and Schumarnn. (Ilxus) Roger E. Fry - The Art of Piero di Cosimo. (Illus) 1203--nnilio Olsson
  142. Personal Impressions of America. "
  143. Plan and bye-laws of the Institution, with a lip t of the nronrietors and life-subscriber. London, printed by Phillips,
  144. Power of Modifying External Nature. G: Rolleston - The Fauna and Flora of Prehistoric Periods. E. Beckett - The Leaning and Origin of Laws of Nature.
  145. (1907). Present in an Old Firm, (Joseph Travers
  146. (1974). Prosopography as a Research Tool
  147. (1970). Prospectus of the Polytechnic of Central London,
  148. (1900). Random Recollections of an Old
  149. (1900). Recently Discovered Gases of the Atmosphere. (I11us) V1. Benham - St. Alban'a Abbey. 1899 -
  150. Relation of Ants to
  151. (1908). Report of the Committee appointed-by the Lords Comntissi n rs of-His Mi, s 's Treasury to consider the Organisation of Oriental Studies-in _London.
  152. (1905). Reports for 1886 and 1837 do not include lists of proprietors and life-subscribers; 1912 is marked 'official copy' and is corrected in ms.
  153. (1910). Rerort of the Royal. Commission On University Fciuoation in London. 5 vols.
  154. (1878). Roll of the Royal College of Physicians.
  155. Russell Institution: A Catalogue of the Library of the Russell Institution.
  156. Sale of Inotitution property and removal of School to Bloomsbury. 12. Other Sources. Information on the dispersal of the London Institution library from the librarians of:
  157. (1974). Science in the City: the London Institution, 1819-1840. '
  158. (1968). Scientific London. London, 1874 (Cass reprint,
  159. (1961). Sir William Robert Grove and the Origins of the Fuel Cell.
  160. Skertchly - The Scientific Study of Man - 6. I. The Animal -
  161. (1813). SL50/2 A catalogue of the library. with supplement.
  162. (1928). Society of Bookmen, Report of the Commercial Circulating Libraries Sub-Committee.
  163. Sparrow Simpson - The Anthem. Robert Kerr.
  164. Spottiswoode - The Polarization of
  165. Spurzheim - On Phrenology -
  166. (1973). Tale of Disputed Priorities. ' Gold Bulletin.
  167. (1912). The 4wic of India. (Illun
  168. (1971). The Anatomy of a Scientific Institution.
  169. (1912). The Art of Aviation.. (lantern slides
  170. (1931). The Bank of England from
  171. The Bank of FhRland from Within; Annual Biography
  172. (1958). The Banks Letters.
  173. (1964). The City of London College, An Historical Account of the College from its Foundation to the Present Day.
  174. The Complete Peerage of England,
  175. (1951). The Correspondence of David Scott, Director and Chairman of the East India Company, relating to Indian Affairs,
  176. (1907). The Earl of Lytton - Leaders of Men. George Simonds Boulder - Across the Andes of Peru.
  177. The Early History of Gold Plating.
  178. The Early Years of the Royal Institution: A Re-evaluation.
  179. (1940). The East India Company.
  180. The Evolution of Reptiles. Walter Gardiner. - How Plants Protect Thews elves. Andrew Lang - The Wanderings of Puss in
  181. (1907). the Geological Society,
  182. The Geology of the Carboniferous Period and the Formation of Coal -
  183. The Gresham Repertory, 1806-1836,1905-1909. 8. At the Royal Institution, London. Lecture programtte and syllabuses.
  184. The Growth of Crystals in Rocks. Henry Power - Recent Works on Moulds
  185. (1969). The History of Photogrý ar phy. (Revised and enlarged edition)
  186. (1916). The History of the Geological Society of London.
  187. (1969). The Hunterian Society,
  188. (1816). The Inaugural Oration, spoken on the 4th day of November 1815, at the ceremony of laying the first-stone of the London Institution, for the diffusion of Science and Literature.
  189. (1963). The Lunar Society of
  190. (1740). The Mathematical Practitioners of Hanoverian England,
  191. The Most Celebrated Composers for the Piano since 1830.
  192. (1884). The Musical Dramas of Richard Wagner (illustrated). 377" Lectures.
  193. The Present and Future, of Poetry in England. 1894 - 95. Hubert Herkomer - Sight
  194. (1950). The Quakers In Science and Industry.
  195. the Radiometer. 369. lectures, 1877 - 78 (cont'd)
  196. (1760). The Reign of George I,
  197. The Relation of the Artist to his
  198. (1948). The Royal Institution. Revised edn.
  199. The Royal Society of Arts,
  200. (1967). The School of Oriental and African Studies,
  201. (1922). The Soul's Dispensary: the Early Years of the London Library. ' The Nineteenth Century and After.
  202. The winey Lectures were endowed by George Swaney (1786? - 1844 a notable eccentric. He left £5,000 for the delivery of lectures on geology, the lectures to be an
  203. The Women of Ancient Greece. (Illustrated) B. Bowdler Sharpe - Birds, Ancient and Modern. (Illustrated) Carl Armbruster - Two Remarkable Sorte Vriters. (Illustrated)
  204. (1971). Thomas Cubitt,
  205. Tide: The Romance of Modern Science
  206. Transformations of Insects. 1866 - 67. Fleeming Jenkin - On the Atlantic Telegraph Cables and on the Prospects of Electric Telegraphy
  207. Ty1or - The Philosophy of
  208. utaon imiDrovements required in the administration of the Institution,
  209. William Thomas Brande, Leather Expert. '
  210. (1826). with the rules and regulations for the government of the Institution.
  211. Year Amotmt paid To whom paid 1857-8
  212. Year Amount paid To whom paid 1877-8
  213. (1895). Year Amount paid To whom Year Amount paid paid 1886-7 £235
  214. ymott Tidy - What is a Poison? Ernst Pauer - Originality in Music (illustrated) Norman Lockger - On the Orientation of Some Ancient temples. 1891 -
  215. (1911). Zhe London Institution(Trannfer)

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.