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Royal College of Surgeons

From Academic Kids

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent professional body committed to promoting and advancing the highest standards of surgical care for patients. It is situated at Lincoln's Inn Fields in London. It regulates surgery, including dentistry, in England and Wales.

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History

The origins of the College lie in the union in 1540 by Henry VIII of England of the Worshipful Company of Barbers (incorporated 1462) and the Guild of Surgeons to form the Company of Barber-Surgeons. In 1745 the surgeons broke away from the barbers to form the Company of Surgeons. In 1800 the Company was granted a Royal Charter to become the Royal College of Surgeons in London. A further charter in 1843 granted it the present title of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Buildings

The Company of Surgeons moved from Surgeon's Hall in Old Bailey to a site at 41 Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1797. Construction of the first College building, to a design by George Dance the Younger and James Lewis, took from 1805 to 1813. Before long, a survey by Sir John Soane uncovered structural defects. In 1833 Sir Charles Barry won the public competition to design a replacement. The library and portico of this building are all that remain today after a German incendiary bomb hit the College in 1941.

Hunterian and Wellcome Museums

In 1799 the government purchased the collection of John Hunter which they presented to the College. This formed the basis of the Hunterian Collection, which has since been supplemented by others including an Odontological Collection and the natural history collections of Richard Owen. Many specimens were destroyed by the 1941 bomb. As well as the Hunterian Museum, the College houses the Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology. The College museums reopened in February 2005 after a major refurbishment. The Hunterian Museum is open to the public without charge, but the Wellcome Museum is only open to medical practitioners and students.

There is another and better known institution called the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. It was founded out of a bequest by John Hunter's brother William.

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