Header Emblem
The Royal Medical Benevolent College
in the 19th Century up to 1889

Olim meminisse iuvabit


Dropdown Menus in CSS Css3Menu.com


Epsom College was originally founded as The Royal Medical Benevolent College by John Propert and the medical profession. It was the result of a huge public campaign which received a great deal of newspaper coverage. One of the many public schools founded to give a particular group a respectable status, it was an important step for medicine in gaining recognition as a profession. Propert and his friends were equally supportive of the campaign for the Medical Act of 1858 which changed medicine into a university trained profession, controlled by its own professional body (now the British Medical Association).

John Propert's Council met first in 1851 and opened the College, by then given royal patronage as The Royal Medical Benevolent College in 1855. The school included both Foundationers paid for by the College and Exhibitioners who paid full fees. In addition there was an Asylum made up of small flats, where Pensioners were invited to live. The College was therefore not primarily a school, though the school took over the site during the 19th Century.

During the first three headmasterships, the College suffered from differing fortunes. Under Rev. Dr. Thornton it began particularly well, quickly trying to break the restraints imposed on it by Act of Parliament and its founder's wishes. Was it going to be a great public school, or a medical orphanage? Under headmaster Rev. Dr. West the initial promise was not fulfilled as, after the Great Rebellion of 1882, the College reached its nadir. However, Rev. Dr. Wood worked tirelessly to turn it round before dying unexpectedly through overwork before the task could be completed.