Victorian London - Education - Professional / Technical Colleges - Royal College of Physicians

The College of Physicians, Pall-mall, East.-The present elegant stone edifice was erected from designs by Sir R. Smirke. The portico is formed by six columns of the Ionic order, and leads to the spacious hall, the roof of which is supported by fluted Doric pillars, each consisting of a single block of stone. On the left is the dining-room, extending the whole depth of the building; it contains numerous portraits, amongst which are those of Henry VIII., Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Hans Sloane, &c. Time floor and walls are of polished wood, and the chimney slabs of black marble. From the Hall, a stone stair-case, with a chaste bronze railing capped with mahogany, leads to the library. This noble room is surrounded by a gallery, and contains a good collection of books and anatomical preparations. The wainscoting, which is curiously carved, was brought from the old building: beyond this apartment is a reading-room. The theatre is small, but neat: it contains some portraits, and a picture representing Mr. Hunter delivering a lecture to the members of the college. The collection of materia medica belonging to the college is very extensive.

Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to it Sights, 1844

COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS (ROYAL), in PALL MALL EAST, corner of TRAFALGAR SQUARE. Built by Sir Robert Smirke at a cost of 30,000l., and opened with a Latin oration by Sir Henry Halford, June 25th, 1825. The College was founded by Linacre, physician to Henry VIII.
... Mode of Admission.- Order from a fellow. Almost every physician of eminence in London is a fellow.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

The ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS, Pall Mall East, corner of Trafalgar Square, built by Sir Robert Smirke in 1825, at a cost of 30,0001., and opened on the 25th of June, with an inaugural oration in Latin by Sir Henry Halford, Bart., M.P. The College was founded by Dr. Linacre, physician to Henry VIII., and incorporated in 1518. The meetings were first held at Dr. Linacre's house, 5 Knightrider Street, Doctors' Commons; removed to Amen Corner; thence to Wren's College, Warwick Lane; and finally, to the present commodious building.
Objects of Interest: Busts of Dr. Sydenham, by Wilton; Mend, Roubiliac; Harvey, Scheemakers; Babington, Behnes; and Dr. Baillie, Sir Henry Halford, and George IV., Chantrey. Portraits of Henry VIII. and Cardinal Wolsey; Sir Theodore Mayence, the learned attendant on James I. and Charles I.; Sir Edmund King; Sir Peter Lely, who ventured, on his own responsibility, to bleed Charles II. in a fit; Sir Thomas Browne, the erudite corrector of " Vulgar Errors," and the author of the "Religio Medici ;" Harvey, by Jansen; Radcliffe, by Kneller; three of Dr. Sydenham, one by Mary Beale; Dr. Friend; Dr. Mead; two of William Hunter, one by Zoffany; and Dr. Heberden; Sir W. Beechey; Warren, by Gainsborough; Sir Samuel Garth, author of the poem of "The Dispensary," by Kneller; and Sir Hans Sloane, by Richardson; and Sir Richard Bright. Here, too, is preserved the gold-headed cane which was made use of by Dr. Radcliffe (Queen Mary II's physician), and transmitted successively to Drs. Mead, Askew, Pitcairn, and Baillie. The widow of the latter presented it to the College.
    Admission to view the College by order from a Fellow, that is, from almost every physician of eminence in London.

Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers, 1865