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Birkbeck, George

Born: 1776 AD
Died: 1841 AD, at 65 years of age.

Nationality: English
Categories: Physicians


1776 - George Birkbeck was born on January 10th to a Quaker family in Settle, North Yorkshire. British physician who pioneered classes for workingmen and was the first president of Birkbeck College.

1796 - When John Anderson, professor of physics at the University of Glasgow died, he left most of his money to provide an education for the "unacademic classes".

1799 - Birkbeck became professor of natural philosophy at the college and began providing free classes for working-class men in mechanics and chemistry.

1804 - Birkbeck became a physician in London.

1821 - Led the formation of the first Mechanics' Institute in Glasgow.

1823-1824 - He was the founder and first president of the London Mechanics' or Birkbeck Institute, the first in the UK, which developed into Birkbeck College, a constituent college of London University.

         - He helped create the first chemistry laboratory for undergraduates at University College London.

1841 - George Birkbeck died on December 1st and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London.

1907-1920 - The institution was renamed Birkbeck College and was recognized as a school of the University of London for evening and part-time students.


Page last updated: 3:21pm, 08th Aug '07