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The Edinburgh University owes its foundation to the Toirn
Council, who in 1561 resolved to apply the ancient ecclesi-
astical revenues in part to the establishment of " colleges
for learning and the upbringing of youth." This object was
indirectly promoted by a bequest of 8,000 merits left by Robert
Bead, Bishop of Orkney, for the foundation of a college m
Edinburgh, and on the strength of this benefaction, which
was not paid tor some years, the magistrates of the city in
1566 iJUTchased part of the ground on which the University
now stands,which was then beyond the limits of the city. Here
stood the house called "Kirk 0' Field," where Darnley, the
husband of Queen Mary, was murdered in 1567. Some of
the church property confiscated at the Reformation was as-
signed for the support of the proposed University, and m
the year 1579 a collection of books was bequeathed to it by
Mr. Clement Littil, as a foundation for a library. The building
was beo-un in 1583, a charter of erection having been granted
by James VI., 14th April, 1582, and in 1583 the college was
opened for the reception of students, although at first with
only one class and one regent or professor. In 1617 James
honoured the establishment by calling it " The College of
King James VI." In 1619 Sir William Nisbet, provost of
Edinburgh, gave jTi, 000 Scots {£83 6s. 8d. sterling) towards
the maintenance of a professor of divinity. An Act of the
Scottish Parhament in 1621 confirmed its privileges, and
placed it on the same footing as other universities. The
Protector Cromwell endowed the University with an annuity
of ;£2oo sterling. William III. also bestowed on it ;£3oo
a year ; but part of this grant was afterwards withdrawn by
Queen- Anne. By an Act of Parliament passed in 1858, for
the regulation of Scotch universities, a general Council of
the University of Edinburgh has been constituted, consist-
ing of the principal, professors, graduates and persons who,
before August, 1861, satisfied the University Commissioners
of their having completed a certain course of attendance at
the University. The ailairs of the University are now im-
mediately under the care of the Senatus Academicus and
tJie University Court, constituted at the same time. The
first-named body, composed of the principal and pro-
fessors, administers the revenue and discipline ; the second
body, consisting of the rector, principal, the Lord Provost
of Edinburgh and five assessors, representing other govern-
ing bodies, revise the decisions of the Senatus and attend
to the internal affairs of the University. The General Council
has the right of electing a chancellor, who holds office for
life ; and on the 28th October, 1859, Lord Brougham, an
alumnus of the University, was elected its first chancellor.
The rector is elected by the matriculated students, but holds
office only for three years. The Act of 1858 took from the
Town Council of Edinburgh not only the government of the
University but the patronage of its chairs, transferring the
latter to seven curators, three of whom are nominated by
the University Court and four by the Town Council. The
number of professors is now 41 , classified into the six faculties
of divinity, law, medicine, arts, science and music. The school
of medicine in this University, which has since risen to so
much eminence, was first founded in 1721. Some of the
present professors in the faculty of medicine are among the
most distinguished men in Europe, and the University of
Edinburgh has in former times had men of equal eminence,
not only in the faculty of medicine, but in other faculties, of
whom it may be enough to mention Dugald Stewart, Sir
William Hamilton, and Dr. Chalmers. The students are
not obliged to adopt any particular mode of living or of
dress. None of them Uve within the walls of the college, as
at Oxford and Cambridge. The winter session begins
about the middle of October and terminates about the end
of the first week in April. The summer session extends
over the months of May, June and July. The present
building was begun in 1789, from the designs of Mr. Robert
Adam, architect, and is in the Classic style ; the grouud
storey is rusticated with large semicircular headed win-
dows, the upper storey is relieved by pilasters and finished
with a balustrading. A handsome portico, supported by
four stone columns of the Doric order, 26 feet high, forms
the chief entrance. The east and west sides are 25s feet
in length, and the south and north 356 feet. The design
of part of the interior quadrangle was also by Adam,
including the colonnaded quadrants at each angle, but the
side facades were modified by Mr. Playfair ; the cupola was
added from plans by Sir R. Rowland Anderson. Extensive
additional buildings have been constructed inTeviotrow,
in nroximity to the other buildings and to the Royal Infirm-
ary, and in these the faculty of medicine is provided with
laboratories and class rooms. The music class room in
Park place was erected in i860, and the organ therein is of
European celebrity, and the Museum contains a umque
collection of musical instruments. . _ ^ . ,
During the year 1896 the University Court received
^20,000 under a bequest of the Earl of Moray, for the pro-
motion of original research.
The University Hall, a stone structure on the model of
a Greek theatre, was erected and presented to the Uni-
versity by William McEwan esq. m.p. at a cost of
/7o 000 It is a semicircular structure m the Italian style,
from the designs of Dr. R. Anderson; the masonry is ex-
tremely well finished, and the carving delicate and refined ;
the interior is arranged like a theatre and is covered by a
flattened dome, surmounted by a small gallery and turret.
The dimensions of the building are :— diameter 134 feet,
170 feet from the arc to the back of the platform recess,
and height from floor to centre light 90 feet, and it is
calculated to hold 3,000 persons. j ,u m ™
The University Natural History Museum and the Museum
of Science and Art of Scotland.-Sir Andrew Balfour, to
whom Edinburgh owes the institution of the Botanic Gardens,
was also the founder of the University Museum of Natural
History His collections, which were very extensive, were
placed, after his death, in 1694, in the hall of the college ;
and in 1697 Sir Robert Sibbald presented the college with a
great variety of curiosities, both native and exotic, but from
neglect it was almost completely destroyed. In the
last century, the Museum, under the care of the
late Professor Jameson, was enriched by various and
extensive collections, including that of M. Dufresne, of
Paris- and the collection of birds alone embraces up-
wards of 3,000 spechnens. The Museum was some tune
ago removed from the place which it formerly occupied in
the University to the Museum of Science and Art of Scot-
land a building erected behind the University, and the
foundation stone of which was laid by H.R.H. the Prmce
Consort, and it has since been completed by the erection of
the west wing, finished in 1887. This wing has on the
ground floor a fine series of mechanical models ; on the first
floor a complete ethnographical collection or specimens of
the arts and manufactures of savage races, and on the upper
floor the extensive collection of rocks, minerals and fossils
formed by the Geological Survey of Scotland. The collec-
tion of specimens illustrative of the arts— raw materials,
progress and processes of manufacture, implements, and
machmes, products &c— is probably unrivalled. It was
begun by the late Dr. George Wilson, professor of technology
in the University of Edinburgh. In the mam hall of the
building there are some fine casts of antique arclutecture,
notably one added in 1896, of a column from the mausoleum
at Halicarnassus, measuring about 40 feet in height ; there
is also a model of a great Indian gateway.
The John Usher Institute of PubUc Health, in Warrender
Park road, erected and presented to the University in June,
igo2 by Sir John Usher bart. is a building of Renaissance
character, from designs by Messrs. Leadbetter and Fairley,
architects : it contains laboratories and class rooms, and
is specially equipped for the study of bacteriology and
chemistry. , , . ,. 1
The University Library, the nucleus of which was a col-
lection of books left to "Edinburgh and the Kirk of God,
by Mr. Clement Littil, in 1580, contains about 210,000
volumes, besides several thousand MSS. Among the latter
is the remarkable assortment of historical and antiquarian
documents and manuscript volumes, bequeathed by the late
David Laing. Among other curious MSS. are the protest
of the Bohemian nobles against the burning of John Huss ;
a vellum copy of Fordun's " Scotichronicon," and a variety
of beautiful Persian and Abyssinian productions ; there is
also a remarkable Shakespeare collection. Here also is the
Dr John Rae collection of Franklin and other Arctic relics.

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