First Meeting of University Court, 1859

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With the constitution of the University Court in 1859, Edinburgh University became a self-governing body.

The most significant measure of the Universities (Scotland) Act 1858 was the establishment of University Courts as the supreme governing body at all four of Scotland's universities. In Edinburgh's case, this meant that power to appoint university staff and to regulate the curriculum finally passed from the Town Council of Edinburgh to the University itself. The Court's functions would be to revise, on appeal, the acts of the Senatus Academicus, to sanction the expenditure by the Senatus of University funds and generally to undertake supervision of the professors. An Executive Commission was set up to implement the Act and ordained that it should come into force from 15 October 1859.

The University Court was to be chaired by the Rector, and to consist of the Principal, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and of Assessors appointed by the Rector, the Chancellor, the Town Council, General Council, and the Senatus Academicus. This meant that it could not be constituted until a Rector and Chancellor had been appointed by the student body and the General Council respectively. Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778-1868) was elected Chancellor at the first meeting of the General Council on 28 October 1859. William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) was elected Rector on 12 November. The University Court could now meet, consisting of:

Other University Events in 1859

See Also

Universities (Scotland) Act 1858