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Timeline featuring a selection of key dates in the University history

1557 Will of Bishop Robert Reid.
1580 Bequest of Clement Litill's Library.
1582 Charter from James VI.
1583 Opening of the University
1620 Separation of posts of Principal and Professor of Divinity.
1626 William Drummond of Hawthornden donates books to Library.
1639 Bartilmo Somerville endows Chair of Divinity (first major private benefactor)
1665 Rectorship transferred to Lord Provost of Edinburgh
1670 Creation of Edinburgh Botanic Garden
1690 Purge of Episcopalian and Jacobite Staff.
1690 Gilbert Rule appointed Principal.
1703 William Carstares appointed Principal.
1704 Seizure of College Records by Town Council.
1707 Foundation of Faculty of Law.
1708 End of Regenting System.
1708 Foundation of Faculty of Arts.
1713 Foundation of Chair of Chemistry.
1726 Foundation of Faculty of Medicine.
1745 Classes suspended as the Jacobites march on city.
1745 David Hume turned down for Chair of Moral Philosophy.
1749 First American Graduate (John Moultrie).
1760 Foundation of Chair of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres.
1760 Foundation of Trustees' Drawing Academy (forerunner of Edinburgh College of Art)
1762 William Robertson appointed Principal.
1787 Theft of College Mace, possibly by Deacon Brodie
1789 Laying of Foundation Stone of Old College.
1826 Visitation of the University by Royal Commission
1843 Resignation of Thomas Chalmers, Professor of Divinity.
1846 Foundation of New College.
1847 Free Churchman Charles MacDouall refused as Professor of Hebrew on religious grounds.
1847 James Young Simpson discovers anaesthetic use of chloroform in childbirth.
1848 Free Church of Scotland Normal and Sessional School opens (forerunner of Moray House).
1858 Universities (Scotland) Act.
1859 Layman Sir David Brewster appointed Principal.
1859 First Meeting of General Council.
1859 First Election of Rector by Student Body (Gladstone).
1859 First Meeting of University Court.
1859 Appointment of Curators of Patronage.
1859 Building of Reid Concert Hall.
1868 Foundation of Edinburgh Ladies Education Association.
1868 Foundation of Baxter Chair of Engineering.
1868 Lyon Playfair elected first University MP.
1878 David Laing bequests his manuscript collection to the University Library.
1884 Tercentenary Festival.
1884 Opening of New Medical School.
1884 First Students' Representative Council elected.
1887 Foundation of University Hall.
1887 First Publication of the 'Student'.
1889 Opening of University Union (for men)
1893 First female graduates.
1893 Foundation of Faculty of Science.
1894 Foundation of Faculty of Music.
1897 Opening of McEwan Hall.
1897 Opening of Masson Hall (women's hall of residence)
1901 Andrew Carnegie donates 10,000,000 dollars to the Universities of Scotland.
1901 Foundation of Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History and Palaeography.
1914-1918 Nearly 8,000 Edinburgh students or graduates serve in First World War.
1914 Lord Kitchener elected Rector.
1915 First Female Senior President of Students' Representative Council (Agnes Cunningham).
1916 Women finally admitted to Faculty of Medicine.
1920 Laying of foundation stone at Science Campus at King's Buildings.
1924 Student Eric Liddell wins 400 metres at Paris Olympics.
1924 Foundation of University of Edinburgh Graduates' Association.
1924 Percentage of women students reaches peace time peak of 31%.
1932 Merger of United Free Church College with Faculty of Divinity.
1932 First 'non-political' rectorial election.
1932 First Charities Week.
1936 Refugee Max Born appointed to Chair of Natural Philosophy.
1936 Sir Herbert Grierson elected Rector.
1941 Foundation of Polish School of Medicine.
1948 Edinburgh Dental School merges with Faculty of Medicine.
1948 Alastair Sim elected first celebrity Rector.
1951 Royal (Dick) Veterinary College integrated into University.
1951 Sir Alexander Fleming elected Rector.
1958 Appointment of first woman Professor (Elizabeth Wiskemann).
1963 Foundation of Faculty of Social Sciences.
1966 Construction of James Clerk Maxwell Building.
1967 Foundation of Chair of Computer Science.
1968 Malcolm Muggeridge resigns as Rector.
1972 Gordon Brown elected Rector.
1973 Foundation of Edinburgh University Students' Association.
1980 Brenda Moon appointed first woman University Librarian.
1988 Muriel Gray elected first woman Rector.
1996 Cloning of Dolly the Sheep at Roslin Institute.
1998 Merger with Moray House Institute of Education.
2002 Reconstitution of Faculties into Colleges.
2002 Opening of new Medical School at Little France.
2002 School of Informatics badly damaged by fire.
2011 Merger with Edinburgh College of Art.
2011 Opening of Easter Bush Veterinary Campus.
2013 Peter Higgs awarded Nobel Prize in Physics.
Book stamp and seal of Clement Litill
Signatories to the 'Sponsio' in the First Laureation Album
Class card of Stephen Pellet, for classes in Botany by John Hope
Class card issued to Charles Darwin (1820s)
Portrait photograph of Sir David Brewster
Cricket team (1881)
Portrait photograph of Sir Roderick Impey Murchison who endowed the Chair of Geology
Clerk Ranken in a Chemistry laboratory
Staff and students at the Polish School of Medicine (1940s)