Appointment of William Carstares as Principal of Edinburgh University, 1703
The appointment of William Carstares (1649-1715) as Principal of Edinburgh University in 1703 initiated a programme of reforms designed to remodel the 'Tounis College' in the image of Dutch universities such as Leiden. This laid the foundation for Edinburgh to develop into one of the major universities of Enlightenment Europe.
Under Carstares, the Regenting System, was abolished in favour of a professorial system that assigned each of the subjects on the curriculum to a single professor. The Faculties of Arts and Law were constituted, and new chairs were established in Public Law, Civil Law, Anatomy, and Chemistry.
Key Events of Carstares's Principalship
- Seizure of College Records by Town Council, 1704
- Foundation of Faculty of Law, 1707
- End of Regenting System, 1708
- Foundation of Faculty of Arts, 1708