Bedford College (London)

Bedford College (London)

Bedford College (London)

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Bedford College was founded in London in 1849 as a higher education college for the education of women. It was the first institution of its type for women in the United Kingdom. In 1900, the college became a constituent school of the University of London. It played a leading role in the advancement of women in higher education, and also in public life in general. The college became fully coeducational in the 1960s. In 1985, Bedford College merged with another of the University of London's colleges – Royal Holloway College. The merged institution was named Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (RHBNC) currently known as Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL).

History of Bedford College

The college was founded by Elizabeth Jesser Reid (née Sturch), a social reformer and anti-slavery activist who had been left a private income by her late husband, Dr. John Reid, which she used to patronise various philanthropic causes. Mrs. Reid and her circle of well-educated friends were firm believers in the need for improving education for women. In 1849, she leased a house at 47 Bedford Square in the Bloomsbury area of London, and opened the Ladies College in Bedford Square. The intention was to provide a liberal and non-sectarian education for women, something no other institution in the United Kingdom provided at the time. Reid placed £1,500 (GBP) with three male trustees, and persuaded a number of her friends to serve on the management committees and act as teaching...
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