The Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent professional body committed to promoting and advancing the highest standards of surgical care for patients, regulating surgery, including dentistry, in England and Wales. The College is located at Lincoln's Inn Fields in London.
The origins of the College go back to the fourteenth century
with the foundation of the 'Guild of Surgeons Within the City of London'. There was dispute between the surgeons and barber surgeons until an agreement was signed between them in 1493, giving the fellowship of surgeons the power of incorporation This union was formalised further in 1540 by Henry VIII of England
between the Worshipful Company of Barbers
(incorporated 1462) and the Guild of Surgeons to form the Company of Barber-Surgeons. In 1745 the surgeons broke away from the barbers
to form the Company of Surgeons. In 1800 the Company was granted a Royal Charter
to become the Royal College of Surgeons in London. A further charter in 1843 granted it the present title of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
The original 300 Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FRCS
The correct way to address a fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons is to use the title Mr.,Miss, Mrs., or Ms. (not Dr.).
A biographical register of fellows is available on Plarr's Lives of the Fellows Online
The Company of Surgeons moved from Surgeon's Hall in Old Bailey
to a site at 41 Lincoln's Inn Fields
in 1797. Construction of the first College building, to a design by George Dance the Younger
and James Lewis, took from 1805 to 1813. Before long, a survey by Sir John Soane
uncovered structural defects. In 1833 Sir Charles Barry
won the public competition to design a replacement. The library and portico of this building are all that remain today after a German incendiary bomb hit the College in 1941.
Hunterian Museum and Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology
In 1799 the government purchased the collection of John Hunter
which they presented to the College. This formed the basis of the Hunterian Collection, which has since been supplemented by others including an Odontological
Collection and the natural history
collections of Richard Owen
. The museum displays thousands of anatomical specimens, including the Evelyn tables
and the skeleton of the "Irish giant" Charles Byrne
, and many surgical instruments