|Description||The bulk of William Sands Cox's correspondence for this period relates to his involvement in, and his contribution towards, the formation and early beginnings of the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery, founded in 1828. |
Most, but not all, of the correspondence is addressed to Sands Cox. For example, three important letters, relating to the establishment of the school, written late April and early May 1828, are from Sands Cox to Dr John Kaye Booth, a senior member of the medical profession in Birmingham and an active supporter of the creation of the institution. These letters are written from London where Sands Cox was then lobbying both the Royal College of Surgeons and the College of Apothecaries seeking support for, and recognition of, the school and approval for appointment of lecturers and the delivery of courses. A reply to Sands Cox's request to the Royal College of Surgeons in London for recognition of the school as a School of Anatomy was received in June 1829.
Sands Cox was also in contact during this period with other developing medical schools for advice. His correspondence includes replies to his enquiries with the schools at Liverpool and Manchester and another letter, from Sheffield, is addressed to Alfred Fuller. These letters include information in some detail about the formation and structure of the respective institutions. Many of the letters received from Sands Cox from late May 1828 are from prominent individuals to whom he had sent invitations to be patrons of the new institution and appealed for financial support. Some letters also make reference to having received a prospectus for the school. Correspondents include Sir John Eardley Eardley-Wilmot, Earl Spencer, Earl of Dudley, Lord Calthorpe, Sir Robert Peel and others.
Earlier correspondence includes a personal letter sent to Sands Cox to Paris in 1825 where he was studying and a letter of testimonial from Astley Cooper later the same year, possibly written for the position of Honorary Surgeon at the General Dispensary in Birmingham which Sands Cox took up on his return from Paris. Two other letters make reference to his delivery of medical lectures in 1826-27 in Birmingham.