Record

LevelFile
Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)MS220/A/1/2
TitleCorrespondence 1830-1833
Extent58 items
Date1830-1833
DescriptionMost of William Sands Cox's correspondence for this period relates to the early beginnings of the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery which was founded in 1828. A large number of letters mention donations made towards the school and a number of letters also relate to the committee of the school with various people accepting becoming committee members including Sir Robert Peel, Lord Bradford and Lord Lorton. One letter is addressed to Dr E. Johnstone and one letter is addressed to Isabella Lichfield from Sands Cox. The remainder of the correspondence is addressed to Sands Cox. A letter from Mr Edwards relates to Sands Cox's personal life, the remainder of the correspondence relates to the finances and the functioning of the Birmingham School of Medicine. On 18 October 1829 the school moved premises to a site in Snow Hill, at the corner of Brittle Street at a cost of £1,100. These premises remained the headquarters of the school until 1834 when the institution was removed to a larger area in Paradise Street, opposite the Town Hall. The site at Snow Hill was swept away with the construction of the Great Western train station in 1852.

Correspondence from this period was written at a time of development and consolidation of the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery. A council and various committees were set up under the headship of Dr E. Johnstone as President and his younger brother, Dr John Johnstone. In 1830 Sands Cox succeeded Mr A. Jukes as lecturer in surgery. During this period much labour was bestowed on the museum and library which, as attested by some of this correspondence, acquired many items by gift and purchase. To ascertain the best arrangements for the museum, Cox undertook a journey to examine various collections in Europe. On his return a public appeal was launched to 'patrons and friends of science and the medical profession'. This realised £900.

Some of the letters refer to a catalogue of the museum and library. This catalogue was published in 1832. Other correspondence relates to monetary contributions or the donation of articles to be displayed. In 1832 Sands Cox wrote a book on surgery which he distributed to a number of his peers. A number of letters are from the English aristocracy including one dated 5 October 1831 by Chandos Leigh. Leigh was created 1st Baron Leigh in 1839, was a cousin of Jane Austen and contemporary of Lord Byron at Harrow School. He was descended from Thomas Leigh, Lord Mayor of London in 1558.
ArrangementArranged in chronological order.
Access StatusOpen