Wednesday, January 7, 2015


The new Principal of King's College London, Anglo-Aussie Ed Byrne, will have to use all the understanding of a neuro-scientist and the persuasion of a poet if he's to get his organisational rebranding through.

He wants to drop "College" from everyday use, saying "King's London" will be the 'promotional name' in future, though degrees and legal documents will still carry the full title. The furore following his announcement, on December 16, is so far unabated, and Ed has offered two 'fora' (quaint, eh ?) to staff and students next Tuesday, to let off steam.

Looking back on his video message on arrival in August, he was already eschewing 'college' then Indeed he prefers to think of his new home as a stand-alone unversity, with himself as Vice-Chancellor.

Let's hope things don't go too badly for Ed next week. There was a fiery start to King's College. The Duke of Wellington chaired the public meeting which launched King's in June 1828. Early in 1829 the Earl of Winchilsea publicly challenged Wellington about his simultaneous support for the Anglican King's College and the Roman Catholic Relief Act. The result was a duel in Battersea Fields on 21 March. Shots were fired but no-one was hurt. There are fuller contemporary reports from the Sussex Advertiser and the Huntingdon, Bedford and Peterborough Gazette in the British Library's newspaper archive.

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