pupils. There are also on the foundation seven middle schools, called grammar schools, four for girls and three for boys, situated in different parts of the city, and containing about 1900 pupils altogether. The schools have numerous scholarships tenable at the schools as well as exhibitions to the universities and other places of higher education. Queen’s College, founded in 1828 as a school of medicine, subsequently embraced other subjects, though in 1882 only the medical and theological departments were maintained. In 1882 a large part of the scientific teaching, hitherto done by special professors in Queen’s College, was taken over by Mason College, and in 1892 the whole medical department was removed to the same institution under an order from the court of chancery. This change helped to advance the Birmingham medical school to a position of high repute. The theological students (Church of England) of Queen’s College are few. The idea of developing Queen’s College into a university had long existed. But it was destined to be realized in connexion with Mason College, founded by Sir Josiah Mason in 1870. Subsequent deeds (1874 and 1881) added Greek and Latin to the practical, mechanical and artistic curriculum of the original foundation, and provided that instruction may be given in all such other subjects as the trustees may from time to time judge necessary, while once in every fifteen years the provisions of the deed may be varied to meet changing needs—theology only being definitely excluded. In 1897 a new act was passed at the instance of the trustees, creating a court of 180 members, and removing University. the theological restriction. A measure of popular control is given through the appointment by the city council of five out of the eleven trustees. In 1898 a public meeting carried a resolution in favour of creating a university. It was estimated that a quarter of a million was needed to endow and equip a university on the scale proposed. Including £50,000 offered by Mr Andrew Carnegie, an equal amount from an anonymous donor, and the rest from local subscribers, in the autumn of 1899, £325,000 had been subscribed, and the privy council was at once petitioned for a charter, which was granted. The draft provided for the incorporation of the university of Birmingham with faculties of science, arts, medicine and commerce, with power to grant degrees, and for its government by a court of governors (of which women may be members), a council and a senate. Mason College was merged in the university. The faculty of commerce constitutes a distinctive feature in the scheme of the university, the object being to bring its teaching into close touch with the industrial life of the city, the district and the kingdom. In 1905 Sir Edward Elgar (who resigned in 1908) became the first occupant of a chair of music, founded owing to the liberality of Mr Richard Peyton. From the same year great strides were made in the development of the scientific departments of the university. A site at Edgbaston was given by Lord Calthorpe, and the erection of a complete and costly set of buildings was undertaken.
The Municipal School of Art was formed by the transference to the corporation in 1885 of the then existing school of art and the society of arts, and by the erection of the building in Margaret Street, the site having already been given and a portion of the cost provided by private donors. There are one central school and two branch schools. Evening classes are also held in some of the provided schools. The Midland Institute, the building of which was founded in 1855, and enlarged subsequently, includes a general literary and an industrial department. A marked development took place in 1885, when, fresh room having been provided by the removal of the school of art hitherto held in the building, the industrial department was greatly enlarged, resulting in the creation of one of the best metallurgical schools in the kingdom. The Municipal Technical School was established in 1893 in the building of the Midland Institute, and in 1895 was housed in a fine building of its own, in Suffolk Street, whither the whole of the scientific teaching of the institute was transferred. It contains metallurgical and engineering workshops and laboratories, lecture theatres for the teaching of chemistry and physics, a women’s department, and rooms for the teaching of machine drawing and building construction. Among other educational foundations may be mentioned a number of industrial schools, reformatories and private schools of a good class.
The principal libraries are the Birmingham library, founded in 1798 by Dr Priestley, in a modern building, the Central free library, and other free libraries in different parts of the city, each with a lending department and a reading room.
Charities.—The general hospital, the foundation of Dr Ash, an eminent local physician, was opened in 1779. The old building was replaced in 1897 by a splendid new one in St Mary’s Square, costing £206,000. The Queen’s hospital, Bath Row, the other large hospital of the town, was founded in 1840 by W. Sands Cox, F.R.S., an eminent local surgeon, who also founded the Queen’s College as a medical school. The general dispensary, the officers of which visit patients at their own homes, relieves about 8000 yearly. The children’s hospital (free) established in 1864 by Dr Heslop, has two establishments—for out-patients (a handsome Gothic building) in Steelhouse Lane, and an in-patient department in Broad Street. There is also a women’s hospital (free) for the special diseases of women; a lying-in charity; special hospitals for diseases of the eye, the ear, bodily deformities, and the teeth; and a homoeopathic hospital. The parish of Birmingham maintains a large infirmary at the workhouse (Birmingham Heath), and a dispensary for out-patients in Paradise Street. The majority of the hospitals and dispensaries are free. Nearly all these medical charities depend upon subscriptions, donations, legacies and income from invested property. There are two public organizations for aiding the charities, both of which were begun in Birmingham. One is a simultaneous collection in October in churches and chapels, on the Sunday called Hospital Sunday, established in 1859; the other is the Saturday Hospital collection, made by the work-people in March, which was established in 1873. A musical festival is held triennially in aid of the general hospital. There is a sanatorium at Blackwell, near the Lickey Hill, 10 m. south of Birmingham, common to all the hospitals. Amongst the non-medical charities the principal are the blind institution and the deaf and dumb asylum, both at Edgbaston; and Sir Josiah Mason’s orphanage at Erdington. There are also in the town numerous almhouses for aged persons, the chief of which are Lench’s Trust, the James Charities, and the Licensed Victuallers’ asylum. Besides the general benefit societies, such as the Oddfellows’, Foresters’, &c., which are strongly supported in Birmingham, the work-people have numerous clubs of a charitable kind, and there are several important local provident societies of a general character, with many thousand members.
Commerce.—From an early period Birmingham has been a seat of manufactures in metal. Hutton, the historian of the town, claims for it Saxon or even British antiquity in this respect, but without foundation. The first direct mention of Birmingham trades is to be found in Leland’s Itinerary (1538). He writes:—“I came through a pretty street as ever I entered into Bermingham towne. This street, as I remember, is called Dirtey [Deritend]. In it dwell smiths and cutlers. There be many smithes in the towne that use to make knives and all manner of cutlery tooles, and many lorimers that make bittes, and a great many naylors, so that a great part of the towne is maintained by smithes, who have their iron and sea-cole out of Staffordshire.” The cutlers no longer exist, this trade having gone to Sheffield; but the smiths remain, and the heavier cutting tools are still largely made here. The wide importance of Birmingham as a centre of manufactures began towards the close of the 17th century, one great source of it being the absolute freedom of the town, there being no gilds, companies or restrictions of any kind; besides which the easy access to cheap coal and iron indirectly helped the development. It is remarkable that two important trades, now located elsewhere, were first established here. Steel was made in Birmingham until 1797, but then ceased to be so for about seventy years, when an experiment in steel-making was made by a single firm. Cotton-spinning was begun in Birmingham by John Wyatt, Lewis Paul and Thomas Warren as early as 1730; but the speculation was