Home Site Map Back

Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1831, Sunday, May 1, 1831.

Meeting at the London University

Yesterday afternoon a very numerous meeting of the proprietors of shares in this establishment was held, in one of the theatres of the University, for the purpose of inquiring generally into the dissensions which have arisen in the establishment. The meeting was specially called to consider the reasons assigned for the dismissal of Dr. Pattison from the Medical Chair. Great interest has been excited upon the subject: there were present Lord Ebrington, Lord Sandon, Col. Stanhope, Mr. Macaulay, Mr. Wilks, Col. Jones, Mr. B. Baring, &c.

Mr. Friend was called to the chair. He said he trusted that the proceedings would be conducted with good humour, as the success of the institution depended much upon the proceedings of the meeting.
Capt. Gowan said that as Mr. Pattison had published a full statement of his case, he should not address the meeting at any length; he would, however, take the liberty of reading many letters and addresses sent to Mr. Pattison by his students, speaking in high terms of the character and conduct of the students in Mr. P.'s class. After some other remarks, he concluded by moving that the meeting do confirm the resolution passed by the Council, that noting had occurred to induce the Council to impeach the general conduct and professional knowledge of Professor Pattison.

M. De Morgan seconded the motion, and contended that since Mr. Pattison had been in the University he had been much ill used. He had not conceived it possible for any body of men to have stultified themselves by agreeing to the expulsion of Mr. Pattison, after passing a resolution similar to that which formed the motion he had seconded. If more efficient measures were not strictly adopted, the University would be seriously injured. (Hear, hear.) The enemies of the institution had all fallen off—they had only enemies among themselves.
Lord Ebrington said, that having presided when the vote for the expulsion of Mr. Pattison was agreed to by the Council, he might be expected to say a few words. He had expected that the gallant mover would have ended with some other resolution, than such a weak and impotent one. He (Lord Ebrington) had thought that some motion of censure would have been proposed. It had been the opinion of the Council he had made himself unpopular, and the committee of proprietors had in their report virtually recommended the dismissal of the Professor. The Council had acted for the good of the University, and though they knew that their conduct would be turned against them, yet they had done what they could to perform justice. He should vote in favour of the motion.

Various proprietors addressed the meeting, who strongly advocated the adoption of such measures as would tend to prevent the University from falling into decay. Dr. Yates moved an adjournment sine die.
Mr. Pattison was heard at some length. He declared that he had been made the victim of a cabal.
Lord Sonds, Mr. Fearon, Dr. Thompson, Dr. Birkbeck, and others spoke, after which the original motion was withdrawn.

A motion was submitted to appoint a committee to inquire into Mr. Pattison's case. An amendment for adjournment was however, carried by a small majority.