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Royal College of Surgeons

The Royal College of Surgeons has a long history. Its earliest origins lie in the 1540s when the Company of Barbers and the Fellowship of Surgeons joined together to form the Company of Barber-Surgeons. In the 1700s medicine became an academic discipline and surgeons demanded more recognition for their expertise. In 1745 the surgeons broke away from the barbers to form the Company of Surgeons and in 1797 bought a property in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, where the Royal College of Surgeons is still located.

By 1800 the king had granted surgeons a royal charter and the association was known as the Royal College of Surgeons in London, a name that was later changed to the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Today the Royal College performs a variety of functions, including the evaluation of clinical practice, and it also advises hospital trusts on various aspects of surgical practice.


J P Blandy and J S P Lumley, The Royal Colleges of Surgeons of England: 200 Years of History at the Millennium (Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2000)