Professors of Natural Philosophy at the Universities of Aberdeen *

The Foundation, King's College Aberdeen

Bishop Elphinstone drew up a lengthy foundation document, a Papal Bull, for establishing King’s College.  It speaks in its pre-amble: 'learning is a pearl, it points the way to a wise and worthy mode of life: it opens up the way to the secret of the Universe' (“ad mundi archana cognoscenda”).  I think any physicist would buy into this vision, at least as we now interpret the words.  It seemed a good start.  The Bishop was a practical man, the Bridge of Dee we still cross was another of his initiatives, but science as we know it was quite far down on the agenda in Elphinstone's day.  Numbers of students and staff were too small to warrant separate departments; the students lived-in, the subjects studied were 'of the age': Latin, Greek (after the 1530s), Theology, Aristotle's Physics and Metaphysics, Rhetoric, Civil and Canon Law, and some Astronomy.

King's College

King's College has always been distinguished by its Imperial crown and its pre-reformation chapel


Page by

John S. Reid

Dec. 2017