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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury and the Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury People

What is the Bloomsbury Project?

The Leverhulme-funded UCL Bloomsbury Project was established to investigate 19th-century Bloomsbury’s development from swampy rubbish-dump to centre of intellectual life

Led by Professor Rosemary Ashton, with Dr Deborah Colville as Researcher, the Project has traced the origins, Bloomsbury locations, and reforming significance of hundreds of progressive and innovative institutions

Many of the extensive archival resources relating to these institutions have also been identified and examined by the Project, and Bloomsbury’s developing streets and squares have been mapped and described

This website is a gateway to the information gathered and edited by Project members during the Project’s lifetime, 1 October 2007–30 April 2011, with the co-operation of Bloomsbury’s institutions, societies, and local residents

James Loch (1780–1855)

a summary of his Bloomsbury connections

He was a lawyer and estate commissioner for the Dukes of Sutherland and of Bedford

He was one of many Scots involved in the founding and organising of the University of London (later University College London) from 1825

A friend of Henry Brougham and of the Warden of the University, Leonard Horner, and a member with them of the Edinburgh Speculative Society in the early years of the nineteenth century, Loch was known as ‘Loch the infallible’ for the sound advice he gave to his clients (David Spring, The English Landed Estate in the Nineteenth Century: Its Administration, 1963)

Loch, who lived in Bloomsbury Square in the 1820s, was elected to the Council of the University in February 1828; he reported back to Leonard Horner on progress during the early weeks of the institution’s very first term in autumn 1828, when Horner was ill and recuperating in Brighton

In October and November 1828, just as the new University was opening its doors to students, Loch sent out letters to a number of prominent non-radical people asking for subscriptions, now that the University was actually in existence

He received polite refusals from Earl Grey and Robert Peel, among others, and an intemperate reply from Henry Drummond, the extremely rich banker and millennarian supporter of Edward Irving (who after Irving’s death founded and donated the money to build the Catholic Apostolic Church in Gordon Square)

Drummond wrote to Loch: “My dear Sir, There is no reason whatever why you should not apply to any body you please to support the London University; but you could not have made trial upon a worse subject than me…Your brother Council-man Mr Macaulay, & J. Smith & Ld Auckland have all made similar applications, & with similar success”
(Henry Drummond to Charles Loch, 22 October 1828, Loch Papers, MS Add 131, UCL Special Collections)

In 1830 Horner depended on Loch’s advice in connection with taking the lease of a house on Gower Street for the school (later University College School) that was being planned in connection with the University (Horner to Loch, 26 June 1830, Loch Papers, MS Add 131, UCL Special Collections)

For more general biographical information about James Loch, see his entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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