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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

Francis Place (1771–1854)

a summary of his Bloomsbury connections

A radical reformer since the 1790s, he was a friend of Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, and Joseph Hume, and a prominent organiser of the radical movement in Westminster

He supported Thomas Campbell in his plan to found the University of London (later University College London) in 1825

A controversial figure, he was welcomed by Campbell for his organisational experience and abilities, but mistrusted by the dissenters on the first Council of the University and his name kept out of the publicity surrounding the venture by Henry Brougham, who, according to Place, “objected that my name if mixed up with the College might be injurious on account of the Infidel opinions I was (he said) known to entertain” (Francis Place’s diary, July 1826, in H. Hale Bellot, University College London 1826–1926, 1929)

By February 1827, Place noted in his diary, his connection with the projected University was “at an end” (Francis Place’s diary, February 1827, in H. Hale Bellot, University College London 1826–1926, 1929)

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

This page last modified 7 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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