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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

Olinthus Gilbert Gregory (1774–1841)

a summary of his Bloomsbury connections

He was one of the religious dissenters involved in the founding of the University of London (later University College London) in 1825

He sat on the first Council and on the Education Committee of the University (Council Minutes, vol. I, 1825–1829, UCL Special Collections)

Gregory was alarmed at press reports that the proposed University would be anti-religious, and, according to Francis Place, the radical friend of Jeremy Bentham and James Mill who offered his advice on raising subscriptions for the new institution, “showed himself a narrow bigot” by objecting to Place’s name being published in connection with it, on account of the latter’s well-known “Infidel opinions” (H. Hale Bellot, University College London 1826–1926, 1929)

The author of A Treatise of Mechanics (1806) and of books on mathematics and religion, Gregory was Professor of Mathematics at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, at the time of the founding of the University of London

Around the same time, he was consulted by the teachers of the mathematical prodigy James Joseph Sylvester, who became one of the first students of maths at the University of London, joining at the age of just fourteen in November 1828, and who was appointed to the Chair of Natural Philosophy at the University ten years later (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry for James Joseph Sylvester)

Gregory left the Council of the University in February 1829 (Annual Report 1829, UCL Records Office)

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

This page last modified 7 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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