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British Industrial History

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Elphinstone College

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of Bombay

Elphinstone College is an institution of higher education affiliated to the University of Mumbai. Established in 1856, it is one of the oldest colleges of the University of Mumbai. It was exalted as a prestigious seat of learning during the British Raj

1824 An English school was set up by the Bombay Native Education Society for Indian students (while the opinion in Britain was against educating the 'natives').

1827 A resolution was passed that an institution for promotion of education should be established under Bombay Native Education Society and be designated as "Elphinstone College" (distinct from High School). This is after Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone, the departing Governor of Bombay who was responsible for beginning higher education in the city. Rs.2,29,636.00 was collected by public subscription to fund teaching professorships in the English language and the Arts, Science and Literature of Europe. The professorships were in honour of Mountstaurt Elphinstone.

1835 The College was formally constituted and the classes commenced in 1836, at Town Hall, with the first two professors: Arthur Bedford Orlebar (Natural Philosophy) and John Harkness (General Literature).

1840 The professors' classes were amalgamated with the Society's High School to form the Elphinstone Native Education Institution.

1845 The name was shortened to Elphinstone Institution.

1856 April 1st. Elphinstone College became a distinct institution, separated from the High School and this date is officially considered to be the year of establishment of Elphinstone College.

1860 The College was affiliated to University of Bombay


A description of its founding is at George Ritso Jervis

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