Window containing the Coats of Arms in Belgrave Square

The RCVS stained glass

The addition of the Coat of Arms of the University of Nottingham to the display of stained glass in the reception at Belgravia House, the RCVS HQ, has awakened interest in the history of the glass in this display and elsewhere in the building.  As a result I spent several days pouring over 170 years of […]

Cavalry before Arras by Herbert Lake

Shining a light on veterinary artists

The Lightbox in Woking, is currently showing an exhibition describing the role of horse and mules in World War 1.  The Horse at War: 1914-18  has a wide ranging display of artwork both from the war itself as well as more recent works, most noticeably ‘Joey’ the life size puppet from the National Theatre’s stage production […]

Letter of 'protest' against John Lloyd's application

The 1881 list of ‘Existing Practitioners’

In the summer, with the help of our intern Josh, we were able to sort the bundles of applications for entry on the List of Existing Practitioners which were submitted to the RCVS in 1882. The List of Existing Practitioners came into being as a result of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1881.  The introduction to the […]

Vincent Fox

A time for reflection: Lieutenant Vincent Fox

Last Friday the Royal College was delighted to accept a portrait of Lieutenant Vincent Fox from his great grand-nephew.   Vincent Fox was killed in action on the 26 August 1914: the first member of the RCVS to die during World War 1.   His obituary in the Veterinary Record 3 October 1914, simply read: Vincent Fox, MRCVS, […]

Congress badge

10th International Veterinary Congress: a case of unfortunate timing

At 11pm on 4th August 1914 Britain declared war on Germany.  That same evening at the Natural History Museum 300 guests were gathered for the conversazione and reception of the 10th International Veterinary Congress.  A Congress that had been many years in the planning …. London had been chosen as the venue for the 10th […]

Robert Stordy’s extraordinary journey

We are delighted to announce the publication of a new book: Robert Stordy in Abyssinia: an extraordinary veterinary surgeon The  main body of book is an account of an extraordinary journey made by Robert Stordy which is held in our archives. Stordy worked for the colonial veterinary service in British East Africa; in 1911 he decided […]

WAHVM Congress 2014

WAHVM Congress 2014

Readers of this blog with an interest in veterinary history might like to know about the 41st Congress of the World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine, hosted by the Veterinary History Society  at Imperial College, London  from 10-13 September 2014. This event, which is being held in Britain for the first time, will welcome speakers from […]

Henry Gray's practice at 117 Earls Court Road

117 Earls Court Road

Most of the photographs in our collections are portraits of RCVS Council, or other prominent, members of the profession. We do have a few photographs of vets going about their daily work but as far as I am aware the only photograph of the exterior of a veterinary practice is this one of Henry Gray’s […]

Illustration by Edward Mayhew the teeth of a three year old horse

Open wide

In a paper read before members of the Veterinary Medical Association (probably in 1849) Thomas Gowing said “I have …experienced great difficulties in many required operations on the teeth [of the horse] from the want of proper dental instruments.” His solution?  To invent a set of instruments which “I flatter myself, will be found useful… […]

Close up of head

Edward Snape’s muscular preparation

The library is currently having a makeover which has meant emptying shelves and cupboards.  One thing that has come out of its cupboard is a print titled ‘A muscular preparation of a horse with references.’ The inscription reads: “To His most Excellent MAJESTY GEORGE III. King of Great Britain &c &c. This Plate is most […]