.’. Jeremy Bentham .’.

Known for many years as the “Lord Wellington” it is still frequently referred to as the “Welly Bar” by many of the academics and local residents. Renamed in October 1982 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of Jeremy Bentham who is re…

Advertisements

Known for many years as the “Lord Wellington” it is still frequently referred to as the “Welly Bar” by many of the academics and local residents. Renamed in October 1982 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of Jeremy Bentham who is recognized as the spiritual founder of the University College London. The myth that he was the founder is sustained in a bizarre manner by the College.

Jeremy Bentham was born in 1748 at Spitalfields, London and was reportedly as a child prodigy, as a toddler he read a multi-volume of the history of England and at the age of three he began to study Latin.
He attended Westimenster School and, in 1760 at age 12, was sent by his father to The Queen’s College Oxford where he took his Bachelor’s degree in 1763 and his Master’s degree in 1766.

As requested in his will, Bentham’s body was dissected as part of a public anatomy lecture. Afterward, the skeleton and head were preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet called the “Auto-icon” and it is normally kept on public display at the end of the South Cloisters in the main building of the college.

His “Auto-Icon” as he called it, is in fact his skeleton, dressed in his own clothes and topped with wax model of his head.

His actual head is mummified and kept in the College vaults. It is brought out for meetings of the College council and he is recorded as being present but not voting. Above the bar can be seen a copy of the wax head, made by students at the College. In renaming the pub after him we are reminded of his greatest ideal. “The greatest happiness of the greatest numbers.”

Img_8048Img_8054Img_8056Img_805710205_benthampubJeremy_bentham_plaqueJeremy_benthamImg_8060

Author: Dani Middleton

I was born in Brazil in 1981 and lived there for 23 years before emigrating to the UK in 2005. I had read about England’s history since a young age however I moved here purely due to the history of London itself. Everything in this city fascinates me; from its parks, pubs and buildings to street names, post boxes and bollards. Watching children “beating the bounds” or the rose ceremony, you can never be tired of London. I love the quirkiness of the little alleys, the secrets of the forgotten architecture and how wonderful it can be to simply turn a corner and suddenly find a whole new world. I have worked in some remarkable places in London: museums, palaces, galleries, archives, even digging for the MoL on the Thames foreshore but I now work for Tower Bridge where, daily, I can see the City from a different point of view. Working for the City, learning its history and stories makes me eager to learn more. London is a flowing, living organism, with the old and new together transforming it every day, but always with its history at your fingertips. One step, an intricate Victorian coal hole; another step, an old Police box; yet another, an office block built seamlessly onto an old roman ruin. I am just a girl, lost in London trying not to find the way out but a way deeper, further inside what makes this city so… special, so… unique, so… me. I am a Londoner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s