(Historical account to 1860)
New College, St John's Wood, London was formed in 1850 from a union of Homerton and Coward Colleges with Highbury College, the foundation stone being laid on 11 May 1850 by John Remington Mills, Esq. Lectures were held in an adjacent house, temporarily hired for the purpose, until the new building was complete. The college was formally opened and consecrated on 1 October 1851, when the principal, Dr John Harris, former resident tutor at Cheshunt College, gave a lecture on 'Inspiration'. The new building had a frontage of 250 feet, with a central tower above 80 feet high. It was in Tudor style, containing 'some eight or ten lecture rooms, a library, a museum and a laboratory' (Congregational Year Book (1851), 247). The library had space for 20,000 volumes, and there was also a Council Room on the first floor. At the north end was the principal's house. The architect was Mr Emmett of Hatton Garden, and it cost around £20,000, donated by private benefactors, to build.
The New College archives and surviving books are held at Dr Williams's Library. The archives, together with those of the Coward Trust, were catalogued by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, and the catalogue digitized by the National Archives NRA 13042 is available online at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/searches/subjectView.asp?ID=O39072&scannedListDocLabel=GB0123%20NEW%20COLLEGE_3#GB0123%20NEW%20COLLEGE.
Some material is also held by the Congregational Library. The surviving books will be catalogued in due course in Dissenting Academies Online: Virtual Library System.
Congregational Year Book (1850-61).
Garvie, A. E., 'Nonconformity in the Universities: III London', Congregational Quarterly, 1 (1923), 325-30.
Medway, John, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of John Pye Smith (London, 1853).
New College, London: The Introductory Lectures delivered at the Opening of the College, October 1851 (London, 1851).
Nuttall, Geoffrey F., New College, London and Its Library (London, 1977).
Stoughton, John, Reminiscences of Congregationalism Fifty Years Ago (London, 1881).