John Caius: anxiety, obsession and the creation of tradition at the RCP
6-7pm
Online event
Portrait of John Caius, oil on canvas by Katharine Maude Humphry, c.1880–1890 (X86)

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is the oldest medical college in the English-speaking world and is famous for its traditions and ceremonies, passed down from the time of its founding in 1518. But how did these traditions come to be? And for what purpose? They were the creation of one man, John Caius (1510-1573), one of the longest serving presidents of the College, and were the result of Caius’ singular obsession with the illusion of stability in the highly uncertain age of the Counter-Reformation.

Join medical historian and RCP Harveian librarian Dr Louella Vaughan to explore the how and why of Caius’ reshaping of the College and its impact on the centuries that followed.

This talk will include an introduction to online exhibition RCP Unseen.

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Tickets can be booked by donation. All the donations, minus the Eventbrite admin fees, will go to support the Royal College of Physicians Museum in these challenging times.


RCP Unseen

RCP Unseen reveals hidden and rarely seen items from the archives, library and museum collections of the Royal College of Physicians. Discover how our historical objects are being used by scientists and researchers today to learn more about disease and medical practice. Learn how a 500-year-old collection continues to grow today, and discover some of the surprising items that you would never expect a physician to own!

John Cauis and the sometimes surprising traditions of the RCP have influenced these collections through the years. Explore RCP Unseen online to discover more and look out for John Cauis himself in the ‘teaching doctors’ section and some objects from our ceremonial history in ‘surprising discoveries’.  

Visit the exhibition online >>