Person: Briggs (2), William
William Briggs was the founder and first Principal of the University Correspondence College and the University Tutorial College in London. He set up the University Tutorial Press with printing and book-binding works. He co-authored many mathematics texts designed for private study published by his Press.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Edwin Briggs was a marble and stone mason.
- William attended the Yorkshire College of Science in Leeds which had been established in 1874.
- Briggs became an undergraduate at the University of London in 1881.
- At St Benedict's College, Briggs inaugurated a system of correspondence teaching which he would develop later in London.
- In 1887 Briggs left St Benedict's College, Fort Augustus, and in that year he matriculated at the University of Cambridge as a non-collegiate student.
- Briggs was admitted as a pensioner at Jesus College in October 1889.
- Having gained some experience on setting up a correspondence system at St Benedict's, Briggs founded the University Correspondence College in London in 1887.
- The history of the University Correspondence College and its founder William Briggs provides an insight into the pioneering work, which began in 1887 in providing support to those studying with the University of London at a distance.
- Briggs' college provided a correspondence tuition scheme by post, along with face to face day and evening teaching in London and Cambridge, short residential schools, and the production and sale of specially written texts to help students.
- Briggs thus prefigured the range of services taken up in modern distance education ..., and his system was very effective.
- Briggs, who became the Principal of the University Correspondence College, set up his own publishing company, the University Tutorial Press, in London.
- Briggs, himself, co-authored many of the texts producing a whole range of mathematics books with G H Bryan.
- It was not only the UK market that Briggs aimed at, for he sought to enter the American market as well.
- Briggs wrote books with other co-authors, and in The Bookseller, Volume 1894 we also see listed his chemistry book Elementary qualitative analysis, co-authored with R W Stewart.
- As well as the large amount of effort that Briggs was putting into the University Correspondence College, he continued to work for a doctorate and a treatise on the law of international copyright The law of international copyright: with special sections on the colonies and the United states of America led to him being awarded an LL.D. in 1902.
- Of course, Briggs' University Correspondence College and Tutorial College taught a wide range of topics, not just mathematics.
- He had studied with T H Huxley and Briggs saw that he had the talent to become a good teacher.
- Briggs employed Wells as a tutor, both teaching students by correspondence and giving evening classes for students at the Tutorial College.
- Briggs encouraged Wells to write a textbook for his University Tutorial Press and he wrote Text-book of Biology published in 1893.
- Briggs' University Correspondence College and Tutorial College moved briefly to Booksellers' Row in the Strand, but by 1909 was back in Red Lion Square, now at 32.
- In 1939, Cecil Baron Briggs, Briggs' youngest son, took over as Principal of the Correspondence College and Tutorial College.
- From 1905 Briggs lived at Owlbrigg, Chaucer Road, Trumpington (although at the 1911 census the house is listed as: Occupier, Dr Briggs, Uninhabited) and we certainly know that from 1920 Margaret Briggs, William Briggs' second wife, also lived at this address.
- Let us first note that Briggs died as sea in Arousa Bay, off the coast of Spain.
Born 21 September 1861, Leeds, England. Died 19 June 1932, At sea off Arousa Bay, Spain.
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive