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Our History

The History of the Manchester Medical Society


The Society was formed in 1834 to provide a Medical Library and Reading Room for the medical profession in Manchester and the surrounding area. They rented rooms in the area now covered by Piccadilly Gardens at 40 Faulkner Street near to the original Infirmary.

Dr John Hull was the Society's first President. He was an obstetrician and physician at the Manchester Lying-In Hospital and active in the debate about the role of caesarian sections. 

Dr John Hull

Dr John Hull


The Articles of Manchester Medical Society were drawn up and signed.


The Society moved to new premises in the Royal Institution on Mosley Street which is now home to the Manchester Art Gallery.


Owens College which had incorporated the Royal Manchester School of Medicine and Surgery in 1872 agreed to accomodate the Society's ever expanding Medical Library at the new medical school on Coupland Street off Oxford Road. This was a mutually beneficial arrangement which provided a much needed library for college staff and students and a home for the Society and the 16,000 volumes it had acquired.  


Owens College becomes the Victoria University of Manchester


The Medical Library had outgrown the Society's physical space and financial resources and was transferred to the ownership of the University of Manchester. Society members retained access to the Univeristy of Manchester Library which remains a membership benefit. 


Manchester Medical Society celebrated its centenary with a dinner at the Midland Hotel and the speeches were broadcast on the BBC. The Society adopted its now familiar emblem with the motto -  Fovet Medicinam Concordia  which translates as Fostering Medical Harmony. This reflects one of the founding aims of the Society to reduce the number of quarrels amongst doctors which were said to be common at the time. 


Manchester Medical Society reformed to include the Manchester Surgical Society, The Pathological Society of Manchester, the Manchester District Society of Anaesthetists and the Manchester Odontological Society. These different specialties and others function as Sections of the Society.  


The Society celebrated its 175th Anniversary

Histories of Healing: Celebrating 175 years of Manchester Medical Society


The Society moved to on-line meetings because of the coronavirus pandemic. These resumed with a popular Quiz. 


The Society returned to a mix of face-to-face and on-line meetings.

Detailed history of Manchester Medical Society