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Evening classes

photograph of opened page 540 of King's College London calendar book listing Civil Service classes including Boy Copyistships, Male telegraph learnerships and Female clerkships Civil Service classes 1891-1892King's was the first higher education institution to offer evening classes to degree standard. These began in 1848 but it was not until 1855 that a fully-fledged department opened that offered instruction in disciplines ranging from chemistry to theology and the arts.

Such was its popularity, due in part to the fact that its fees were half those of regular students, that it quickly began to rival the day classes in numbers. One of the most famous of evening class students during this period was the novelist Thomas Hardy.

This emphasis on practical training and the College's close links with the City of London - many of its original financial subscribers had been bankers or City financiers - was reflected in the Gilbart Banking lectures, instituted in 1872. These attracted hundreds of student clerks who went on to sit for an examination.

Ties to the City were also evidenced by the support of the Clothworkers' Company for an evening workshop to teach metalwork and woodwork.

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