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City and Guilds College

Due to their involvement in training craftsmen, the Livery Companies set up the City and Guilds of London Institute in 1878. Unable at once to find a site for their Central Institution, they established Finsbury Technical College, off City Road under the Institute's director and secretary Philip Magnus, later University MP. Finsbury College was intended as the first of a number of 'feeder' colleges for the Central Institution, but was almost the only one founded. The City Companies wanted the Institution to be in the City, but faced with their inability to find a site, were eventually persuaded by the Secretary of the Science and Art Department, General Sir John Donnelly (who was also a Royal Engineer) to found their institution on the eighty-seven acre site at South Kensington bought by the 1851 Exhibition Commissioners (for 342,500 British Pounds) for 'purposes of art and science' in perpetuity.

The Central Institution building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, better known as the architect of the Natural History Museum. In 1907, two of the three constituent colleges of were incorporated in the Royal Charter of the Imperial College of Science and Technology. The two were the Royal School of Mines and the Royal College of Science. The Central Technical College of the City and Guilds of London Institute was renamed the City and Guilds College in 1907, but not incorporated until 1910. Finsbury continued its separate existence until 1926.

Today, the alumni of the City and Guilds College unite under the City and Guilds College Association, the only surviving alumni body from the initial three constituent college alumni bodies.