Camborne School of Mines Student Society

19th Century History

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  • Cornwall is the leading metalliferous mining area in the world.
  • John Taylor publishes his Prospectus for a School of Mines in Cornwall. He suggested that Redruth would be the natural location for such a school .


  • Sir Charles Lemon, President of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, personally offers to ‘establish and maintain for a period of two years, a school in which those branches of education most essential to this portion of our population (the miners) may be acquired.
  • The Royal Institution of Cornwall warmly welcome Sir Charles Lemon’s offer and pledge themselves to give ‘every facility and accommodation ...for the promotion of so important an object


  • Classes start in Truro for such subjects as Algebra, Geometry, Land and Mine Surveying, Mechanical Drawing, Mathematics and Mechanics.
  • The project fails, in part due to local mine owners and adventurers who would not provide the necessary funding for the school.


  • Robert Hunt FRS with the help of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society forms the Miners Association of Cornwall & Devon.
  • The Miners Association of Cornwall & Devon starts the formation of classes in different mining areas of Cornwall.


  • Some 200 students attend classes in eleven centres in Cornwall.
  • The Association adopt national schemes so students could obtain nationally recognised certificates.
  • Large-scale emigration of Cornish miners to new mining fields overseas begins


  • George Basset, the great land-owner and mine entrepreneur of Tehidy makes a bequest to build a laboratory in Camborne, for the use of the pupils of the Miners Association.
  • J J Beringer (the father of CSM) joins the staff at Basset’s laboratory teaching practical chemistry and assaying.


  • J J Beringer delivers a lecture to the Miners Association, now called the Mining Institute, in which he outlines new proposals for the establishment of a Mining School.
  • The Mining Institute grants the sum of £20 towards the success of a new mining school.
  • Josiah Thomas becomes an influential member of a committee set up to help Beringer set up a permanent  mining school.


  • The Cambone Mining School is born, although it had established an identity separate from the ordinary Science and Art classes, it still bore the words ‘School of Science and Art’ over its doors.


  • South Condurrow Mine (re-named King Edward Mine) is leased from the Pendarves family to complement the facilities available to students for practical exercises.
  • Control and responsibility for providing the education of students moves from the Miners Association to Cornwall County Council.
  • Following a long gestation period Camborne School of Mines is born thanks to J J Beringer (its first Principal) and Josiah Thomas (its first Chairman of Governers).

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