A Royal College of Surgeons or Royal Surgical College is a type of organisation found in many present and former members of the Commonwealth of Nations. These organisations are responsible for training surgeons and setting their examinations. In this context, the term chartered implies the awarding of a Royal charter.
The origins of the first Royal College of Surgeons go back to the fourteenth century with the foundation of the Guild of Surgeons Within the City of London. There was dispute between the surgeons and barber surgeons until an agreement was signed between them in 1493, giving the fellowship of surgeons the power of incorporation. The Guild of Barbers of Dublin received a Royal Charter of Henry Vi in 1446, making it the earliest Royal Medical incorporation in Britain or Ireland. This was followed in 1505 by the incorporation of the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh as a Craft Guild of Edinburgh. This body was granted a royal charter in 1506 by King James IV of Scotland. It was followed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, royally chartered by James VI in 1599, as the Glasgow Faculty.
The union in London was formalised further in 1540 by Henry VIII of England between the Worshipful Company of Barbers (incorporated 1462) and the Guild of Surgeons to form the Company of Barber-Surgeons. In 1745 the surgeons broke away from the barbers to form the Company of Surgeons. In 1800 the Company was granted a Royal Charter to become the Royal College of Surgeons in London. A further charter in 1843 granted it the present title of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. In 2010, Prof. Eilis McGovern became President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and thereby the first female President of any surgical Royal College in the world.
- Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (incorporated 1505 as a Guild of Barber-Surgeons by the city, Royal Charter 1506)
- Royal College of Surgeons of England (incorporated 1493, chartered 1800)
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (founded 1599)
- Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Royal charter 1446 as a Guild, the earliest Royal Medical foundation in Britain or Ireland; Royal Charter as Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 1784)
- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (chartered 1927)
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (chartered 1929)
- Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (chartered 1868)
- Louis Kuo Tai Fu (2000)The origins of surgery. 2: From barbers to surgeons Annals of the College of Surgeons Hong Kong 4 (1), 35–49. doi:10.1046/j.1442-2034.2000.00029.x
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2006-10-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link), page 118
- "Irish doctor becomes first female president of Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland". 3 June 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2018 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- "Prof Eilis McGovern". UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science. Retrieved 11 April 2018.