The Royal Charter of McGill University
The Royal Charter is the University’s foundational document that provides for the establishment of McGill University.
The beginnings of McGill date back to 1821 when King George IV of England granted the Royal Charter following a request made by the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning (RIAL), a body established in 1801 by Lower Canada for purposes of advancing elementary and secondary school education in the colony.
The Charter provided that the College should be deemed and taken as a University with the power of conferring degrees. The Visitors of the College were the members of the RIAL. In 1852, the RIAL and the Governors of McGill joined to create one Board of Governors. Members of RIAL became governors of McGill College.