These four volumes, available to purchase individually or as a set, examine the history of the College from its inception in 1518 up to 1983.
Volume one, by Sir George Clark, was published in 1964, and looks at the healing arts in early Tudor England and the granting of the charter to the College of Physicians by Henry VIII, William Harvey, and the Great Fire of London through to the Revolution in 1688.
Volume two, also by Sir George Clark begins with the origin of the dispensaries (1675–96) and the disputes between the College and the apothecaries, the new problems created by the Industrial Revolution and the movement for medical reform, and ends with the Medical Act of 1858.
Volume three, by A M Cooke carries on from the Medical Act and looks at the years leading up to the creation of the National Health Service, two landmarks of great significance for medicine and the medical profession.
Volume four, by Asa Briggs begins with the creation of the NHS in 1948 and looks at the way the RCP developed over the next 50 years, including the publication of the seminal report Smoking and health in 1962.