Sir Edward Frankland & Sir Harry Enfield Roscoe
The building on the corner of Byrom Street and Quay Street was once the home of the prominent Manchester politician and political activist Richard Cobden.  In 1851 it became  Owens College names after  John Owens a weathy cotton merchant who left most of his fortune to establish a further education college. 

When the college opened in 1851 Edward Frankland was appointed its professor of Chemistry.  He was succeeeded in that role by Henry Enfield Roscoe in 1857.

Frankland was a Lancastrian who became one of the foremost chemists of his generation.  In his forties he became the water quality consultant to the city of London.  He is regarded as the father of the important concept of chemical valence and he was also one of the scientists who discovered helium.

Sir Henry Enfield Roscoe FRS was born in London in 1833.  He was educated at the Liverpool Institute for Boys and then University College London.  After leaving University College he went to Heidelberg to work under Robert Bunsen. In 1857, he was appointed to the chair of chemistry at Owens College replacing Frankland.  He held that post for 30 years.  As the plaque says, during his time at Owens College he played an active role in the transfer of the college to its Oxford Road location where it became the Victoria University. In 1885 he became the MP for Manchester South a position he held for 10 years.

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