The College was founded on 29 November 1599 with the grant of a charter from King James VI of Scotland to Peter Lowe, Surgeon, Robert Hamilton, Physician and William Spang, Apothecary.
The charter empowered them, their heirs and successors to establish a body to examine all professing the art of surgery in Glasgow and South West Scotland. Uniquely for the time, the charter, as well as creating a body which surgeons could join, also allowed physicians to be members.
The first recorded meeting of the nascent College was held on 3 June 1602 in Glasgow at Blackfriars Kirk. By the end of the 17th century, the Faculty had obtained its first building, the Trongate in Glasgow. In 1791 it moved premises to St Enoch′s Square and then finally in 1862 acquired the magnificent historical building at 242 St Vincent Street, where it is located today.
In December 1909, the Faculty was granted the honorific "Royal" becoming the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. With the goodwill of Glasgow University and other individuals active in postgraduate medical education, the Faculty established itself as a postgraduate institution, setting standards in postgraduate medical and dental education, and practice.
The Royal Faculty became the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow in 1962.
Today, we are the only multidisciplinary College in the UK with a growing membership of over 10,000 physicians, surgeons, dental professionals, specialists in travel medicine and podiatric medicine.