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in post-nominals) is a public research university in Aberdeen, Scotland.
It is an ancient university founded in 1495 when William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, petitioned Pope Alexander VI on behalf of James IV, King of Scots to establish King's College, The university as it is currently comprised was formed in 1860 by a merger between King's College and Marischal College, a second university founded in 1593 as a Protestant alternative to the former.
Marischal College, in the commercial heart of the city (rather than the ancient but much smaller collegiate enclave of Old Aberdeen), was quite different in nature and outlook.
For example, it was more integrated into the life of the city, such as allowing students to live outwith the College.
Following the Scottish Reformation in 1560, King's College was purged of its Roman Catholic staff but in other respects was largely resistant to change.
George Keith, the fifth Earl Marischal was a moderniser within the college and supportive of the reforming ideas of Peter Ramus.
The university's iconic buildings act as symbols of wider Aberdeen, particularly Marischal College in the city centre and the crown steeple of King's College in Old Aberdeen.
There are two campuses; the predominantly utilised King's College campus dominates the section of the city known as Old Aberdeen, which is approximately two miles north of the city centre.
As the institutions put aside their differences, a process of attempted (but unsuccessful) mergers began in the 17th century.
While at the time of unification each had approximately equal numbers of students, buildings at Marischal College began to be expanded in the late-19th century with a significant rebuilding effort completed in 1906.