Phrenological bust by LN FowlerPhrenological bust by LN FowlerThe History of Phrenology on the Web

by John van Wyhe

George Combe's A System of Phrenology, 5th edn, 2 vols. 1853.

Vol. 1: [front matter], Intro, Nervous system, Principles of Phrenology, Anatomy of the brain, Division of the faculties 1.Amativeness 2.Philoprogenitiveness 3.Concentrativeness 4.Adhesiveness 5.Combativeness 6.Destructiveness, Alimentiveness, Love of Life 7.Secretiveness 8.Acquisitiveness 9.Constructiveness 10.Self-Esteem 11.Love of Approbation 12.Cautiousness 13.Benevolence 14.Veneration 15.Firmness 16.Conscientiousness 17.Hope 18.Wonder 19.Ideality 20.Wit or Mirthfulness 21.Imitation.
Vol. 2: [front matter], external senses, 22.Individuality 23.Form 24.Size 25.Weight 26.Colouring 27.Locality 28.Number 29.Order 30.Eventuality 31.Time 32.Tune 33.Language 34.Comparison, General observations on the Perceptive Faculties, 35.Causality, Modes of actions of the faculties, National character & development of brain, On the importance of including development of brain as an element in statistical inquiries, Into the manifestations of the animal, moral, and intellectual faculties of man, Statistics of Insanity, Statistics of Crime, Comparative phrenology, Mesmeric phrenology, Objections to phrenology considered, Materialism, Effects of injuries of the brain, Conclusion, Appendices: No. I, II, III, IV, V, [Index], [Works of Combe].


No. V. (see vol. II. p. 381.)









REPRESENTATION by Sir George S. Mackenzie, Bart., to the Right Hon. Lord Glenelg, Secretary of State for the Colonial Department, in reference to Convicts sent to New South
Wales, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Page

LETTER, Sir G. S. Mackenzie, Bart., to the Right Hon. Lord Glenelg, ... ... ... *

CERTIFICATES to the Right Hon. Lord Glenelg :-

1. From Dr Wm. Weir, Lecturer on the Practice of Medicine, &c. ... ... 11

2. From Alexander Hood, Esq. Surgeon, Kilmarnock, ... ... ... ... 12

3. From Richard Carmichael, Esq. M.R.I.A., &c. ... ... ... ... ... 13

4. From Edward Barlow, M.D., &c. &c. ... ... ... ... ... ... 14

5. From Messrs Alexander Hood, John Crooks, and John Miller( Surgeons, and Dr

Robert Walker, Kilmarnock. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 16

6. From Robert Ferguson, Esq. M.P. for Haddingtonshire, ... ... ... 17

7. From John Fife, Esq. one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the Borough of

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, &c. &c. ... ... ... ... ... ... 18

8. From Dr W. C. Engledue, late President of the Royal Medical Society of Edin. &c. 19

9. From Dr James Inglis, M.R.C.S.E., &c.; Samuel M'Keur, Esq. Surgeon, Castle Douglas ; the Rev. Wm. Glover, A.M., Minister of Crossmichael; Dr John Col vin, Bengal Establishment, M.R.C.S. &c. ... ... ... ... ... ... 20

10. From S. Hare, Esq. Proprietor and Medical Attendant of the Retreat for the Insane-

in Leeds, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 21

11. From Dr James Stewart, Physician to the Duke of Sussex, ... ... ... 22

12. From Dr James Scott, LL.B. &c., and President of the Hampshire Phren. Society, 23

13. From Hewett Cottrell Watson, Esq. F.L.S., Author of the " Geography of British

Plants," &c. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 25

14. From Sir W. C. Ellis, M.D., Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum at Hanwell, 26

15. From Dr Disney Alexander, Author of Lectures on the Internal Evidences of Christianity, &c. &c. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 27

1C. From George Martell, Esq. Member of the College of Surgeons, London, &c. ... 27

17. From James Simpson, Esq. Advocate, Edinburgh, ... ... ... ... 28

18. From Henry Witham, Esq. of Lartington, Yorkshire, ... ... ... ... 28

19. From Dr Francis Farquharson, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 29

20. From Dr S. E. Hirschfeld, Bremen, ... ... ... ... ... ... 29

21. From the Surgeons to the Newcastle Infirmary, and Fifteen other Gentlemen, 30

22. From W. A. F- Browne, Esq. Medical Superintendent of Montrose Lunatic Asylum, 32

23. From Dr C. Otto, Professor of Materia Medica in the University of Copenhagen, &c- 38

24. From the Hon. D. G. Halyburton, M.P., to G. Combe, Esq. . ... ... ... 34

25. From Dr Patrick Neill, F.R.S. Edinburgh, and F.L.S. London, ... ... ... 39

26. From Dr John Elliotson, F.R.S., &c. &c. &c. ... ... ... ... ... 40

27. From Dr John Scott, F.R.C.S. of Edinburgh, ... ..; ... ... ... 41

28. From Joseph Vimont, M.D., &c. &c. ... ... ... ... ... ... 42

29. From Dr W-Gregory, F.R.S.E., &c. &c. ... ... ... ... ... ... 43

30. From Dr R. Hunter, Prof, of Anatomy, &c- in the Andersonian University, Glasgow, 44

31. From R. Macnish, Esq. Author of " The Philosophy of Sleep," &c. ... ... 45

32. From Richard Poole, M.D., &c. Sec. ... ... ... ... ... ... 46

33. From Charles Maclaren, Esq. Editor of the Scotsman, ... ... ... ... 47

34. From Wm. Wildsmith, Esq. F.R.C.S. London, &c. ... ... ... ... 48

35. From Mr Wm. Brebner, Governor of the County and City Bridewell, Glasgow, ... 49

36. From H. A. Galbraith, Esq. Surgeon to the Glasgow Royal Lunatic Asylum, ... 49

87. From George Salmond, Esq. Procurator-Fiscal of Lanarkshire ; Walter Moir, Esq.

Sheriff-Substitute of Lanarkshire; and Mr D. M'Coll, Governor of Glasgow Jail, 51

88. Account of Mr Combe's Phrenological Examination of Heads of Criminals in the

Jail of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 54

89. From Dr J-Macintosh, F.R.C.S.E., &c. &c. ... ... ... ... ... 57

40. From Henry Marsh, Esq., Robert T. Harrison, Esq., &c. &c. ... ... ... 58

41. From His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin, ... ... ... ... ... 60

42. From the Provost of Trinity College, ... ... ... ... ... ... 60

43. From H. Lloyd, Esq. F.T.C.D., Professor of Natural Philosophy, Dublin, ... 60

44. From Mountifort Longfleld, Esq. F.T.C.D., Whayleaw, Prof, of Political Economy, 60

45. From Philip Crampton, Esq. Surgeon-General, Dublin, ... ... ... ... 61

46. From Ar. Jacob, Esq. M.D., Professor of Anatomy, Royal Col. of Surgeons, Dublin, 61

REPRESENTATION sent by Sir george S. mackenzie, Bart, to the Right Honourable Lord glenelg, Secretary for the Colonies,-in reference to Convicts sent to New South Wales. February 1836.

THE recent atrocities that have occurred in New South Wales, are proof that there is mismanagement somewhere, and that caution is indispensable for the future. But the manner in which that caution is to be exercised, involves questions of much importance, perhaps of difficulty. It is, however, obvious that caution must, in the first place, be directed to the convicts. At present they are shipped off, and distributed to the settlers, without the least regard to their characters or history. A man or a woman found guilty of an offence, is deemed an object of punishment, whether die individual have spent previous life in crime, or has been driven by hard necessity unwillingly to commit it To bring back a person condemned by the law to a course of industrious and honest habits, by means suited to the natural character and dispositions, is a thing never thought of. Punishment is most ignorantly deemed a universal panacea for criminal propensities, and degradation is esteemed the fitting means to restore a human being to self-respect, and to inspire an inclination towards good conduct. Such ideas, though they lead to practice that has for ages been condemned by its results, arise out of ignorance of the


human constitution ; and until that ignorance shall have been dispelled from the minds of rulers, and its place filled up by an extended view of the actual constitution of man, error must continue to direct their measures in the highway to evil. To be able to legislate for man implies a knowledge of man. But in the case which is now specially adverted to, that knowledge is entirely absent. In a short address, as this must be, it is impossible to point out the means of acquiring a knowledge of the true mental constitution of man. It can only be stated that it has been discovered, has been neglected, but still is making rapid progress in enlightening the British people.

It is therefore submitted,

1st, That when the importance of the colony of New South Wales is considered, convicts should not be sent out indiscriminately. Their individual history and characters should be inquired into, and the best selected for the colony, and the worst kept for discipline at home. But, with every exertion, the selection cannot be accurately made without the assistance of some one acquainted with the true Philosophy of Man.

2d, It is conceived that the management of convicts should be a special department of Colonial Government, to which undivided attention ought to be given. At home the convicts are not under the superintendence of the Colonial Secretary ; but when they are to be sent abroad, he ought to have the power to select such as are the fittest for the purposes of his department, and in which there ought to be an officer qualified to investigate the history of convicts, and to select them on phrenological principles.


That such principles are the only secure grounds on which the treatment of convicts can be founded, proof may be demanded, and it is ready for production. I now unhesitatingly offer to your Lordship the following public test of their truth and efficacy, your acceptance of which, whatever may be your notions of what the result will be, will at all events do you honour. It is this : Let your Lordship direct inquiry to be made into the circumstances which brought a given number of convicts to trial and punishment, and if possible let so much of their previous history as can be got at, be stated. Suppose the number to be fifty. Let these be numbered, and their history, trial, and crimes inserted in a catalogue-of course I trust that this shall be as correctly done as possible, and in strict good faith. Let this catalogue be laid aside. On being informed that this has been done, I will go to London and take with me an experienced Phrenologist. Let the convicts be brought to us one by one, and we will make a catalogue of our own in the same order, and in it we will enter what we deem the characters of the individuals to be, and what were the crimes they probably had committed; and likewise, we will state, in particular cases, what employment, or at least the nature of the employment, they had probably been engaged in, and that in which they are likely to be useful. The only information we will desire is, whether the individual has or has not been educated. We will examine the individuals in the presence of whom your Lordship pleases. When our catalogue shall be completed, we will then request a meeting with your Lordship and such friends as you may wish to be present, and that the cata-


logues shall be publicly compared; reserving only this, that if any discrepancy of importance shall appear, we shall be permitted to question the subject, and to make inquiry into the case ourselves, attended by those who made the previous inquiry.

The result of such an experiment as this, will, I venture to predict, satisfy your Lordship that means do exist for the selection of convicts for the Colonies, and for their classification for treatment. I refer your Lordship to the fact of my friend Mr Combe having actually done what is here proposed at Newcastle in October 1835, as narrated in the Phrenological Journal, No. 46, page 524, of which a copy accompanies this communication. If I can prevail on you to make this experiment, I shall ever feel deeply grateful, and your Lordship will gain the gratitude of all truly wise patriots, and lay the foundation of a benefit to your country such as no ruler has yet conferred either for effect or extent.



To the Right Honourable lord glenelg, Secretary of State for the Colonial Department


I now put into your hands a number of Certificates from eminent men, confirming my former assertion, that it is possible to classify convicts destined for our penal settlements, so that the Colonists may be freed from the risk of having atrocious and incorrigible characters allotted to


them, and the Colonial public from the evils arising out of the escape of such characters. Allow me to take this opportunity to state, that, unless punishment shall be awarded not only proportionally to the crime committed, but to the actual moral character and degree of enlightenment of the culprit, it cannot have the effect expected from it, and may even render criminals more wicked. The power to punish ought to be in the hands of those who have charge of convicted persons, not to be positively inflicted under an imperative law, but to be used in the business of reform only when, to a sound and philosophical judgment, it may appear necessary. The experience of penal settlements teaches us that, while all criminals condemned to transportation are regarded as equally deserving of punishment, however various their degrees of guilt, they are not by any means equally prone to continue in a course of crime ; for we find that some, with the certainty of the severest punishment before them, do continue to manifest propensity to crime, and do commit it whenever opportunity offers ; while others become, of their own accord, sensible of their errors, (though condemned a& equally guilty with the others), exert themselves to overcome their evil tendencies, and arrive at the station of peaceable, industrious, and respectable members of the community. These facts, though perfectly and long notorious, have not attracted the notice of either the Colonial Government, or the Government at home ; but they prove incontestibly, that there is a very great difference in the moral constitution of criminals condemned to transportation fact of which philosophy may make the most important use. The horrid slaughter of the people on my sons
VOL. II. F f


property would not have happened, I am bold enough to say, had the Government been in possession of means to classify the convicts, and to keep the most atrocious in restraint at home, sending to New South Wales only the better disposed among them. Such means I am now the instrument of placing in the hands of a liberal Government, whether it shall be regarded or not ; and your Lordship, I trust, will not think me tedious, white I very briefly set before you the general facts, which have brought men of philosophical understanding and habits of investigation, to perceive, that a discovery of the true mental constitution of man has been made, and that it furnishes us with an all-powerful means to improve our race,-and that the more rapidly, if those in whose hands the government of our country is placed will only listen to facts, look at their verification, and attend to philosophical induction from them. Your Lordship must be aware of the fact, that, independently of rank, education, or wealth, men differ from each other very widely in the amount and kind of their intellectual power, in moral feeling, and in their tendencies to indulge their propensities. It is too well known that titled, intelligent, wealthy blackguards exist, guilty of the grossest violation of moral law, while they contrive to escape the penalties of statutes, which, however, occasionally reach their enormities. That such are rather encouraged by what is called high society, is notorious ; and surely a titled gambler, or cheat, or seducer, cannot be reckoned less guilty than a poor, ignorant wretch, who steals perhaps to sustain life, and not from a depraved propensity.


It is, however, to the fact of difference of character and talent among men of all stations of society to which I anxiously desire your Lordship's attention. This difference must clearly be the effect of something. There have been philosophers who taught that man is a tabula rasa, on which we may stamp what talent and what character we please. This, however, has long been demonstrated, by thousands of facts of daily occurrence, to be a mere delusion. Differences in talent, intelligence, and moral character, are now ascertained to be the effects of differences in organization. The brain has been long regarded by physiologists as the organ by which the mind is connected with the body, and by means of -which the mental faculties are manifested. To this conclusion, the result of a vast amount of observation and experiment has conducted them. After this fact had been universally admitted, a similar amount of observation and experiment led to the demonstration, by the celebrated Gall, of different portions of the brain being allotted to the power of manifesting different mental faculties. In those who exhibit the manifestation of any particular faculty strongly, the organ in the brain is proportionally large. The differences of organization are, as the certificates which accompany this shew, sufficient to indicate externally general dispositions, as they are proportioned among one another. Hence, we have the means of estimating, with something like precision, the actual natural characters of convicts, (as of all human beings,) so that we may at once determine the means best adapted for their reformation, or discover their incapacity of improvement, and their being


proper subjects of continued restraint, in order to prevent their further injuring society. It is this that, for the sake of the future prosperity of the Australian colonies, and the security and peace of the settlers, and also for the sake of exalting them in the scale of morality, I wish your Lordship to put to the test of experiment for your own satisfaction. With however little merit it may have been acquired, I have some credit which is at stake with the result of the proposed experiment, and which your Lordship, it is hoped, will not think I risk rashly in this matter. But it is not only my own philosophical credit, but that of those who have written these certificates, and of many thousands besides in every quarter of the globe. With such support on all sides of me, your Lordship cannot wonder at the confidence with which I urge you towards fame of the most enduring kind,-that of being a benefactor to your country. Attacks are still made on the science of Phrenology ; but it is a science which its enemies have never, in a single instance, been found to have studied ; and I freely confess the fact that, when I myself derided it, I knew nothing of it. Gross misrepresentations of fact, as well as wild unfounded assertion, have been brought to bear against it again and again, and have again and again been exposed. It is spreading its light far and wide, and reduced, in many instances, to most beneficial practice ; and it will be a proud day for our country when the same Government that has provided vigorously to reform our institutions, shall proceed in the true path to moral reform. There is a near prospect of education being conducted on the true principles of man's


nature under national sanction ; and I hope the time is not far distant, when their influence on criminal legislation will be apparent. I cannot help calling your Lordship's notice to the fact, that many among the most able and zealous propagators of the new philosophy were at one time scoffers against it, until brought to attend to it by a display of most striking facts, exhibited to them by the amiable and lamented Spurzheim.

I need not detain your Lordship longer. To save you as much trouble as possible amidst your important and onerous duties, I have had the certificates and this address printed ; and, if your Lordship will permit me to do so, I should be glad to publish them, that phrenologists may know, that one of the earliest converts to their science in Great Britain has not lost an opportunity, at the end of twenty years, to exert himself in attempting to spread its benefits in a direction in which they will, if not now, at a future period certainly, be duly felt and appreciated ; and also that the world may know, I fondly hope, that your Lordship has been the first member of a liberal government who has had sufficient moral ' courage to do that which alone can satisfy a liberal man of the truth or falsehood of what is pressed on his notice by the best possible motives. And if, as thousands of the most talented men in Europe and America confidently anticipate, experience shall convince you, your Lordship will at once perceive a source from which prosperity and happiness will flow in abundance over all our possessions. In the hands of enlightened governors, Phrenology will be an engine of unlimited improv-


ing power in perfecting human institutions, and bringing about universal- good order, peace, prosperity, and happiness.

Believe me, my dear Lord, very truly yours,






I. From Dr WILLIAM WEIR, Lecturer on the Practice of Medicine, formerly Surgeon to the Royal Infirmary of Glasgow, and joint Editor of the Glasgow Medical Journal.

To the Right Hon. Lord GLENELG.


MY LORD, March 14. 1836.

At the request of Sir Geo. S. Mackenzie, Bart, and in reference to a correspondence which has passed between your Lordship and that gentleman, concerning the evils which the colony of New South Wales suffers from desperate characters being sent out as convicts, and let to the settlers as servants, I beg leave to make the following statement.

I have paid much attention, during the last twenty years, to human physiology in general, and to the science of Phrenology in particular, and have had many opportunities of comparing the form and size of the head in living individuals with their talents and mental character. I have also been in the constant practice of examining the skulls and casts from the heads of deceased persons, and comparing these with their known mental characters and their actions exhibited during life; and I have found a constant and


uniform connexion between the talents and natural dispositions, and the form and size of the head.

I have no hesitation, therefore, in stating it as my firm conviction, drawn from these sources, and from long study and observation, that the natural dispositions of man are indicated by the form and size of the brain, to such an extent as to render it quite possible for persons who have had practice in such manipulations, to distinguish during life men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good dispositions.

I have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient Servant,


II. From ALEXANDER HOOD, Esq. Surgeon, Kilmarnock.

To the Right Hon. Lord GLENELG. KILMARNOCK,
MY LORD, March 14. 1836.

I take the liberty of addressing your Lordship in consequence of having received a letter on the part of Sir George S. Mackenzie, Bart., whose sons are settled in the colony of New South Wales, respecting the great evils which the colonists there sustain from desperate characters being sent out as convicts, and let out to the settlers as servants. Sir George suggests that Phrenology might be beneficially applied in pointing out the natural dispositions of convicts, and employed as a means of draughting from among them the most desperate and incorrigible characters, previous to transportation.

Having for many years devoted a considerable time to the study of Phrenology, and tested the truth of its principles by the most severe and conclusive experiments, the


result has been a gradual but thorough belief in the truth of the doctrines which it promulgates, and that it is susceptible of being applied with much advantage to the community in the manner suggested by Sir George Mackenzie. My daily observation as a medical man confirms me in this belief, and I conceive that a skilful Phrenologist is capable, by an examination of the human head, of detecting any defective or predominant intellectual faculty, moral feeling, or animal propensity, nearly with as much accuracy as a physician can discover the healthy or diseased condition of the heart, lungs, liver, or spine.

I have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient humble servant,

ALEX. HOOD, Surgeon.

III. From richard cabmichael, Esq. M. R. I. A., Corresponding Member Royal Academy of Medicine of France, Honorary Member of several Medical Societies ; Consulting Surgeon of the Richmond Surgical Hospital, and Author of several Works on Surgery.

To the Eight; Hon. Lord GLENELG, Secretary for the Colonies, &c. &c. &c.

MY LORD, March 15. 1836.

Having received a letter at the instance of Sir George Mackenzie, desiring to know whether it is my opinion and belief that " the natural dispositions are indicated by the form and size of the brain, to such an extent as to render it quite possible, during life, to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good dispositions," and to lay such opinion before your Lordship :


I have no hesitation in certifying that such is my belief, and that I consider this mode of discriminating persons of good from those of bad dispositions, may be most usefully employed for various purposes advantageous to society.

I have the honour to be your Lordship's very obedient servant,


IV. From edward barlow, M. D. of the University of Edinburgh ; Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland ; Senior Physician to the Bath Hospital, and the Bath United Hospital ; Fellow of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London, &c. &c.

To the Right Hon. Lord GLENELG,

Secretary of State for the Colonies, &c. &c. &c.

MY LORD March 15, 1836.

At the desire of Sir George Mackenzie, I willingly offer my testimony in favour of the application of Phrenology to the examination of convicts, which he has suggested to your Lordship. Deeply interested in the science, from a thorough conviction of its truth, I have, for upwards of twenty years, watched its progress; and I have no hesitation in expressing my firm belief, that all mental functions are dependent for the manifestations on the con-formation of the brain ; and that the natural dispositions are indicated by its form and size to such an extent, as to render it quite possible, during life, to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good dispositions.


In early life, my Lord, I, through ignorance and inconsiderateness, joined in the doubts respecting Phrenology, that then prevailed; and mine was afterwards no sudden conversion resulting from raised imagination, but the clear conviction produced by calm and patient inquiry. The grounds of my present faith it would be out of place here to display ; but I may remark, that the application of Phrenology which Sir George Mackenzie now advocates, was actually and most successfully made ten years ago, in the examination, by Mr De Ville of London, of one hundred and forty-eight convicts, transported in the ship England to New South Wales, and that the safe completion of the voyage was owing to the information respecting individual character that Mr De Ville had supplied. The facts here referred to are matter of public record, as they were reported officially to Dr Burnett, by Mr G. Thomson, the surgeon of the ship. The history of the voyage, as detailed by Mr Thomson, is deposited in the Victualling Office.

I consider the truths of Phrenology to be as well established as are those of any other branch of natural science, being throughout, not fanciful nor hypothetical assumptions, but rigid inductions from numerous and accurately observed facts. By such course of observation and reasoning alone can natural truths ever be developed ; by it has the philosophy of matter attained its present advancement ; and to it are we indebted for the only sound and rational philosophy of mind that has yet been produced, namely, that which Phrenology teaches. The applications of this science to the affairs of human life are sure to extend as its principles become known and appreciated ; and eventually they cannot fail to prove of the very highest importance to the welfare and happiness of the human race, The application of it which Sir George Mackenzie has proposed


to your Lordship, has my cordial approval, and the full sanction of my unbiassed judgment.

I have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's faithful and obedient servant,


V. From Messrs alexander hood, john crooks, and john miller, Surgeons, and Dr robert walker, Kilmarnock.

The Right Hon. LORD GLENELG.

MY LORD, KILMARNOCK, 16th March 1836.

our attention having been directed to Sir Gr. S. Mackenzie's communication to your Lordship, respecting the applicability of Phrenology to the discrimination of the character of convicts transported to the British Colonies, we, whose names are subscribed, beg, with all submission, to offer our united and unqualified testimony in corroboration of his opinion.

We are led to do so, my Lord, from a decided conviction, that Phrenology is the true science of the mind-that the natural dispositions are so accurately indicated by the form and size of the brain, as to render it perfectly practicable, for properly qualified persons to distinguish, by examination of the head, individuals possessing such as are dangerous to the peace and safety of society, from those who are differently constituted ; and farther, that the bringing the doctrines of Phrenology to bear, not only upon the matter in question, but our social institutions in general,- upon education, and other means of preventing crime, as well as upon the punishment of it, and the proper disposal of the perpetrators,-would, besides its being an important advance in philosophy, be attended with great practical advantage to the community.


With the highest esteem for your Lordship's public and private character, we have the honour to be, My Lord, your Lordship's obedient humble servants,

ALEX. HOOD, Surgeon

VI. From ROBERT FERGUSON, Esq. M. P. for Haddingtonshire.

To GEORGE COMBE, Esq. Edinburgh.


MY DEAR SIR, 17th March 1836.

I have no hesitation in declaring it as my belief, that the science of Phrenology enables those who have made themselves master of it, to decide on any prominent and marked mental faculty or propensity of an individual. And, in more directly answering your circular, I think it would be attended with the greatest advantage to society, if the heads of such convicts who have been guilty of the crimes of murder and such atrocious acts, should be examined.

For it is certain, and can be proved from innumerable examples, that such an investigation, by practical persons, could easily pronounce whether they were likely to be incurable in their propensities, or whether other dispositions in their intellectual constitution might, if properly cultivated, restore them to the rank of respectable citizens.

The first should be prevented from having any intercourse with society, or hope of future freedom whatever.

I see many difficulties yet in having a Board for this important investigation ; but means might be fallen upon to be enabled to come to such conclusions as might guide to


the necessary character of the punishment, for the future safety of society.

I remain very truly yours,


VII. From john fife, Esq., one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the Borough of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of London, Member of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Manchester, and of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh, Lecturer on Surgery in the Newcastle School of Medicine, &c. &c. &c.

To the Right Honourable Lord GLENELG, Secretary for the Colonies.

MY LORD, March 19. 1836.

Having received a communication from Mr Combe, at the request of Sir George S. Mackenzie, Bart., stating your Lordship's disinclination to select convicts for New South Wales by phrenological signs, and requesting me to express my opinion upon the proposal, accompanying the statement of such opinion by an account of my claims to moral influence and to some share of your Lordship's attention, I hereby assert my conviction that the natural dispositions are indicated by the form and size of the brain, to such an extent as to render it quite possible, during life, to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good dispositions"

With reference to my position as a professional man, I beg to refer your Lordship to the representatives in Parliament of this town or of the adjacent counties.

I have the honour to be, my Lord, your most obedient




VIII. From Dr W. C. engledue, late President of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh, and Secretary to the Phrenological Society of Portsmouth.

To the Right Honourable Lord GLENELG, Secretary for the Colonies, &c. &c. &c.

MY LORD, March 23. 1836.

Having been requested to state to your Lordship my opinion regarding the subject of Sir George Mackenzie's communication, I do so with considerable pleasure, being convinced both of its benefit and applicability. On the latter point I can speak with some degree of certainty, having numerous opportunities of testing the truth and application of the science in that division of the Convict Establishment situated at Portsmouth. It would be impossible, in the present instance, either to enter into minutiae or bring forward proofs ; but I can assure your Lordship that, as far as my experience extends, I unhesitatingly assert, that phrenologists can detect and choose from a body of criminals those of decidedly bad character, whom it would be almost impossible to retrieve, and those who, perhaps for some trivial offences are doomed to associate with the former, and who could not only be retrieved, but, by care and better example, become valuable members of society.

This is a fact which has almost entirely escaped the observation of those legislating upon this important subject. Convicts are now almost indiscriminately embarked for the Colonies, without any regard to natural dispositions, or the effects which examples produce. They are huddled to


gether, good, bad, and indifferent ; and, after disembarkation, portioned out to the settlers, too often, as incontrovertible evidence proves, to have recourse to, if not exceed, their former depredations.

Viewing these Colonies as young communities, where it is desirable to assemble individuals of the best character, it cannot be right to inundate them with the worst of beings -those which a country protected by the justice and vigour of its laws found it impossible to control.

I could enlarge upon the ulterior effects likely to ensue upon a continuation of the present system, but the limits of a certificate forbid it.

After the preceding, I need hardly repeat that Sir G. Mackenzie's Memorial meets with my most cordial approbation ; and feeling assured that your Lordship will bestow on it your serious consideration,

I have the honour to remain your Lordship's most obedient servant,

(Signed) W. C. ENGLEDUE, M. D.

IX. From Dr JAMES INGLIS, M. R. C. S. E., and Soc. Ed. Med. Reg. Soc. Ed. ; SAMUEL M'Keur, Esq. Surgeon, Castle Douglas ; the Rev. WILLIAM GLOVER, A. M. Minister of Crossmichael ; Dr JOHN COLVIN, Bengal Establishment, M. R. C. S, Lond. and Mem. Med. and Phys. Soc. Calcutta.

To the Right Honourable Lord GLENELG, Secretary for the Colonies.

MY LORD, March 22, 1836.

if to the truth of Phrenology as a science based on observation, and borne out by facts, our testimony can be of any use, either regarding its propagation, or, through


it, the furtherance of the common good of mankind, and the lessening of human crime and misery, we unhesitatingly give it as our opinion, that the tendencies of the mind as it exists in this world, to cause actions either virtuous or vicious, can be discovered by the cranial development--and that whilst this holds in every case, it does so with much more evident certainty in the man of a desperate and dangerous character,-who, uneducated and unrestrained, has allowed for a length of time the lower feelings to reign over the higher faculties of his mind. Believing this, we consider that Sir George Mackenzie proposition regarding the practical application of Phrenology in discriminating the natural dispositions of convicts, may become of the highest possible advantage to the proprietors and cultivators in the Australian colonies.

We have the honour to be, My lord, your obedient servants,


X. From S. hare, Esq. Proprietor and Medical Attendant of the Retreat for the Insane in Leeds.

To the Right Honourable Lord GLENELG. Secretary for the Colonies.

MY LORD, LEEDS, 23d March 1836.

having received a communication to the purport that Sir G. S. Mackenzie has lately presented a memorial to your Lordship representing that " Phrenology might be

vol. ii. Gg


beneficially applied in discriminating the natural dispositions of convicts, before being chosen for transportation,'" and requesting my opinion on the subject ; I gladly avail myself of the opportunity of stating to your Lordship, that I have repeatedly ascertained the characters of individuals through the medium of the principles of Phrenology, and believe that very great advantages will result to the nation, from a proper application of those principles in the classification of convicts, and the improvement of prison-discipline generally.

Having occasion to employ a number of servants, I beg to be permitted to state, that I prefer choosing them by their temperaments and phrenological developments, to taking them on the characters given with them.

Ardently hoping that these views will ere long be made available, as regards the enactment of laws for the prevention and punishment of crime, both in our own and other countries, I have the honour to subscribe myself, my Lord,

your Lordship's most obedient servant,


XL From Dr james stewart (A), Surgeon, Royal Navy, and Physician Extraordinary to His Royal Highness the Duke of sussex.

The light Honourable Lord GLENELG, &c. &c.

MY LORD, PORTSMOUTH, 22d March 1836.

foe some years past I have paid much attention to the science of Phrenology, and I am firmly of opinion that the natural dispositions are indicated by the form and


size of the brain, to such an extent as to render it quite possible, during life, to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good dispositions.


XII. From Dr JAMES SCOTT, LL. B., Surgeon and Lecturer to the Royal Hospital at Haslar ; Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of London ; Surgeon and Medical Superintendent of the Royal Naval Lunatic Asylum ; President of the Hampshire Phrenological Society, &c. &c.

The Right Honourable Lord GLENELG, Principal Secretary of State for His Majesty's Colonial Department, &c. &c. &c.

MY LORD, 22d March 1836.

I have just received a circular letter from Mr Combe of Edinburgh, in consequence of a communication made to your Lordship by Sir George Mackenzie respecting the allotment of convict servants to settlers in Van Diemen's Land, in which communication Sir George recommended to your Lordship that convicts should be phrenologically examined previously to their being sent out of this country ; and, as it appears that your Lordship does not believe in the truth of Phrenology, Mr Combe is desirous of laying before you as many certificates as he can procure from medical men regarding their opinion of the science, requesting me to state in what estimation I hold it.

I therefore beg to say, that, after having for many years viewed it unfavourably by the false light of prejudice, chiefly from having read a most illogical and witty, but virulent, attack on the system, published in the Edinburgh


Review, now well known as the production of the late Dr John Gordon, who assailed it anonymously with all the shafts of ridicule, my attention was powerfully arrested by attending- a course of lectures on the subject by the late amiable and highly gifted Br Spurzheim, at Paris, and by another course of Lectures delivered by Mr Combe, in Edinburgh ; and after some more years spent in careful study and observation, I became a sincere convert to the doctrines of Gall and Spurzheim.

I beg to assure your Lordship that my conversion is the result of an honest and careful examination ; and as I have been for nearly ten years the medical attendant of the Lunatic Asylum in this great Hospital, my opportunities, at least, of observing have been great indeed ; and a daily intercourse with the unfortunate individuals entrusted to my care and management (whose number has never been less than one hundred and thirty persons, and often many more), has firmly, because experimentally, convinced me that mental disorder and moral delinquency can be rationally combated only by the application of Phrenology ; and that the man who treats them on any other system will much oftener be disappointed, than he who studies the manifestations of mind, and traces effects to their secondary causes, by the almost infallible beacon of Phrenology.

On this subject I could add much ; but, at present, I have rather to apologize to your Lordship for having so long occupied your truly valuable time.

I have not yet published any thing, except an Inaugural Dissertation on Pneumonia, and some medical and surgical cases in various periodical journals-which I mention only in compliance with a request made in Mr combe's circular above referred to ; but I have a mass of facts and observations bearing upon practical points,


Permit me, my Lord, to conclude, by assuring your Lordship, that, viewing you as a statesman whose acknowledged political talents and consistency shed an additional lustre over those virtues by which you are distinguished in private life, I have the honour to be, with profound respect, your Lordship's most obedient humble servant,


XIII. From hewett cottrell watson, Esq. F. L. S., late President of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh ; Author of the " Geography of British Plants," and other works.

To the Right Hon. Lord GLENELG, Secretary for the Colonies.

MY LORD, March 18. 1036.

at the request of Sir George Mackenzie, I have the honour to offer to your Lordship my humble testimony in support of the science of Phrenology ; being convinced, after several years of careful attention to the subject, that it is quite possible to determine the dispositions of men by an inspection of their heads, with so much precision as to render a knowledge of Phrenology of the utmost importance to persons whose duties involve the care and management of criminals,

I have the honour to subscribe myself your Lordship's most obedient and humble servant.



XIV. From Sir WILLIAM C. ELLIS, M. D. Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum for the County of Middlesex, at Hanwell.

To the Right Hon. Lord GLENELG,

MY LORD, 19th March 1836.

I am requested by Mr George Combe to address a letter to your Lordship on the utility of Phrenology. I cannot for one moment hesitate to comply with his request, and to give my strongest testimonial that, after many years' experience, I am fully convinced the dispositions of man are indicated by the form and size of the brain, and to such an extent as to render it quite possible to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good dispositions. I have been the resident physician in this establishment, where we have upwards of six hundred patients, for five years, and for thirteen years previous held a similar situation in Yorkshire, where we had two hundred and fifty. If it was necessary, I could mention a great variety of cases in the treatment of which I have found the little knowledge I possess of this interesting science of the greatest utility ; and I am fully persuaded that when it is more known, and acted upon, very great advantages will result to society. I have the honour to be, My Lord,-your Lordship's very obedient and humble servant,


Note ty Sir W. C. Ellis to Mr Combe.-" Sir William is quite convinced that it is unnecessary for him to inform Mr Combe himself, that, residing amidst 600 lunatics, no day passes over in which the truth of Phrenology is not exemplified."


XV. From Dr disney alexander, late one of the Physicians to the Wakefield Dispensary and the Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Lecturer on Phrenology, Author of an Essay on the best Means of preserving Health, of a Treatise on the Croup, and of Lectures on the Internal Evidences of Christianity.


March 20. 1836.

I hereby certify, that I consider it as proved beyond all reasonable contradiction, that " the natural dispositions are indicated by the form and size of the brain, to such an extent as to render it quite possible, during life, to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good dispositions ;"" and that Phrenology might be beneficially applied in discriminating the natural dispositions of convicts, before their being chosen for transportation.


XVI. From GEORGE MARTELL, Esq. Member of the College or Surgeons, London, Surgeon to the Jail of Portsmouth, and Senior Surgeon to the Dispensary, &c. &c.

To the Right Hon. Lord GLENELG,

Secretary for the Colonies, &c. &e. &c.

MY LORD, PORTSMOUTH, March 24. 1836.

Having had frequent opportunities of seeing the examination of individuals phrenologically, I am of opinion that their dispositions may be fully known by external configuration, size, &c, ; and that such examinations would greatly facilitate the classification of prisoners. I remain, your Lordship's most obedient servant,



XVII. From JAMES SIMPSON, Esq. Advocate, City Assessor of Edinburgh, and Author of " Necessity of Popular Education as a National Object."

The Right Hon. Lord GLENELG.

MY LORD, EDINBURGH, 25th March 1836.

Referring to the experiment on phrenological principles proposed by Sir George Mackenzie, for ascertaining the distinctive characters of a number of convicts, I respectfully beg to offer to your Lordship my humble opinion, founded on fifteen years' experience, that the test will be entirely satisfactory, and shew that character may be ascertained from cerebral development, as indicated externally on the head.

I have the honour to be, my Lord, your obedient servant,


XVIII. From HENRY WITHAM, Esq. of Lartington, Yorkshire, Member of the Geological Society of London, and Royal Society of Edinburgh, &c. &c. ; and Author of a Work on " The Internal Structure of Fossil Vegetables."

The Right Hon. Lord GLENELG.

MY LORD, LARTINGTON, Co. YORK, 27th March 1836.

With reference to Sir Geo. Mackenzie's suggestion, that the heads of convicts should be examined, with a view to ascertaining their natural dispositions before transporting them to New South Wales, I beg leave to certify, that, from having studied the science of Phrenology during several years of my residence in Edinburgh, I am convinced of the practicability of accomplishing, by means of Phrenology, the object in view. The differences in point


of form between the brains of men of naturally good and men of naturally bad dispositions, are so palpable, even during life, that a moderate share of attention is sufficient to discover them.

I have the honour to be, my Lord, your obedient humble servant,


XIX. From Dr FRANCIS FARQUHARSON, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and Vice-President of the Phrenological Society.

The Right Hon. Lord GLENELG.

MY LORD, EDINBURGH, 28th March 1836.

In consequence of a communication from Sir G. S. Mackenzie, Bart., regarding the phrenological experiment proposed by him in a memorial to your Lordship, I beg to state my firm conviction that it would completely answer the object in view. This belief does not rest upon theoretical grounds, but is the result of an extensive experience during the last ten or twelve years.

I have the honour to be, my Lord, your faithful and obedient servant,


XX. From Dr S. E. HIRSCHFELD, Bremen. To the Right Hon. Lord GLENELG, &c. &c.

BREMEN, 22d March 1836.

I hereby certify, that I consider it practicable to distinguish between men of desperately bad dispositions, and men of good dispositions, by examining their heads during life ; and that such knowledge may be successfully em-


ployed in discriminating dangerous criminals from those who are not destructive or blood-thirsty. I state this opinion from my own experience.


XXL From the surgeons to the NEWCASTLE infirmary, and Fifteen other Gentlemen of that Town.

To the Right Hon. Lord GLENELG, Secretary for the Colonies.

NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE, 11th March 1836.
WE the undersigned take the liberty of addressing this communication to your Lordship, for the purpose of explaining that we are of opinion that the natural dispositions are indicated by the form and size of the brain, to such an extent as to render it possible, during life, to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of ordinary dispositions : That if this opinion be correct, it would be highly beneficial to use this means of discriminating the natural dispositions of convicts sent out to the colonies, and many of whom are let to the cultivators as servants : That with the view of ascertaining the possibility of employing these means with advantage, it would be very desirable that a given number of convicts of marked characters be selected, and their dispositions put down in writing by the governor and chaplain of one or two of the public penitentiaries or prisons ; that their heads be submitted to the inspection of two or three experienced Phrenologists, who should write down inferences concerning their mental qualities ; and that, in presence of competent judges, the two written accounts should be compared : That if the result should be found to accord with the opinion we have


taken the liberty of laying before your Lordship, we conceive a valuable service might be conferred on the colonists, by paying attention to this means of regulating the selection of servants.

JOHN BAIRD, Senior Surgeon to the Newcastle Infirmary.

T. M. GREENHOW, Surgeon to the Newcastle Infirmary, &c.

WM. HUTTON, F. G. S-, Member of the Geological Society of France, &c. &c., and Secretary of the Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham, and Newcastle-on-Tyne.

JNo. BUDDLE, V. P. of the Natural History Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, F. G. S., &c.



WILLIAM MORRISON, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of London, &c.


M'ILLIAM NEIHAM, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, of the Royal Medical Society, Edinburgh, &c. &c. &c.

JOHN THOMSON, C.M., Member of the University of Glasgow.

D. MACKINTOSH, Surgeon to the Newcastle Lunatic Asylum, &c.

J. C. BRUCE, A. M.


JOHN FEN WICK, Alderman of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


M. H. RANKIN, Solicitor, Newcastle, Author of " Present State of Representation in England and Wales."



XXII. From W. A. F. BROWNE, Esq. Medical Superintendent of Montrose Lunatic Asylum.

MONTROSE, March 15. 1836.

I hereby certify, on soul and conscience, that I have been acquainted with the principles of Phrenology for upwards of ten years ; that from proofs based upon physiology and observation, I believe these to be a true exposition of the laws and phenomena of the human mind ; that during the whole of the period mentioned I have acted on these principles, applied them practically in the ordinary concerns of life, in determining and analyzing the characters of all individuals with whom I became acquainted or connected, and that I have derived the greatest benefit from the assistance thus obtained. But although the utility of the science be most apparent in the discrimination of the good from the bad, those of virtuous and intellectual capabilities from the brutal and imbecile, it is not confined to this. In the exercise of my profession, I have been enabled, by the aid of Phrenology, to be of essential service in directing the education of the young as a protection against nervous disease, and in removing or alleviating the various forms assumed by insanity in the mature. For several years I have devoted myself to the study of mental diseases, and the care of the insane. During my studies at Salpetrière, Charenton, Sic. in Paris, I was able to derive great additional information from my previous knowledge of Phrenology ; and now that I have been entrusted with a large asylum, I am inclined to attribute any little success that may have attended my efforts to ameliorate the condition of those confided to my charge, to the same cause. I may add, that I was converted from a confidence in the accuracy of the philosophy of the schools to a belief in Phrenology ; that I did


not adopt its doctrines on the authority of my teachers, but tested their truth by repeated experiment ; that I have since taught them to large bodies of my countrymen, and feel fully convinced that until they be recognised and acted upon generally, no just conclusion can be drawn as to human character, nor as to the administration of punishments for the improvement or rewards for the encouragement of mankind.

W. A. F. BROWNE, Surgeon.

XXIII.-From Dr C. otto, Professor of Materia Medica and Forensic Medicine in the University of Copenhagen ; Physician to the Civil Penitentiary ; Member of the Royal Board of Health, the Royal Medical Society at Copenhagen, and thirteen other Medical Societies abroad; Editor of the Danish medical journal " Bibliothek for Lieger," &c. &c.

To the Bight Hon. Lord GLENELG, Secretary for the Colonies, &c. &c.

copenhagen, March 25. 1836.

I hereby certify, that, from my own observation and experience, I consider it quite possible to distinguish men of strong animal propensities, who, when left uncontrolled by authority, or when excited by intoxication, would be dangerous to society, from men of mild dispositions, by examining their heads during life. I farther certify, that 1 have practically applied this method of distinguishing the natural dispositions of men, and found it uniformly successful .

C. OTTO, M. D.

Dr Otto adds, in a letter to Mr Combe, inclosing the above :—" As physician to the penitentiary, nobody can be


more convinced than I of the truth of the certificate. In fact I reap the greatest advantage from Phrenology in treating the criminals in my hospital, as I vary my moral treatment of them according to the form of their heads-some ones necessarily requiring severity, others mildness ; and I have often, without any failure, told the inspector beforehand which criminal was to be considered as dangerous, and which one might be trusted as quiet and benevolent. The examination of the organs of Secretiveness and Conscientiousness aids me extremely much in detecting simulations of diseases.1'

XXIV. From the Honourable douglas gordon halyburton M. P. for Forfarshire, to George Combe, Esq.

MY DEAR Sir, LONDON, March 26. 1836.

You will, I know, excuse my not having, four or five days ago, sent an acknowledgment of the favour of your letter of the 14th instant, covering a copy of your printed circular of the 10th, on the subject of Sir George Mackenzie's communications to Lord Glenelg respecting Australian convicts, and his Lordship's remarks on the same.

I am afraid that, in asking my testimony on this phrenological question, yourself and Sir George attribute an importance to it, which it can scarcely deserve, as adding sensibly to the weight of phrenological authority, of which your circular must long since have put you in possession. However, if the attention which I have given to this most important and interesting science, during a period now of twenty years-the personal acquaintance I had with Drs Gall and Spurzheim on the Continent-the friendship with


which our latter departed friend was pleased to honour me -and my having let slip no opportunity, whether in Paris, London, Edinburgh, or Glasgow, to derive pleasure and instruction from his writings, lectures, and private conversation-and, lastly, let me add with no intention whatever to flatter, the instruction and improvement I have derived from your own writings, lectures, and conversation, combined with those of your brother Dr Andrew Combe-if these circumstances, all well known to you, should lead yourself or Sir George Mackenzie to believe that my authority upon this subject ought at least to carry some weight with it, then my testimony, such as it may be, is entirely at your service.

The point, I think, in your circular letter, upon which you desire the opinion of competent judges is this,-" Whether the natural dispositions are indicated by the form and size of the brain, to such an extent as to render it quite possible, during life, to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good dispositions."

Before I give my answer to this question, allow me, dear Sir, to prefix a few remarks. It is well known, I am sure, to us, that the skill of the well-instructed and practised phrenologist, might safely be put to a much more severe test than any that is implied in the above question. Instead of taking the extremes of human character, he might be required to read and to discriminate amongst that intermediate class which makes up the great bulk of mankind in civilized life; where the qualities of the animal man and the moral and religious man are mixed up together, in all sorts of proportions,-the combination in nineteen cases out of twenty in civilized life, (and in various grades of society), being such as to give rise to those apparent contradictions in men's characters, which are perpetually ob-


truding themselves upon every one's notice ; so that it is no exaggeration to say, that the great mass of society whom one meets, at every turn, including nil ranks, spend their whole lives in a sort of rotation (palpable or more covert) of sinning and repenting-now obeying all or any of their propensities-the animal man,-now listening to-checked -brought up, by their moral and religious nature. We know how all this can be most satisfactorily explained by the demonstrated truths and doctrines of Phrenology. But in truth, they are the same phenomena which are pointed at by moral and religious writers and preachers (the latter too often in language unnecessarily quaint, and a misplaced adoption of Scriptural terms), when they talk of men " walking after the flesh, or after the spirit,"-that " the natural man cannot please God,1" &c. &c. &c. All this, I take it, merely means that the lower part of man's nature, the animal (which God and religion intended, and I doubt not have provided for the ultimate fulfilment of the intention), should serve and obey the higher, the moral and spiritual part,-takes the lead, and, instead of serving, presumes to dictate and domineer ; thus producing all the confusion, and much of the misery, of a true servile war. Now, I would ask you the question, Can the skilful phrenologist, in such mixed cases as I have described, point out, from an inspection of the brain, as indicated by the exterior head, the character of the individual ? I think you will answer that he can. At least he can enumerate th forces which are enlisted on either side, though, being no charlatan, and not pretending that he is a prophet, he will not venture to predict what specific action, or course of action for a time, will result, under certain circumstances, from the antagonist motives which the man carries within him. In illustration of what I have hurriedly above been intending to


say, I would ask you again, whether there are not scores of examples in all the phrenological capitals of Europe, where (let us take one example) parents have hesitatingly, tremblingly, half believing, half afraid, taken their children to be examined (for their characters, Sic. &c. &c.) by the most reputed phrenologist they could hear of,-submitting the heads of the little creatures to the eyes and fingers-the wand of the conjurer. If he be really an expert and well-instructed conjurer, he immediately detects the general outlines of the children's (not infants') characters. But he goes much farther than this,-he examines and weighs, he balances the forces of the different qualities, intellectual, moral and animal ; and in almost every instance (supposing him always to be a good conjurer), he fairly and fully delineates the character. So the poor parents stand aghast ; propensities, sentiments, passions, virtues and vices, which they vainly imagined could be known only to themselves, or the immediate inmates of the house or the nursery, are brought to the surface, under the wicked scrutiny of the phrenological doctor. The sequel of this proceeding very commonly is, that he is consulted by the anxious parents respecting the education, the general management, and ultimately the choice of professions, for the several children ; and undoubtedly it would be well for the family, if the counsels of a really judicious phrenological adviser, regarding the above mentioned points, were attended to and acted upon. If the statements I have been making, and the opinion I have given respecting those classes (far removed from the two extremes), which make up the great mass of human society, be true, there can be no doubt how I must answer the query transcribed above from your circular letter. I consider it as proved to demonstration, that "the natural dispositions are indicated by the form and size of
vol. II. H h


the brain to such an extent, as to render it quite possible during life, to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good dispositions."

I shall conclude this letter with a few observations, naturally arising out of the subject. We know that phrenological knowledge and skill, have in very many instances been rendered most useful in the business of education, as respects both private families and public schools, where happily the masters or directors could avail themselves of such assistances, in conducting the moral and the intellectual discipline of the pupils. We know further, that medical science and art have been much indebted to Phrenology, in the case more especially of several institutions for the reception and treatment of patients labouring under various forms and degrees of mental alienation. Of the latter, the instances of the Lancastrian Asylum, and that for the reception of paupers of the County of Middlesex, near the metropolis, at present occur to me, and I believe there are many similar examples both in England and Scotland. Can it be doubted, then, that Phrenology is capable of furnishing resources of equal magnitude, and to an extent not easily appreciated, in the classification and the discipline of those unhappy persons, whose crimes, in various degrees, have brought them under the dominion of criminal jurisprudence ?

I might, my dear Sir, have answered your letter much more laconically than I have done, and possibly an apology is due from me, for having been too diffuse ; but the subject is one in which I take a great interest, and I trust I shall be forgiven.

I remain, with much respect, yours faithfully,



XXV. From Dr PATRICK NEILL, F.R.S. E. & F. L. S. London.

Right Hon. Lord GLENLG.

MY LORD, 31s* March 1836.

in consequence of a suggestion by Sir George Mackenzie, I beg leave to mention to your Lordship, that even before the first visit of Dr Spurzheim to Edinburgh, I was satisfied that the leading doctrines of Gall were founded in truth, because the conviction was forced upon me by my own observations made before that visit : I mean that certain convolutions or portions of the brain are peculiarly the organs of certain faculties and propensities ; that size is generally indicative of vigour ; and that, in many cases, the relative size of the organs can be distinguished by external examination.

Knowing the powerful influence of surrounding society in encouraging or restraining, I have never given an opinion as to the probable actions of an educated individual, and indeed have uniformly declined examining heads among my friends, even when pressed to do so. But I have, on various occasions, been influenced by my private observations of development, and can most conscientiously say that I have constantly seen more and more reason to trust, with confidence, to such observations. My abstaining from any public practice of Phrenology ought not, therefore, to lessen the weight of my testimony.

The organs of some faculties and propensities are much more easily recognised externally than those of others ; and when they are strongly marked no Phrenologist (I would say no one who has ever attended to the subject, although no adept), can possibly be mistaken in drawing useful conclusions. In the case of convicts ordered for transportation, for examine, he could undoubtedly point out the probably


treacherous and the probably mischievous ;-so that, during the voyage, these might be more strictly guarded, and separated as much as possible from those who were likely to prove conscientious and benevolent ; and, on arrival at their place of destination, that the former might be kept at work under public surveillance, and only the latter hired out to settlers.

To shew that I ought not to be entirely unqualified for giving an opinion, your Lordship will excuse me for mentioning that in my youth I studied for three years with a view to the medical profession ; that I attended especially to Anatomy, and saw the human brain dissected by Monro secundus, and developed by Spurzheim (for the latter scarcely used the scalpel) ; that I have for upwards of twenty years been Secretary to the Wernerian Natural History Society ; and that I have, all my life, been attached to the study of natural history.

I am, my Lord, your Lordship's very obedient servant,


XXVI. From Dr john elliotson, F. R. S., President of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical, and of the London Phrenological Societies ; Professor of the Principles and Practice of Medicine and of Clinical Medicine, and Dean of Faculty, in the University of London ; Senior Physician of the North London Hospital ; Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London ; formerly Physician to St Thomas's Hospital, and President of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh, &c. £c. &c.

To the Right Hon. Lord GLENELG. April 1. 1836.

Dr ELLIOTSON presents his compliments to Lord Glenelg, and begs to say, that, at the desire of Sir George


Mackenzie, he takes the liberty of communicating to his Lordship his thorough conviction of the truth of Phrenology. He has not passed a day for the last twenty years, without bestowing at least some thought upon it ; and the vast number of facts which he has witnessed, without any certain exception as to any of the chief points, convince him that it is as real a science as Astronomy or Chemistry. Nor does he know any branch of science more important, as it is interwoven with morals, religion, government, education, and in short with every thing that regards human or brute nature.

XXVII. From Dr JOHN SCOTT, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.



DEAR SIR GEORGE, 10th April 1836.

having been informed by Mr Combe of the nature of your correspondence with Lord Glenelg, relative to the proposed experiment as to a number of convicts to be sent to New South Wales, I have much satisfaction in stating my conviction of the very important advantages to be derived from it, in shewing the practical usefulness of the science of Phrenology ; of the truth of which I have been fully satisfied, from the period in which I studied it under Dr Spurzheim in Paris, fifteen years since.

With sincere hopes that Lord Glenelg may be induced to accede to your benevolent wishes, I remain your obedient servant,



XXVIII. From JOSEPH VIMONT, M. D., of the Faculty of Paris, Honorary Member of the Phrenological Societies of Paris, London, Edinburgh, Boston, &c.

To the Right Hon. Lord GLENELG, Secretary for the Colonies.

MY LORD, paris, 30th March 1836.

Sir G. S. Mackenzie, Bart., in applying to your Lordship for permission to examine the heads of a number of convicts, in order to appreciate their mental faculties, might have dispensed with having recourse to the testimony of foreign physiologists. In the case proposed by the honourable Baronet, the experiment cannot fail of being crowned with success, if made (as I do not doubt it will be), by phrenologists deeply versed in the theory and practice of Phrenology. The observations made by the founder of the science, Dr Gall, in the prisons of Berlin and Spandau, those which have been repeated in all the civilized world', to which I may add those which I have made in three of the principal prisons of France, viz. Caen in Normandy, Bicêtre near Paris, and Melun twelve leagues from Paris, have convinced me that it is not only possible to appreciate the relation existing between the volume of the head and the energy of the mental faculties, but that one may still, by their examination, be able to establish among the convicts several classes, the discrimination of which would be very advantageous to society and for the convicts themselves. The work of Dr Gall, the Phrenological Journal of Edinburgh, the large work which I have lately published, finally, the phrenological museums, abound with incontestable facts proving that the mental faculties of men may be appreciated in a healthy state by the examination of


their heads. To deny the truth of those facts, is to put in doubt the existence of the best established phenomena. I have, my Lord, the honour to be your humble servant,


XXIX. From Dr WILLIAM GREGORY, F.R.S.E., Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Member and formerly President of the Royal Medical Society, Corresponding Member of the Société de Pharmacie and of the Phrenological Society of Paris, and Secretary to the Phrenological Society of Edinburgh.

To the Right Honourable

Lord GLENELG, &c. &c. &c.

MY LORD, EDINBURGH, 11th April 1836.

Having been requested to state my opinion of the proposition made to your Lordship by Sir G. S. Mackenzie, Bart., in reference to a phrenological examination of convicts about to be transported, with a view to their classification according to their natural dispositions, so as to avoid many inconveniences to which their masters in the penal settlements are now liable, I beg to state to your Lordship, that, for some years past, I have studied the science of Phrenology, and have the firm conviction that, in the hands of properly qualified observers, this science affords the means of ascertaining with certainty the natural dispositions and talents of such individuals as possess healthy brains.

My conviction is founded on a careful study of the works of the most distinguished phrenologists, confirmed by the repeated examination of several extensive collections, in which are deposited the heads of very numerous criminals of all shades of character. I have also had very frequent


opportunities of witnessing the facility and certainty with which character is discriminated by practised phrenologists in the case of living persons. It would be superfluous to point out the advantage of such a power, especially in the case of convicts.

Your Lordship's official avocations have probably prevented you from devoting your attention to the subject of Phrenology ; but I may be permitted to express my belief that your Lordship could not examine it carefully without being satisfied of its importance to mankind, as being the only consistent and practical philosophy of mind yet offered to the world.

And when those who have carefully studied Phrenology, and become convinced of its truth, offer, as Sir G. S. Mackenzie has done, to put it to a practical test, which may be highly advantageous, and cannot possibly be hurtful, it is the duty of your Lordship, and of all those who have it in their power to authorize the experiment, not to pass by or neglect a proposition so important, merely for want of that faith in the truth of Phrenology, which no one can reasonably expect to possess, unless he have made himself acquainted with the science, and the evidence on which it is supported.

I have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's most

obedient servant,


XXX. From Dr robert hunter, Professor of Anatomy, &c. in the Andersonian University, Glasgow.

To the Right Honourable Lord GLENELG.

MY LORD, GLASGOW, 11th April 1836.

at the request of Mr Combe, I have taken the liberty of addressing your Lordship on the subject of


Phrenology. For more than thirteen years I have paid some attention to the subject, and I beg to state, that the more deeply I investigate it, the more I am convinced in the truth of the science. I have examined it in connection with the anatomy of the brain, and find it beautifully to harmonise. I have tested the truth of it on numerous individuals, whose characters it unfolded with accuracy and precision. For the last ten years I have taught Phrenology publicly in connection with Anatomy and Physiology, and have no hesitation in stating, that, in my opinion, it is a science founded on truth, and capable of being applied to many practical and useful purposes.

I have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's very obedient servant,


XXXI. From robert macnish, Esq. Member of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and Author of " The Philosophy of Sleep," &c.

To the Right Honourable Lord GLENELG.

MY LORD, GLASGOW, 11th April 1836.

having been applied to, by Sir GEORGE MACKENZIE, to state my opinion with respect to the possibility of detecting the characters of convicts by an examination of their heads on Phrenological principles, I have no hesitation in declaring my perfect conviction, that, in very many cases, the dispositions of these individuals may, by such a process, be discriminated with remarkable accuracy.

The form of head possessed by all dangerous and inveterate criminals is peculiar. There is an enormous mass of brain behind the ear, and a comparatively small portion


in the frontal and coronal regions. Such a conformation always characterizes the worst class of malefactors; and wherever it exists we find an excessive tendency to crime. This fact I have had ample opportunities of verifying; and, indeed, no person who compares criminal heads with those of persons whose natural dispositions are towards virtue, can entertain the slightest doubt upon the subject. I have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's most

obedient servant,


XXXII. From richard poole, M. D., Fellow and Joint Librarian of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh; Author of various Articles in Periodical Journals and the Encyclopaedia Edinensis,-as Language? Philology, Mathematics, Mind, Philosophy, and Education, the last of which has been republished separately.

EDINBURGH, 12th April 1836.

During several years, actively employed, I have found the principles of Phrenology available in very important duties,-more especially in the treatment of Insanity, to which, as a professional man, my attention has been greatly directed ; and I feel warranted, by long study and observation, in maintaining the opinion, that it is practicable to distinguish individuals having naturally very low and dangerous characters, from others who are naturally well constituted and disposed,-by examining and comparing their heads during life, according to the principles of phrenology-



XXXIII. From charles maclaren, Esq. Editor of the Scotsman.

To the Right Honourable Lord GLENELG, Secretary for the Colonies, &c.

EDINBURGH, 9th April 1836.

in reference to a correspondence between your Lordship and Sir George Mackenzie, on the propriety of subjecting convicts to a phrenological examination, I beg leave to state, that I have paid some attention to Phrenology during the last seven years-that I believe its principles to be substantially true, and am convinced that the natural dispositions are indicated by the form and size of the brain to such an extent as to render it quite possible, during life, to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good dispositions.

Perhaps I may be allowed to add, that my first impressions in favour of Phrenology were produced by the explanation which its doctrines afford of the phenomena of mind, and the relations of man to the external world-an explanation more clear, consistent, and satisfactory, in my opinion, than can be derived from any system of philosophy now taught in this country.

I have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient servant,


Editor of the Scotsman Newspaper.


XXXIV, From WILLIAM WILDSMITH, Esq. Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, and of the Council of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society; and Author of " An Inquiry concerning the relative Connexion which subsists between the Mind and the Brain."

To the Right Honourable Lord GLENELG.

My LORD, LEEDS, April 16. 1836.

having been informed that Sir G. S. Mackenzie, Bart, has made proposals for applying the tests afforded by Phrenology for the discrimination of individual character in convicts subject to transportation, with a view to their better classification, I beg most sincerely to add my humble testimony in approval of the plan suggested, with the confident assurance that the result will prove highly valuable to the parties most interested, and prove to the entire satisfaction of any who may doubt it, 'the practical application of Phrenology to the common affairs of life. Nothing, I am convinced, can be easier than the discrimination of the naturally and the casually vicious, by the aid of Phrenology ; and, in the case in question, I doubt not of its complete success if a trial be permitted.

I have the honour to remain, your Lordship's most obedient servant.



XXXV. From Mr william brebner, Governor of the County and City Bridewell, Glasgow.


DEAR SIR Glasgow, 18th April 1836.

ABOUT two thousand persons pass through this establishment yearly, and I have had the charge for upwards of twenty-five years. During that period, and long before I heard any thing of Phrenology, I was often struck with the extraordinary shape of the heads of most of the criminals. When Dr Spurzheim visited this city, I attended his lectures ; and although I do not yet pretend to have any thing like phrenological knowledge, I have no hesitation in saying, that the most notoriously bad characters have a conformation of head very different from those of the common run of mankind.

I may be allowed to add, that Dr Spurzheim, yourself, and many others, professing and believing in the science, who have visited this prison, have described the character, and told the leading propensities of the inmates, in a very remarkable manner. I am, &c.


XXXVI. From H. A. GALBRAITH, Esq. Surgeon to the Glasgow Royal Lunatic Asylum.


MY DEAR SIR, 19th April 1836.

situated as I am in the midst of a wide field for observation, more particularly in regard to disordered


mental manifestations, I have been for several years past led to compare these with the phrenological development of the individuals in whom they appeared; and from the result of numerous and well-marked instances, which have not only been known to me during a state of morbid activity, but from authentic accounts of the previous mental indications, I have not the least hesitation in declaring my firm belief in the general doctrines of Phrenology.

It gives me much pleasure on this occasion, and is but an act of justice, to add, that when Dr Spurzheim was in this city some years ago, he visited this Institution, and examined several of the most remarkable heads of the then inmates ; and, had I been more careless and sceptical than I really was, the correctness and facility with which his inductions were made from cerebral development, must have arrested my attention, and convinced me of the reality of the science he professed. It is also no small confirmation of the doctrine, as well as proof of its utility, that exactly the same conclusions were drawn from the same heads, when submitted to you a few days ago at your visit here. It therefore can be no chance or random opinion, but one evidently founded on a common principle, that enables the experienced Phrenologist, at the distance of years, not only correctly to delineate the character and conduct of individuals, but strictly to coincide with that formerly given. Although I have as yet no pretension to the name of an experienced Phrenologist, yet be assured my faith in the verity of Phrenology is such as to induce me to cultivate it with more care than I have hitherto done, and it will be no small gratification if I can add with benefit to those under my charge. I am, My Dear Sir, yours very faithfully,




XXXVII. From GEORGE SALMOND, Esq. Procurator-Fiscal of Lanarkshire ; WALTER Mom, Esq. Sheriff-Substitute of Lanarkshire ; and Mr D. M'CoLL, Governor of Glasgow Jail.



DEAR SIR GLASGOW, 22d April 1836.

A few days ago Sheriff Moir having told me of your intention to examine phrenologically some of the criminals in Glasgow jail, I expressed a wish to be present, in order that I might have a practical test of the system, and ascertain whether your inferences of character should accord with what was privately and officially known of them by myself; and Mr Moir having kindly honoured me with an introduction to you, I had the gratification of attending your examination of a number of these persons, and of hearing with sincere interest the accurate conclusions you arrived at on each of them.

Never before having witnessed such an operation, and expecting that, after a tedious process of examination, taking notes, and comparing and calculating results, something of an oracular generality of character should be announced, I was very much pleased to observe, that while your examination of each did not average a minute, you instantly, and without hesitation, stated the character, not generally, but with specialties of feelings and propensities, surprisingly justified by what I knew of them ; and being aware that you had no access to them, nor means of knowing them previously, as they were taken at the moment promiscuously from numbers of the other criminals, I was at once led to a conviction of the truth of the science, and to see eminent advantages of such knowledge to society, and more immediately in regard to criminal jurisprudence and practice.

Of the instances of your observation, suffer me to men-


tion a few, which at the time occurred to me as peculiarly convincing.

The first man you examined you pronounced " a thief, reckless and dangerous, who, for instance, if under the influence of liquor, would not hesitate to murder or destroy all around him." Now this fellow has for years travelled about the country with a horse and cart, selling salt and trifling articles, and has acquired the character of a masterful thief, and just now stands indicted with a cruel assault on, and highway robbery of, a poor labourer, of all his hard earnings last harvest.

Another, you observed, had " a fine intellect, and was likely to have been guilty of swindling ;"" and the accuracy of this observation on a painter, who is indicted for falsehood, fraud, and wilful Imposition, or swindling, is self-evident.

A third; whom you pronounced " a cunning, daring, and decided thief," is an incorrigible thief, who for years has, in the most concealed and adroit manner, headed a gang of housebreakers, and is at present indicted for highway robbery, committed by his savagely knocking down with a heavy stob a poor man, who was almost killed on the spot. Private information leads me to understand that he has been party to another crime, of a nature equally, if not more, daring and cruel.

A fourth you described to be " a depraved and most dangerous man." He is a crony of the man last noticed ; has long been a thief, and one of the most noted corpse-lifters while subjects were bought by the medical schools ; and he is said to have been concerned with the man last mentioned in the atrocious crime alluded to at the close of the observations as to him,

A fifth, whom you judged to be "a sly thief, who, with a meek and specious aspect, possessed daring even to cruelty," is a fellow who is by trade a thief, adroit and cun-


ning, and who has often attacked and escaped from the officers of justice. He lately stole in broad day-light on the streets of Glasgow a handkerchief from a gentleman's pocket, and ran off. Being promptly pursued, he, as a decoy, threw from him the napkin. Being after a race overtaken, he leapt into a dung-pit, whither the gentleman could not think of following him, but stood watching him till police he sent for arrived. On this the fellow in the most fawning manner, craved sympathy, and finding this did not move the gentleman's purpose, he suddenly sprung out, and, on being seized, made a desperate struggle, bit severely the gentleman's hand, and, by his force and violence, might soon have got off had not the police arrived.

The accuracy of your conclusions has deeply impressed me with the benefit which would accrue to society from the application of such investigations towards the better classification of criminals confined before and after trial, to the selection and treatment of convicts, and even to the more certain identification of such criminals as might effect their escape from justice or confinement.

With much regard, believe me to be, dear Sir, yours most faithfully,

GEO. SALMOND, Pror.-Fiscal of Lanarkshire.

We were present on the occasion of Mr Combe's visit to the Jail of Glasgow, and testify to the perfect accuracy of Mr Salmond's representation of what happened. Mr Combe's inferences of the characters of such prisoners as he then examined, were most accurate, and never could have been the result of chance.

WALTER MOIR, Sheriff Subst. of Lanarkshire.


Governor of Glasgow Jail

vol. II. l i


XXXVIII. Account of Mr combe's Phrenological Examination of Heads of Criminals in the Jail of Newcastle-on-Tyne, October 1835. Extracted from the Phrenological Journal, xol ix. p. 524.

On Wednesday 28th October, Mr Combe, accompanied by the following gentlemen, visited the jail : viz. Dr George Fife, assistant-surgeon to the jail (who is not a phrenologist) ; Benjamin Sorsbie, Esq., alderman ; Dr D. B. White ; Mr T. M. Greenhow, surgeon ; Mr John Baird, surgeon ; Mr George C. Aitkinson ; Mr Edward Richardson ; Mr Thomas Richardson ; Mr Wm. Hutton ; and Captain Hooke.

Mr Combe mentioned, that his chief object was to shew to such of the gentlemen present as had attended his lectures in Newcastle, the reality of the fact which he had frequently stated, that there is a marked difference between the development of the brain in men of virtuous dispositions, and its development in decidedly vicious characters, such as criminals usually are ; and that the moral organs generally are larger in proportion to the organs of the animal propensities, in the former than in the latter : and he requested that a few striking cases of crime might be presented, and that the heads of the criminals should be compared with those of any of the gentlemen present indiscriminately.

This was done ; and Dr Fyfe suggested that it would be further desirable that Mr Combe should write down his own remarks on the cases, before any account of them was given, while he himself should, at the other side of the table, write down an account of their characters according to his knowledge of them ; and that the two statements should then be compared. Mr Combe agreed to this request ; and the following individuals were examined.


P. S., aged about 20.-Mr Combe wrote as follows : Anterior lobe well developed ; intellectual powers are considerable. The organ of Imitation is large, also Secretiveness ; Acquisitiveness is rather large. The most defective organ is Conscientiousness. Benevolence and Veneration are large. The lower animal organs are not inordinate. My inference is, that this boy is not accused of violence; his dispositions are not ferocious, or cruel, or violent : he has a talent for deception, and a desire for property not regulated by justice. His desires may have appeared in swindling or theft. It is most probable that he has swindled : he has the combination which contributes to the talents of an actor,-Dr Fife's Remarks : A confirmed thief ; he has been twice convicted of theft. He has never shewn brutality ; but he has no sense of honesty. He has frequently attempted to impose on Dr Fife; he has considerable talent; he attended school, and is quick and apt ; he has a talent for imitation.

T. S., aged 18.-Mr Combe wrote: Destructiveness is very large; Combativeness, Secretiveness, and Acquisitiveness are large ; intellectual organs fairly developed ; Amativeness is large ; Conscientiousness rather moderate ; Benevolence is full, and Veneration rather large. This boy is considerably different from the last. He is more violent in his dispositions; he has probably been committed for assault connected with women. He has also large Secretiveness and Acquisitiveness, and may have stolen, although I think this less probable. He has fair intellectual talents, and is an improveable subject.-Dr Fife's Remarks : Crime, rape * * * * No striking features in his genera] character ; mild disposition ; has never shewn actual vice.

J. W., aged 73.-Mr Combe's Observations: The coro-

* The particular observations are not proper for publication.


nal region is very defective ; Veneration and Firmness are the best developed ; but all are deficient. Cautiousness is enormously large; the organ of Combativeness is considerable, and Amativeness is large ; there are no other leading organs of the propensities inordinate in development ; the intellect is very moderate. I would have expected to find this case in a lunatic asylum rather than in a jail ; and I cannot fix upon any particular feature of crime. His moral dispositions generally are very defective ; but he has much caution. Except in connection with his Amativeness and Combativeness, I cannot specify the precise crime of which he has been convicted. Great deficiency in the moral organs is the characteristic feature, which leaves the lower propensities to act without control.-Dr Fife's Remarks : A thief ; void of every principle of honesty ; obstinate ; insolent ; ungrateful for any kindness. In short, one of the most depraved characters with which I have been acquainted.-Note by Mr Combe: I have long maintained, that where the moral organs are extremely deficient, as in this case, the individual is a. moral lunatic, and ought to be treated as such. Individuals in whom one organ is so large as Cautiousness is in this old man, and in whom the regulating organs of the moral sentiments are so deficient, are liable to fall into insanity, if strongly excited, owing to the disproportion in the cerebral organs. It is common to meet with such cases in lunatic asylums ; and as the criminal law has gone on punishing this individual during a long life (for he has been twice transported), and met with no success in reclaiming him, but left him in jail, under sentence for theft, at seventy years of age, I consider these facts a strong confirmation of my opinion that he ought to have been treated as a moral patient from the first.


XXXIX. From Dr JOHN MACKINTOSH, Surgeon to the Ordnance Department in North Britain ; Lecturer on the Principles of Pathology and Practice of Physic ; Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh ; Member of the Medico o Chirurgical and Wernerian Natural History Societies of Edinburgh, Montreal, Heidelberg, and Brussels.


MY DEAR SIR, EDINBURGH, 27th April 1836.

in reply to your letter of the 16th March, requesting me to state whether the natural dispositions are indicated by the size and form of the brain, so as to render it possible during life to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good dispositions, I have much pleasure in being able to offer my unqualified testimony as to the fact.

I was formerly not only an unbeliever in Phrenology, but a determined scoffer, and my conversion was slowly produced by the occurrence of individual cases that were accidentally brought before me ; and I would now risk all I possess upon the general results drawn from the examination of the heads of one hundred convicts, by qualified persons I could name.

It would be well for society in the countries to which convicts are sent, if the plan proposed by Sir George Mackenzie to the Right Honourable Lord Glenelg were adopted. If any expense be occasioned by the investigation, I shall willingly contribute a share, because the interests of science will be advanced, and a great service will be rendered to the unfortunate convicts themselves.

I may add, that a great revolution has taken place within these few years, not only in this country, but also on the Continent, in favour of Phrenological doctrines ; the number of opponents has diminished, and the disciples have in-


creased in a remarkable manner ;-so much so, that in Pans there is scarcely an illustrious name connected with Medicine, or any of the sciences, that is not found enrolled in the list of Members of the Phrenological Society. You may make whatever use you please of this letter ; and with much respect towards you, for the great share you have had in advancing our knowledge of the true science of mind, and placing it on a wider and more substantial basis, I am, my dear Sir, yours very faithfully,


XL. Certificate from HENRY MARSH, Esq. M.D., M.I.R.A., one of the Physicians to Steven's Hospital, Consulting Physician to the Dublin General Hospital, St Vincent's Hospital, and the Institution for the Diseases of Children ; ROBERT HARRISON, Esq. M.D., M.R.I.A., Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; RICHARD TONSON EVANSON, Esq. M.D., M.R.I.A., Professor of the Practice of Physic, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland ; JAMES ARMSTRONG, D.D., M.R.I.A. ; FRANCIS WHITE, Esq. President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland ; W. F. MONTGOMERY, Esq. M.D., Professor of Midwifery to the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland ; WM. W. CAMPBELL, Esq. M.R.I.A., Demonstrator of Anatomy to the College of Surgeons in Ireland, Resident Assistant Physician to the Dublin Lying-in Hospital ; ANDREW BOURNE, Esq. Barrister ; THOMAS EDWARD BEATTY, Esq. M.D., late Professor of Medical Jurisprudence, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland ; ARTHUR EDWARD GAYER, Esq. LL.D., Barrister; ANDREW CARMICHAEL, Esq. M.R.I.A. ; JOHN HOUSTON, Esq. M.D., Curator of the Museum, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland, Surgeon to the City Dublin Hospital, Surgeon to the Charter Schools of Ireland, and to the Deaf and Dumb Institution for Ireland, H. MAUNSELL, Esq. M.D., Professor of Midwifery to the


Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and Member of the

Medical Society of Leipzic.

DUBLIN, March 25. 1836.

WE the undersigned declare our belief, from what we know or have seen of the science of Phrenology, " that the natural dispositions are indicated by the size and form of the brain to such an extent, as to render it quite possible during life to distinguish men of desperate tendencies from those of good dispositions ;" and we feel no hesitation in recommending, that trial should be made of the experiment proposed by Sir George Mackenzie, to prove the possibility of this application of Phrenology.

We conceive that, in affording this opportunity for putting publicly to the test the degree of accuracy to which Phrenology has been brought, as a scientific method of determining character, and so discriminating between the natural dispositions of criminals, the Secretary for the Colonies will but act the part of an enlightened statesman, willing to keep pace with the advance of knowledge, to do justice to science, and afford the Government opportunity for availing itself of all aid to be derived from the lights of philosophy, in fulfilling the arduous and responsible duties connected with criminal legislation.




I am fully convinced that the proposed phrenological experiment of Sir G. Mackenzie, Bart., is amply entitled to a fair trial.


XLII. From the provost of trinity college.

PROVOST HOUSE, April 18. 1836.

I am decidedly of opinion that the experiment proposed by Sir Geo, Mackenzie should be made, especially when I consider that it can be made without difficulty or expense.

BAR. LLOYD, Provost T. C. D.

XLIII. From H. LLOYD, Esq. F.T.C.D., Professor of Natural Philosophy, Dublin.

TRINITY COLLEGE, Aprils. 1836.

having seen a paper signed by Mr Combe, relating to a phrenological experiment proposed by Sir George Mackenzie, I am of opinion that such experiment is deserving of a trial.


XLIV. From mountifort longfield, Esq. F. T. C. D., Whayleaw, Professor of Political Economy,

I have been informed of the experiment proposed by Sir G. Mackenzie, and am of opinion that very important results may be obtained, if the State will in that manner lend its assistance to make the science of Phrenology


available for purposes of public utility. I am altogether unacquainted with the details of phrenological practice, but from what I have read upon the subject, I am convinced that the science is founded on true principles, and that to writers on Phrenology we owe much of the light that has been thrown upon the philosophy of the human mind. Their metaphysics appear to me in general correct, with as small a proportion of error as could be expected on works written upon a subject which has not yet been made a branch of public education, nor converted into a source of profit to individuals.


XLV. From PHILIP CRAMPTON, Esq. Surgeon-General, Dublin.

DUBLIN, April 12. 1836.

I am of opinion that the experiment proposed by Sir Geo. Mackenzie, with a view to ascertain whether or not " the natural dispositions are indicated by the form and size of the brain," is worthy of a trial.


XLVI. From AR. JACOB, Esq. M.D., Professor of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin.

DUBLIN, April 27. 1836.

I have not paid sufficient attention to the study of Phrenology, to justify me in giving a decided opinion respecting its value, or the importance of its results ; but I cannot hesitate to say, that such a case has been made out, (to prove " that the natural dispositions are indicated by the form and size of the brain, to such an extent as to ren-


der it quite possible during life to distinguish men of desperate and dangerous tendencies from those of good disposition,") as warrants the experiment proposed by Sir G. Mackenzie.


Vol. 1: [front matter], Intro, Nervous system, Principles of Phrenology, Anatomy of the brain, Division of the faculties 1.Amativeness 2.Philoprogenitiveness 3.Concentrativeness 4.Adhesiveness 5.Combativeness 6.Destructiveness, Alimentiveness, Love of Life 7.Secretiveness 8.Acquisitiveness 9.Constructiveness 10.Self-Esteem 11.Love of Approbation 12.Cautiousness 13.Benevolence 14.Veneration 15.Firmness 16.Conscientiousness 17.Hope 18.Wonder 19.Ideality 20.Wit or Mirthfulness 21.Imitation.
Vol. 2: [front matter], external senses, 22.Individuality 23.Form 24.Size 25.Weight 26.Colouring 27.Locality 28.Number 29.Order 30.Eventuality 31.Time 32.Tune 33.Language 34.Comparison, General observations on the Perceptive Faculties, 35.Causality, Modes of actions of the faculties, National character & development of brain, On the importance of including development of brain as an element in statistical inquiries, Into the manifestations of the animal, moral, and intellectual faculties of man, Statistics of Insanity, Statistics of Crime, Comparative phrenology, Mesmeric phrenology, Objections to phrenology considered, Materialism, Effects of injuries of the brain, Conclusion, Appendices: No. I, II, III, IV, V, [Index], [Works of Combe].

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