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Phrenological Development of Robert Burns From a Cast of His Skull Moulded at Dumfries, the 31st Day of March 1834   By: (1788-1858)

Phrenological Development of Robert Burns From a Cast of His Skull Moulded at Dumfries, the 31st Day of March 1834 by George Combe

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Phrenological DEVELOPMENT of ROBERT BURNS

BY George Combe.

Engraved & Published by W. & A.K. Johnston, Edinburgh. April 1834. REPRINTED JANUARY 1859.

PHRENOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT OF ROBERT BURNS, from a Cast of his skull MOULDED AT DUMFRIES. THE 31ST DAY OF MARCH 1834.

With Remarks by George Combe, AUTHOR OF "A SYSTEM OF PHRENOLOGY," "THE CONSTITUTION OF MAN" &c.

[Illustration: MAUSOLEUM, Erected at Dumfries, to the Memory of Robt Burns]

Engraved & Published by W. & A.K. Johnston, Edinburgh 30 April 1834.

Reprinted January 1859.

[Illustration: VIEWS OF THE SKULL OF ROBERT BURNS.]

[Illustration: KEY TO THE PHRENOLOGICAL ORGANS.]

OBSERVATIONS ON THE SKULL OF BURNS, BY GEORGE COMBE.

Robert Burns was born on 25th January 1759, and died at Dumfries on 21st July 1796, in the 37th year of his age, and, on the 26th, was interred in St Michael's Churchyard. Eighteen years afterwards, a Mausoleum was erected by subscription to his memory in that cemetery; and, on the 19th September 1815, his remains were privately exhumed and transferred to the vault attached to it. Mrs Burns, the Poet's widow, having died on 26th March 1834, the vault was opened for the purpose of depositing her remains beside those of her husband; and the gentlemen who took charge of the proceedings, being aware of the anxiety which had long been generally felt to obtain a Cast of the Poet's Skull, resolved to avail themselves of the opportunity to gratify this desire. The consent of the relatives having been obtained, Mr M'Diarmid, the Editor of the Dumfries Courier , went with several other gentlemen to the vault, and successfully effected their purpose.

The following description is written by Mr Archibald Blacklock, Surgeon: "The cranial bones were perfect in every respect, if we except a little erosion of their external table, and firmly held together by their sutures; even the delicate bones of the orbits, with the trifling exception of the os unguis in the left, were sound and uninjured by death and the grave. The superior maxillary bones still retained the four most posterior teeth on each side, including the dentes sapientiæ, and all without spot or blemish; the incisores, cuspidati, &c., had, in all probability, recently dropped from the jaw, for the alveoli were but little decayed. The bones of the face and palate were also sound. Some small portions of black hair, with a very few grey hairs intermixed, were observed while detaching some extraneous matter from the occiput. Indeed, nothing could exceed the high state of preservation in which we found the bones of the cranium, or offer a fairer opportunity of supplying what has so long been desiderated by Phrenologists a correct model of our immortal Poet's head; and in order to accomplish this in the most accurate and satisfactory manner, every particle of sand or other foreign body was carefully washed off, and the plaster of Paris applied with all the tact and accuracy of an experienced artist. The Cast is admirably taken, and cannot fail to prove highly interesting to Phrenologists and others.

"Having completed our intention, the Skull, securely enclosed in a leaden case, was again committed to the earth precisely where we found it.

"ARCHD. BLACKLOCK." DUMFRIES, 1st April 1834 .

CEREBRAL DEVELOPMENT OF BURNS.

I. DIMENSIONS OF THE SKULL.

Inches. Greatest circumference, 22 1/4 From Occipital Spine to Individuality, over the top of the head, 14 ... Ear to Ear vertically over the top of the head, 13 ... Philoprogenitiveness to Individuality (greatest length), 8 ... Concentrativeness to Comparison, 7 1/8 ... Ear to Philoprogenitiveness, 4 7/8 ... Ear to Individuality, 4 3/4 ... Continue reading book >>




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