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for the present of the former, and also announcing a donation to the Society of his octavo work, in six volumes. A letter from Dr Murray Paterson, with a donation of an illustration of the organs of Cautiousness, and a letter from Mr Thomas Pringle, Cape Town, accompanied with a donation of a skull of a Bushman robber, were laid before the Society. It was stated that Mr Pringle had sent also the skull of an East Indian criminal, but that it had been lost from the vessel in the voyage home. The thanks of the Society were voted for these communications and donations. The following gentlemen were balloted for, and duly admitted, -as ORDINARY MEMBERS—the Honourable D. Gordon Hallyburton, Hallyburton House, Forfarshire ; Mr Thomas Buchanan, Pilrig Street, Leith Walk; Mr John Overend, B. A., London, · Member of the Medical Society of Edinburgh ;-as cosRESPONDING MEMBERS-Mr Colin Smith, Bocaird, county of Argyle, and Mr J. E. A. Sadler, M.D., St Christophers.
A cast of the skull of JOHN THURTELL, executed on 9th January 1824, for the murder of Mr Weare, presented to the Society by Mr James De Ville, Strand, London, was produced to the meeting, and the thanks of the Society returned to Mr De Ville for the donation. Mr G. Combe stated, that the cast had arrived since the printed billets announcing this meeting were circulated, and that on this account it had not been mentioned in them, and no time had been afforded for preparing a report on the subject. Looking at the cast generally, the Society would observe, that Thurtell had belonged to the class of persons in whom the organs of the animal propensities were very largely developed, and the organs of the sentiments also considerable in size; while the organs of intellect were deficient in proportion to these others. Such individuals, as stated in the Transactions, page 309, are, to a considerable extent, the creatures of circumstances, and the phrenologist would expect to find in their conduct alternate manifestations of the lower propensities in great vehemence with the most opposite and inconsistent displays of higher and better
feeling, just as different occurrences or different individuals called the one or other class of faculties into predominating activity for the time. This, so far as can be gathered from the printed reports, appears to have been the character of Thurtell. But to do justice to the case, it would be requisite to obtain minute and authentic information concerning the real traits of his character as they appeared in his private life, as well as in the dreadful public exhibition with which his career terminated. Mr C. pointed out the absurdity of the reports which were circulated by some of the newspapers, that Thurtell had no Destructiveness. He demonstrated to the meeting, that the organs of Destructiveness, Combativeness, Secretiveness, Self-esteem, and Firmness, were all decidedly large,-in perfect conformity with the manifestations in the murder of Mr Weare. As Benevolence was also fully developed, a phrenologist would infer, that the real motive of the crime was revenge for injuries, real or supposed, proceeding from wounded Self-esteem and Love of Approbation united with Destructiveness, rather than a blood-thirsty desire of cold blooded murder or of simple robbery. The head, in many particulars, although not in all, bore a resemblance to that of King Robert Bruce, of which Mr Scott had said, “no one could tell, on “ examining this head, whether it was the head of a great “ and valiant chief of a rude and semibarbarous people,
or of a common traitor or murderer. We see that the “ character, as formerly observed, is one of great power, and “ we know the nature of the power ; but it is impossible to
predicate, whether it is to seek its gratification in a legiti“ mate or illegitimate sphere of action."—(P. 278.) Thurtell, it would be recollected, had, at one period of his life, moved in good society, and did not habitually display the atrocious feelings which disgraced his latter end. A member of the Society stated, that he had conversed with a person who was acquainted with him when a lieutenant on board of the Adamant, in Leith Roads, and that his character then was that of a dashing, thoughtless, good-hearted
VOL. I. -No II.
officer, and as opposite to his ultimate conduct as night to day. In Pierce Egan's Recollections of Thurtell a similar notice of him is given. The phrenologist must account for both aspects of his life, and must shew elements sufficient to account for his conduct in all its varieties of views. If the organs of the moral sentiments had been very greatly deficient, those of the animal propensities remaining as large as they are, the phrenological character would have been that of a fiend, and the better dispositions which he actually manifested would, on such a supposition, have been as inexplicapble as the murder would have been, if Destructiveness, Secretiveness, and Firmness, had been small. The development presented by the cast is, in harmony, equally with the good and evil of his character; and the comparatively deficient intellect points out at once, that he would resemble a ship without a helm, now tossed by the fury of the storm, now reposing softly in sunshine, deserted by the winds. It was hoped that some member of the Society would make the necessary investigation, and produce a report upon the case, and then it would constitute one of the most interesting and instructive that had yet been presented for consideration.
REMARKS ON THE CEREBRAL DEVELOPMENT AND DISPO.
SITIONS OF JOHN THURTELL."
Sire-Some of the enemies of phrenology, who, I trust, are also strangers to phrenologists, have thrown out hints that such conformations only of heads as are in concordance with
We have been favoured with this notice from a correspondent in the south, just as we were closing this Number. It will be found to coincide with the view of the character given in anticipation by Mr Combe, when he adverted to the indications of the cast before the Phrenological Society, immediately on its arrival in Edinburgh,
the system of Drs Gall and Spurzheim are adduced, while those which make against the system, (and it is gratuitously supposed that such exist), are passed over in silence, and anxiously kept out of sight. They who have felt no reluctance in throwing out hints of this description cannot, it may well be imagined, have found any difficulty in hinting also, that casts of heads are sometimes artificially fabricated to support our views. Such surmises are utterly without
A true phrenologist is a devoted lover of truth, and, with this character, any unfairness is incompatible. The slightest deviation from perfect candour would be severely visited by the body of phrenologists, who are too well satisfied of the foundation of their doctrines to entertain the slightest desire, to have indeed the slightest temptation, to resort to artifice. Respecting the case of which I purpose now to treat, no one will venture to make such suggestions. Before John Thurtell's head had been seen by a phrenologist, most of the members of the Phrenological Society of London had declared to all they met, that no pains should be spared to procure a cast of it; influence was used with the friends of the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire for this purpose; and, after express permission had been granted to the Society, Dr Willis and the two Mr Devilles, posted to Hertford at the time of the execution, and a few hours after the body was cut down, took the cast which now lies before me. The development will be found in complete unison with the character ; but the enemies of phrenology must allow it might have turned out otherwise, although phrenologists knew this to be impossible.
We occasionally hear another objection, and this from liberal and candid persons, that the character of an individual is not readily known, and consequently the accordance of the character to the organization may be more imaginary than real, Granting this to be the case in some instances, the objection is inapplicable to the present, the character of Thurtell admits of no doubt.
Certain, therefore, of the character of our subject, and of
the authenticity of our cast, let us examine and compare them. : 1. Amativeness, very large.
18. Firmness, very large. 2. Philoprogenitiveness, large. 19. Individuality, large. 3. Concentrativeneness, large. 20. Form, large. 4. Adhesiveness, very large.
23. Colour, moderate. 5. Combativeness, very large. 24. Locality, moderate. 6. Destructiveness, very large.
25. Order, full. 7. Constructiveness, small.
27. Number, moderate. 8. Acquisitiveness, full.:
28. Tune, moderate. 9. Secretiveness, very large.
29. Language, full. 10. Self-esteem, large.
30. Comparison, moderate, or rather 11. Love of Approbation, very large.
small. 12. Cautiousness, very large.
31. Causality, moderate, or rather 13. Benevolence, very large.
small. 14. Veneration, large.
32. Wit, small. 15. Hope, large.
33. Imitativeness, large. 16. Ideality, moderate, or rather full. 34. Wonder, moderate. 17. Conscientiousness, moderate, or
rather full. From between the eyebrows, (lower Individuality), to middle of Philoprogenitiveness,
8] inches From orifice of ear to lower Individuality,
6 Love of Approbation,
61 Destructiveness to Destructiveness,
6185 Combativeness to Combativeness,
5 Covetiveness to Covetiveness, Constructiveness to Constructiveness,
58 Tune to Tune,
44 Ideality to Ideality,
59 From centre of axis of ear to lower Individuality, With so many organs large, (and there are eight which deserve this epithet,) and so many very large (and no fewer than nine are very large,) while two only can be marked small, the whole head must necessarily be large, and consequently, cæteris paribus, have been endowed with considerable power and activity. But it is at first sight evident, that