Papers of George Combe (1788-1858), lawyer, phrenologist and educationist, and his household. Edit




  • 1804-1872, undated. (Creation)


  • 189 Volumes (Whole)



  • Conditions Governing Access

    Normal access conditions apply.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Presented, 1950, by the Combe Trustees.

  • Scope and Contents

    George Combe was educated at Edinburgh High School and at Edinburgh University, where he studied law; he became a Writer to the Signet in 1812. At this time he began to study the phrenological works of Franz Josef Gall and Johann Kaspar Spurzheim, and soon became a fervent advocate of that science. In 1837 he gave up his legal practice to devote himself to spreading the causes of phrenology, secular education, and criminal and prison reform, travelling widely in Europe and America. His views on practical education and moral training were pioneering, but were generally lost from view in the downfall of phrenology.

  • Arrangement

    The papers fall naturally into nine major sections, with a small miscellany appended. The sections have been subdivided where necessary. Chronological order has been preserved within each section or subdivision, and alphabetical arrangement adopted where possible within each year.

  • Separated Materials

    For a few formal documents, see Ch.7595-7610.