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George Combe

George CombeBorn: 21-Oct-1788
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: 14-Aug-1858
Location of death: Moor Park, Surrey, England
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Paranormal, Philosopher

Nationality: Scotland
Executive summary: Scottish phrenologist

The Scottish phrenologist George Combe was born near Edinburgh, Scotland on 21 October 1788. He was educated at the high school and Edinburgh University, and in 1804 began the study of law. In 1812 he obtained his commission as a writer to the signet, and soon afterward that of notary public. He was eminently successful as a lawyer, and his shrewdness and conscientiousness in dealing with his clients obtained him a large practice. In 1837 he devoted himself wholly to phrenology. On the visit of Spurzheim to Edinburgh in 1816, Combe became a convert to his system of phrenology, and advocated it in his lectures and writings. In 1819 he published Essays on Phrenology, or an Inquiry into the System of Gall and Spurzheim, which was subsequently developed into his System of Phrenology (2 vols., 8vo, 1824). His most important work, The Constitution of Man (1828), was designed to show that all the laws of nature were in harmony with one another, and that man could best fulfill God's will and attain the greatest happiness by discovering those laws and obeying them. In 1823, assisted by a few friends, George Combe and his brother Andrew, a physician, established the Edinburgh Phrenological Journal and for more than twenty-three years contributed gratuitously to its pages. In 1833 he married Cecilia Siddons, a daughter of the famous actress Sarah Siddons. In 1837 he went to Germany; and in 1838, accompanied by his wife, he visited the United States, and during the two years he remained there delivered 158 lectures on phrenology, and the education and treatment of the criminal classes. On his return to Great Britain in June 1840, he published his Moral Philosophy and in the year following his Notes on the United States of North America. Combe died at Moor Park, Surrey, England on 14 August 1858.

Wife: Cecilia Siddons (dau. of Sarah Siddons, m. 1833)

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