Journal article

A scandalous act: Regulating anatomy in a British settler colony, Tasmania 1869

Helen MacDonald

SOCIAL HISTORY OF MEDICINE | OXFORD UNIV PRESS | Published : 2007

Abstract

In 1869 two British-trained surgeons, William Crowther and George Stokell, engaged in a serial quest in Hobart Town's General Hospital to obtain the skeleton of the so-called last Tasmanian Aboriginal man. Crowther stole William Lanney's skull from beneath his skin, intending to ship it to the Hunterian Museum at London's Royal College of Surgeons. Stokell resurrected Lanney's body from its grave on behalf of the local Royal Society's museum. A subsequent enquiry revealed to Tasmanians how readily any of them might be turned into subjects for dissection in the colony's main hospital, whose medical men seemed able to appropriate human remains at will. This scandal precipitated the passing of ..

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