Friday, 7 November 2008

Jeremy Bentham

I’ve always fancied leaving a will with lots of weird things in it but I wouldn’t be so cruel to Jo as it might take months to sort out. The effect on his relatives was not something that bothered philosopher and social reformer Jermey Bentham who died in 1832 aged 84. He gave his entire estate to the London Hospital on the condition that his remains were to be preserved and allowed to preside over its board meetings. Surprisingly, all the demands of his will were strictly abided by. His body was presented to Dr. Smith, who did a complete dissection for the purpose of teaching anatomy to educate both the public and medical students, as was stipulated in his will. His bones were reassembled into a skeleton that was wax-coated from a cast with his expressionless face, outfitted with his clothes and put in a glass-fronted wooden cabinet seated in a chair. His wax likeness, accordingly noted as "not voting," was in attendance at meetings for 92 years.

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