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By Piers Mitchell

Excavations of scientific college and workhouse cemeteries undertaken in Britain within the final decade have unearthed attention-grabbing new proof for how that our bodies have been dissected or autopsied within the eighteenth and 19th centuries. This ebook brings jointly the newest discoveries via those organic anthropologists, along specialists within the early historical past of pathology museums in British scientific faculties and the Royal collage of Surgeons of britain, and scientific historians learning the social context of dissection and post-mortem within the Georgian and Victorian classes. jointly they exhibit a formerly unknown view of the perform of anatomical dissection and the position of museums during this interval, in parallel with the attitudes of the overall inhabitants to the research of human anatomy within the Enlightenment.

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Hastings had also founded an anatomical museum,42 containing some of the pathological cases amputated. 44 However, they struggled to gain recognition for their endeavours because they worked independently. To counteract this, the Worcestershire Medical and Surgical Society was founded in approximately 1818, the forerunner of the Association of Provincial Medical Practitioners, later known as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association, which was founded in 1832. 47 This is in part due to the controversial status of dissection of any bodies other than those of felons until the Anatomy Act of 1832.

Gaynor Western Introduction In 1828 the editors of the Midland Medical and Surgical Reporter stated that: The advancement of our profession has been accompanied by a caution and zeal in conducting its periodical journals that have no parallel in the history of our art. … The provinces have had no share in this pursuit, or at any rate only so far as the journals of the capitals have derived support from the contributions of country correspondents. 1 And so with its first edition, the Midlands Medical and Surgical Reporter set the tone in encouraging provincial practitioners to unite and to capitalise on their advancements in anatomical and medical knowledge through publication.

The bulk of the evidence for amputation consists of distal bone segments, and in most instances these specimens are interpreted as items of surgical waste that were initially deposited in shallow pits within the hospital precincts. Unlike the dissected body parts, the surgical waste did not usually appear to have been deposited in regular graves, although three amputated lower limbs (CFL 96 SK 134, SK 143, SK 159) were given discrete burials aligned with the regular rows of graves inside the burial ground.

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