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[Perspectives] Two doctors who put Worcester on the medical heritage map

Nine white ghostly faces, eerily lit from below, peer down on visitors to the medical education centre on the site of Worcestershire Royal Hospital. They are death masks, although some might have been cast in life—taken from hanged or condemned prisoners in Worcester gaol by 19th-century doctors intent on studying their subjects’ heads for telltale bumps. At the height of fascination with phrenology—the pseudo-science of determining character from “reading” a person’s skull—enthusiasts were eager to identify signs of criminal personality.

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