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ANDREW COMBE (1797-1847)

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Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 750 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ANDREW COMBE (1797-1847), Scottish physiologist; was born in Edinburgh on the 27th of October 1797, and was a younger brother of George Combe. He served an apprenticeship in a surgery, and in 1817 passed at Surgeons' Hall. He proceeded to Paris to complete his medical studies, and whilst there he investigated phrenology on anatomical principles. He became convinced of the truth of the new science, and, as he acquired much skill in the dissection of the brain, he subsequently gave additional interest to the lectures of his brother George, by his practical demonstrations of the convolutions. He returned to Edinburgh in 1819 with the intention of beginning practice; butbeing attacked by the first symptoms of pulmonary disease, he was obliged to seek health in the south of France and in Italy during the two following winters. He began to practise in 1823, and by careful adherence to the laws of health he was enabled to fulfil the duties of his profession for nine years. During that period he assisted in editing the Phrenological Journal and contributed a number of articles to it, defended phrenology before the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh, published his Observations on Mental Derangement (1831), and prepared the greater portion of his Principles of Physiology Applied to Health and Education, which was issued in 1834, and immediately obtained extensive public favour. In 1836 he was appointed physician to Leopold I., king of the Belgians, and removed to Brussels, but he speedily found the climate unsuitable and returned to Edinburgh, where he resumed his practice. In 1836 he published his Physiology of Digestion, and in 1838 he was appointed one of the physicians extraordinary to the queen in Scotland. Two years later he completed his Physiological and Moral Management of Infancy, which he believed to be his best work and it was his last. His latter years were mostly occupied in seeking at various health resorts some alleviation of his disease; he spent two winters in Madeira, and tried a voyage to the United States, but was compelled to return within a few weeks of the date of his landing at New York. He died at Gorgie, near Edinburgh, on the 9th of August 1847. His biography, written by George Combe, was published in 185o.
End of Article: ANDREW COMBE (1797-1847)
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