Reference numberDM/5/104
TitleForm of a demand for 'one human body legally condemned and put to death' for the use of the Royal Society
DateNovember 1738
DescriptionWith accompanying note on the article from the Charter of the Royal Society which grants "power to demand and obtain dead bodies of criminals for anatomical dissections".

Letter dated November 1738.

This letter appears to relate to the first Croonian lecture of 1738. The Council Minutes for 15 January 1738 state that Dr Alexander Stuart is to give the first Croonian lecture and that " reason that Bodies may be wanting in the Course of this Lecture, Doctor Mortimer acquainted the Council that he had waited on one of the Sheriffs of the City of London, to apprize him of the Society's Right by their Charter to have a Body from the Gallows at every Execution; & inform'd him that they were resolved to make demand thereof, as occasion required. Where upon the Sheriff advised him to lodge a Copy of that part of the Charter relating thereunto with the City Officers, that they might be enabled to comply therewith".

The entry in the Journal Book for 16 November 1738 records "The President informed the Society the Benefaction of Dr Croone, intended for the establishent of a Course of Experiments on Muscular Motion and the Nerves, was now in the way of being put into Execution...and that therefore Dr Stuart had procured some Experiments to be made on this footing and was ready to entertain them with an Essay towards it in the Repository. And accordingly the Society adjurned to the Repository where Dr Stuart shew'd some extraordinary Experiments relating to animal Motion: whereof he was to give a future Account".

From the meeting of the 23 November - describing Stuart's second paper on Muscular Motion - on the distribution of the veins, arteries and muscles in the Antagonist Muscles, "this he exhibited by a new Preparation of the Antagonist Muscles of an human Arm". See also the description of Stuart's further lectures on Muscular Motion on 7 December, 14 December, and 11 January.
Extent2 sides
Access statusOpen
Access conditionsOPEN - but photocopying forbidden.
Fellows associated with this archive
NA301Stuart; Alexander (c 1673 - 1742)c 1673 - 1742
Add to My Items

    Collection highlights

    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

    The Royal Society

    The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of
    the world's most eminent scientists and is the
    oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
    Registered charity number 207043

    Website design ©CalmView


    + 44 207 451 2500
    (Lines open Mon-Fri, 9:00-17:00. Excludes bank holidays)

    6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

    Email Us →


    Subscribe to our newsletters to be updated with the
    latest news on innovation, events, articles and reports.

    Subscribe →

    © CalmView