The rest of Ned
The Jerilderie Letter

The bumps on Ned's and Fred's heads

MuttermuseumskullsIt wasn't that long ago that scientists believed they could read your soul in the lumps on your head. Here are phrenology reports for Ned Kelly and Frederick Deeming (Thank you Michael Newcity for the latter).

To start, Ned's phrenologist strikes a note of modesty: "Of course, perfect clearness of judgment upon matters of such magnitude and complexity is not to be expected..."

Yet on he goes: "The measurement from caution to caution is fully an inch less than it should be in a well-proportioned head; and in the moral regions there is a deficiency of 1 inch."

Fred fares worse. Colin MacKenzie, director of the Australian Institute of Anatomy, the man rumored to have the "E. Kelly" skull on his desk, found "in Deeming, by an extra-ordinary lapse of nature, a prehistoric man of the earliest primitive type known to science had been born in the nineteenth century." He went on: "A cast of the oldest human relic known to science, the Java skull, when placed upon Deeming's fits it like a cap," and concluded that Deeming's "knowledge of right or wrong was similar to that of a cat or a dog."