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    Naturevolume 134pages815817 (1934) | Download Citation



    Physical Characters of a Scottish Bishop The skeletal remains of Bishop James Kennedy, born about 1408, and bishop of St. Andrews from 1440 until 1468, when he died, have been studied from the anthropo logical point of view by Dr. David Waterston, pro fessor of anatomy in the University of St. Andrews (Trans. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh, 58, Pt. 1, No. 4). Although very little is known of the personal life of the bishop, he was undoubtedly one of the more prominent figures in an obscure period of Scottish history. Not only does this examination of his remains serve to throw light on the physical characters of the dominant classes in Scotland at that period, but it also provides material for a comparison with the physical characters of Robert the Bruce, whose skull has been the subject of anthropological in vestigation, and from whom Kennedy was descended through his mother. Dr. Waterston's examination was made possible by restorations in the chapel of the United College of St. Salvator and St. Leonard in 1930 which led to the opening of the tomb; but the remains, it is known, had been exposed on previous occasions, while the present interment dates only from 1863. There is, however, no doubt of their authenticity. They indicate a stature of 173-5 cm. (5 ft. 8 in.-5 ft. 6 in.), broad shoulders and powerful muscles. In fact, they are those of a person who had led a life of physical activity. The arms were a little longer than usual, and a functional development of the muscle on the right ulna suggests the habitual pursuit of some activity, such as fencing. The skeletal evidence of right-handedness is confirmed by the asymmetrical endocranial cast of the brain. The heart had been removed after death for separate interment. There was evidence of rheumatoid arthritis. The cranial and facial skeleton was nearly, but not quite, complete. The cranium was dome-shaped with full and rounded outline, the facial skeleton well-developed and powerful, with prominent zygomatic bones, strong mandible and prominent chin. The length-breadth index is 78-8. The skull closely resembles the typical Scottish skull as defined by Sir William Turner; but it presents some marked and interesting differences from that of Robert Bruce.

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