Combe. I. George, a Scottish phrenologist, born in Edinburgh, Oct. 21,1788, died at Moor Park, England, Aug. 14, 1858. He studied law, and continued in practice till 1837, when he resolved to devote himself to science. On the visit of Spurzheim to Edinburgh in 1816 Combe became a convert to his system of phrenology, and advocated it in his lectures and writings. In 1819 he published "Essays on Phrenology, or an Inquiry into the System of Gall and Spurzheim," which was subsequently developed into his "System of Phrenology" (2 vols. 8vo, 1824). His principal work, "The Constitution of Man considered in relation to External Objects" (1828), produced a wide and deep impression. It has passed through numerous editions and been translated into several languages. The object of this work was to show that the intellectual and moral procedure of man, as well as the physical procedure of the universe, is regulated by natural laws which must be studied in order to carry out successfully his physical, moral, and social improvement. In 1823, assisted by a few friends, George and Andrew Combe established the " Edinburgh Phrenological Journal," and for more than 23 years gratuitously contributed to its pages. In 1833 he married a daughter of Mrs. Siddons, the celebrated actress.

In 1837 he visited Germany; and in 1838, accompanied by his wife, he visited the United States, delivered 158 lectures in various parts of the country, and returned home in June, 1840. In 1842 he revisited Germany, and in the summer of that year delivered in Heidelberg a series of lectures on phrenology, in the German language. He was the first to spread a knowledge in England of the new religious movement in Germany, of which Ronge was the chief leader, by writing "Notes on the Reformation in Germany" (London, 1845). Among his other works are: "Elements of Phrenology" (1824); "Lectures on Popular Education" (1833); "Moral Philosophy, or the Duties of Man, Individual, Domestic, and Social" (1840); "Notes on the United States of America" (3 vols., 1841); "Thoughts on Capital Punishment," and "Remarks on National Education" (1847); "Principles of Criminal Legislation and Prison Discipline Investigated" (1854); "Phrenology applied to Painting and Sculpture" (1855); and " Relation between Science and Religion" (1857). II. Abraham, elder brother of the preceding, born Jan. 15, 1785, died Aug. 11,, 1827. He was a disciple of Owen, and sacrificed his fortune in establishing "the cooperative society" in Edinburgh, in furtherance of his socialistic theories.

Long after this had failed, he made a new attempt in 1825, by forming a similar establishment on a large scale at Orbiston, near Glasgow, which however proved unsuccessful. He wrote "Sketches of the Old and New Systems," and " The Religious Creed of the New System." III. Andrew, a Scottish physician and author, brother of the preceding, born in Edinburgh, Oct. 27, 1797, died there, Aug. 9, 1847. He studied medicine in Edinburgh and Paris, and began practice in Edinburgh in 1823. In 1836 he was appointed physician to King Leopold of Belgium, and afterward physician in Scotland to Queen Victoria. He contributed largely to phrenological and medical journals. His principal works, all of which have passed through many editions, are: "Observations on Mental Derangement" (1831); "Principles of Physiology" (1834); "The Physiology of Digestion" (1836); and "The Management of Infancy" (1840). His death was hastened by exposure to the vitiated atmosphere of an emigrant ship in which he made a voyage to America; the knowledge which he gained on this voyage was embodied in a letter to the "Times," published a month after his death, which led to the passage of a law regulating the sanitary arrangements in emigrant vessels.

His "Life and Correspondence" was published by his brother, George Combe (2 vols., Edinburgh, 1850).