Home Archives & Manuscripts Archive Contents ANTHROPOMETRIC SURVEY OF GREAT BRITAIN (A107)

Correspondence. 1934-5.

The ‘Report by Prof. H.J. Fleure and Dr G.M. Morant with reference to the proposed Anthropometric Survey of Great Britain’ outlines the aims of the survey and is followed by a draft of a letter to The Times (see Council minutes, 20 Nov. 1934, f. 252). The latter differs substantially from the letter published in The Times, 13 Mar. 1935. The letter also appeared in Man, Apr. 1935, No. 60 with a preliminary account. There is no reference in the Annual Report to Council, 1934-8. The appeal appears to have failed though Elwyn Davies and H.J. Fleure published ‘A report on an anthropometric survey of the Isle of Man’ in JRAI, 1936, vol. 66, pp. 129-88 it does not seem to be related to the survey as envisaged. See Council minutes, 29 May and 20 Nov. 1934, ff. 244, 252; there is no further reference to the Survey. See also Committee to Organise Anthropometric Investigation in the British Isles, 1902-8 (A36); Draft memorial on the establishment of an Anthropometric Survey, 29 Nov. 1904 (Executive Committee minutes, 29 Nov. 1904, f. 101, memorial typed-in, ff. 102-3); and General correspondence, Nov. 1916 (A18/6/456a).

1/    Correspondence


1    Edwin W. Smith (EWS), President, 1933-5 to Lord Raglan, 11 Dec. 1934 – reports Council’s interest in ‘a survey of the physical characters of the people of this country’; distinguished men to be asked to endorse an appeal; letter to be published in the Press; asks if he approves and will sign (tp., annotated by EWS and Lord Raglan)

2    Lord Onslow to EWS, 13 Dec. – glad to help; suggests obtaining other support before launching an appeal (tp., annotated by EWS); reply of 11 Jan. not retained

3    L.H. Dudley Buxton to EWS, 14 Dec. – approves scheme; reports catalogue of British crania nearing completion; asks for agreed measurements of standardisation (tp.)

4    Marquess of Linlithgow, Chairman, Medical Research Council to EWS, 15 Dec. – prefers not to sign appeal; financial commitments very heavy (tp., annotated by EWS); reply of 11 Jan. not retained

5    (Sir) Cyril Fox, Director, National Museum of Wales to EWS, 15 Dec. – pleased to endorse appeal (tp.)

6    Prof. Julian Huxley, King’s College, Strand to EWS, 15 Dec. – pleased to help; concerned that results of modern genetics should be considered (tp.); reply of 11 Jan. not retained

7    John Beattie, Royal College of Surgeons of England to EWS, 17 Dec. – pleased to sign appeal (tp.)

8    Allen Mawer, Provost, University College, London to EWS, 18 Dec. – feels his name would ‘not add any weight’ to appeal; not an anthropologist (tp.)

9    Secretary to Sir Henry Wellcome to EWS, 28 Dec. – encloses Sir Henry’s signature to appeal (tp.)


10    G.M. Morant to EWS, 2 Jan. 1935 – efforts to get signatures for appeal not very successful; disappointed that the RAI is curtailing its activities; soon will be collecting material for the physical anthropology of Africa (autogr.)

11    Lord Onslow to EWS, 19 Jan. – glad to help and to know enough support has been secured (tp.)

12    Ibid., 21 Jan. – encloses signed letter; suggests publication in The Times and urges the publication of a leading article there (autogr.)

13    Prof. H.J. Fleure to EWS, 23 Jan. – encloses a number of signatures to letter; refers to Lord Onslow; (tp., annotated by EWS); letter with another signature, 12 Feb., not retained

14    G.M. Morant to EWS, 31 Jan. – several important omissions but response reasonable; suggests approaching the three Scottish professors of anatomy; will write notes for several journals (autogr.)

15    R.U. Sayce to EWS, 6 Feb. – encloses signature; suggests a few adjustments to letter (autogr.)

16    Prof. J.C. Brash, University of Edinburgh to EWS, 7 Feb. – regrets unable to sign; Scottish Anthropological Society, i.e. Scottish Anthropological and Folk Lore Society (see A98) formed in place of the Edinburgh and Lothian Branch of the RAI; resigned from the Society; the latter plans ‘An Anthropometric Survey of Scotland’; feels inopportune to sign letter at present (tp.)

17    G.M. Morant to EWS, 7 Feb. – encloses two more signatures; refers to notes for Journals (autogr.)

18    Prof. Alex Low, Regius Prof. of Anatomy, University of Aberdeen to EWS, 7 Feb. – glad to sign letter; considers survey essential; has been making physical observations on pre-school children (tp.)

19    Dr Fritz Epstein, Institute of Historical Research, University of London to RAI, 13 Mar. – interested in letter to The Times; refers to a book by B. Pier on ‘England from the racial point of view’ and published in Germany in February (tp.)

20    Contributions (financial) towards the Survey received from: .1, C.J. Bond, 15 Mar.; .2, O. Holland, 27 Mar.; .3, – Murray-Baillie, 4 Apr.; .4, Bruce Swanwick, 19 Mar.

2/    Letter with signatures (as sent to The Times) from:

1    R.A. Fisher

2    Cyril Fox

3    R.A. Gregory

4    Julian S. Huxley

5    Arthur Keith; H.J. Fleure

6    [Lord] Meston

7    John L. Myres

8    [Lord] Raglan

9    R. Ruggles Gates

10    R.U. Sayce; annotated

11    C.G. Seligman

12    Henry Wellcome

13    Matthew Young

3/    Letter to The Times

1    An Anthropometric Survey of Great Britain (tp., corrected)

2    Racial history of Great Britain: an anthropometric survey, The Times, 13 Mar. 1935 (photocopy); the following, not listed in /2 above, also signed the letter: John Beattie; L.H. Dudley Buxton; Prof. Alex Low; G.M. Morant; Edwin W. Smith, President