Adrian Desmond

Published On


Page Range

pp. 489–500


  • English

Print Length

12 pages

25. Celebrating the Dead

  • Adrian Desmond (author)
Having given Petrie and Hibbert a final resting place in his museum, Saull set about securing his own. Here we look at Owenite and freethought last rites and Saull’s French-style obsequies. The examples chosen are the send-off given to Saull’s friends, the old London Corresponding Society revolutionary John Gale Jones, and agrarian reformer Allen Davenport. When Saull bought his own plot in Kensal Green Cemetery, next to Davenport, his monkey-satirizing nemesis Rev. James Elishama Smith criticized him for seeking an unChristian sectarianism even unto death. The first to be interred in Saull’s plot was the old class warrior Henry Hetherinton, who had made his rapprochement with Owenism and had remained true to Saull. Hetherington’s in-house ‘social funeral’ is looked at, and the ideological purpose it served.


Adrian Desmond


Adrian Desmond was educated at University College London and Harvard University, where he was Stephen Jay Gould's first history of science PhD student. He has two MSc's, one in history of science, another in vertebrate palaeontology, and a PhD for his work on radical Victorian evolutionists. For twenty years he was an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London. He is the multi-award-winning author of nine books, which include: The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs, Archetypes and Ancestors: Palaeontology in Victorian London 1850-1875, The Politics of Evolution: Morphology, Medicine, and Reform in Radical London, Darwin, Huxley: The Devil’s Disciple, Huxley: Evolution’s High Priest, Darwin’s Sacred Cause (with James Moore)