The Utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham wnt a bit further. When he died, aged 84, in 1832, he left a paper wth explicit instructions on what was to be doen with his remains. Two days later, Benthams' body was dissected in front of an invited audience, by the distinguished physician and public health campaigner Thomas Southwood Smith, who delivered a long oration at the same time.

Benthams' skeleton and head were preserved. The skeleton was padded out with hay and dressed in Benthams' clothes. The head was severed and subjected to an experimental mummification process. The idea had been to mount the preserved head on the skeleton and display the whole thing in a wooden case called an 'auto-icon'. However, the process of preservation left the head looking pretty grisly, so a waxwork head was made, with Benthams' own hair set into it, and mounted on the skeleton.

The relics were acquired in 1850 by University College London and displayed in the main building there until 2020, when they were moved to the new Student Centre. Originally, the stuffed, clothed and wax-headed skeleton were dipalyed along with the mummified head. However, the frequency with which the head was made the target of student pranks led to it being locked away in the 1970s. The skeleton, still in the original clothes and wax head, remains on display to this day.

Snapper-up of unconsidered trifles, walker of paths less travelled by. Advocate-in-Ordinary to His Satanic Majesty.

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