History of the Jeremy Bentham auto-icon

The auto-icon of Jeremy Bentham has had an interesting history since its creation in 1832/33. It has moved around London, and visited another country (twice). Contrary to popular belief Bentham never asked for his remains to be displayed at UCL, they only came here in 1850. Information has been presented on this page in a way that we hope is visually interesting and accessable. Any questions or comments please contact nicholas.booth@ucl.ac.uk.

Chronology Information

The chronology of events relating to the auto-icon has been presented in a spreadsheet and made available for download for free.  If you wish to use the data please let us know so that we can update our records.

Information provided in this spreadsheet has been used to produce the two visualisations below. We would be very interested to view anything else you can come up with.

Please note: only events that we are certain have happened are included in this spreadsheet. Events about which we are lacking definite proof have been left off. For example although it is commonly said that his his head was stolen by students and had to be retrieved from a luggage locker in Aberdeen, there is no proof of this in the archive and so it has been left out. If in future this is shown to have happened the spreadsheet will be updated.

Jeremy Bentham Meograph

Showing some highlights in the history of Jeremy Bentham and his auto-icon.

Unfortunately if you are using an old version of Internet Explorer (v8 and below) Meograph will not work. To watch please revisit this page using a different web browser.

Bentham's post-mortem travels

A Google map showing the journeys taken by Jeremy Bentham and (later) his auto-icon. All distances traveled are as the crow flies. We are currently preparing a blog post to accompany this map.


View Bentham’s Post-Mortem Travels in a larger map