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Publisher: University of Greenwich,
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: K1, JA, JN101, KD, DA, HV
This study explores, analyses and seeks to explain the processes by which legislative changes were achieved to overcome the problems associated with the role and duties of the office of coroner from the mid nineteenth century to the 1920s. From time to time during the period, the office was exposed to political and public scrutiny that brought calls for reform. Despite that, and the general recognition that change was necessary, the process was extremely protracted and reform limited so that when the 1926 Act reached the statute book, it was greeted with a level of subdued dissatisfaction.\ud \ud Throughout the period, the coroners resisted change based on an appeal to their traditional links with the people and representing the office as an ancient institution rooted in long established custom and practice. Despite that, the coroners were unable to evade the impact of changes associated with developments in local and national government which had an indirect, though significant, effect on coroners' reform. For most of the period, the policy of successive governments was to have no policy on coroners. To fill that void,various groups with conflicting interests and ambitions proposed changes to meet their needs and attempted to influence the government to implement them. A slow, complex, haphazard, fragmented and undirected process evolved that had its own dynamic. There was no strategist, no over-riding driving force, no single source. Suggestions were adopted, modified or rejected to produce a 'policy' that was eventually accepted by the Home Office.\ud \ud From the detailed examination of the complex events, issues and stances adopted by the various bodies, including the Home Office, an explanation for the unusual, slow and tortuous process of reform emerges. Coroners' problems were a minor issue for the government and carried little weight in the wider scheme of politics. With such a low priority rating, the government was reluctant to intervene except under the pressure of public criticism when events created a crisis or near crisis. Eventually, a minimum legislative intervention brought closure, but left important problems unresolved. The coroners still investigated unexplained deaths on behalf of the Crown and retained intact their traditional authority, independence, common law powers and discretion.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • 10 Ibid.
    • 30 Jervis op.cit.
    • 31 Middlesex Magistrates Middlesex Report of the Committee appointed at the
    • Michaelmas Session, 1850, as to the Duties and Remuneration of Coroners and the
    • Resolutions of the Court (April Quarter Sessions 1851) pp.10-Il
    • 32 6 & 7 Will IV c.89 An Act to provide for the Attendance and Remuneration of
    • Medical Witnesses at Coroners Inquests [17th August 1836] 6 & 7 Will. IV. c.86 An Act for registering Births, Deaths and Marriages in England 7th August 1836] [Cd.4782] op.cit. Appendix No.2 p.220 Jervis op.cit. Fourth edition (London: H. Sweet & W. Maxwell, and Stevens & Sons
    • 1880) p.197 Anderson op.cit. p.18, 16 & 17 Vict. c.96 An Act to amend an Act passed in the
    • Ninth year of Her Majesty, ufor the Regulation of the Care and Treatment of Lunatics" August 1853] s.19 Jervis op.cit. First edition p.23
    • 72 David Garland Punishment and Welfare (Aldershot: Gower 1985) pp.161-2
    • [Hereafter: Garland Welfarel Ibid. p.65 Ibid. p.161 W. Eric Jackson Achievement: A Short Histoty of the London County Council
    • (London: Longmans 1965) p.
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    • Jervis, John On the Office and Duties of Coroners. With an appendix of forms and precedents First edition (London: S. Sweet, R, Pheney, A. Maxwell, and Stevens & Sons 1829); W. N. Welsby (ed.) Second edition (London: S. Sweet, W. Maxwell and Stevens' & Norton 1854); C.W. Lovesy (ed.) Third edition (London: H. Sweet & W. Maxwell, and Stevens & Sons 1866); R. E. Melsheimer (ed.) Fourth edition (London: H. Sweet & W. Maxwell, and Stevens & Sons 1880); R. E. Melsheimer (ed.) Fifth edition (London: H. Sweet & Sons 1888); R. E. Melsheimer (ed.) Sixth edition (London: Sweet & Maxwell 1898); F. Danford Thomas (ed.) Seventh edition (London: Sweet & Maxwell; Stevens & Sons 1927)
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    • May, Thomas Erskine A Treatise on Parliament, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament Eighth edition (London: Butterworths 1879) Local Self-Government and Centrailsation: the characteristics
    • English Constitution (London: 1851)
    • Low, Sidney and Pulling, F.S. (Hearnshaw, F.JC., Chew, Helena M. and Beales, A.C.F. eds.) New edition The Dictionary of English History (London: Cassell and Co 1928)
    • Stenton, Michael and Lees, Stephen (eds.) Who's Who of British Members of Parliament 3 volumes (Hassocks: Harvester Press; New Jersey: Humanities Press 1976, 1978, 1979)
    • Baldwin, John and McConville, Michael Jut',' Trials (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1979)
    • Barnard, Sylvia M. Viewing the Breathless Corpse: coroners and inquests in Victorian Leeds (Leeds: Words@Woodmere 2001)
    • Bartrip, Peter W.J. Mirror of medicine, a history of the British medical journal (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1990) Themselves Writ Large: The British Medical Association 1832-
    • 1966 (London: BMJ Publishing Group 1996)
    • Bechhofer, Carl Eric Sir John Simon: being an account of the life and career of John Allsebrook Simon, G. C. S. I., K. C. V.0., K. C., M. P. (London: Robert Hale 1938)
    • Bellamy, Christine Administering central-local relations 1871-19 19: The Local Government Board in its fiscal and cultural context (Manchester: Manchester University Press 1988)
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    • Conference at the University of Birmingham, 10-13 July, 1979
    • (London: Royal Historical Society 1983) and ------------ Thurston's Coronership: Third edition. The
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