Abbildungen der Seite

such man be slain, which is found in the fore this act the names of jurors who did fields or in woods, first it is to be in- not attend were returned to the judges of quired whether he were slain in the same assize, by whom they might be fined. place, or not; and if he were brought and | The coroner may also punish witnesses said there, they should do so much as who refuse to give evidence, for contempt they can to follow their steps that brought of court. When the jury are assembled, the body thither, whether he were brought they are charged and sworn by the coroupon a horse or in a cart. It shall also ner to inquire, upon view of the body, be inquired if the dead person were how the party came by his death. The known, or else a stranger, and where he act for the registration of deaths (6 & 7 lay the night before.” It is declared also Will. IV. c. 86) provides that at every by the same statute, that “all wounds inquest “ the jury shall inquire of the ought to be viewed, the length, breadth, particulars herein required to be regisand deepness; and with what weapons; tered concerning the death, and the coroand in what part of the body the wound ner shall inform the registrar of the findor hurt is; and how many be culpable; ing of the jury.” One of the particulars and how many wounds there be; and herein required to be registered is the who gave the wound.” In like manner cause of death.”

The inquiry assumes it is to be inquired by the coroner“ of therefore something of a medico-juristhem that be drowned, or suddenly dead, prudential character, by being directed whether they were so drowned or slain, to the “cause” of death, instead of being or strangled by the sign of a cord tied chiefly made with a view to ascertain if straight about their necks, or about any death were the result of homicide. That of their members, or upon any other hurt was and is important; but there are other found upon their bodies. And if they points to be settled wbich are also im. were not slain, then ought the coroner to portant, and in which medical and cheattach the finders and all other in the mical skill can alone determine whether company.” The provisions of this an- the cause of sudden death has been nacient statute are still in force, and are to tural or whether suicide has been combe followed by coroners in all their par- mitted. Instances have occurred in ticular directions as nearly as possible at which death from opium has been misthe present day in inquisitions of death. taken for apoplexy, until a post-mortem In case of a death happening upon the examination has taken place. The Life high sea, inquisitions are taken before Insurances have a direct interest in asthe Admiralty coroner, who is appointed certaining the precise cause of death, and by the king or the lord admiral ; and the to the community generally it is of concounty coroners have in such a case no sequence that there should be as little jurisdiction. The inquisitions taken be- impunity as possible to crime. The cofore the Admiralty coroner are returned roner has no authority to take an inquito the Commissioners of the Admiralty sition of death, except upon view of the under stat. 28 Hen. VIII. c. 15. Coro- body by himself and the jury; and if he ners ought to sit and inquire into the does so, the inquisition is wholly void. cause of death of all persons who die in (Rex v. Ferrand, 3 Barn. and Aid. Reprison. They have no jurisdiction within ports, 260.) Formerly, it is probable the verge of the king's courts. The coro- that the whole inquisition was taken in ner of the king's household has jurisdic- the presence of the body, but it is now tion within the verge of the king's courts. sufficient if the coroner and jury together

The coroner has authority to assemble see the body, so far as to ascertain whea jury by means of a precept directed to ther there are marks of violence upon it the constables of the hundred or adjoining or any appearances which may account township, and jurors and witnesses who for the cause of death. The coroner make default may, under 7 & 8 Vict. c. must sit at the place where the death has 92, be fined any sum not exceeding 40s. happened. If the coroner's inquest finds and their names returned to the clerk of that any person is guilty of murder or the peace, who is to levy the fine. Be other homicide, it is his duty to commit

them to prison for trial, and he must also offence committed by the coroner against inquire what lands, goods, and chattels he the act, and to punish him by fine. The may have, which are liable to forfeiture coroner's inquisition may be removed for such murder. He must also inquire into the Court of King's Bench, and the whether any deodand has in any case of facts found may be traversed by the perviolent death become due to the king, or sonal representatives of the deceased; or the lord of the franchise by the death of the court may make it for any apparent the person upon whose body the inquisi- defect. By 7 & 8 Vict. the coroner is tion is held." If a body liable to an in- prohibited from acting professionally in quest has been buried before the coroner any case in which he shall have sat as has notice of the circumstances of the coroner. death, he has authority to cause it to be For every inquisition taken in any disinterred for the purpose of holding the place contributing to the county rates, inquest, provided he does so within a the coroner is entitled to a fee of 20s., and reasonable time. The coroner has power by 1 Vict. c. 68, to an addition of 6s. 8d., to exclude persons from his court. By a and also to 9d. for every mile which he recent statute (7 Geo. IV. c. 64, § 4), is obliged to travel from his usual place which repeals an old enactment on this of abode to any other place, for the pursubject, it is provided that “every coro- pose of taking it, to be paid by order of Der, upon any inquisition before him sessions out of the county rates. If he taken, whereby any person shall be in- holds two or more inquisitions at the dicted for manslaughter or murder, or as same place at the same time, he is only an accessary to murder before the fact, entitled to one 9d. for each mile of disshall put in writing the evidence given tance; but this rule is not always very to the jury before him, or as much thereof strictly observed in some counties. By as shall be material; and shall have au 7 & 8 Vict. c. 92, the coroner may be thority to bind by recognizance all such paid travelling expenses, although in the persons as know or declare anything ma-exercise of his discretion he may have terial touching the said manslaughter or deemed it unnecessary to hold an inquest. murder, or the said offence of being ac- The sum paid to coroners out of the cessary to murder, to appear at the next county rates in 1834 was 15,648). In court of oyer and terminer, or gaol de 1838 and 1839 about 35,000 inquests were livery, or superior criminal court of a held in the two years. The act 1 Vict. county palatine, or great sessions, at which c. 68, authorises the justices of the peace the trial is to be, then and there to prose- | in England and Wales, at their quartercute or give evidence against the party sessions, and the town councils of every charged; and every such coroner shall borough which has a coroner's court at certify and subscribe the same evidence, their quarterly meetings, to make a scheand all such recognizances, and also the dule of the fees, allowances, and disburseinquisition before him taken, and shall ments which the coroner is allowed to deliver the same to the proper officer of pay (except the fees payable to medical the court in which the trial is to be, be- witnesses, under 6 & 7 Will. IV. c 89), fore or at the opening of the court.” It on holding any inquest. This schedule is also a branch of the coroner's business regulates for each county or division of to inquire into shipwrecks, and certify a county the expenses to be paid to the whether it is a wreck or not, and who has constable for summoning witnesses, &c. got possession of the goods. He also in- There is usually a small sum allowed to quires into treasure trove. By a sec- each juryman, generally ls. 6d. in countion of the 7 Geo. IV. c. 64, authority ties and Is. in boroughs. The following is given to the court to which the in- | are extracts from the schedule of fees quisition ought to be delivered to exa- settled by the magistrates of the county mine in a summary manner into any of Warwick :

8. d.

[ocr errors]

IV. c. 89, the coroner is empowered to At the dis. cretion of the

order the attendance of legally qualified coroner, and medical practitioners upon an inquisition not exceeding of death, and to direct the performance of

a post mortem examination; and if the To the Keeper of any Inn or

majority of the jury are dissatisfied with other public-house for the

the first examination, they may call upon use of a room for a dead

the coroner to summon a second medical body until the Inquest is

witness, to perform a post mortem examiheld

20 0 nation, whether it has been performed To the Keeper of any Inn or

before or not. The statute also author. other public-house for the

izes the coroner to make an order for the use of a room for holding

payment of a fee of one guinea to such an Inquest

5 0 witness, if he has not performed a post To a Witness residing in the

mortem examination, and of two guineas parish where the Inquest is

if he has performed such examination. held, for loss of time in at

Medical practitioners are also liable to a tending to give evidence 5 0 penalty of 5l. if they neglect to attend. To a witness who does not

By 1 Vict. c. 68, the fees of medical witreside in the parish, is al

nesses are to be paid at once by the corolowed per mile

04 ner, instead of by an order on the churchTo every Witness in the three

wardens, as directed by 6 & 7 Wm. IV. professions of law, physic,

C. 89. and divinity, for each day 42 0 The coroner has also occasionally to To each Juryman residing in

exercise a ministerial office, where the the parish where an Inquest

sheriff is incapable of acting. Thus is held

1 6 where an exception is taken to the sheriff To each Juryman not residing

on the ground of partiality or interest, the in the parish where the In

king's writs are directed to the coroner. quest is held

3 0 This incident to the office of coroner To any person for taking a

points distinctly to their ancient character dead body out of the water,

as ministerial officers of the crown. For extinguishing fire in the

his services when acting for the sheriff, case of a person burning, or

he was not allowed any fees before the removing a dead body when

passing 7 & 8 Vict., but this statute sefound to some convenient

cures to him the same amount of fees as place till an Inquest can be

the sheriff would be entitled to. held, and giving notice to

By the Municipal Reform Act, 5 & 6 the proper authorities 7 6 Will. IV. c. 76, 8 62, the council of every To a Chemist, Engineer, or

borough, to which a separate court of other scientific person per

quarter-sessions has been granted, is emday

42 0 powered to appoint a fit person, not being For interring the body of a

an alderman or councillor, to be coroner Felo de se, including horse

of the borough, who is to hold his office and cart, and other trouble

duriug good behaviour. The fees and (exclusive of burial fees, if

general duties of borough coroners are any)

10 0 the same as those of county coroners; but For digging the grave for in

the borough coroners are required by the terring the body of a Felo

statute to make an annual return to the 3 6

secretary of state of all inquests of death To bearers of the body of a

taken by them. The number of inquests Felo de se

10 0 held in the boroughs of Manchester, BirCoffin for a Felo de se:

7 mingham, Liverpool, and Bristol in 1844,

and their proportion to the population, By a recent act of parliament, 6 & 7 Will. was as follows:

[ocr errors]

de se


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

One in transmission of private rights, but capable,
Manchester. 259 938

by its constitution, of indefinitely continu-
Birmingham 263 741

ing its own existence. This artificial Liverpool


person is called an incorporation, corporaBristol


tion, or body-corporate. The last of these The average cost of the coroner's court for names is the most correct, as well as the the borough of Birmingham, averaged earliest, that occurs in our law. The 8991. for the five years ending 31st of former express rather the act of creating December, 1844; coroner's fees (20s.) un the body than the body itself, and do not der 25 Geo. II. c. 29, and 6s. 8d. under appear to have been used in their modern i Vict. c. 68, annually averaged 3371. 48.; sense till the fifteenth century. The and the expense of 1416 inquests ave institution of such bodies under similar raged 31. 38. 5 d. each. The disburse or different names was common among ments, independent of coroner's fees, ave- the Romans (COLLEGIUM), and it seems raged 561l. 88. 24d. a year. [DEODAND.] probable that bodies possessing all the (Hawkins's Pleas of the Crown, book ii. essential characteristics of modern corcap. 9; Burn's Justice, tit. “Coroner ;' | porations were known in the Greek and Jervis's Practical Treatise on the polities. Office and Duties of Coroner s.),

Corporations may be divided into vaCORPORAL (in the French service rious kinds, according to the mode in caporal), a non-commissioned officer in a which they are viewed. Viewed with battalion of infantry. The word is de respect to number, they are either corporarived from the Italian capo, signifying a tions sole, which consist of a single person head ; and the title denotes that the person and his successors; or they are composed who bore it was the chief of a small squa- of many persons, who are legally condron or party. During the reigns of sidered as one, and are called corporations Mary and Elizabeth the corporal was a aggregate. Viewed with respect to the kind of brigade-major; he superintended distinction between things spiritual and the marches of the companies, and com- things temporal or civil, all corporations manded the troops who were sent out on are either ecclesiastical or lay corporaskirmishing parties. But at present he tions. Lay corporations are subdivided is immediately under the sergeant; he into civil corporations and eleemosynary places and relieves the sentinels

, and at corporations. Civil corporations are those drill he has charge of one of the squads. which have purely a civil object, such as In the ranks he does the same duty as a administration, commerce, education, and private soldier, but his pay is rather other like purposes. Eleemosypary corhigher.

porations may have various objects, but Lance-corporal, originally lance-spe- they all agree in this, that they have been sata, denoting a broken or spent lance, endowed for the purposes of distributing was a term applied to a cavalry soldier the alms or bounty of the founder and who had broken his lance or "lost his other donors. Spiritual corporations are horse in action, and was subsequently divisible into regular and secular corporetained as a volunteer in the infantry till rations. he could be remounted. He is now

The idea of a corporation sole, formed merely a soldier who does the duty of a by a succession of single persons, occupy: corporal, but without the pay, previously ing a particular office or station, and each to obtaining the full appointment to that in virtue of his character succeeding to grade.

the rights and powers of his predecessor, CORPORATION. For the purpose has been said to be peculiar to our law, of maintaining and perpetuating the unin- and to be an improvement upon the terrupted enjoyment of certain powers, original notion of a corporation. (4 Blackrights, property, or privileges, it has been stone's Comment. 469.) The king, a found convenient to create a sort of arti- bishop, a parson, the chamberlain of ficial person, or legal person, not liable to London, &c. are examples of such corpothe ordinary casualties which affect the rations sole. It may be observed, how

ever, with respect to the supposed novelty . Until the Reformation the pope and the of the invention, that similar cases of bishop of the diocese were considered official succession and representation pro- necessary parties to the foundation of any bably occur in almost every system of new society of monks or regular clergy. law, so that the claim of originality must The refusal of the pope to confirm the be restricted to the mere name; and even foundation of Sion Monastery in the reign in this respect, we incline to the opinion of Henry VI. is known to have caused of Dr. Wooddesson, “that as so little of an alteration in the original plan of that the law of corporations in general applies establishment. (Cotton's Abridgment, to corporations sole, it might have been 589.) The king creates a corporation by better to have given them some other letters-patent: the parliament by act of denomination.” (1 Wooddes. Vin. Lect. parliament, that is, by a law. Sometimes 471, 2.) The following notice is chiefly a corporation is created by implication confined to the law of corporations aggre- from the words of an act of parliament; gate. The legal incidents of such corpo- for instance, if certain persons, such as rations sole, as bishops and parsons, are the conservators of a river, are declared mentioned under Bishop and BENEFICE. to take lands by succession, they are in

The members of cathedral and colle- corporated : for the word “succession” is giate chapters are secular ecclesiastical opposed to “inheritance," and involves corporations aggregate. Before the reform- the notion of a corporate body. Custom ation the law recognised a class of eccle- sometimes establishes a corporation, as in siastical corporations regular, consisting the case of churchwardens, who are a of abbots or priors and their respective corporation with respect to the goods and convents, and apparently the societies of chattels of the church, and they may purfriars or mendicant orders. (Brook's chase goods for the church, but not land, Abr. Corporations, pl. 12.) The heads of except by the special custom of the city these conventual bodies were often distinct of London. Those corporations which corporations sole, as is still the case in have existed from time beyond legal many of the modern secular ecclesiastical memory, and have no charter or warrant establishments.

to show for their authority, are said to be The colleges in Oxford and Cambridge, corporations by prescription. and incorporated schools and hospitals, The principal incidents of a corporation are instances of eleemosynary corpora- aggregate are the following :tions; being endowed and established for 1. It can purchase, convey, and hold the purpose of perpetuating the bounty of land or goods in perpetual succession, nottheir respective founders. [COLLEGIÚM.] | withstanding the changes and fluctuations

But the largest class of corporations, that occur among the members successively and those which are most varied in their appointed to fill the vacancies which hapobject and character, are lay and civil in- pen in it. corporations. Among these are the uni 2. It can become a party to proceedings versities of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, at law, or to contracts, by the corporate and London, the municipal corporations name given to it on its foundation. of different cities and boroughs, the East 3. The act or assent of the majority is India Company, the Bank of England, the binding on all the rest; such at least is Colleges of Physicians and of Surgeons, the general rule, wherever the instrument the Royal Society and Academy, the of foundation does not otherwise provide. Society of Antiquaries, and numerous 4. It signifies its assent, and testifies its commercial and other companies erected corporate acts, by a common seal, without by charter or by act of parliament. which hardly any contract is binding on

A corporation cannot be created by any the corporate body. authority except that of the king or the 5. It is competent to enact regulations parliament. Where any such body has called bylaws, which are binding on the existed from time beyond legal memory, members of the corporation, and, in some it is presumed to have a legitimate origin cases, ou strangers also. [Bylaw.] in one or the other of the above sources. ! 6. The particular members of the body

« ZurückWeiter »