Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Coroner, a very ancient officer of the Common Law, so called because, he has principally to do with pleas of the Crown or such wherein the sovereign is more immediately concerned. He is now appointed in boroughs by the Borough Council under the Municipal Corporation Act, 1882, and in counties by the County Council under the Local Government Act, 1888, prior to which county coroners were elected by the freeholders in each county. The Consolidated Coroners' Act, 1887, defines the coroner's jurisdiction as follows: - "Where a coroner is informed that the dead body of a person is lying within his jurisdiction, and there is reasonable cause to suspect that such person has died in prison or an unnatural death, or has died a sudden death, the cause of which is unknown, or that such person has died in prison or in such place or under such circumstances as to require an inquest in pursuance of any Act, the coroner, whether the cause of death arose within his jurisdiction or not, shall issue his warrant for summoning not less than 12 nor more than 23 men to appear before him to inquire as jurors touching the death." The coroner has also jurisdiction to inquire concerning "treasure trove," and in some cases acts as substitute for the sheriff, as when that officer is incapacitated by interest, etc. Coroners are usually elected for life in England. In Scotland the duties devolve upon an officer appointed by the Crown and known as the "Procurator Fiscal." In the United States the coroner is elected for a specified time by the voters in each county.