Chapter Eight

AuthorRichard D. Schneider
Cae Egh
e Times –  January 
     . 
Yesterday an inquest was held at the Lion and Goat Tavern, Gros-
venor Street, before Mr. Gall, the coroner for Westminster, assisted by
Mr. Higgs, and a jury, to inquire into the cause of the death of the late
Mr. Edward Drummond.
 ’  is a process for inquiring into the cause of
death in unusual circumstances. From as early as the Middle Ages,
violent or suspicious deaths were investigated by a coroner who held a
hearing with a jury. e coroner had the ability to bind over witnesses
and suspects to appear in court and, in the case of homicide, detain sus-
pects in jail. Although the inquiry may precede a trial where the death
has also led to a criminal charge, it may occur after the trial. e jury
may conclude that the death was an accident or a homicide, but would
avoid attributing responsibility to a particular individual or addressing
the perpetrator’s state of mind. In addition to usurping the function of
the trial court, such a procedure would be highly prejudicial.
e tavern inquest room was crowded by persons anxious to wit-
ness the proceedings. e proceedings commenced at a few minutes
after four o’clock, the jury comprised of “Messrs. Stanley, Meagoe,
Tucker, Mills, Owen, Slack, Christmas, Strachan, Dawes, Evandar,
Bailey, Padgett, Davis, Turner, Dunn, Bywater, Cliord, Nobile, Low,
and Cooper.” Sworn in according to the usual form, they proceeded to
go to view the body, which lay at the residence of Mr. Drummond, at
No.  Grosvenor Street.

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