The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2Allen, Thomas
The Coroner of London.
Called so from , i. e. a crown, because he deals principally with the crown, or in matters appertaining to the imperial crown of England. As to the antiquity of this office, it appears there were coroners in the time of king Alfred, by the book, intituled . The lord mayor for the time being is coroner, but hath his deputy for the management of the office. In ancient time this office was of such great esteem, that none could execute it under the degree of a knight. As the sheriff may inquire of all felonies, so the coroner is to inquire of all sudden deaths; and to that end he impannels a jury, takes evidence upon oath, and gives the charge to the jury.
In former times this officer was nominated and appointed by the king. In Edward III. the citizens prayed, that they might place and displace a coroner among themselves, answering unto the king what belongs thereunto. It was answered, the king will not depart with his ancient right. The present coroner is Thomas Shelton, esq.