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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): LCC/PC/COR
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1889-1965
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 3.5 linear metres
Name of creator(s): LCC | London County Council x London County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The term 'public control', as used in the Council's organisation, embraced various services of a regulative character, mostly exercised by some form of licensing control. Largely unobtrusive in their operation, and producing no spectacular effects, they were all carried out in the public interest and, in some respects, for the protection of the public or certain sections of it.

Their administration was conditioned by trends in the legislative provisions under which they were operated, by shifts and changes in social usages, and by the development of the Council's policies towards the matters to which they related.

The Coroners (Amendment) Act, 1926, enabled a coroner in certain cases to dispense with the formality of an inquest. This provision greatly reduced the number of inquests. It became possible, as coronerships fell vacant, to reduce the number of coroners' districts. In 1932 the number of coroners in London was seven. In 1956 the number of coroners and coroner's districts in London was reduced to three. At one time there were thirty places in London at which inquests were held. The reorganisation of districts made it possible to reduce the number of coroners' courts in London to seven. London coroners held 2,010 inquests in 1963. More than 12,000 deaths, or 30% of all deaths occurring in London that year, were reported to them, but, after inquiries and post-mortem examinations, the coroners were able to deal with more than 10,000 cases without needing to hold an inquest.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London County Council Public Control Department relating to Coroners, 1889-1965, including general files relating to the Departmental Committee on Coroners Law and Practice; the Departmental Committee on Coroners; the Coroners' (Amendment) Act, 1926; the Human Tissue Bill; the Suicide Bill; the Committee on Consumer Protection and Consumer Protection Bill; proposals for amendment of law relating to coroners; coroners' qualifications; articles and booklets on the office of coroner; coroners' statistics; cremation regulations; custody of coroners' records; pathologists and toxicologists; fees and payments, both to the coroner and by the coroner; removal of bodies; undertaking of funerals; employment of council's officers as expert witnesses; reorganizations of districts; reorganisation under London Government Act, 1963; proposals to set up one or more post mortem centres in London; unusual cases and inquests; deaths due to poisoning; inquests following motor bus and tram accidents, coal gas poisonings and demolition of buildings; deaths from drowning and removal of drowned bodies; deaths occasioned by starvation; deaths due to tetanus; incidents relating to unprotected fire-grates; accidents through window cleaning; inquests held as a result of air raids (First World War); fire inquests and treasure trove.

Papers relating to staffing, including general papers on the positions of coroner, deputy coroner, assistant deputy coroner and mortuary keeper; papers relating to appointments, including procedures and files on individual appointments; papers regarding salaries, pensions and expense allowances; and the personal files of various coroners.

Papers relating to coroner's premises, including individual coroner's courts and mortuaries; general papers relating to mortuaries; maps showing areas covered by individual mortuaries and statistics relating to the use of mortuaries.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

LCC/PR/COR/01: General files; LCC/PC/COR/02: Staffing; LCC/PC/COR/03: Premises.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired with the records of its parent body, the London County Council.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the LCC please see Achievement: A Short History of the London County Council by W Eric Jackson (1965), LMA Library reference 18.0 1965, The London County Council 1938, LMA Library reference 18.7 SER 4, and The Youngest County: A description of London as a county and its public services, 1951, LMA Library reference 18.0 1951.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April to June 2009

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