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  #31  
Old 08-20-2017, 06:32 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Originally Posted by Wickerman View Post
Thanks GUT.
So, oral evidence given on oath at an inquest is signed because......?
It's not. Not my knowledge anyway, but the statement you Might make before giving your oral evidence is.
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  #32  
Old 08-20-2017, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
I seem to recall one paper reporting (I think Dr Phillips' evidence at the Chapman inquest) something like "the evidence was given carefully line by line so the coroner could write it all down".
A common admonition to this day, I well reeberone OLD Judge saying to a witness "Watch the Judicial pencil, I need to keep up" even though those proceedings were being recorded.
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  #33  
Old 08-21-2017, 12:24 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Let me try and answer all these questions.

Lets start with the Coroner's Act 1887 S.5(3) dealing with cases of murder or manslaughter:

"The Coroner shall deliver the inquisition, depositions and recognizances, with a certificate under his hand that the same has been taken before him, to the proper officer of the Court in which the trial is to be, before or at the opening of the Court."

So in this case, had the murderer of Kelly actually been caught, the original depositions would have been sent to the Old Bailey. As this would have been such an important murder trial, the papers of the Old Bailey would inevitably have been preserved and would be available today at the National Archives (like many others).

The Coroner would probably have retained copies for himself.

Now, there was obviously no arrest in this case but we should note the following in Jervis on Coroners:

"By a circular from the Home Office in September 1884, coroners were requested, in all cases in which a verdict of murder of manslaughter should be returned, to send a copy of the depositions to the Director of Public Prosecutions with or without any remarks which the coroner might think fit to offer."

Wynne Baxter certainly followed this circular very dutifully and had copies made of the Tabram, Nichols, Chapman and Stride depositions which were sent to the DPP (as I've previously mentioned on this board). These would have been professionally printed and I've seen a non-Ripper example of one of Baxter's printed inquests.

Otherwise, I've seen lots (and that is more than a few) of original depositions in the Old Bailey files.

But to state the obvious, there were no photocopiers in those days so the cheapest way of making copies of anything was for a clerk to write them out by hand.

Evidence at the Old Bailey was taken down by shorthand writers (and by the judge in his notebook) - the process was different and did not involve depositions.
Hi David,

Why is the original inquisition together with a handwritten transcription of the original depositions do you think?

And why does it look like these two documents have been pieced together by someone?

Pierre
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  #34  
Old 08-21-2017, 01:25 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Originally Posted by Wickerman View Post
Letter copying machines had been around for a century.
The police made handbills by the hundreds.
Well coroners weren't the police and that type of technology wouldn't have been practical for making copies of depositions in 1888.
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  #35  
Old 08-21-2017, 01:40 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Originally Posted by Wickerman View Post
Ok, you lost me with this.
Witnesses did give testimony at the Old Bailey. Why would they not be expected to sign their statements?
The narrow answer is that the signing of depositions by witnesses at an inquest was a requirement of the Coroners Act of 1887 at S.4(2):

"It shall be the duty of the coroner in a case of murder or manslaughter to put into writing the statement on oath of those who know the facts and circumstances of the case, or so much of such statement as is material, and any such deposition shall be signed by the witness and also by the coroner.
"

That is essentially what leads me to believe that the unsigned depositions in the file at the LMA must be copies (they also don't look like other depositions I've seen). That said, I do note that one amendment on one of the depositions has been initialled "A.H" which were the initials of the deputy coroner, Alfred Hodgkinson. According to the Daily Telegraph of 14 November 1888: "It has been held that a coroner is bound to accept all evidence tendered, and to take down in writing the material parts. Dr. Macdonald interrogated the witnesses, but it was Mr. Hodgkinson who committed their testimony to writing." But the amendment could equally be a correction of a transcript prepared by him.

The wider answer to your question is that the trial was the very end of the process. So the depositions from the inquest and police court would be sent by the coroner and magistrate respectively to the court of assizes - in London the Central Criminal Court - so that they were available during the trial. Once the prisoner was found guilty or not guilty that was the end of matter so there was no need for the evidence at the trial to be preserved in written form. Once you had a criminal court of appeal, a transcript might have been needed and this could be professionally prepared (at a cost) from the shorthand notes.

But, in short, there were no depositions for any witnesses to sign at a trial because evidence was not recorded in longhand, as it was at an inquest or magistrate's hearing.

And just clarify the language. Statements would be prepared by a witness prior to a hearing. Depositions were taken during hearings.
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  #36  
Old 08-21-2017, 01:53 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Hi David,

Why is the original inquisition together with a handwritten transcription of the original depositions do you think?

And why does it look like these two documents have been pieced together by someone?
My dear boy, you asked a question in the OP of this thread and I have answered it. The printed handwritings in Smithkey are printed from the original papers of the coroner as held in the London Metropolitan Archives. Those papers include unsigned depositions only, so you can draw whatever conclusion you want to draw from that.

I can't answer every single question that pops into your head but in respect of the "original inquisition", it has to be asked if the one in the LMA file actually is the original Inquisition. Those in the Old Bailey files are invariably on large parchment whereas the Inquisition in the LMA file is on normal A4 paper (although that may because, for those sent to the Old Bailey, someone is being charged with murder so has different wording). I don't know what is in Smithkey but there are two versions of the Inquisitions in the LMA file, one signed by the coroner and jury and one not signed by them. The one signed by them breaks off in mid sentence at one point where it says "...the Jurors aforesaid, upon their Oaths, do further say that such death was due to" and that's where it stops.

So I would not want to rule out that the jury signed two copies of the Inquisition, one to be sent to the Central Criminal Court if there was an arrest and one to be permanently retained with the coroner's papers, with only the latter being retained in storage.

I don't know what you mean when you say that it looks like "two documents have been pieced together by someone".
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  #37  
Old 08-22-2017, 03:39 AM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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[quote=David Orsam;426582]

Quote:
I don't know what you mean when you say that it looks like "two documents have been pieced together by someone".
After the Sum of Sums we have The Informations of Witnesses... and that part looks as the original.

But the deposition following, starting with Joseph Barnett, is not the original, so why is that part pieced together with The Informations of Witnesses...?

Pierre
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  #38  
Old 08-22-2017, 03:59 AM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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[quote=David Orsam;426582]

Quote:
My dear boy, you asked a question in the OP of this thread and I have answered it. The printed handwritings in Smithkey are printed from the original papers of the coroner as held in the London Metropolitan Archives. Those papers include unsigned depositions only, so you can draw whatever conclusion you want to draw from that.
He had a facsimile, i.e. a copy of the original Inquisition and the transcription of the original deposition.

Quote:
I can't answer every single question that pops into your head
Of course you canīt.

Quote:
but in respect of the "original inquisition", it has to be asked if the one in the LMA file actually is the original Inquisition. Those in the Old Bailey files are invariably on large parchment whereas the Inquisition in the LMA file is on normal A4 paper (although that may because, for those sent to the Old Bailey, someone is being charged with murder so has different wording).
That depends on what you mean by the "LMA file".

One version of the LMA file is a photocopy on A4 of the inquest papers.

Smithkey used such a copy. And that is what we see in his book.

So this is one version of "the LMA file". The public one.

But the question is if there is another source available in LMA, i.e. the original.

Pierre
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  #39  
Old 08-22-2017, 12:53 PM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUT View Post
A common admonition to this day, I well reeberone OLD Judge saying to a witness "Watch the Judicial pencil, I need to keep up" even though those proceedings were being recorded.
Cheers Gut.
For info, here is the line I was thinking of, from the Daily News 14th Sept;


"The evidence of Mr. Phillips, the doctor, was lengthy and minute, and was given line by line to be written down."
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  #40  
Old 08-22-2017, 03:37 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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My dear boy, I don't understand what you are talking about and you don't seem to be addressing me in a genuine spirit of enquiry so I can't help you other than to say that "LMA" means London Metropolitan Archives and the LMA file is the only one that known to exist: there is no other source available in the LMA or anywhere else.
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