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The position of coroner derived from an ancient Saxon office first chronicled before the Norman Conquest during the reign of the Saxon king, Alfred the Great. The job of the coronae custodium regis, or keeper of the royal pleas, was to see to it that the king got what was due him, including all the property of executed criminals as well as any object—be it a runaway horse or a sword—that had caused the death of any person. During Milton Helpern's lifetime, the designation of a coroner as the official responsible for examinations of the dead declined in favor of
AUTOPSY. The Memoirs of Milton Helpern, the World's Greatest Medical Detective.. Ann Intern Med. 1978;88:722. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-88-5-722_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(5):722.
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