Punch,  47 (1864), 215.

An Inquest on an Inquest



News-Commentary, Drollery


Crime, Natural Theology, Anatomy, Religious Authority

    Introduces a recent inquest held by Mr Punch upon an earlier inquest. The latter revealed that a clergyman, John Hunt, who 'systematically studied anatomy' in order to search out Nature's 'glorious and miraculous works', had obtained from a physician a stillborn body for 'acquiring anatomical knowledge'. While his actions did not appear to infringe the Anatomy Act or 'the decencies of life or death', a churchwarden took action that resulted in his trial. During the trial, the judge defended the legitimacy of Hunt's medical studies but the jury decided that Hunt should confine his studies to 'matters of a clerical character'. Mr Punch's jury, however, accused the actual jury of 'Snobbish Impertinence' and claimed that it would be better if 'vulgar blockheads' were not 'eligible to serve on Coroner's juries', but were instead 'obliged to mind their own business'.

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