Friday, September 30, 2011

Clouds of Witness continued

Nor had Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson at all cared for Captain Denis Cathcart. She did not like a young man to be handsome in that obvious kind of way. But, of course, since Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson had wanted to come to Riddlesdale, it was her place to be with him. She was not to blame for the unfortunate result.
Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson was angry, quite simply, because the detective from Scotland Yard had not accepted his help in searching the house and grounds for footprints. As an older man of some experience in these matters (Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson was a county magistrate) he had gone out of his way to place himself at the man's disposal.
In the courts of England and Wales, magistrates—also known as justices of the peace (JPs)—hear prosecutions for and dispose of 'summary offences' and some 'triable-either-way offences' by making orders in regard to and placing additional requirements on offenders. Magistrates can only sentence for six months for one offence and twelve months consecutively, they can also give a maximum of a £5,000 fine; community orders which can include curfews, electronic tagging, requirements to perform unpaid work up to 300 hours or supervision up to three years and or various other options.

There are two types of magistrate in England and Wales: justices of the peace and district judges (formerly known as stipendiary magistrates) permanently employed by the Ministry of Justice (until May 2007, the Department for Constitutional Affairs). Justices of the peace sit voluntarily, apart from an allowance being paid for loss of earnings, mileage and subsistence (which are at a standardised rate agreed by the Ministry of Justice). According to requirements, around 50% of them are women. The majority are seen as "middle class, middle aged and middle minded" and over 41% of magistrates are retired from employment while others may be self-employed or able to arrange leave from their employment.

No formal qualifications are required but magistrates need intelligence, common sense, integrity and the capacity to act fairly. Membership is widely spread throughout the area covered and drawn from all walks of life. All magistrates receive training over a period of three months before sitting, carried out in conjunction with a mentoring program (mentors are magistrates with approximately five years service), which covers basic law and procedure and then continue to receive training throughout the first two years of their service and subsequently attend annual 'refresher courses.' Additional training is given to magistrates in the Youth Court, or those dealing with family matters. New magistrates sit with mentors on at least six occasions during their first year.

Magistrates are unpaid appointees but they may receive allowances to cover traveling expenses, subsistence and loss of earnings for those not paid by their employer whilst sitting as a magistrate.

Not only had the man been short with him, but he had rudely ordered him out of the conservatory, where he (Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson) had been reconstructing the affair from the point of view of Lady Mary.
All these angers and embarrassments might have caused less pain to the company had they not been aggravated by the presence of the detective himself, a quiet young man in a tweed suit, eating curry at one end of the table next to Mr. Murbles, the solicitor.
Tweed is a rough, unfinished woollen fabric, of a soft, open, flexible texture, resembling cheviot or homespun, but more closely woven. It is made in either plain or twill weave and may have a check or herringbone pattern. Subdued, interesting colour effects (heather mixtures) are obtained by twisting together differently coloured woolen strands into a two- or three-ply yarn.

Tweeds are desirable for informal outerwear, being moisture-resistant and durable. Once worn in, tweeds are commonly worn for outdoor activities such as shooting and hunting, in both Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Solicitors are lawyers who traditionally deal with any legal matter including conducting proceedings in courts. In the United Kingdom, a few Australian states and the Republic of Ireland, the legal profession is split between solicitors and barristers (or, in Scotland, advocates), and a lawyer will usually only hold one title.

This person had arrived from London on Friday, had corrected the local police, and strongly dissented from the opinion of Inspector Craikes.
If the individual in question is not of the “gentleman” class, he or she is referred to as a "person".

He had suppressed at the inquest information which, if openly given, might have precluded the arrest of the Duke. He had officiously detained the whole unhappy party, on the grounds that he wanted to re-examine everybody, and was thus keeping them miserably cooped up together over a horrible Sunday; and he had put the coping-stone on his offences by turning out to be an intimate friend of Lord Peter Wimsey's, and having, in consequence, to be accommodated with a bed in the gamekeeper's cottage and breakfast at the Lodge.
The coping stone is another term for the capstone – the covering of a wall to endure that water will run off it freely.

Mr. Murbles, who was elderly and had a delicate digestion, had travelled up in a hurry on Thursday night. He had found the inquest very improperly conducted and his client altogether impracticable. He had spent all his time trying to get hold of Sir Impey Biggs, K.C., who had vanished for the week-end, leaving no address.
Queen's Counsel (or QC), known as King's Counsel (or KC) during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of "Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law". Membership exists/existed in various Commonwealth countries around the world and it is a status, conferred by the Crown, that is recognised by courts. Members have the privilege of sitting within the Bar of court.

As members wear silk gowns of a particular design, the award of Queen's or King's Counsel is known informally as "taking silk". Appointments are made from within the legal profession on the basis of merit rather than a particular level of experience, however successful applicants tend to be solicitor advocates, barristers or advocates (in Scotland) with 15 years or more experience.

He was eating a little dry toast, and was inclined to like the detective, who called him “Sir,” and passed him the butter.
“Is anybody thinking of going to church?” asked the Duchess.
“Theodore and I should like to go,” said Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson, “if it is not too much trouble; or we could walk. It is not so very far.”
“It's two and a half miles, good,” said Colonel Marchbanks.
Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson looked at him gratefully.
“Of course you will come in the car,” said the Duchess. “I am going myself.”
“Are you, though?” said the Hon. Freddy. “I say, won't you get a bit stared at, what?”
“Really, Freddy,” said the Duchess, “does that matter?”
“Well,” said the Hon. Freddy, “I mean to say, these bounders about here are all Socialists and Methodists....”
Socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are either state owned or commonly owned and controlled cooperatively; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. As a form of social organization, socialism is based on co-operative social relations and self-management; relatively equal power-relations and the reduction or elimination of hierarchy in the management of economic and political affairs.

Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. The Methodist Church is known for its missionary work, and its establishment of hospitals, universities, orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools to follow Jesus' command to spread the Good News and serve all people.

Wesley, along with his brother founded the Holy Club while they were at Oxford, where John was a fellow and later a lecturer at Lincoln College. The holy club met weekly and they systematically set about living a holy life. They were branded as "Methodist" by students at Oxford who derided the methodical way they ordered their lives. Wesley took the attempted mockery and turned it into a title of honour. Initially Whitefield and the Wesleys merely sought reform, by way of a return to the gospel, within the Church of England, but the movement spread with revival and soon a significant number of Anglican clergy became known as Methodists in the mid-18th century. The movement did not form a separate denomination in England until after John Wesley's death in 1791.

“If they are Methodists,” said Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson, “they will not be at church.”
“Won't they?” retorted the Hon. Freddy. “You bet they will if there's anything to see. Why, it'll be better'n a funeral to 'em.”
Methodists regard the funeral service as an opportunity to express their grief, celebrate the life of the deceased and affirm their faith.
“Surely,” said Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson, “one has a duty in the matter, whatever our private feelings may be—especially at the present day, when people are so terribly slack.”
After World War I, several old customs and constraints began to be flouted – such as women wearing more revealing clothing and so on.

She glanced at the Hon. Freddy.
“Oh, don't you mind me, Mrs. P.,” said that youth amiably. “All I say is, if these blighters make things unpleasant, don't blame me.”
“Whoever thought of blaming you, Freddy?” said the Duchess.
“Manner of speaking,” said the Hon. Freddy.
“What do you think, Mr. Murbles?” inquired her ladyship.
“I feel,” said the lawyer, carefully stirring his coffee, “that, while your intention is a very admirable one, and does you very great credit, my dear lady, yet Mr. Arbuthnot is right in saying it may involve you in some—er—unpleasant publicity. Er—I have always been a sincere Christian myself, but I cannot feel that our religion demands that we should make ourselves conspicuous—er—in such very painful circumstances.”
Mr. Parker reminded himself of a dictum of Lord Melbourne.
After listening to an evangelical sermon developing the virtues of a religion compulsory upon the daily life of all men Lord Melbourne is reported to have remarked: "Things have come to a pretty pass when religion is allowed to invade the sphere of private life."

Viscount Melbourne, of Kilmore in the County of Cavan, was a title in the Peerage of Ireland held by the Lamb family. This family descended from Matthew Lamb, who represented Stockbridge and Peterborough in the House of Commons. In 1755 he was created a Baronet, of Brocket Hall in the County of Hertford, in the Baronetage of Great Britain. Lamb married Charlotte, daughter of Thomas Coke, through which marriage Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire came into the Lamb family.

The Melbourne who said the above quote was William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. He was a noted Whig politician and served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1834 and from 1835 to 1841. He was Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister, and she greatly relied upon his wisdom and experience in her early days on the throne, such that Melbourne's political foes complained that he had enthralled her.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Clouds of Wintness, Chapter 2


William Shakespeare used the term "green-eyed monster" for jealousy in his play Othello." The term green with envy has been common ever since, and since women and cats are associated...

“And here's to the hound
With his nose unto the ground——”
Drink, Puppy, Drink
The lyrics above are to a hunting song popular in England during the 1920s. Dogs were and are used to flush game, and fetch it once its been killed.

Some people hold that breakfast is the best meal of the day. Others, less robust, hold that it is the worst, and that, of all breakfasts in the week, Sunday morning breakfast is incomparably the worst.

The party gathered about the breakfast-table at Riddlesdale Lodge held, if one might judge from their faces, no brief for that day miscalled of sweet refection and holy love.
Sunday is called a day of “sweet reflection and holy love in a Lutheran hymn written by Christopher Wordsworth in the 1800s, also entitled “O day of rest anf gladness.”

The only member of it who seemed neither angry nor embarrassed was the Hon. Freddy Arbuthnot, and he was silent, engaged in trying to take the whole skeleton out of a bloater at once.
a herring or mackerel cured by being salted and briefly smoked and dried.

The very presence of that undistinguished fish upon the Duchess's breakfast-table indicated a disorganized household.

The Duchess of Denver was pouring out coffee. This was one of her uncomfortable habits. Persons arriving late for breakfast were thereby made painfully aware of their sloth. She was a long-necked, long-backed woman, who disciplined her hair and her children. She was never embarrassed, and her anger, though never permitted to be visible, made itself felt the more.

Colonel and Mrs. Marchbanks sat side by side. They had nothing beautiful about them but a stolid mutual affection. Mrs. Marchbanks was not angry, but she was embarrassed in the presence of the Duchess, because she could not feel sorry for her. When you felt sorry for people you called them “poor old dear” or “poor dear old man.” Since, obviously, you could not call the Duchess poor old dear, you were not being properly sorry for her. This distressed Mrs. Marchbanks. The Colonel was both embarrassed and angry—embarrassed because, 'pon my soul, it was very difficult to know what to talk about in a house where your host had been arrested for murder; angry in a dim way, like an injured animal, because unpleasant things like this had no business to break in on the shooting-season.
In England, the shooting season varies depending on the type of bird being shot – pheasant, grouse, ptarmigan, and so on. Basically, the shooting season was and is from September to February.

Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson was not only angry, she was outraged. As a girl she had adopted the motto stamped upon the school notepaper: Quæcunque honesta.
Latin for Always honest, inflexibly honest

She had always thought it wrong to let your mind dwell on anything that was not really nice. In middle life she still made a point of ignoring those newspaper paragraphs which bore such headlines as: “Assault upon a Schoolteacher at Cricklewood”; “Death in a Pint of Stout”; “£75 for a Kiss”; or “She called him Hubbykins.”
Stout is a dark beer from the ale variety of beers made using roasted malt or barley, hops, water, and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically 7% or 8%, produced by a brewery.

There are a number of variations including Baltic porter, dry stout, and imperial stout. The name porter was first used in 1721 to describe a dark beer popular with street and river porters of London that had been made with roasted malts. This same beer later also became known as stout, though the word stout had been used as early as 1677.

She said she could not see what good it did you to know about such things. She regretted having consented to visit Riddlesdale Lodge in the absence of the Duchess. She had never liked Lady Mary; she considered her a very objectionable specimen of the modern independent young woman; besides, there had been that very undignified incident connected with a Bolshevist while Lady Mary was nursing in London during the war.
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903.

The Bolsheviks were the majority faction in a crucial vote, hence their name. They ultimately became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks came to power in Russia during the October Revolution phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and founded the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic which would later in 1922 become the chief constituent of the Soviet Union.

The Bolsheviks, founded by Vladimir Lenin, were by 1905 a mass organization consisting primarily of workers under a democratic internal hierarchy governed by the principle of democratic centralism, who considered themselves the leaders of the revolutionary working class of Russia. Their beliefs and practices were often referred to as Bolshevism. Bolshevik revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky commonly used the terms "Bolshevism" and "Bolshevist" after his exile from the Soviet Union to differentiate between what he saw as true Leninism and the regime within the state and the party which arose under Stalin.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Clouds of Witness, end of chapter 1

If they excluded suicide, there remained accident, manslaughter, or murder.
Difference between manslaughter and murder.
Manslaughter is a legal term for the killing of a human being, in a manner considered by law as less culpable than murder. The distinction between murder and manslaughter is said to have first been made by the Ancient Athenian lawmaker Dracon in the 7th century BC.

The law generally differentiates between levels of criminal culpability based on the mens rea, or state of mind. This is particularly true within the law of homicide, where murder requires either the intent to kill – a state of mind called malice, or malice aforethought – or the knowledge that one's actions are likely to result in death; manslaughter, on the other hand, requires a lack of any prior intention to kill or create a deadly situation.

Manslaughter is usually broken down into two distinct categories: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

As to the first, if they thought it likely that deceased or any other person had taken out the Duke of Denver's revolver that night for any purpose, and that, in looking at, cleaning, shooting with, or otherwise handling the weapon, it had gone off and killed deceased accidentally, then they would return a verdict of death by misadventure accordingly. In that case, how did they explain the conduct of the person, whoever it was, who had dragged the body to the door?

The Coroner then passed on to speak of the law concerning manslaughter. He reminded them that no mere words, however insulting or threatening, can be an efficient excuse for killing anybody, and that the conflict must be sudden and unpremeditated. Did they think, for example, that the Duke had gone out, wishing to induce his guest to return and sleep in the house, and that deceased had retorted upon him with blows or menaces of assault?

If so, and the Duke, having a weapon in his hand, had shot deceased in self-defense, that was only manslaughter. But, in that case, they must ask themselves how the Duke came to go out to deceased with a lethal weapon in his hand? And this suggestion was in direct conflict with the Duke's own evidence.

Lastly, they must consider whether there was sufficient evidence of malice to justify a verdict of murder. They must consider whether any person had a motive, means, and opportunity for killing deceased; and whether they could reasonably account for that person's conduct on any other hypothesis. And, if they thought there was such a person, and that his conduct was in any way suspicious or secretive, or that he had willfully suppressed evidence which might have had a bearing on the case, or (here the Coroner spoke with great emphasis, staring over the Duke's head) fabricated other evidence with intent to mislead—then all these circumstances might be sufficient to amount to a violent presumption of guilt against some party, in which case they were in duty bound to bring in a verdict of willful murder against that party.

And, in considering this aspect of the question, the Coroner added, they would have to decide in their own minds whether the person who had dragged deceased towards the conservatory door had done so with the object of obtaining assistance or of thrusting the body down the garden well, which, as they had heard from Inspector Craikes, was situated close by the spot where the body had been found. If the jury were satisfied that deceased had been murdered, but were not prepared to accuse any particular person on the evidence, they might bring in a verdict of murder against an unknown person, or persons; but, if they felt justified in laying the killing at any person's door, then they must allow no respect of persons to prevent them from doing their duty.

Guided by these extremely plain hints, the jury, without very long consultation, returned a verdict of willful murder against Gerald, Duke of Denver.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Clouds of Witness continued

Inspector Craikes from Stapley had been brought back in the car with Dr. Thorpe. He had seen the body. It was then lying on its back, between the door of the conservatory and the covered well just outside. As soon as it became light, Inspector Craikes had examined the house and grounds. He had found bloody marks all along the path leading to the conservatory, and signs as though a body had been dragged along. This path ran into the main path leading from the gate to the front door. (Plan produced.) Where the two paths joined, a shrubbery began, and ran down on both sides of the path to the gate and the gamekeeper's cottage. The blood-tracks had led to a little clearing in the middle of the shrubbery, about half-way between the house and the gate. Here the inspector found a great pool of blood, a handkerchief soaked in blood, and a revolver. The handkerchief bore the initials D. C., and the revolver was a small weapon of American pattern, and bore no mark.

The conservatory door was open when the Inspector arrived, and the key was inside.

Deceased, when he saw him, was in dinner-jacket and pumps, without hat or overcoat.
The term “pumps” for shoes has been in use since the 1720s, but the origin is uncertain. For women, they are a lightweight, low-cut shoe without fastenings.
For men, they are a slip-on black patent leather shoe, for wear with formal dress.

He was wet through, and his clothes, besides being much blood-stained, were very muddy and greatly disordered through the dragging of the body. The pocket contained a cigar-case and a small flat pocket-knife. Deceased's bedroom had been searched for papers, etc., but so far nothing had been found to shed very much light on his circumstances.

The Duke of Denver was then recalled.

The Coroner: “I should like to ask your grace whether you ever saw deceased in possession of a revolver?”

Duke of D.: “Not since the war.”
World War I

The Coroner: “You do not know if he carried one about with him?”

Duke of D.: “I have no idea.”

The Coroner: “You can make no guess, I suppose, to whom this revolver belongs?”

Duke of D. (in great surprise): “That's my revolver—out of the study table drawer. How did you get hold of that?” (Sensation.)

The Coroner: “You are certain?”

Duke of D.: “Positive. I saw it there only the other day, when I was hunting out some photos of Mary for Cathcart, and I remember saying then that it was getting rusty lying about. There's the speck of rust.”

The Coroner: “Did you keep it loaded?”

Duke of D.: “Lord, no! I really don't know why it was there. I fancy I turned it out one day with some old Army stuff, and found it among my shooting things when I was up at Riddlesdale in August. I think the cartridges were with it.”
A cartridge, also called a round, packages the bullet, gunpowder and primer into a single metallic case precisely made to fit the firing chamber of a firearm. The primer is a small charge of impact-sensitive chemical that may be located at the center of the case head (centerfire ammunition) or at its rim (rimfire ammunition). Electrically fired cartridges have also been made. Caseless ammunition has been made as well. A cartridge without a bullet is called a blank; one that is completely inert is called a dummy. In popular use, the term "bullet" is often misused to refer to complete cartridges. This is incorrect; "bullet" refers specifically to the projectile itself, not the entire cartridge.

The Coroner: “Was the drawer locked?”

Duke of D.: “Yes, but the key was in the lock. My wife tells me I'm careless.”

The Coroner: “Did anybody else know the revolver was there?”

Duke of D.: “Fleming did, I think. I don't know of anybody else.”

Detective-Inspector Parker of Scotland Yard, having only arrived on Friday, had been unable as yet to make any very close investigation. Certain indications led him to think that some person or persons had been on the scene of the tragedy in addition to those who had taken part in the discovery. He preferred to say nothing more at present.

The Coroner then reconstructed the evidence in chronological order:

At, or a little after, ten o'clock there had been a quarrel between deceased and the Duke of Denver, after which deceased had left the house never to be seen alive again. They had the evidence of Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson that the Duke had gone downstairs at 11.30, and that of Colonel Marchbanks that he had been heard immediately afterwards moving about in the study, the room in which the revolver produced in evidence was usually kept. Against this they had the Duke's own sworn statement that he had not left his bedroom till half-past two in the morning. The jury would have to consider what weight was to be attached to those conflicting statements.

Then, as to the shots heard in the night; the gamekeeper had said he heard a shot at ten minutes to twelve, but he had supposed it to be fired by poachers. It was, in fact, quite possible that there had been poachers about. On the other hand, Lady Mary's statement that she had heard the shot at about three a.m. did not fit in very well with the doctor's evidence that when he arrived at Riddlesdale at 4.30 deceased had been already three or four hours dead. They would remember also that in Dr. Thorpe's opinion, death had not immediately followed the wound. If they believed this evidence, therefore, they would have to put back the moment of death to between eleven p.m. and midnight, and this might very well have been the shot which the gamekeeper heard. In that case they had still to ask themselves about the shot which had awakened Lady Mary Wimsey. Of course, if they liked to put that down to poachers, there was no inherent impossibility.

They next came to the body of deceased, which had been discovered by the Duke of Denver at three a.m. lying outside the door of the small conservatory, near the covered well. There seemed little doubt, from the medical evidence, that the shot which killed deceased had been fired in the shrubbery, about seven minutes' distance from the house, and that the body of deceased had been dragged from that place to the house. Deceased had undoubtedly died as the result of being shot in the lungs. The jury would have to decide whether that shot was fired by his own hand or by the hand of another; and, if the latter, whether by accident, in self-defense, or by malice aforethought with intent to murder. As regards suicide, they must consider what they knew of deceased's character and circumstances.

Deceased was a young man in the prime of his strength, and apparently of considerable fortune. He had had a meritorious military career, and was liked by his friends. The Duke of Denver had thought sufficiently well of him to consent to his own sister's engagement to deceased. There was evidence to show that the fiancés, though perhaps not demonstrative, were on excellent terms. The Duke affirmed that on the Wednesday night deceased had announced his intention of breaking off the engagement. Did they believe that deceased, without even communicating with the lady, or writing a word of explanation or farewell, would thereupon rush out and shoot himself?

Again, the jury must consider the accusation which the Duke of Denver said he had brought against deceased. He had accused him of cheating at cards. In the kind of society to which the persons involved in this inquiry belonged, such a misdemeanor as cheating at cards was regarded as far more shameful than such sins as murders and adultery.

Possibly the mere suggestion of such a thing, whether well-founded or not, might well cause a gentleman of sensitive honor to make away with himself. But was deceased honorable? Deceased had been educated in France, and French notions of the honest thing were very different from British ones. The Coroner himself had had business relations with French persons in his capacity as a solicitor, and could assure such of the jury as had never been in France that they ought to allow for these different standards. Unhappily, the alleged letter giving details of the accusation had not been produced to them. Next, they might ask themselves whether it was not more usual for a suicide to shoot himself in the head. They should ask themselves how deceased came by the revolver. And, finally, they must consider, in that case, who had dragged the body towards the house, and why the person had chosen to do so, with great labor to himself and at the risk of extinguishing any lingering remnant of the vital spark, instead of arousing the household and fetching help.
Vitalism, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is
1.a doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from biochemical reactions
2.a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining
Where vitalism explicitly invokes a vital principle, that element is often referred to as the "vital spark," "energy" or "élan vital", which some equate with the "soul".

Vitalism has a long history in medical philosophies: most traditional healing practices posited that disease results from some imbalance in the vital energies that distinguish living from non-living matter.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Clouds of Witness continued

Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson confirmed her husband's evidence. She had fallen asleep before midnight, and had slept heavily. She was a heavy sleeper at the beginning of the night, but slept lightly in the early morning. She had been annoyed by all the disturbance in the house that evening, as it had prevented her from getting off. In fact, she had dropped off about 10.30, and Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson had had to wake her an hour after to tell her about the footsteps. What with one thing and another she only got a couple of hours' good sleep. She woke up again at two, and remained broad awake till the alarm was given by Lady Mary. She could swear positively that she heard no shot in the night. Her window was next to Lady Mary's, on the opposite side from the conservatory. She had always been accustomed from a child to sleep with her window open. In reply to a question from the Coroner, Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson said she had never felt there was a real, true affection between Lady Mary Wimsey and deceased.
In England and Wales a coroner is an independent judicial office holder, appointed and paid for by the relevant local authority. The Ministry of Justice, which is headed by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice has the responsibility for the coronial law and policy only, and no operational responsibility.

The post of coroner is ancient, dating from approximately the 11th century, shortly after the Norman conquest of England in 1066.

The office of Coroner was formally established in England by Article 20 of the "Articles of Eyre" in September 1194 to "keep the pleas of the Crown" (Latin, custos placitorum coronas) from which the word "coroner" is derived. This role provided a local county official whose primary duty was to protect the financial interest of the crown in criminal proceedings. The office of coroner is, "in many instances, a necessary substitute: for if the sheriff is interested in a suit, or if he is of affinity with one of the parties to a suit, the coroner must execute and return the process of the courts of justice." This role was qualified in Chapter 24 of Magna Carta in 1215, which states: "No sheriff, constable, coroner or bailiff shall hold pleas of our Crown." "Keeping the pleas" was an administrative task, while "holding the pleas" was a judicial one that was not assigned to the locally resident coroner but left to judges who traveled around the country holding Assize Courts. The role of Custos rotulorum or keeper of the county records became an independent office, which after 1836 was held by the Lord Lieutenant of each county. The person who found a body from a death thought sudden or unnatural was required to raise the "hue and cry" and to notify the coroner.

Coroners were introduced into Wales following its military conquest by Edward I of England in 1282 through the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284.

To become a coroner in England and Wales the applicant must have a degree in a medical or legal field, e.g., criminology or bio-medical sciences. Generally, coroners have had a previous career as a lawyer (solicitor/barrister) or physician of at least five years standing. This reflects the role of a coroner: to determine the cause of death of a deceased in cases where the death was sudden, unexpected, occurred abroad, was suspicious in any way, or happened while the person was under the control of central authority (e.g., in police custody).

They seemed very off-hand, but that sort of thing was the fashion nowadays. She had never heard of any disagreement.

Miss Lydia Cathcart, who had been hurriedly summoned from town, then gave evidence about the deceased man. She told the Coroner that she was the Captain's aunt and his only surviving relative. She had seen very little of him since he came into possession of his father's money. He had always lived with his own friends in Paris, and they were such as she could not approve of.

“My brother and I never got on very well,” said Miss Cathcart, “and he had my nephew educated abroad till he was eighteen. I fear Denis's notions were always quite French. After my brother's death Denis went to Cambridge, by his father's desire. I was left executrix of the will, and guardian till Denis came of age.
Executor (female form: sing. = executrix, pl. = executrices) is also a legal term referring to a person named by a maker of a will, or nominated by the testator, to carry out the directions of the will. Typically, the executor is the person responsible for offering the will for probate, although it is not absolutely required that he or she do so. The executor's duties also include the disbursement of property to the beneficiaries as designated in the will, obtaining information about any other potential heirs, collecting and arranging for payment of debts of the estate and approving or disapproving creditors' claims. An executor also makes sure estate taxes are calculated, necessary forms are filed and tax payments made, and in all ways assists the attorney for the estate. Also the executor makes all donations as left in bequests to charitable and other organizations as directed in the will. In most circumstances the executor is the representative of the estate for all purposes, and has the ability to sue or be sued on behalf of the estate. The executor also holds legal title to the estate property, but may not use that property for the executor's own benefit unless expressly permitted by the terms of the will.

I do not know why, after neglecting me all his life, my brother should have chosen to put such a responsibility upon me at his death, but I did not care to refuse. My house was open to Denis during his holidays from college, but he preferred, as a rule, to go and stay with his rich friends. I cannot now recall any of their names. When Denis was twenty-one he came into £10,000 a year. I believe it was in some kind of foreign property. I inherited a certain amount under the will as executrix, but I converted it all, at once, into good, sound British securities.
A security is generally a fungible (the property of a good or a commodity whose individual units are capable of mutual substitution, such as crude oil, wheat, precious metals or currencies) , negotiable financial instrument representing financial value. Securities are broadly categorized into:

debt securities (such as banknotes, bonds and debentures),
equity securities, e.g., common stocks; and,
derivative contracts, such as forwards, futures, options and swaps.
I cannot say what Denis did with his. It would not surprise me at all to hear that he had been cheating at cards. I have heard that the persons he consorted with in Paris were most undesirable. I never met any of them. I have never been in France.”

John Hardraw, the gamekeeper, was next called.
A gamekeeper (often abbreviated to keeper) is a person who manages an area of countryside to make sure there is enough game for shooting, or fish for angling, and who actively manages areas of woodland, moorland, waterway or farmland for the benefit of game birds, deer, fish and wildlife in general.

Typically, a gamekeeper is employed by a landowner, and often in the UK by a country estate, to prevent poaching, to rear and release game birds such as pheasants and partridge, encourage and manage wild red grouse, and to control predators such as foxes, to manage habitats to suit game, and to monitor the health of the game.

He and his wife inhabit a small cottage just inside the gate of Riddlesdale Lodge. The grounds, which measure twenty acres or so, are surrounded at this point by a strong paling; the gate is locked at night. Hardraw stated that he had heard a shot fired at about ten minutes to twelve on Wednesday night, close to the cottage, as it seemed to him. Behind the cottage are ten acres of preserved plantation. He supposed that there were poachers about; they occasionally came in after hares. He went out with his gun in that direction, but saw nobody. He returned home at one o'clock by his watch.

The Coroner: “Did you fire your gun at any time?”

Witness: “No.”

The Coroner: “You did not go out again?”

Witness: “I did not.”

The Coroner: “Nor hear any other shots?”

Witness: “Only that one; but I fell asleep after I got back, and was awakened up by the chauffeur going out for the doctor. That would be at about a quarter past three.”

The Coroner: “Is it not unusual for poachers to shoot so very near the cottage?”

Witness: “Yes, rather. If poachers do come, it is usually on the other side of the preserve, towards the moor.”

Dr. Thorpe gave evidence of having been called to see deceased. He lived in Stapley, nearly fourteen miles from Riddlesdale.
Stapley and Riddlesdale are fictional towns.

There was no medical man in Riddlesdale. The chauffeur had knocked him up at 3.45 a.m., and he had dressed quickly and come with him at once. They were at Riddlesdale Lodge at half-past four. Deceased, when he saw him, he judged to have been dead three or four hours. The lungs had been pierced by a bullet, and death had resulted from loss of blood and suffocation. Death would not have resulted immediately—deceased might have lingered some time. He had made a post-mortem investigation, and found that the bullet had been deflected from a rib. There was nothing to show whether the wound had been self-inflicted or fired from another hand, at close quarters. There were no other marks of violence.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Clouds of Witness cont

The Coroner: “Alone?”
Witness: “Yes, everybody was running about and calling out. I couldn't bear it—I——”
Here the witness, who up till this moment had given her evidence very collectedly, though in a low voice, collapsed suddenly, and had to be assisted from the room.
The next witness called was James Fleming, the manservant. He remembered having brought the letters from Riddlesdale at 9.45 on Wednesday evening. He had taken three or four letters to the Duke in the gun-room.
In an English country house, the Gun Room is a secure walk-in vault in which sporting rifles, shotguns, ammunition and other shooting accessories are kept.

He could not remember at all whether one of them had had an Egyptian stamp. He did not collect stamps; his hobby was autographs.
The Hon. Frederick Arbuthnot then gave evidence. He had gone up to bed with the rest at a little before ten. He had heard Denver come up by himself some time later—couldn't say how much later—he was brushing his teeth at the time. (Laughter.) Had certainly heard loud voices and a row going on next door and in the passage. Had heard somebody go for the stairs hell-for-leather.
The expression hell-for-leather means at “breakneck speed, very fast” and was originally used with reference to riding on horseback. It may have originated with Kipling. The earliest citation in the OED is from an 1889 Kipling story, “The Valley of the Shadow.”
CAPT. M. (Jealously) Then don’t say it! Leave him alone. It’s not bad enough to croak over. Here, Gaddy, take the chit to Bingle and ride hell-for-leather. It’ll do you good. I can’t go.
JUNIOR CHAPLAIN. (Flicking M.’s charger.) That’ll do, thanks. Turn in, Gadsby, and I’ll bring Bingle back–ahem–’hell-for-leather.’
Had stuck his head out and seen Denver in the passage. Had said, “Hello, Denver, what's the row?” The Duke's reply had been inaudible. Denver had bolted into his bedroom and shouted out of the window, “Don't be an ass, man!” He had seemed very angry indeed, but the Hon. Freddy attached no importance to that. One was always getting across Denver, but it never came to anything. More dust than kick in his opinion.
Hadn't known Cathcart long—always found him all right—no, he didn't like Cathcart, but he was all right, you know, nothing wrong about him that he knew of. Good lord, no, he'd never heard it suggested he cheated at cards! Well, no, of course, he didn't go about looking out for people cheating at cards—it wasn't a thing one expected. He'd been had that way in a club at Monte once—he'd had no hand in bringing it to light—hadn't noticed anything till the fun began.
Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco. It is widely known for its casino. The permanent population is about 15,000. The Monte Carlo quarter includes not only Monte Carlo proper where the Le Grand Casino is located, it also includes the neighbourhoods of Saint-Michel, Saint-Roman/Tenao, and the beach community of Larvotto. It is also one of Monaco's 10 wards with a population of 3,500. It borders the French town of Beausoleil (sometimes referred to as Monte-Carlo-Supérieur).
Had not noticed anything particular in Cathcart's manner to Lady Mary, or hers to him. Didn't suppose he ever would notice anything; did not consider himself an observing sort of man. Was not interfering by nature; had thought Wednesday evening's dust-up none of his business. Had gone to bed and to sleep.
The Coroner: “Did you hear anything further that night?”
Hon. Frederick: “Not till poor little Mary knocked me up. Then I toddled down and found Denver in the conservatory, bathing Cathcart's head. We thought we ought to clean the gravel and mud off his face, you know.”
The Coroner: “You heard no shot?”
Hon. Frederick: “Not a sound. But I sleep pretty heavily.”
Colonel and Mrs. Marchbanks slept in the room over what was called the study—more a sort of smoking-room really.
When the Crimean War during the 1850s popularized Turkish tobacco, smoking gained in fashionable popularity but was considered indelicate. After dinner in a large private house, the gentlemen might retreat from the ladies to a smoking room, furnished with velvet curtains and decorated to masculine tastes, and replace his tail coat with a comfortable velvet smoking jacket and cap. The velvet was intended to absorb the smoke, to avoid contaminating other rooms and clothes.

They both gave the same account of a conversation which they had had at 11.30. Mrs. Marchbanks had sat up to write some letters after the Colonel was in bed. They had heard voices and someone running about, but had paid no attention. It was not unusual for members of the party to shout and run about. At last the Colonel had said, “Come to bed, my dear, it's half-past eleven, and we're making an early start to-morrow. You won't be fit for anything.” He said this because Mrs. Marchbanks was a keen sportswoman and always carried her gun with the rest. She replied, “I'm just coming.” The Colonel said, “You're the only sinner burning the midnight oil—everybody's turned in.”
To work late into the night. Originally this was by the light of an oil lamp or candle. More recently, the phrase is used figuratively, alluding back its use before electric lighting.

The English author Francis Quarles wrote in Emblemes, 1635:
Wee spend our mid-day sweat, or mid-night oyle;
Wee tyre the night in thought; the day in toyle.

Mrs. Marchbanks replied, “No, the Duke's still up; I can hear him moving about in the study.” Colonel Marchbanks listened and heard it too. Neither of them heard the Duke come up again. They had heard no noise of any kind in the night.
Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson appeared to give evidence with extreme reluctance. He and his wife had gone to bed at ten. They had heard the quarrel with Cathcart. Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson, fearing that something might be going to happen, opened his door in time to hear the Duke say, “If you dare to speak to my sister again I'll break every bone in your body,” or words to that effect. Cathcart had rushed downstairs. The Duke was scarlet in the face. He had not seen Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson, but had spoken a few words to Mr. Arbuthnot, and rushed into his own bedroom. Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson had run out, and said to Mr. Arbuthnot, “I say, Arbuthnot,” and Mr. Arbuthnot had very rudely slammed the door in his face. He had then gone to the Duke's door and said, “I say, Denver.” The Duke had come out, pushing past him, without even noticing him, and gone to the head of the stairs. He had heard him tell Fleming to leave the conservatory door open, as Mr. Cathcart had gone out. The Duke had then returned. Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson had tried to catch him as he passed, and had said again, “I say, Denver, what's up?” The Duke had said nothing, and had shut his bedroom door with great decision. Later on, however, at 11.30 to be precise, Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson had heard the Duke's door open, and stealthy feet moving about the passage. He could not hear whether they had gone downstairs. The bathroom and lavatory were at his end of the passage, and, if anybody had entered either of them, he thought he should have heard. He had not heard the footsteps return. He had heard his travelling clock strike twelve before falling asleep. There was no mistaking the Duke's bedroom door, as the hinge creaked in a peculiar manner.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Clouds of Witness continued

Witness (scornfully): “Why should I? I thought it was probably only poachers, and I didn't want to make an unnecessary fuss at that unearthly hour.”
Where does the term poaching come from? poach means to "steal game," 1528, "to push, poke," from M.Fr. pocher "to thrust, poke," from O.Fr. pochier "poke out, gouge," from a Gmc. source (cf. M.H.G. puchen "to pound, beat, knock") related to poke (v.). Sense of "trespass for the sake of stealing" is first attested 1611.

The Coroner: “Did the shot sound close to the house?”
Witness: “Fairly, I think—it is hard to tell when one is awakened by a noise—it always sounds so extra loud.”
The Coroner: “It did not seem to be in the house or in the conservatory?”
Witness: “No, it was outside.”
The Coroner: “So you went downstairs by yourself. That was very plucky of you, Lady Mary. Did you go immediately?”
One “plucks” a flower or a chicken. Using “pluck” in the sense of having courage was first used in 1773.

Witness: “Not quite immediately. I thought it over for a few minutes; then I put on walking-shoes over bare feet, a heavy covert-coat, and a woolly cap.
Unlike overcoats, topcoats are usually made from lighter weight cloth such as gabardine or covert, while overcoats are made from heavier cloth or fur, because overcoats are more commonly used in winter when warmth is more important.

It may have been five minutes after hearing the shot that I left my bedroom. I went downstairs and through the billiard-room to the conservatory.”
The Coroner: “Why did you go out that way?”
Witness: “Because it was quicker than unbolting either the front door or the back door.”
At this point a plan of Riddlesdale Lodge was handed to the jury. It is a roomy, two-storied house, built in a plain style, and leased by the present owner, Mr. Walter Montague, to the Duke of Denver for the season, Mr. Montague being in the States.
Witness (resuming): “When I got to the conservatory door I saw a man outside bending over something on the ground. When he looked up I was astonished to see my brother.”
The Coroner: “Before you saw who it was, what did you expect?”
Witness: “I hardly know—it all happened so quickly. I thought it was burglars, I think.”
The Coroner: “His grace has told us that when you saw him you cried out, 'O God! you've killed him!' Can you tell us why you did that?”
Witness (very pale): “I thought my brother must have come upon the burglar and fired at him in self-defense—that is, if I thought at all.”
The Coroner: “Quite so. You knew that the Duke possessed a revolver?”
A revolver is a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. The modern revolver was invented by Samuel Colt. As the user cocks the hammer, the cylinder revolves to align the next chamber and round with the hammer and barrel, which gives this type of firearm its name.

Witness: “Oh yes—I think so.”
The Coroner: “What did you do next?”
Witness: “My brother sent me up to get help. I knocked up Mr. Arbuthnot and Mr. and Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson. Then I suddenly felt very faint, and went back to my bedroom and took some sal volatile.”
Ammonium carbonate (formerly known as sal volatile or salt of hartshorn) is a commercial salt with the chemical formula (NH4)2CO3. It is used when crushed as a smelling salt. It can be crushed when needed in order to revive someone who has fainted. It is also known as baker's ammonia and was a predecessor to the more modern leavening agents baking soda and baking powder.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Classical Schools: Back to a Better Education

From Classical Schools: Back to a Better Education
n a 1947 speech, the great British writer Dorothy Sayers asked, “Has it ever struck you as odd . . . that today, when the proportion of literacy throughout Western Europe is higher than it has ever been, people should have become susceptible to the influence of advertisement and mass propaganda to an extent hitherto unheard of and unimagined?”

Sayers then went on to wonder whether it’s simply because of the rise in mass communications — or something worse. “Do you sometimes have an uneasy suspicion,” she asked, “that the product of modern educational methods is less good than he or she might be at disentangling fact from opinion and the proven from the plausible?”

I certainly do have that suspicion. So-called “modern” education was already failing students in Sayers’s time, and it certainly is today. That’s way so many people, including Christians, misunderstand facts, or they're swayed by specious arguments, or they have no idea how to properly express ideas in ways that are coherent and believable. Modern America is rife with the telltale signs of miseducation.

Today on my Two-Minute Warning, which I urge you to watch at, I talk about how modern education developed, how it is undermined by moral relativism, and how, exactly, it differs from what is called classical education.

What is a classical education? Classical education advocate Susan Wise Bauer puts it this way: “Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the mind. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments. In high school . . . they learn to express themselves.”

Classical education uses natural developmental stages to train students to discern between true and false facts, understand good and bad arguments, and develop the ability to turn their thoughts in to intelligent words. What more could we hope for our kids?

It’s the kind of education that prepares men and women for all areas of life. Plumbers, engineers, executives, housewives all will have to sort out facts and arguments and make themselves understood.

Classical education also trains young minds to think holistically about life. Most modern education is compartmentalized. Classical education teaches that astronomy is related to economics is related to philosophy. Truth in this model forms a rational whole, which is at the heart of a coherent worldview.

Now, while Classical education doesn’t have to be Christian, much of it is Christian. And when the classical approach is mixed with Christianity, the result is powerful. Children become men and women who have taken a Christian worldview to heart.

If you have children or grandchildren, let me encourage you to seriously consider classical education. More and more communities have classical schools. If yours doesn’t, maybe you can be part of an effort to establish one.

Again, for more, go see my Two-Minute Warning at Modern education has been failing students and society for decades. We need — and in classical education we have — a better alternative.

Six Authors Who Were Copywriters First

From The Awl: Six Authors Who Were Copywriters First
or many writers struggling for publication, advertising has proven a useful field (it does pay, after all): F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salman Rushdie, Dorothy Sayers, Don DeLillo, Joseph Heller and Helen Gurley Brown all worked as copywriters early in their careers—some with more success than others. Rushdie came up with "Naughty. But nice" cream cakes for Ogilvy & Mather; Sayers introduced "Just think what Toucan do" to Guinness and founded a dotty, fictional (and wildly popular) "Mustard Club"; and, thanks to Fitzgerald, streetcars in Iowa once ran with the promise "We keep you clean in Muscatine" sparkling on their sides.

Yet for all six, advertising was mostly just a means to an end—a day job to keep them solvent until they were lucky enough to leave. But their time in advertising wasn't a waste: as copywriters, some learned how to write economically and on deadline; others discovered fertile subjects in the office life and business culture around them; while others used office hours to work on the books that would later make their names.

[I share only the bit about Dorothy Sayers]
In a 1922 letter to her parents, Dorothy Sayers wrote, "I've no idea whether I shall make anything of this business." She was in London, in the midst of a month-long trial period at the advertising agency Benson's. Her letters from this period are filled with fretting over whether she'd get cut from the job, which paid four pounds a week, a salary she needed to supplement earnings from Whose Body?, the first of her Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries.

But Sayers was brought on permanently and landed a raise and an office to herself on the agency's top floor. She relished the creativity and the word play of the job, notes James Brabazon in his biography. When she went out to pubs with her coworkers she'd wear a lapel badge of the Froth Blowers, the beer drinkers' union.

Sayers wrote ads for a number of sandwich ingredients, including Sailor Savouries, margarine and mustard. In another letter to her parents, in 1923, she wrote: "Mustard again! It is astonishing that they should want so many advertisements for mustard. However, let's hope that's the end of it for a bit."

It wasn't, though. The creation of the Mustard Club—one of the most popular ad campaigns of the time—occupied her time for the next few years. Hatched from an inside joke between Sayers and her future husband, journalist Atherton Fleming, the club was described in one ad this way:

The Mustard Club (1926) has been founded under the Presidency of the Baron de Beef, of Porterhouse College, Cambridge. It is a Sporting Club, because its members are always there for the meat. It is a Political Club, because members find that a liberal use of Mustard saves labour in digestion and is conservative of health. It is a Card Club, but Members are only allowed to play for small steaks.

The motto of the Mustard Club is 'Mustard Makyth Methuselahs,' because Mustard keeps the digestion young. The Password of the Mustard Club is 'Pass the Mustard, please!'

While Sayers was never formally acknowledged as the campaign's chief copywriter, Brabazon observes that the entire campaign had Sayers' touch: from its fictional characters (Miss Di Gester, the secretary; Lord Bacon of Cookham, among others); to a prospectus that claimed the club had been founded by Aesculapius, the god of medicine; to the recipe book, which included a Shakespeare and Chaucer reference by a "Devilled beef" recipe: "Who sups on a devil should have Mustard in his spoon." The fictional club grew so popular it issued roughly a half-million real memberships before the war.

The agency's offices had an iron spiral staircase, and Brabazon describes Sayers descending the stairs, her cloak waving behind her, a cigarette holder in one hand and the other hand in the pocket of a black jacket or holding scribbled concepts. One frequent destination was the office of illustrator John Gilroy, with whom Sayers worked, in 1928, on the famous zoo adds for Guinness. The collection of these ads on the Guinness website says the campaign didn't debut until the mid-'30s, after Sayers' tenure at Benson's; and according to the Guinness Collectors Club, Gilroy continued producing Guinness ads into the '60s, using the same themes. But Sayers is widely credited for her work on the concept and the original jingle: "If he can say as you can/Guinness is good for you/How grand to be a Toucan/Just think what Toucan do."

In 1930, Sayers would leave the agency to pursue her writing full-time. By then she'd published five mysteries and a collection of short stories. In 1933, she used her memories of the place to speedily come up with the premise for a mystery in order to hit a deadline (she later hated the book because of how rushed its writing was). The book, Murder Must Advertise, was centered around the mysterious death of a copywriter who falls down an iron spiral staircase. Lord Wimsey, going undercover at the agency to solve the case, finds that he has a surprising knack for copywriting and comes up with a successful campaign for Whifflet cigarettes. Gazing into a mirror one day, Wimsey remarks, "Strange, to think that a whole Whifflets campaign seethes and burgeons behind this solid ivory brow."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Clouds off Witness cont

The Coroner: “With regard to your marriage—had any money settlements been gone into?”
Money settlements
In Britain, until 1870, women’s wealth automatically passed to their husbands on marriage. If they then inherited money, that too went to their husbands. And yet, the 1871 census identified some 141,000 women of ‘rank and property’. There were also numerous wealthy women living lives of relative luxury in spas and resorts such as Bath, Brighton, Bournemouth and Cheltenham. With legislation against them, how did women acquire their wealth?

Firstly, not all women married. At that time, there were numerous ‘surplus’ or ‘redundant’ women. For example, there were 39 spinsters and 13 widows for every 48 wives in London. And this pattern was repeated in many cities. One of the most extreme cases was that of Kensington and Chelsea. In this borough, for every 1,000 single men aged between 35 and 45, there were no less than 3,660 single women in the same age group. And these single women could own property in their own right, just as men could.

The second reason why women could still be wealthy, despite the legal position prior to 1870, was due to the settlement system. This was used by fathers wanting to protect any money they gave to their daughters from passing into the hands of potentially unscrupulous sons-in-law.

A marriage settlement essentially ring-fenced the daughter’s wealth, and placed it under the control of trustees. In some cases, the married woman simply received an income from the settlement but did not make investment decisions. In others, she could influence how the money was managed. The main point, though, was that the husband could not get his hands on the money; even if his wife died before him, the money went straight to her children or back to her family if she had none.

Novels by Anthony Trollope, a chronicler of the middle and upper classes of England from 1840 to 1880, are often concerned with ‘redundant’ upper class women. For example he wrote about Lord Fawn’s seven unmarried sisters in The Eustace Diamonds and Sir Marmaduke Rowley’s eight unmarried daughters in He Knew He was Right.

For every marriage, there is also talk of a marriage settlement. In Is He Popenjoy?, Trollope chronicles the plight of a man who marries the daughter of a rich man. He is forced to live in London, against his wishes, since a London house was included in the terms and conditions of the marriage settlement. In Phineas Redux, Madame Max Goesler, a wealthy widow, marries a penniless Irish MP, Phineas Finn. The wedding is delayed six months so that a watertight settlement can be set up.

As a result, women understood money even without often a formal education. They could translate wealth into income at the drop of a hat. Lizzie Eustace, in The Eustace Diamonds, commenting on a £10,000 necklace being worn by her companion, asks her:

How do you feel, Julia, with an estate upon your neck? Five hundred acres at twenty pounds an acre. Let us call it £500 a year.

Women understood the importance of investing properly, since a fall in income could mean a calamitous drop in social status. They were also careful to bequeath their wealth to other women where they could.

And there is plenty of evidence of mothers encouraging their children to marry money, as did Lady Arabella in Doctor Thorne: “you MUST marry money”. Perhaps it was this need to think about money which laid the foundations for today’s canny women millionaires?

Witness: “I don't think so. The date of the marriage was not in any way fixed.”
The Coroner: “He always appeared to have plenty of money?”
Witness: “I suppose so; I didn't think about it.”
The Coroner: “You never heard him complain of being hard up?”
Witness: “Everybody complains of that, don't they?”
The Coroner: “Was he a man of cheerful disposition?”
Witness: “He was very moody, never the same two days together.”
The Coroner: “You have heard what your brother says about the deceased wishing to break off the engagement. Had you any idea of this?”
Witness: “Not the slightest.”
The Coroner: “Can you think of any explanation now?”
Witness: “Absolutely none.”
The Coroner: “There had been no quarrel?”
Witness: “No.”
The Coroner: “So far as you knew, on the Wednesday evening, you were still engaged to the deceased with every prospect of being married to him shortly?”
Witness: “Ye-es. Yes, certainly, of course.”
The Coroner: “He was not—forgive me this very painful question—the sort of man who would have been likely to lay violent hands on himself?”
Witness: “Oh, I never thought—well, I don't know—I suppose he might have done. That would explain it, wouldn't it?”
The Coroner: “Now, Lady Mary—please don't distress yourself, take your own time—will you tell us exactly what you heard and saw on Wednesday night and Thursday morning?”
Witness: “I went up to bed with Mrs. Marchbanks and Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson at about half-past nine, leaving all the men downstairs.
Up until very recently (and in some parts of the western world continuing to this day) women were not thought to be interested in “manly” pursuits,and men of course would not be interested in what a woman was up to. After a dinner with guests, therefore, women would withdraw to their own “withdrawing room” or go upstairs, while the men would remain in the room withbrandy and cigars and talk about hunting, or the stockexchange, and so on.

I said good night to Denis, who seemed quite as usual. I was not downstairs when the post came.
Up until the beginning of WWII, mail would be delivered at least twice and sometimes three times a day.

I went to my room at once. My room is at the back of the house. I heard Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson come up at about ten. The Pettigrew-Robinsons sleep next door to me. Some of the other men came up with him. I did not hear my brother come upstairs. At about a quarter past ten I heard two men talking loudly in the passage, and then I heard someone run downstairs and bang the front door. Afterwards I heard rapid steps in the passage, and finally I heard my brother shut his door. Then I went to bed.”
The Coroner: “You did not inquire the cause of the disturbance?”
Witness (indifferently): “I thought it was probably something about the dogs.”
The Coroner: “What happened next?”
Witness: “I woke up at three o'clock.”
The Coroner: “What wakened you?”
Witness: “I heard a shot.”
The Coroner: “You were not awake before you heard it?”
Witness: “I may have been partly awake. I heard it very distinctly. I was sure it was a shot. I listened for a few minutes, and then went down to see if anything was wrong.”
The Coroner: “Why did you not call your brother or some other gentleman?”