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The Conquest of DeathViolence and the Birth of the Modern English State$
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Matthew Lockwood

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300217063

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300217063.001.0001

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Economic Interest and the Oversight of Violence

Economic Interest and the Oversight of Violence

(p.197) Five Economic Interest and the Oversight of Violence
The Conquest of Death

Matthew Lockwood

Yale University Press

While, earlier chapters establish that the officer and investigative techniques necessary to create a monopoly of violence were in place in England by the beginning of the sixteenth century, these alone only provided the potential for the effective regulation of violence. To ensure that the state’s definitions of legitimate and illegitimate violence were rigorously enforced, oversight of the coroner system was necessary. Chapter 5, therefore, charts the rise of a new, more robust system of oversight that came into effect in the sixteenth century. The growth of oversight, it is argued, began in the 1530s as a result of competing economic interests in the outcome of coroners’ inquests and the growing popularity of the central courts as a venue for adjudication. This combination of economic interest in forfeiture and greater central court involvement in forfeiture disputes resulted in a system of surveillance which allowed central government officials unprecedented control over the coroner system and thus, for the first time, an effective monopoly of lethal violence.

Keywords:   Almoner, Forfeiture, Litigation, Star Chamber, King’s Bench, Economic interest, Centralization, Oversight

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