Author Topic: Oxford County Coroner's records  (Read 488 times)

Nicholas

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Oxford County Coroner's records
« on: July 13, 2019, 10:27:21 PM »
I have been saying that inquest records would be available from the Oxford County Coroner's office, but rereading the contemporary notices of the inquest I realise that it was conducted by one of the University coroners, a Mr F.E. Marshall and the chairman of the jury was the Dean of Christchurch and so was an internal University affair. So inquiries will have to be made to Oxford University.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 11:19:35 PM by Nicholas »

Nicholas

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Re: Oxford County Coroner's records
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 11:24:21 AM »
I received the following reply from the University Archivist:
Dear Nicholas
We do not hold the records of the University Coroner.  I recall making enquiries of a local firm of solicitors, a partner of which had been the last to hold the office, about these records some years ago when I came to the conclusion that they had not survived.
Regards etc

One door closes, another slams in your face.


mb0521

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Re: Oxford County Coroner's records
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2019, 01:56:07 PM »
Why not contact Christ Church directly?

Nicholas

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Re: Oxford County Coroner's records
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2019, 07:57:07 PM »
Christ Church did not appoint the coroner, but the University did.

mb0521

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Re: Oxford County Coroner's records
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2019, 03:24:50 PM »
So if the University would not have wanted to admit that it was a suicide involving two of its students could they then have withheld the information if it were to prove detrimental to the university? It seems to me the more I read about the events (and after reading Dudgeon’s book) that it was suicide after all!

Nicholas

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Re: Oxford County Coroner's records
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2019, 09:43:52 PM »
Were you sitting on a Grassy Knoll when you read Dudgeon's book? 

Let me explain: The University employed a local solicitor to act as coroner.  In the nature of their work solicitors collect a vast amount of paper work which has to be stored at their own expense.  After a few years have passed they burn or just chuck out as much bumf as possible so they are not overwhelmed by it.  The solicitors probably neither knew nor cared about Michael and Rupert.

mb0521

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Re: Oxford County Coroner's records
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2019, 09:25:52 PM »
I have sat on the Grassy Knoll in Dallas but I like to look at all sides. I’m not looking for conspiracies but it is rather obvious that the University would not want a controversy on their hands and therefore might find the ‘easier’ conclusion (accidental death) even though many people (including Barrie) believed that there was something not quite right with the drowning. The more I read the more I think that Rupert might have drowned Michael!

Nicholas

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Re: Oxford County Coroner's records
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2019, 12:09:12 AM »
I am not sure what would be considered "quite right" about any drowning.  Of course, Oxford and Christchurch did not want a scandal, but that does not mean that either institution faked evidence. You say the more you read the more you think Rupert might have drowned Michael; but what have you been reading? The descriptions of the event by the witnesses are clear and indicate that Michael got into difficulties (after all he could not swim) and Rupert swam over to him, in my opinion to see what was wrong.  But you like to cast Rupert as a murderer, so he has to swim over to Michael, push him under and then drown himself.  Why?  Did Rupert hate Michael?  Did he think that Michael really wanted to die?  Did he think that the pair of them were better off dead?  Was Rupert completely deluded and should not be held responsible for his actions?  Rupert did not throw Michael into Sandford Pool so maybe Michael lured Rupert over to drag him down.  Maybe Michael was deluded and should not be held responsible.  Maybe it was just a hopeless string of silly errors (the worst of which was that Michael should never have gone into deep water) and neither of them intended to die that afternoon.
As this question of suicide/murder keeps coming up I think that some people just want it to be true and nothing will will ever dissuade them.

Brutus

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Re: Oxford County Coroner's records
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2019, 09:41:00 AM »
I agree with Nicholas. Why would the University try desperately to cover up the incident? I'm pretty sure there have been far worse 'scandals' to worry about and neither Michael nor Rupert were famous in some way or another. It's not as if a member of the royalty was involved, and drownings are not rare occurrences. Moreover, why would Rupert want to kill Michael? There were several witnesses who confirmed they met Rupert and Michael on the way to the pool and they were both in a cheery mood.

The pool was well known for being dangerous for inexperienced swimmers because of its depth and treacherous whirlpools. Still today (especially during a heatwave), we hear of young people drowning in lakes, ponds, reservoirs, despite warnings, as they underestimate the power of the water and overestimate their swimming abilities.

Piers Dudgeon has his own agenda in pursuing these conspiracy theories, as he seems bent on blaming the 'curse' of JMB for all the ills that befell the LD family. I suppose his sensational alleged 'findings' (a regurgitation of other people's research to fit his own theories) do sell books, and in that sense, his books are just like tabloid papers.

Andrew

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Re: Oxford County Coroner's records
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2019, 12:44:42 PM »
I rather obviously agree with both Nicholas and Brutus, particularly bearing in mind Nicholas's invaluable research into Rupert's life, and Barrie's beautiful letter to Rupert's mother.

I've recently been taking a squint at Nico's letters to my researcher Sharon Goode, xeroxes of which Sharon sent me back in 2001. Her correspondence with Nico was almost as lengthy as mine, but was, on the whole, more chatty about peripherals than my tight focus on Barrie and the Davieses. This indeed was much at my request as Sharon and I only met up once every few weeks (she lived in Radlett, I in Chelsea) and had a hefty day job at ATV working on the Muppets which allowed her little spare time, so I didn't want to miss out on any gems that Sharon might not get around to passing on sooner rather than later.

That said, I had a quick leaf through some of Nico's earlier letters to Sharon, and found this, which adds a little extra light to Nico's 21 January 1976 letter to me (see database):

"I suppose my main reason in toying with suicide as Michael and Rupert’s way out was wrapped up in my confused thoughts as to what genius is or makes one: I used to think, perhaps still do – I don’t know! – that the really clever people are the ones more apt to choose to go … most of ‘my’ suicides, take Edward Marjoriebanks – another of Michael’s great friends – really something of a genius and tho’ the acccepted reason was a girl, I’m apt to think if he’d been nearer my standard of intellect he’d have lived on! Except that at bottom I’m a complete fatalist so far as dates of birth and death are concerned, i.e. I ‘know’ that Michael was doomed (or BLESSED) with the date of 19 May 1921. I cannot seriously consider latent or even actual homosexuality played any part qua suicide.

I so frequently have to say to you “I can’t remember”… I don’t know whether I’m more prone to this than most people. Certainly I must be the despair of any conscientious researcher. I would be pretty sure that over the years (not that I met him all that number of times, tho’ always affectionately) Roger Senhouse and I would have talked of Michael’s possible suicide. My guess, fairly solid, would be he’d react along the lines of “Ah, one will never know … I doubt it but… “ etc; all I’m certain of is that he NEVER criticised Rupert to me: and when one realises (as I always did) how devoted Roger was to Michael, he of all people would have had reason to comment adversely on Rupert had such adverse comment been deserved. Rupert, to me, is shining armour NOT Boothby sinister."


« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 12:50:05 PM by Andrew »