Written by probationideadlyi on August 22nd, 2014. Posted in

According to old German folklore, every cottage8½°26½°21½° had its own guardian spirit. This was a kobold, a name probably derived from kobe, cottage, and the stem of welten (English wield) , to rule; thus, “the ruler of the household.” In later times this familiar spirit came to be associated with mischievous pranks, thought to be responsible for curdled milk22½°, fractious cows15½°, kettles tipped into the coals, and other mishaps that vex housewives. Their misdeeds came gradually to be associated especially with matters affecting miners. Hence, when the German miner12° suffered in health (probably from some such disease as miner’s worm or miner’s phthisis) , he blamed his misfortune upon the kobold, whom he had come to regard as a malignant demon. In the same manner, certain ores which looked to be metallic failed to yield any metal when they were smelted. The miners tossed them aside contemptuously, muttering, “Kobold (Goblin) .” So common had this designation become that it was retained when the true nature of the ore was determined by Georg Brandt in 1 7 35. The German name became cobalt in English.

Back in the twelfth century, when this English office was established, the full title of the person who held it was the Latin phrase, custos placitorum coronae, guardian of the pleas of the crown. His duties were to record all criminal matters occurring within his province, primarily with the view of securing to the king his proper fines and dues. His office, next to that of the sheriff, was the highest in a county. But the only one of the duties which survives about as it was in olden times is that of holding an inquest, with a jury, over the body of a person who has died by violence or in an unaccountable manner. The original Latin word, corona!, “of the crown,4½°10½°12½°13½° 18½° 21½° became early corrupted to coroner in the common speech of the people, and has so remained.

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