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We do not see why , in cases of violent death , there should not be a moral inquest , as well as that inquest , chiefly physical , which is held by the coroner's jury , in order to investigate the causes ,
immediate or remote , of a catastrophe which has attracted public attention . Something of the kind is occasionally done by the newspapers ; but it is done in a very hasty , superficial , and par ^ tial manner . A little more time for reflection , and a much more
enlarged view of the influences which operate upon individuals , than the writers in daily or weekly journals are accustomed to take , is needful to render such investigations useful to society . And that they may be rendered very useful , there can be no doubt . By the melancholy events of this description which occur from time to time , many moral and political truths may be deeply impressed upon the mind ; and brought home to the feelings . Persons may be made to think who never thought before on such
topics , and who had no proper sense of their practical importance . Thrpugh curiosity or sympathy , an avenue may be found to the judgment . Convictions may be produced which will infuse some degree of activity into those who had been conscientiously inert in public matters ; and the often misguided charity of kind temper may be elevated into the philanthropy of intelligent principle . A new view of our individual responsibilities may open upon the mind , and an enlarged sense of duty become the source of useful
action . The death of Colonel Brereton is an occurrence well fitted to illustrate our meaning , and to be made the occasion of inquiries and remarks by which , in his death , he may render important service to the living . It is seldom that the inducements to selfdestruction are of so obvious a description , or can be traced with
so much certainty . It is seldom that those inducements have so little in them that is referable to the peculiar constitution and circumstances of the individual ; or that they connect themselves so . immediately , or so extensively , with institutions , opinions , manners , in relation to which every enlightened member of the community has * a voice potential . '
The readers of this publication are indebted to our friend and correspondent , Dr . Carpenter , for the most lucid statement which has hitherto been published of the late riots at Bristol . With the subsequent occurrences ; the trials and convictions of some of the parties concerned ; the urgent calls for investigation , and the yet
unheeded cry for a reformation in the local magistracy ; the proceedings of the court-martial upon the conduct of Colonel Brereton , and their sudden interruption by the death of the accused : —with these events , and their various attendant circumstances , we suppose our readers to have made themselves acquainted * We have
WHO KILLED COLONEL BRERETON ?
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Feb. 2, 1832, page 130, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1806/page/58/