means properly the crown-officer. In Saxon times it was his duty to collect the Crown revenues; next, to take charge of Crown pleas; but at present to uphold the paternal solicitude of the Crown by searching into all cases of sudden or suspicious death. (Vulgo, crowner; Latin, corona, the crown.)
But is this law? Ay, marry, is't: crowner's quest law.
Shakespeare: Hamlet, v. 1.