CORPSE (Lat. corpus, the body), a dead human body. By the common law of England a corpse is not the subject of property nor capable of holding property. It is not therefore larceny to steal a corpse, but any removal of the coffin or grave-cloths is otherwise, such remaining the property of the persons who buried the body. It is a misdemeanour to expose a naked corpse to public view, to prevent the burial of a dead body, or to disinter it without authority; also to bury or otherwise dispose of a dead body on which an inquest ought to be held, without giving notice to a coroner. Anyone who, having the means, neglects to bury a dead body which he is legally bound to bury, is guilty of a misdemeanour, but no one is bound to incur a debt for such a purpose. It is incumbent on the relatives and friends of a deceased person to provide Christian burial for him; failing relatives and friends, the duty devolves upon the parish. No corpse can be attached, taken in execution, arrested or detained for debt. See further Body-snatching, and Burial and Burial Acts.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)