Newbury Borough Police 1836 – 1875

Richard Godfrey, 2008 A5, 144pp ISBN 978-0-9560926-0-1

This is a fascinating history of Newbury’s first police force, established in 1836, a year after the discretionary Municipal Corporation Act. Thirty-nine years later the force was absorbed into the Berkshire County Constabulary. The account has been written by a local resident and former chief inspector in Newbury, who illustrates his interest in the history of the force in this well researched and written book. It is absolutely fascinating to read. Apart from the history aspect, there are many interesting cases which throw light on the social conditions endured by our ancestors who, usually because they were poor, were punished for crimes committed in their struggle to survive. In 16 appendices there are transcripts of original documents, lists of special constables appointed during the Fenian scare in 1869, “Specials” appointed annually, fire brigade personnel and serving officers during this period. All the names of people and places mentioned throughout the text are fully indexed.

Jean Debney

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