The First English Detectives: The Bow Street Runners and the Policing of London, 1750-1840 by Beattie, J. M.The First English Detectives: The Bow Street Runners and the Policing of London, 1750-1840 by Beattie, J. M.

The First English Detectives: The Bow Street Runners and the Policing of London, 1750-1840

byBeattie, J. M.

Paperback | January 29, 2014

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This is the first comprehensive study of the Bow Street Runners, a group of men established in the middle of the eighteenth century by Henry Fielding, with the financial support of the government, to confront violent offenders on the streets and highways around London. They were developed overthe following decades by his half-brother, John Fielding, into what became a well-known and stable group of officers who acquired skill and expertise in investigating crime, tracking and arresting offenders, and in presenting evidence at the Old Bailey, the main criminal court in London. They were,Beattie argues, detectives in all but name. Fielding also created a magistrates' court that was open to the public, at stated times every day.A second, intimately-related theme in the book concerns attitudes and ideas about the policing of London more broadly, particularly from the 1780s, when the detective and prosecutorial work of the runners came to be challenged by arguments in favour of the prevention of crime by surveillance andother means. The last three chapters of the book continue to follow the runners' work, but at the same time are concerned with discussions of the larger structure of policing in London - in parliament, in the Home Office, and in the press. These discussions were to intensify after 1815, in the faceof a sharp increase in criminal prosecutions. They led - in a far from straightforward way - to a fundamental reconstitution of the basis of policing in the capital by Robert Peel's Metropolitan Police Act of 1829. The runners were not immediately affected by the creation of the New Police, butindirectly it led to their disbandment a decade later.
J. M. Beattie was born in England in 1932 and emigrated to the US in 1949. He studied at the University of San Francisco (BA, 1954), the University of California, Berkeley (MA, 1956), and Cambridge (Ph.D, 1963). He taught in the History Department and the Centre of Criminology at the University of Toronto from 1961 to his retirement in...
Title:The First English Detectives: The Bow Street Runners and the Policing of London, 1750-1840Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0 inPublished:January 29, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199675384

ISBN - 13:9780199675388

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Henry Fielding at Bow Street3. John Fielding and the making of the Bow Street Runners4. Detection: the Runners at Work, 1765-17925. Prosecution: the runners in court, 1765-17926. Fielding's Legacy: police reform in the 1780s7. The Runners in a New Age of Policing, 1792-18158. Prevention: the Runners in Retreat, 1815-1839EpilogueBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"[a] superb book ... As those who know his earlier works on crime, policing and criminal justice in the 18th century would expect, one of the great strengths of this book is the sense it gives of the way the changing activities of the runners intertwined with changes in other brances of thecriminal justice system - the changing functions of the magistrates' courts, for example, as awareness grew of the need to separate the investigative and judicial functions of the magistracy, and to extend the system of police courts more widely through London." --John Barrell, London Review of Books 18/07/2012