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The First English DetectivesThe Bow Street Runners and the Policing of London, 1750-1840$
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J. M. Beattie

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695164

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695164.001.0001

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Sir John Fielding and the Making of the Bow Street Runners, 1754–1765

Sir John Fielding and the Making of the Bow Street Runners, 1754–1765

(p.25) 3 Sir John Fielding and the Making of the Bow Street Runners, 1754–1765
The First English Detectives

J. M. Beattie

Oxford University Press

Explains how with government financial help Fielding established the first public magistrates’ office in the metropolis. The chapter also examines his organizing his office as a collection point for information about crime and criminals, about receivers and pawnbrokers to enable the men who Henry Fielding had brought together as a group of thief-takers to investigate reported offences quickly. It studies the men who became runners and how much they could have expected to earn from public and private work. It explains why when crime declined in London during the Seven Years war Fielding concentrated on policing misdemeanors, which were widely believed to be gateways to crime for many men. With the return of peace in 1763, Fielding sought government support for his plans for an even more effective prosecuting police.

Keywords:   public office, stipendiaries, runners, detection, patrol, prosecution, vice

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