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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

Detection: The Runners at Work, 1765–1792

Detection: The Runners at Work, 1765–1792

(p.52) 4 Detection: The Runners at Work, 1765–1792
The First English Detectives

J. M. Beattie

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with an analysis of the financial support provided by the government for the policing work of the runners. The accounts of the office show the runners earning enough to provide the foundation of an income that was supplemented by other sources, including private clients, an income that enabled many of them to enjoy long careers at Bow Street. Stability of tenure and long experience improved their detective skills, the subject of the second part of the chapter, which examines the way they went about their business, their collection of criminal information and use of informers. Finally, the chapter examines the dangers of the job, and the courage they not infrequently showed in making arrests and bringing accused offenders to Bow Street to be examined.

Keywords:   Bow Street, accounts, incomes, detection, informers, courage, apprehension

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