Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The First English Detectives – The Bow Street Runners and the Policing of London, 1750-1840 - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

J. M. Beattie


This is the first intensive study of the Bow Street runners, a group of men established by Henry Fielding, in the middle of the eighteenth century with the financial support of the government to confront violent offenders on the streets and highways around London. They were developed over the 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, I argue, d ... More

Keywords: Bow Street, London, police, detectives, detection, prevention, reform, eighteenth-nineteenth centuries, Henry Fielding, John Fielding, Robert Peel

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199695164
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695164.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

J. M. Beattie, author
University Professor Emeritus, Toronto