Henry Fielding, Crime Fighter
Posted by Carolyn B on March 23, 1998 at 00:15:01:
Wouldn’t that make a great TV show? ; )
I came across some info about Henry Fielding and his half-brother John's role in the development of the London police while browsing through The Scotland Yard Files: 150 Years of the C.I.D., 1842-1992 by Paul Begg and Keith Skinner (London: 1992). (Well, actually I was cleaning and I got distracted.) The whole first chapter summarizes the slow development of a system of policing in London (esp. in the 18th and early 19th centuries) leading up to the establishment of the Metropolitan Police in 1829.
I can post a summary or chronology if anyone is interested. I know there was some discussion below about crime in London. The authors don't give any statistics of the crime rate (mostly because there wasn't any means to track it at the time, I think) but they do note that the 18th C. was an "age of lawlessness" primarily because of gambling and gin:
Until the eighteenth century, England had been a nation of beer drinkers. For various reasons, not least the misjudged excise duty on alcohol, gin became a popular and cheap alternative and London became a gin-swilling city. For example, in 1735 when the population of London was about 650,000, the consumption of gin was 5,500,000 gallons. Gin turned London into a vast cesspit of crime and violence and the drunkenness and lawlessness cannot be overestimated.
Well, heck, that's only 8˝ gallons of gin per person for the year!
- The Fielding boys and other tidbits of police history (long) Carolyn B 23:44:09 3/25/98 (1)
- I better move that book to the top of the pile. (nfm) Captain Everett 22:01:15 3/26/98 (0)
- yes, but...;-) Caroline 09:17:38 3/23/98 (1)
- aha! Carolyn B 22:43:24 3/24/98 (0)
- From Runners to Peelers . . . ? Woodhouse 07:55:34 3/23/98 (8)
- More on the Bow Street Runners Carolyn B 00:12:18 3/26/98 (4)
- Mr. Fielding's men Carolyn B 21:49:12 3/24/98 (0)
- Bow Street Runners Captain Everett 21:22:40 3/24/98 (0)
- The Thurtell-Hunt Murder Case P. Bingham 12:39:41 3/23/98 (0)
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