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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday Regency: Bow Street Runners

Bow Street Runners:
  • Established 1740 by Sir Thomas de Veil: the most active Justice in London, breaking up gangs of robbers, implementing the 1736 Gin Act, and prosecuting frauds on the revenue
  • Ensured that Londoners could be certain of finding a magistrate at fixed hours with one building near...yup! Bow Street, near Covent Garden.
  • 1750 his successor, Henry Fielding (yes, the novelist), formed the Bow Street Runners.
  • Initially nicknamed Robin Redbreasts (they wore scarlet waistcoats) the original eight Bow Street Runners were London's first constables.
  • They served writs, did detective work and arrested offenders.
  • The Bow Street Runners traveled over England in search of criminals and gained a reputation for honesty and efficiency.
 Etching from Jane
Old Bailey Online
London Lives

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