The Police that never was: Peel, Melbourne and the Cheshire Constabulary, 1829-1856

Conference paper


Tennant, M. 2017. The Police that never was: Peel, Melbourne and the Cheshire Constabulary, 1829-1856.
AuthorsTennant, M.
TypeConference paper
ContributorsTennant, M.
Description

The first Cheshire Constabulary operated between 1829 and 1857 and was the earliest county-wide police reform in the provinces. Although usually considered an interesting adaptation of the ‘old system’ of law enforcement, the Constabulary actually constituted a large and regular body of paid police under the control of the magistrates and in operation throughout the county. It contained, therefore, a number of key characteristics of the modern police. It was also considered as a possible option for national provincial reform by both the Tories and the Whigs prior to the passage of the County Police Acts in 1839 and 1840. It fell, therefore, within the ‘inventory of possibilities’ for police reform (Tosh, 2009). Analysing Cheshire’s consideration as a potential reform option offers valuable insights into central government’s thinking about policing in the crucial period between the 1820s and the 1840s. A close reading of this demonstrates that, had events in the capital been different, a permissive measure for county controlled policing could have been available a decade prior to the county police legislation.

Tosh, J. (2009) The Pursuit of History, Routledge: London

KeywordsPolice history; Robert Peel
Year2017
ConferenceOpen University Criminal Justice History Seminar Series
File
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Sep 2017
Completed24 Mar 2017
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8856v/the-police-that-never-was-peel-melbourne-and-the-cheshire-constabulary-1829-1856

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