Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Time Zone: 1846 - 1855


Plain clothes officers were frequently used at this time, but a June order made clear that two officers per division would be employed on detective duties, but that police in plain clothes must make themselves known if interfered with in their duty.

Truncheons marked with divisional letter and number.


Jan - Last Royal Mail Stage-Coach taken off the Brighton Road -’Killed by the Railways’.

Mar - Clapham Police Station opened.

Mar 7 - PC James HASTIE (Wt No 21237) ‘R’ Division, died from head injuries after being assaulted by several men in a street disturbance at Deptford.

Jun 29 - PC George CLARK (Wt No 22098) ‘K’ Division, brutally beaten and stabbed to death while on night duty at Dagenham.

Jul - London & South Western Railway extended to Richmond.


Transportation Act.

Town Police Clauses Act.

Statistics for the year were: 14,091 robberies; 62,181 people taken in charge; 24,689 of these were summarily dealt with; 5,920 stood trial and 4,551 were convicted and sentenced; 31,572 people were discharged by the magistrates.

The Metropolitan Police were still, despite their good record on crime prevention, facing discipline problems amongst their own officers on the 18 divisions, with 238 men being dismissed in the year.

Dec - Gardners Lane Police Station, Westminster replaced by King Street (A Division)


PC Daniel Harker MONK, (Wt No 24816) ‘E’ Division, struck with his own truncheon by a man attempting to free a prisoner at St Giles.

May - London & Southampton Railway opened from Nine Elms to Woking Common

Jun - Special recruitment of 600 men into the Metropolitan Police and large scale enrolment of 200,000 Special constables to assist the police in controlling the Chartist demonstrations. Mass meeting at Kennington.

July - Waterloo Station opened


Authorised strength 5,493. In reality 5,288 were available for duty. The population at that time in London was 2,473,758.

Aug - The Bermondsey Murder occurred on M Division, The victim, Patrick O'Connor, was identified partly because of his false teeth.


Charles DICKENS’ ‘Modern Science of Thief-Taking’ published in ‘Household Words’.

Dartmoor, formerly prisoner of war camp, taken over as convict prison.

Jan 5 - Sir Charles ROWAN retired. Captain William HAY appointed Joint Commissioner.

Mar 25 - Duties of Metropolitan Public Carriages transferred to the Commissioner.

May - Attack on Queen Victoria by Robert PATE.

May 8 - Capt Douglas Labalmondiere appointed Inspecting Superintendent.

Jul 7 - Sir Robert PEEL died after riding accident


Jan - Great Exhibition in Hyde Park with its special crowd problems forced the police temporarily to form a new police division. The total manpower of the force at that time was 5,551, covering 688 square miles.

Surrey Constabulary formed

May 5 - PC Henry James CHAPLIN (Wt No 24774), ‘L’ Division, attacked and struck with bricks by a disorderly crowd at Vauxhall Walk.


Strength of force 5,652.

Feb - Great Ormond Street Hospital for sick Children opened.

May 8 - Colonel, Sir Charles ROWAN, first Joint Commissioner died. In his obituary note of May 24, The Times wrote: ‘No individual of any rank or station could be more highly esteemed or loved when living, or more regretted in death.’

Richard Mayne knighted KCB.

Oct - Great Northern Railway extended from temporary terminus at Maiden Lane to Kings Cross.

NovLying in State and funeral of Duke of Wellington - 3 people crushed to death. High Feeling against police. Order restored by police.


Lord Dudley STUART, MP for Marylebone and a persistent critic of the police, suggested in Parliament that the police were not worth the money they cost. He recommended that they be reduced in numbers and a higher class of officers be recruited to control the constables.

Uniform: - Official issue of a belt to be worn with tunic.

London Hackney Carriage Act.

Select Committee formed to consider expediency of adopting more uniform system of police in England, Wales and Scotland. Chairman - Edward Royds RICE.

Penal Servitude Act. Transportation to Tasmania ended. Limited to Western Australia and gradually ceased.


Out of 5,700 in the Metropolitan Police, 2.5% were Scottish, 6.5% Irish. The Commissioner was not happy about employing these officers in areas of high Scottish or Irish ethnic concentrations.

Jan - The second Paddington Terminus opened by the Great Western Railway Company, replaces original station of 1838


Metropolitan Police Act. Strength of force 7-8,000.

6 Pillar Boxes introduced in London

Metropolitan Management Act.

Jul 1 - Clash in Hyde Park between unemployed and police.

Aug 27 - Sir Richard MAYNE became sole Commissioner on death of Captain HAY.


Friends of the Metropolitan Police Historical Collection

38 Wincanton Road

Noak Hill



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