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The Bow Street Runners Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 12:00:00 AM
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The Bow Street Runners

The Bow Street Runners have been called London's first professional police force, as they were paid by the magistrate, using funds from the central government, to pursue and arrest criminals. The group was established in 1749 by the English author Henry Fielding, who had taken up law and been appointed magistrate after his plays satirizing political corruption had resulted in his effective banishment from the theater. Fielding's force was established the same year that he published what novel? More...
KSPavan
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 1:14:59 AM

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Article of the Day
The Bow Street Runners
The Bow Street Runners have been called London's first professional police force, as they were paid by the magistrate, using funds from the central government, to pursue and arrest criminals. The group was established in 1749 by the English author Henry Fielding, who had taken up law and been appointed magistrate after his plays satirizing political corruption had resulted in his effective banishment from the theater.
ChristopherJohnson
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 2:45:44 AM

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His brother Sir John Fielding has also contributed much.
Adyl Mouhei
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 4:47:33 AM

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Daemon wrote:
The Bow Street Runners

The Bow Street Runners have been called London's first professional police force, as they were paid by the magistrate, using funds from the central government, to pursue and arrest criminals. The group was established in 1749 by the English author Henry Fielding, who had taken up law and been appointed magistrate after his plays satirizing political corruption had resulted in his effective banishment from the theater. Fielding's force was established the same year that he published what novel? More...
taurine
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 6:46:10 AM

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That novel is 'Tom Jones'. This is the first in English written book I managed to read through.

'Carry on Dick' is a movie worth to watch.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 9:19:25 AM

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I think that is the first time I have seen 'novel' and a Carry on film linked together!

No longer the Magistrates' Court - closed in 2006

Quote:
Bow Street Police Court and Police Station

Bow Street's association with the maintenance of law and order dates from 1740, when (Sir) Thomas De Veil, a justice of the peace for Middlesex, acquired the lease of No. 4 Bow Street and transferred his office there. (fn. 33) This house stood on the west side of the street a few yards to the south of the Royal Opera House on the site now covered by sheds connected with the market, and with the addition of the adjoining No. 3 in 1813 it remained the court-house of the Bow Street magistrates until the opening of the present building on the east side of the street in 1880. The first Metropolitan Police Station in Bow Street was opened in 1832 at Nos. 33–34 upon part of the site now occupied by the new telephone exchange on the east side of the street, where it remained until it too removed in 1880 to the present building adjoining the magistrates' court.

De Veil's house had been built in 1703–4 by John Browne, a surgeon. (fn. 34) The court was probably held in one of the principal ground-floor rooms. (fn. 4) Under De Veil the Bow Street office began to acquire its pre-eminence within the metropolitan magistracy, and two years after his death in 1747 Henry Fielding, the novelist and playwright, was appointed to the Bow Street office. (fn. 35) Fielding was the originator of the small band of 'thief-takers' which later became known as the Bow Street Runners, (fn. 36) and after his death in 1754 he was succeeded by his blind half-brother, (Sir) John Fielding. In 1763 Fielding's court-room was described by Boswell as a 'back hall', (fn. 37) and this no doubt was the high narrow room with a public gallery depicted on Plate 60d. (fn. 38)

On 6 June 1780 the house was attacked during the Gordon riots but the damage was evidently not extensive for on 14 June Sir John wrote to Robert Palmer, the Duke of Bedford's agent, 'My lease is not of long duration. I shou'd be glad to know from you how far it can be extended by his Grace, so as to justify my repairing the old office which I am inform'd may be easily done and which I wou'd wish to do immediately in order to establish the Public office.' (fn. 39) Sir John died on 4 September 1780 but in April 1781 his executors received a ten-year extension of the lease from the fifth Duke of Bedford, in consideration of the cost of repairing the damage sustained during the riots. (fn. 40)

By 1811, when the magistrate James Read renewed the lease of No. 4, a new court-room had been built in the yard behind (Plate 61a). This was a single-storey building measuring 20 feet by 30 feet and connected to the house by a narrow passage only 6 feet wide. Two years later in 1813 Read acquired the lease of the next-door house, No. 3 Bow Street, at the back of which there was a 'felons room' which could be entered from the room immediately behind the public office at No. 4. (fn. 41) Later the yard behind No. 3 was converted into cells and a gaoler's room. (fn. 42)

A drawing reproduced on Plate 60a shows the front of No. 4 in 1825 when it still retained much of its early eighteenth-century appearance. The court-room entrance, formed out of a window of the ground storey, is on the left.

The establishment of the Metropolitan Police by Sir Robert Peel's Act of 1829 did not affect the Bow Street magistrates' office, but the ancient parish watch-house in St. Paul's churchyard was taken over by the Metropolitan Police Commissioners (see page 126). It proved quite inadequate for the needs of the new force, and in 1832 the headquarters of the Covent Garden police division was transferred to a handsome 'new Station House' which had been built in 1831–2 on the east side of Bow Street on the site of Nos. 33–34 (fn. 43) (Plate 60c). The sixth Duke of Bedford granted a sixty-one-year building lease of the site to William Bucke, esquire (apparently the builder), who granted a sub-lease of the finished building to the Police Receiver. At first the Receiver declined the lease because of a restrictive covenant forbidding tenants to do anything on the premises which might annoy any of the Duke's tenants. He was no doubt apprehensive about the noise to be anticipated from the prisoners in the cells, which were grouped around an open courtyard behind the house. The Duke's agent eventually agreed to modify the covenant by inserting the words 'otherwise than by the occupation of the said premises as a police station and for the temporary confinement of prisoners prior to their confinement.' (fn. 44)

The police remained here until their removal to the present station in 1880, when Nos. 33–34 were converted into a market warehouse: the building has since been demolished.

¶Meanwhile the old magistrates' court at Nos. 3–4, opposite the police station, was beginning to feel the pressures of increased business. In May 1840 the Receiver of the Metropolitan Police Force (to whom responsibility for the maintenance of the magistrates' courts had been transferred by an Act of 1839) applied to the seventh Duke of Bedford for permission to demolish and rebuild both the houses used for the court. The Duke's agent welcomed the proposal: 'on account of the vicinity of the Market and the two Theatres, I think it desirable that the Police Court should be retained in Bow Street', he wrote, (fn. 45) but the scheme was nevertheless dropped and instead the Duke granted a repairing lease of both houses. (fn. 42) Repairs included the refacing of No. 4 with a suitably imposing stucco front incorporating the royal arms (Plate 60b), but the court-room itself was not enlarged and in particular nothing was done about the narrow passage into it. Conditions in the court continued to deteriorate and in April 1860 The Builder described them as 'in winter bad, but in the heat of summer perfectly abominable'; the building should be 'entirely reconstructed'. (fn. 46)




That doesn't seem t have stopped it becoming a very disreputable area!


Quote:
By this period Bow Street was nearing the end of its history as a residential street. Proximity to the theatre seems to have made the northern end of the street particularly disreputable. When the Commissioners of Woods, Forests and Land Revenues were negotiating in 1833 for the purchase of ground here they found that the Duke of Bedford's lessee, James Robinson, owned a brothel on part of the desired site at the northern corner of Hart Street, as well as another opposite, on the east side of Bow Street. During the lengthy negotiations Robinson's solicitor accused the Commissioners' surveyor, J. W. Higgins, of prejudice against 'my client's profession', while another of the Commissioners' officers voiced the conviction that Robinson was prolonging his tenure of 'the naughty house in Hart Street' until 'the Rutting Season is over'. (fn. 28) (fn. 2) The clearing of the site evidently made little difference to the character of the locality. In 1844 the occupant of a building at this northern corner of Hart Street complained to the parish vestry that he had 'numerous Brothels situated around my house', and suggested that the notorious name of Bow Street should be changed to Wellington Street. (fn. 29)

Whatever its social character the appearance of this northern end of the street had been transformed by the building of Robert Smirke's Covent Garden Theatre in 1809. (fn. 3) The subsequent visual history of the street is that of the large buildings which now dominate it—the Opera House and Floral Hall (1856–60), the Police Station and Magistrates' Court (1879– 1880), the Broad Court rebuilding (1897, by R. S. Wornum (fn. 30) ), and the Telephone Exchange (1964–7).
#


https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol36/pp185-192#h3-0004


Not to be confused with Bow Road Police Station, which is in East London - ie Bow as in Bow Bells.
Bow street was a planned development, and called that because it was supposed to be bow-shaped. But you know builders - nothing ever turns out the way it was planned....Whistle
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