Bow Street Runners

Below is a detailed article about the Bow Street Runners, the first official group of policemen in London. It was an initial group of 6 men and was founded in the Georgian era. Let us discuss them below.

Who are the Bow Street Runners?

bow-street-runners
An illustration of the Bow Street Runners of the Georgian Era

The Bow Street Runners were a group of an initial of 6 policemen that would safeguard the streets of London. They are referred to as the Bow Street Runners as a friendly nickname given to them by the locals living in London. The group was founded in 1749 by Henry Fielding – an author, a novelist and a law enforcement magistrate. The group never regarded themselves as runners but were a disciplined body of brave men.

They are known to have formalized and regularized the policemen duties as we see today. Under Fielding’s influence, the recognition of the group increased by the government and they became an established body of their own. Their funds came from the Bow Streets magistrates office to who it came from the central government.

What was the purpose of the Bow Street Runners?

Before the Bow Street Runners was the body of the ‘thief-takers’ in London. These were not working efficiently and this was noticed by many officials too. Hence, the  Bow Street Runners Patrol came into establishment. The group was mainly appointed due to the increasing corruption and the false and malicious arrests that had become a known punishment across London.

Their purpose was to maintain peace and harmony across the city and to punish the disobedient. Their main job was to take care of theft and malicious attacks on people and find the culprit in order to present them before the court of law.

What was the main purpose of the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829?

Before the Metropolitan Act of 1829 was passed, the police force was disorganized in terms of keeping watch at night and some other activities which were taken care of by parish constables and night watchmen. The Metropolitan Act of 1829 abolishes the dependency on these people and organizes a modern and professional police force that performs these activities.

The Act was passed by Robert Peel, a Tory British Statesmen.

What did the Bow Street Runners do?

The Bow Street Runners were a formal law enforcement police group in London. The group was mainly appointed due to the increasing corruption and the false and malicious arrests that had become a known punishment across London. Their purpose was to maintain peace and harmony across the city and to punish the disobedient. Their main job was to take care of theft and malicious attacks on people and find the culprit in order to present them before the court of law.

Who created the bow street runners and what was their function?

henry-fielding
A sketch portrait of Henry Fielding – Novelist and Law Enforcement Magistrate

The group was founded in 1749 by Henry Fielding – an author, a novelist and a law enforcement magistrate. The group never regarded themselves as runners but were a disciplined body of brave men.

They are known to have formalized and regularized the policemen duties as we see today. Under Fielding’s influence, the recognition of the group increased by the government and they became an established body of their own. Their funds came from the Bow Streets magistrates office to who it came from the central government.

The group was mainly appointed due to the increasing corruption and the false and malicious arrests that had become a known punishment across London. Their purpose was to maintain peace and harmony across the city and to punish the disobedient. Their main job was to take care of theft and malicious attacks on people and find the culprit in order to present them before the court of law.

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