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

Tennant, M. (2017) The Police that never was: Peel, Melbourne and the Cheshire Constabulary, 1829-1856. In: Open University Criminal Justice History Seminar Series, 24 March 2017, The Open University.

[img] Microsoft PowerPoint
OU Police History Society Seminar Paper (1).pptx - Presentation

Download (5MB)


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

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Police history; Robert Peel
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Law, Criminal Justice and Computing
Depositing User: Maryse Tennant
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2017 09:58
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2017 09:58

Actions (login required)

Update Item (CReaTE staff only) Update Item (CReaTE staff only)


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics


Connect with us

Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00