Death on the Victorian Beat (Paperback)
The Shocking Story of Police Deaths
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Death on the Victorian Beat is the first book dedicated solely to the murders of police officers in the Victorian era, recalling numerous cases from across the United Kingdom. Martin Baggoley highlights the resistance faced everyday by officers of all ranks, in both the great cities and in the supposedly peaceful countryside, during this important and sometimes turbulent period in our history.
Many cases are unveiled by the author, including those of: Sergeant Charles Brett, murdered on the streets of Manchester by Fenians attempting to release two of their leaders from a police van; Detective Inspector Charles Thain, fatally wounded at sea by a prisoner he was escorting back from Germany; Constable William Jump lost his life during a bitter industrial dispute involving brickmakers in Ashton-under-Lyne; and Inspector Joseph Drewitt and Constable Thomas Shorter murdered in a confrontation with poachers in Hungerford, to name but a few.
This book is bursting with accounts of danger and great courage urging to be read, as the author allows the lives of these gallant officers to run through the pages.
The short chapters are just about long enough for readers who aren’t particularly interested in all the details about how these men died but are sufficient to tell the stories, and the book is a breeze to read, nipping along at a good pace and holding one’s attention. It used to be said so often that it became a cliché, but these days when you hardly ever see a copper on the streets it is all too easy to forget that police officers put their lives on the line every day they go to work. This book is a good reminder of that fact and, if it doesn’t sound too corny, that we have every reason to be grateful that there are men and women prepared to do the job.Ripperologist, January 2019 – reviewed by Paul Begg
As featured bySalford Link, Winter 2018
Baggoley’s book is a good introduction to the subject of Victorian policing and to the individuals who lost their lives through their policing of communities; it also serves as a useful companion to Gaynor Halliday’s more detailed Victorian Policing.Criminal Historian
Read the complete review online here.
Having served with the British Transport Police, a national police force, it was inevitable that I had an interest in railway, dock and canal police history along with police history in general. This was an ideal book for me to review.Bill Rogerson MBE, Secretary, British Transport Police History Group
Being a native of Lancashire the chapters on the Lancashire deaths and that of Robert Kidd, a railway detective, drew my attention immediately. That is not to say that the other chapters didn’t receive any less attention.
The introduction sets the scene of life in the early police force.
Analytically presented in an easy to read way, by the author who has a wealth of previous writing experience.
Although compact, each chapter is carefully and thoroughly researched by the author who has a wealth of previous writing experience, they are analytically informative. I found it hard to put the book down. In general, the book tells in dramatic, meticulous details the accurate and extortionary circumstances surrounding the shocking deaths of the police officers, who were sadly liked in brutal circumstances whilst going about their everyday duty protecting the members of the public.
The accompanying photographs and facsimiles of the posters very much enhance the written work of this book.
Overall this captivating and interesting book is clearly invaluable, not only to the scholar of police history but to others interested in early police deaths
'Baggoley’s book is a good introduction to the subject of Victorian policing and to the individuals who lost their lives through their policing of communities.'Criminal Historian Blog
For the full review click here
As featured inThe Mail Online
A useful and informative survey of the hazards faced by Victorian officers on their often isolated beats or in town centres where many of the population had no love of or respect for the police.Police History Society