William Charles Tegg

William Charles Tegg
William Charles Tegg

William Charles Tegg was born in Froxfield, Hampshire on 27th November 1876 and joined the Metropolitan Police on 25th October 1898.

He lived at Chelsea Police Station until married in 1906 and was pensioned on 31st December 1923. William died in Gillingham, Kent on 3rd July 1948.

King Edward VII Police Coronation Medal

The Police Coronation Medal was sanctioned in 1902 as an award to policeman, firemen and members of ambulance units on duty during the official celebrations of the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra on 9 August 1902.

The medal continued the practice of awarding a special medal to police and support services on duty during major royal celebrations established with Queen Victoria’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Police Medals. It was presented in silver or bronze, according to rank, with the silver medal awarded to superintendents and above in the police and fire brigade. A total of 67 silver and 19,885 bronze medals were awarded.

The reverse indicates the service in which the recipient served, there being five types:

Metropolitan Police: 51 silver, 16,709 bronze medals.

City of London Police: 5 silver, 1,060 bronze medals.

L.C.C. M.F.B. (London County Council Metropolitan Fire Brigade): … Read the rest

J. Molt

1887 Golden Jubilee Metropolitan Police Medal awarded to PC J. Molt, Wandsworth Division.

1887 Golden Jubilee Metropolitan Police Medal awarded to PC J. Molt, Wandsworth Division.

Queen Victoria Police Jubilee Medal Award

A Police Jubilee Medal was awarded to those on duty at Queen Victoria’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The Police Golden Jubilee Medal was sanctioned by Queen Victoria in 1887 as an award to all members of the Metropolitan and City of London Police on duty in London during the official Golden Jubilee celebrations, including the Jubilee procession on 21 June 1887.

Ten years later, the Police Diamond Jubilee Medal was awarded for duty at the principal Diamond Jubilee events on the same basis as the 1887 medal, eligibility having been widened to include firemen and members of ambulance units. Those in possession of the earlier Golden Jubilee Police Medal who again qualified, received a dated clasp to be fixed to their existing medal.

1887 Golden Jubilee Metropolitan Police Medal awarded to PC J. Molt, Wandsworth Division.

The medal was worn in date order with other Royal commemorative medals. These were worn before campaign medals until November 1918, after which the order of wear was changed, with such medals now worn after campaign medals and before long service awards.

1887 Golden Jubilee Metropolitan Police Medal awarded to PC J. Molt, Wandsworth Division.

The Detective Police

For the first thirteen years there was no detective branch in the Metropolitan police. Down to 1839 the Bow Street runners and the constables of the seven police offices established in 1792 continued in existence and were regarded as the experts in crime detection or “thieftaking” but they were Criminal investigation, that is to say, the function of making inquiry into the circumstances of a crime and collecting information with a view to tracing and prosecuting the criminal, was, under the old system, one of the duties of justice and constable. It had, however, been very much neglected, outside of the limited sphere within which the Bow Street runners operated, and its revival was one of the great improvements that followed on the establishment of the Metropolitan police. The Bow Street runners were more of a private detective agency than a public service. As a witness before the parliamentary Committee of 1837 put it, they  “were private speculators in the detection of crime rather than efficient officers for the ends of justice.” They moved when they were sufficiently paid to do so, and, although normally only eight in number, they did not confine themselves to London, being available to the … Read the rest

Sheldrake Hotching

King George V Police Coronation Medal
King George V Police Coronation Medal

Metropolitan Police 1911 Coronation Medal (“King George V Police Coronation Medal”) awarded to PC Sheldrake Hotching.

Sheldrake Hotching was born in 1886 in Snettisham, Norfolk and joined the Metropolitan Police in 1910 with warrant number 97805. He retired in 1932 through ill health, serving at that time in the Croydon Division. In 1939 he was living in Docking, Norfolk and shown on the police reserve. Sheldrake died in 1973 in Kings Lynne, Norfolk

King George V Police Coronation Medal

The Police Coronation Medal was sanctioned in 1911 as an award to policemen, members of ambulance units, firemen and Royal Parks’ staff on duty during the official celebrations of the coronation of King George V that took place during 1911.

The medal was presented in silver to all ranks. It continued the practice of awarding a special medal to police on duty during major royal celebrations that commenced with Queen Victoria’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Police Medals, and Edward VII’s Police Coronation Medal, although qualification was now widened to include bodies outside London.

Several service organisations qualified, with the name of the organisation shown on the reverse of the medal. A total of 31,822 medals … Read the rest

Police Reforms in Counties

Before describing the successive steps by which the County Constabulary progressed towards its long-delayed reorganisation, it will be convenient to follow the method before adopted, when dealing with the somewhat similar march of events in the Metropolis, and to preface such description by a short account of the unreformed county police, thereby shewing how disastrous were the consequences of the faulty system in vogue, as revealed by the deplorable condition of rural England under its influence. The great source of information on this subject is the exhaustive report of the Royal Commission, appointed in 1839, to inquire as to the best means of establishing an efficient constabulary force in the counties of England and Wales. In the course of their enquiry (which was the most complete investigation of crime, its causes, and the means of its prevention, ever undertaken in this country), the Commissioners not only interrogated heads of business-houses, their commercial travellers and foremen, country magistrates, police men, and coastguards, but examined thieves, receivers, and all kinds of gaol-birds.

The immediate result of the activity of the new metropolitan and municipal police forces was found to be, that habitual criminals had migrated in large numbers from London, and from … Read the rest

Police Reforms in Boroughs

It is sometimes assumed that the Metropolitan Police Act solved, once and for all, the question as to the manner in which, London was to be policed for the future. Such, however, was far from being the case. The old prejudice was not lived down in a day ; and the jealousy of those who saw what they were pleased to consider their vested rights slipping out of their grasp into the hands of the newcomers, caused the remnant of the old office-holders to make frantic efforts to recover what they had lost, and to hold fast what they were in danger of losing. There were still many irreconcilables, who looked upon the new force as a gang of usurpers and treated it with distrust and suspicion accordingly, hoping that some false move on the part of the police authorities, or some unlooked-for happy chance, might change the fortunes of the day. Luckily no such set-back occurred, and by slow degrees the ultimate success of the principles enunciated by Peel became more and more assured, and Scotland Yard triumphed to the discomfiture of all possible rivals. From the very commencement Sir Robert Peel had declared that unity of design was … Read the rest

Opposition to the “New Police”

The formation of the new police force in the metropolis aroused the fiercest opposition and remonstrance. Invective and ridicule were heaped upon the measure from all sides. The hopeless incompetence and the discredited character of the blackguardly Charlies were at once forgotten, nor were the prevalence of crime and the insecurity of life and property at all considered by those who made it their business to foment the popular antagonism.

Week by week certain newspapers continued to publish the most preposterous attacks : no story was too improbable to gain credence. A coup detat was contemplated- “it was Sir Robert Peel’s intention to place the Duke of Wellington on the throne – English liberty was to give place to military tyranny – under the pretence of providing protection for the people the government aimed the creation of a secret political inquisition,” in fact anything that was at once inconsistent and absurd was listened to with avidity and partly believed.

At first sight it seems almost incredible that any part of the nation, except the criminal class, should have felt and exhibited such bitter hostility to legislation that we now see had been too long delayed but the reluctance of the … Read the rest

“The New Police”

The depth of lawlessness under which London lay submerged, and the deplorable condition of the feeble bulwarks that the richest city in the world had so long been content to rely on, have been considered at some length, because it is only by contrasting the security of recent years with the lawless confusion previously existing, that an intelligent appreciation of the debt we owe to Sir Robert Peel is made clear. The evidence given before the various Parliamentary Committees reveals to us an impartial contemporary view of things as they then were. The year 1830 saw an almost instantaneous change in the police of London, a transformation from an ‘inconceivably rotten and antiquated system into one which immediately became an example to the world.

Simultaneously with the police revival there suddenly dawned an unwonted era of security out of the dark and dangerous shadows of the past : that this was due to Peel’s Act, and to no other cause, is conclusively proved by the fact that the rural parts of England, to which the Act did not apply, had no share in the improvement which was at once manifest in the metropolis. The sharp contrast between the state of … Read the rest

Pioneer Reforms

Just when the immediate outlook was the most gloomy, and at an hour when the future seemed most barren of any hopeful sign, unseen and unsuspected influences were already at work ; influences which were destined first to arrest, and eventually to repel, the increasing flood of criminality, as well as to alleviate the hard lot of the unhappy convict. Up to this point the annual total of crime had ever been mounting higher and higher whilst the tale of abuses had continued to increase. the malady had now come to a head, and intelligent public attention was at length focussed on a difficult and unpopular subject, which hitherto had been deliberately avoided by all but the very few who had been familiarised with its magnitude by routine, and who had mostly grown callous to its evils by use. When John Howard began to minister to prisoners, and when Jeremy Bentham began to propound his doctrine of utilitarianism, no one foresaw that the devotion of the one would achieve a transformation of the whole prison system, nor that the profound common-sense of the other would triumph over the irrationality which for centuries had vitiated the penal administration of England.

Foremost … Read the rest

Police at the Dawn of the Nineteenth Century

In the year 1801, the population of London and Middlesex hardly exceeded a million, but how many of the individual units that went to make up this total were engaged in criminal pursuits, it is of course impossible to estimate with any degree of accuracy, because the bulk of the crime was undetected and consequently unrecorded. From such data as we possess, however, it is certain that the proportion of thieves and other delinquents to honest men must have been alarmingly high. Between 1801 and 1811 the population increased some sixteen per cent., and during the same period the number of commitments rose nearly fifty per cent. This increase in the number of rogues whose careers were cut short by capture, speaks well for the Bow Street Runners from one point of view ; but it also indicates no less surely that these officers were making no progress at all in the art of preventing crime, which instead of diminishing as time went on, continued to grow in volume year by year. Indeed the state of the metropolis was such that social reformers might well have despaired of ever seeing an improvement:  every corrupting influence, and every criminal tendency seemed … Read the rest