Before the end of the 18th century, Constables were volunteers, and together with the watchmen, at the direction of magistrates, tried to maintain law and order. They arrested suspects and brought them before the justices. Paid thief-takers could be employed by victims to catch offenders and recover goods. For notorious criminals rewards might be offered by the Courts.

Constable William TILBURY
In the Old Bailey trial reports William is noted as having taken prisoners before a Justice of the Peace on 16 January 1734; he was described as keeping the Tilbury Fort Alehouse in Shoreditch.

Constable George TILBURY
Also in the Old Bailey trial reports, on 16 October 1765 George took some prisoners to the 'Black Horse' following on a theft at Old Gravel-lane near the Ratcliff-highway.

Constable Joseph TILBURY
1830-31... of Penn, Buckingham.
At Buckinghamshire Quarter Sessions 1830 (Midsummer), Constable Joseph TILBURY was Witness in two accusations of theft of a pair of shoes (value 7s.) and a cotton handkershief (value 3d.). John SWAINE of Penn, aged 24, was found Not Guilty; William YOUNG of Penn was found Guilty and sentenced to a whipping, a week in solitary confinement, and six months' hard labour (previous convictions: stealing apples, September 1829, six weeks' confinement; damages, 7 November 1829, two months' confinement).
Source: Justices' Case Books (ref:QS/JC/13 Epiphany 1830-31); Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies.


Maritime trade and growing dockland activity, including cargo theft, resulted in a salaried Maritime Police force at Wapping by the end of the 18th century.

The riots and disturbances which followed first on enclosure, then as a result of the industrial revolution - with its consequent growth of towns and their population - resulted in the creation of salaried and organised forces of urban Police. The most well-known is probably that created by Sir Robert Peel, the 12 'Bow Street Runners', which led to the foundation of London's Metropolitan Police Force. The Counties organised their own Police forces.

Police Constable Robert TILBURY
Born in Wycombe/Penn 1822-5, son of John TILBURY and Amelia [SOANES] from Penn, this Robert was with his parents in 1841, dob. c.1825; a son Robert was baptised to the couple on 6 January 1822 in Penn, Buckinghamshire. Robert m. 1844 Martha HANCOCK from Penn and they moved to Richmond/Mortlake, Surrey, where he died post-census 1851 (a death was registered for a Robert TILBURY in 1856 in Amersham). He was the brother of Thomas who m. Annie WEST and moved to Fulham, Middlesex, where Robert's widow Martha went; she remarried (Henry BAKER) in 1863.

Police Constable Thomas TILBURY
Born Clanfield, Hampshire 1846, in 1881 Thomas was a Police Constable in Portsea (living at 43 William Street). By 1901 Thomas had changed occupations and was a wood and coal dealer in Portsmouth.

Police Constable Henry TILBURY
Also born in Clanfield, Hampshire (1852), Henry was a Policeman in 1881, but by 1901 was an insurance agent.

Police Constable Alfred TILBURY
Alfred was baptised on 17 July 1853 in Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire. By 1881 he was living with his family in Heston, Middlesex, at 12 Lion & Lamb Road; Alfred was still a Police Constable in 1901.

Police Constable John TILBURY
Born c.1859 in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, by 1881 bachelor Constable John was living at 20 Marlborough Mews, London, Middlesex, with many other Constables. John seems invisible in 1901; the death of a John TILBURY, age 24, was registered in 2Q 1884 for Wandsworth district (1d/448).

Police Officer R. A. TILBURY
... of the Portsmouth Police, died in the Great War.

Police Constable Arthur William TILBURY
Born on 14 August 1889 in Meonstoke, Hampshire; Arthur was already a Policeman by 1914, and as such went to the Great War. He died on 14 June 1916, age 26.

Chief Inspector George William (Gus) TILBURY
[of the Berkshire Police?]

Sergeant TILBURY
Born 1918 Horndean, Hampshire; died 1982 Colchester, Essex.

The Crown's Justice, A Brief Look At English Tipstaves (Illustrated)

English Law Enforcement in the 18th Century

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