Ascoli, David, The Queen's Peace: The Origins and Development of the Metropolitan Police, 1829-1979, London: Hamish Hamilton, 1979. (This is very much an official history, written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the origins of the Metropolitan Police. While full of detail, it fails to recognise the efficiency of parts of the old police and is congratulatory in tone.)

Critchley, T.A., A History of Police in England and Wales, revised edition, London: Constable, 1978. (Ranges more widely than Ascoli and is more critical, but again ignores the fact that the old police were improving and that there were many continuities.)

Daley, Harry, This Small Cloud: A Personal Memoir, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1986. (One of the best police memoirs, written by a man who served 25 years in the Metropolitan Police as a constable and sergeant.)

Emsley, Clive, The English Police: A Political and Social History, 2nd. edn. Harlow and London: Longman, 1996. (Covers much the same area as Critchley but is more up-to-date in the research.)

Emsley, Clive, The Great British Bobby: A History of British Policing from the 18th Century to the Present, London: Quercus, 2009. (A kind of collective biography of police officers since the mid-eighteenth century that focuses less on the police institution and primarily on the lives and experiences of those who served as officers of different ranks.)

Fido, Martin and Skinner, Keith, The Official Encyclopaedia of Scotland Yard, London: Virgin Books, 1999. (Exactly what it says it is; a mine of information but 'official' in its perspective.)

Jackson, Louise A., Women Police: Gender, Welfare and Surveillance in the Twentieth Century, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006.

Lock, Joan, The British Policewoman: Her Story, London: Hale, 1979. (Written by a former police officer and, in consequence, less academic than Jackson.)

Reynolds, Elaine A., Before the Bobbies: The Night Watch and Police Reform in Metropolitan London, 1720-1830, Basingstoke and London: Macmillan, 1998. (Essential reading for anyone interested in policing London before the Metropolitan Police.)

White, Jerry, London in the Twentieth Century: A City and its People, London: Viking, 2001.

White, Jerry, London in the Nineteenth Century: 'a human awful wonder of God', London: Viking, 2007. (These two books by White have been justifiably acclaimed as up-to-date and highly readable histories of the metropolis.)


The Charles Booth Archive at contains the notebooks of his researchers who, during the last years of the nineteenth century, were often guided around London by police officers. The comments of these officers were often recorded by the researchers.

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey at contains reports of the cases heard at the Old Bailey (after 1834 the Central Criminal Court) from 1674 to 1913. The proceedings can be searched by name, trade, offence and so forth. Amongst the trials covered are those of George Vaughan, the corrupt Bow Street Officer, and George Fursey, the man charged with stabbing two policemen at Calthorpe Street in 1833.

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