1852, 26 January: First murder charges brought by the Constabulary were against John Keene aged twenty two and Jane Keene aged twenty five charged with the murder of Charles Broomer aged three years in Albury "almost twelve months since". The child was an illegitimate child of Jane and was drowned in a well at Albury. Tried at Kingston Assizes and sentenced to death. John was executed 13 April 1852 and his wife Jane acquitted.

1852, 2 February: The Times: Murder near Albury: Guildford 5th February the Coroner held the inquest at the Drummond Arms, Albury on the little boy Charles Broomer otherwise Keen. At the request of Superintendent Radley the case was adjourned for a week. On the 13 April 1852 John Keen aged twenty was hung for the murder of Charles Brown at Horsemonger Lane gaol. This is obviously the same case but transcription has been poor.43 This is believed to be the first case of capital punishment for a case investigated by the Surrey Constabulary.

1852, 1 March: GO addressed attendance at Divine Service seen as a very important part of a man’s duty.44

1852, 5 June: GO 83: A constable was sentenced to fourteen days in prison with hard labour at the magistrate’s court for not surrendering all his police clothing when he left the Force.45

1852, 14 July: GO 84: At 0930 on the 17th inst., at 0930 seven superintendents, six inspectors and sixty four constables had to be at HQ in Guildford. No reason was given but this may well have been the first major operation of the Force.46

1852, September: "On 11th September 1852 Henry Stemp joined the Surrey Constabulary. He only just made the minimum height requirement of 5ft 7 inches. His collar number was 62 and he was first stationed in Merrow, a village today situated on the eastern edge of Guildford. The Constabulary had only become operational on the 1st January 1851, twenty-one months earlier.

On its establishment it comprised a chief constable, five superintendents and sixty four constables. During Henry's time on the Constabulary, constables were required to work seven days a week and took only twelve days' leave a year. In his first year Henry was transferred in October to Byfleet, and then the Egham, in November to Bisley and in March 1853 to Millbridge, a village close to Frensham, Surrey where the young constable married Mary Hersey on the 21st May 1853.

Henry was promoted from Constable Fourth Class to Third Class in February 1853, and in April Constable Second Class. In May 1854 they moved to Guildford where Henry was promoted to Constable First Class in May 1855. In August 1855 they moved to West Horsley. Henry was promoted to the rank of Inspector and transferred to Walton-on-Thames. In March 1859 the family moved to Leatherhead where Henry spent five years of his time as inspector. The Stemp family lived in the Police Station. In March 1864 the family moved to Witley where Henry's police career came to an abrupt end when he was demoted on the 1st July 1864 to Constable Second Class for drunkenness. He resigned from the Constabulary on the 19th July 1864."47

Baptism: 17 April 1831, St Nicolas, Cranleigh: Emigration: 12 April 1874, to Bluff, New Zealand on "William Davie" as assisted immigrants, the cost of £72. 10s being met by the New Zealand Government Occupation: 1851 Ag Lab 1852-1864 Policeman 1864 Goods Checker (Great Western Railway); 1871 Railway Clerk; Later Porter; 1876 Railway Worker.

1852, 17 October: The last duel in England: On Tuesday 19 October, Priest Hill towards Egham, Dr. Hayward of Egham passed a number of Frenchmen. One directed the doctor to a friend who had been shot in an accident. The dying man was taken to the Barley Mow Inn where he later died. William Biddlecombe now of the Surrey Constabulary arrived and on searching the body found a pistol ball. Searching the friend who had alerted the doctor, Edmund Allain, a Frenchman, he found a powder flask, nine bullets and some percussion caps.

The Metropolitan Police on arriving as requested at Waterloo railway station found a group of French émigrés who were aware of the duel. As the train arrived the police detained three more Frenchmen, along with two swords, a pistol case and knife on which there appeared to be blood. The pistols were eventually recovered – they had been hired.

Four Frenchmen appeared at Kingston Assizes where they were found guilty of manslaughter although one was later hung after committing two murders. The victim Courner was buried in Egham Churchyard48. Durrant records in his book an interesting list of property, a powder flask, nine bullets, some copper caps, paper and seals, two swords and three keys. The men were sentenced to two months in the County Goal.49

1852-53: Mary Ann Temple aged thirty six charged with murdering her newly born child and sentenced to fifteen years transportation at Kingston Assizes March 1853.50

1853, 21 March: The Times: Mary Ann Temple aged thirty six was charged with the wilful murder of her female illegitimate child by suffocating it. When the child was born she tried to have a Mrs. Humphries take over the child but she was unhappy with the story given by Temple and said "No". Mr Biddlecombe, Superintendent of the Surrey Constabulary, Chertsey became aware of the attempt to part with her child and visited temple and found the child dead. She was found guilty of manslaughter and transported for fifteen years. The Judge:

"The crime of infanticide was greatly on the increase - judges go to any county and find two or three cases on their list."

Therefore he sentenced more harshly.

1852, 9 December: GO 88: The chief constable has observed with much dissatisfaction the evident inclination on the part of superintendents and inspectors to deprive constables under one specious plea or another of cases which have rightly belonged to them. Several instances of this have recently occurred and the chief constable desires superintendents and inspectors to bear in mind that it is their duty to bring forward and encourage as much as possible all young constables instead of dampening their zeal, and hindering their advancement by keeping them in the background. In order to put a stop to this the chief constable has determined in future not to allow any expenses to those who have mixed themselves up in a case in which they had no business and which the constable could perfectly well have conducted himself.

1853, 31 December: GO 105: Between 1 May 1852 and 31 December 1853 twenty three men were dismissed with drunkenness predominant.51

1854, 10 June: The first multiple murder enquiry undertaken by the Surrey Constabulary, Superintendent Biddlecombe. [See the Esher Murders page. This topic has been given its own page for clarity. Editor]

1854, 17 November: Inspector Edward Wilson dismissed for frequenting a public house and acting as landlord therein.

1855, April: Chief Constable’s report to the Rural Police Committee: "That depredations frequently occurring on the borders of those counties which have not accepted the Rural Police are very difficult of detection for example, in the year 1854 there were two burglaries, four sheep stolen, two horses and several cases of fowl stealing known to have been committed by thieves residing in Berkshire whom it is impossible to bring to justice from the petty jealousy and unwillingness on the part of the parish constables to give any information, so they do form the facilities afforded for the disposal of stolen property."55

1855: Work began on the new railway line to Portsmouth and scores of construction workers settled in the county. Known as 'Navvies', they had a total disregard for law and order and, quite often, would go on drunken rampages in large groups. On 29 July 1855 at just after midnight, Inspector Donaldson and Constable James Freestone were in the ... more

PC Carpenter 1857

PC Carpenter 1857

1856: GO 127: March: Drill instructions and general training started in the force in March 1856. "It being highly essential that the constables in the different divisions should have an opportunity afforded them from time to time of being instructed in their drill, which the chief constable is aware that many were extremely deficient, he therefore considers it desirable that superintendents should send two men each rotation to headquarters for the purpose of being drilled and otherwise instructed in their duties."56

1857, 16 February: The Times: Murder and robbery: On the highway between Nutfield and Warwick-town in Surrey. A draper named Ovenden had been shot with a pistol on his return from Godstone and robbed of between four and five pounds. This generated a great deal of alarm in the district. Ovenden had picked up a pedestrian who said he was going to Redhill; a labouring man, who he gave a lift to in his cart.

After a while into the journey the man demanded "money or your life!" On refusing to comply, Mr. Ovenden was shot with the bullet lodging in his left breast. He fell into the cart and was searched and money stolen. This was at 5 pm in the full day light. The injured man managed to stem the flow of blood and reached home in "a depressed condition, almost fainting". He was immediately put to bed but died on Saturday morning.

Norman Wilkinson a magistrate for the County of Surrey took a dying deposition. The intelligence was sent to Scotland Yard by telegraph and a reward of £100 was offered. A pistol was found covered in blood.

1858, 1 March: GO 137: Between 1 January 1856 and 1 March 1858 thirty three men were disciplined with drunkenness prominent.

1858, 10 April: GO 138: Reigate Magistrate’s Court a constable was sentenced to fourteen days in prison with hard labour at Wandsworth for leaving the Surrey Constabulary without giving proper notice.57

1858, 5 May: GO 140: Superintendent Biddlecombe resigned.58

1858: Reports of Inspectors of Constabulary: These are summarised on their own page, click here for details.

1859, 1 October: GO 149: Superintendent Coward has been guilty of great remissions in not taking immediate and active steps relative to certain stolen property supposed to have been disposed of in Reigate and about which he had been asked to make enquiries by an officer from another force is hereby publicly reprimanded. Inspector Law is reduced to the rank of constable for allowing a prisoner to escape.59

1859, 29 December: PC 65 Allen Mason aged thirty died of a ruptured blood vessel in the lungs caused during a violent assault by a deserter. Newspaper report:

Death of a Policeman. A policeman of the Surrey Constabulary, named Allan Mason, who had been stationed at Cobham for some years, and greatly respected both by the inhabitants and the members of the force, died on Dec 29th, he having broken a blood vessel in the lungs some short period before. In July last he was violently assaulted by a deserter, and this is presumed to have brought on his illness. He was interred this day, Saturday, and followed to the grave by a number of his late brother officers, whose feelings evidenced they had lost a friend and a brother to whom they were sincerely attached.

Force records for Epiphany Session 1859:

I regret to have to report the death of Police Constable Allen Mason, an old and efficient officer of this Force, which took place on 29th ultimo. The deceased had a ruptured blood vessel a few weeks ago, and attributed his previous reduced state of health to a violent assault committed upon him by a Deserter in July last ...

There are two different spellings of his first name - Force records have spelt it Allen.

1860, 26 November: PC Josiah King cautioned for "being in a public house when he ought to have been at home".60

1861, 22 June: The Scotsman: On Thursday morning two Germans were apprehended on a warrant near Chichester on suspicion on being concerned in the murder of Martha Halliday. At court in Reigate, Inspector Coward of the Surrey Constabulary stated he had made enquiries into the truth of the statements made by the prisoners and had found them correct and he did not propose to offer any evidence and therefore he asked that the prisoners might be discharged. The prisoners were then dismissed.

1861, 29 June: The Times: Kingswod murders: Two Germans supposed to have killed the wife of the parish clerk at Kingswood appeared before the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House. (Arrested in London on another charge.) Captain Hastings was in attendance at the court.

In reply to questions from the Lord Mayor Superintendent Coward, Surrey Constabulary said he had witnesses in attendance that saw the prisoners in Reigate about the time of the murder and he had every reason to believe that the prisoners were the two suspected persons. Superintendent Coward said it was the evidence of witnesses and especially the documents discovered in the rooms where Mrs Halliday was found that he suspected Franz and Krohn and that the prisoner is Franz. The prisoner was handed in the custody of Coward to be returned to Reigate.

43 http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/1837.html [January 2010].

44 Durrant, A.J. (1951). A hundred years of the Surrey Constabulary, 1851-1951, p. 15.

45 Surrey Constabulary General Orders Book 1: 1851-.

46 Surrey Constabulary General Orders Book 1: 1851-.

47 Information about career of Henry Stemp from Haynes, Peter (2003). The Stemp family of New Zealand.

48 See Janaway, p. 83 and Durrant, A.J. (1951). A hundred years of the Surrey Constabulary, 1851-1951, p. 13.

49 Durrant, A.J. (1951). A hundred years of the Surrey Constabulary, 1851-1951, p. 13.

50 Durrant, A.J. (1951). A hundred years of the Surrey Constabulary, 1851-1951, p. 13.

51 Surrey Constabulary General Orders Book 1: 1851-.

55 Durrant, A.J. (1951). A hundred years of the Surrey Constabulary, 1851-1951, p. 13.

56 Surrey Constabulary General Orders Book 1: 1851-.

57 Surrey Constabulary General Orders Book 1: 1851-.

58 Surrey Constabulary General Orders Book 1: 1851-.

59 Surrey Constabulary General Orders Book 1: 1851-.

60 Durrant, A.J. (1951). A hundred years of the Surrey Constabulary, 1851-1951, p. 15.


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