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Real Stage Tragedy

Jon Short, Research Volunteer at Bow Street Police Museum, uncovers two theatrical tales of woe and misadventure. When accidents happen and Bow Street Officers investigate, how can the show go on?

Men’s Fashion (and Thievery) in Nineteenth-Century London

Summer Anne Lee, Fashion Historian and Research Volunteer at Bow Street Police Museum, brings to light tales of men’s fashion and theft in 1800s London. They say that clothes make the man — but what if the man’s clothes were stolen, and it’s nineteenth-century London?

Bow Street and Boxing

Boxing has always divided opinion on whether it is a demonstration of physical discipline or simple brutal violence and the legality of some contests put on for entertainment purposes was questionable.

Murder at the Adelphi

Discover more about the untimely end of one of the stars of the West End, how Bow Street officers responded, and the lasting legacy of a theatrical ghost.

An Incorrigible Rogue

The cause and effect of poverty and crime is much debated even today, and treating vagrancy and begging as criminal acts only increases the problem. Many Londoners faced this vicious cycle and from our census research we have a brief biography of one such person.

Technological firsts at Bow Street

When most people hear the word technology they think of computers, mobile phones or the masses of technological advancements that have been developed since the twentieth century. Technology is simply the applied use of scientific knowledge, and its evolution during the time of the Bow Street runners can be tracked through distinct criminal cases and events throughout the period. Through the exploration of the Cato Street Conspiracy, murder of Elsie Batten and staged robbery of Joseph Randall, it is evident that technology was essential to Bow Street Runners and hugely aided the solving of crimes.

The police cell household

The first UK Census was compiled in 1801 and has been undertaken at 10 yearly intervals ever since. Information includes anyone spending the Census night in an institution such as workhouses, prisons, hospitals and also police cells. What they reveal offers some reflection on the early 20th century morality.

Law enforcers or spoilsports? 

When Henry Fielding began to build the Bow Street force, he focused on serious crimes like highway robbery. But when his brother John Fielding took charge in 1754, he was also expected to deal with societal problems like drunkenness and gambling (or “gaming”).