• RRP: £25.00
  • You Save: £3.24 (13%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
The First English Detecti... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: SHIPS FROM USA: PLEASE ALLOW 10 to 21 BUSINESS DAYS FOR DELIVERY. Very Good Condition and Unread! Text is clean and unmarked! Light shelf wear to cover from storage, small crease. Has a small black line on bottom/exterior edge of pages. Tracking is not available for orders shipped outside of the United States.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The First English Detectives: The Bow Street Runners And The Policing Of London, 1750-1840 Paperback – 1 Apr 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
£18.96 £18.42
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£21.76 FREE Delivery in the UK. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (1 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199675384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199675388
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 1.8 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 914,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


... the foremost historian of crime, the law and policing in Hanoverian London, brings his formidable knowledge and astute perception to tracing the history of the Bow Street police ... a short review cannot do justice to the research and shrewd judgements that underlie this lively volume ... anyone interested in the history of crime and policing in England cannot afford to ignore it. (Clive Emsley, History Today)

[a] superb book ... As those who know his earlier works on crime, policing and criminal justice in the 18th century would expect, one of the great strengths of this book is the sense it gives of the way the changing activities of the runners intertwined with changes in other brances of the criminal justice system - the changing functions of the magistrates' courts, for example, as awareness grew of the need to separate the investigative and judicial functions of the magistracy, and to extend the system of police courts more widely through London. (John Barrell, London Review of Books)

Beattie's lively history of the Bow Street Runners is a first-rate account of the evolution of 'thief-takers' into a professional crime-solving force after the group's creation by Henry Fielding. (The Canadian Journal of History)

The publication of a new book by John Beattie is inevitably a major event in criminal justice history. As a pioneering historian of eighteenth-century crime, law and punishment, his previous works instantly became foundational studies in the field. In this latest offering, Beattie turns his formidable historical acumen to research on the most famous body of police officers prior to the new police the Bow Street runners. The result is an extremely thorough and insightful account of crime and policing, yet one which nonetheless signals the persistent complexities which surround the interpretation of nineteenth-century police reforms. (David Churchill, Crime, History & Societies)

Beattie has brought great clarity to a fiendishly difficult subject, and his book will surely remain authoritative for many years to come. (Boyd Hilton, English Historical Review)

This book offers a sophisticated and lively account of eighteenth-century policing and the path to reform ... we have Beattie to thank for another impressive book (David Churchill, Crime, History & Societies)

About the Author

J. M. Beattie was born in England in 1932 and emigrated to the US in 1949. He studied at the University of San Francisco (BA, 1954), the University of California, Berkeley (MA, 1956), and Cambridge (Ph.D, 1963). He taught in the History Department and the Centre of Criminology at the University of Toronto from 1961 to his retirement in 1997. He has published The English Court in the Reign of George I (1967 and 2008), Crime and the Courts in England, 1660-1800 (1986), and Policing and Punishment in London, 1660-1750: Urban Crime and the Limits of Terror (2001).

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent telling of how the Bow Street Runners were founded. A story that has been largely ignored by Historians. Mr Beattie goes into detail describing how the officers worked.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting facts.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9499681c) out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94aeecb4) out of 5 stars Informative! 7 May 2015
By JJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent research on early detectives.
Was this review helpful? Let us know