From a scrapbook compiled by Bertie Fuller in the 1950’s and donated to the Heritage Centre. As it is handwritten in old copperplate with blots, Judy Van Lawick has transcribed it as best she can!
The London Police force was instituted by Robert Peel (afterwards Sir Robert) in 1839 & gradually extended to the provinces.
A Mr. Scott was the first N. Walsham Superintendent & the first policemen were old men who had been watchmen. No young men would join & they were still called peelers after Sir Robert when I was a boy.
Scott soon made himself feared by evil doers but they had little respect for the rest of the force.
An old man who used to work for my people told me the first time he saw policemen was on a Fair day. A woman at a stall gave a rough character the wrong change & he wrecked her stall which was by the Town Cross. He then proceeded to wreck all the stalls which head right up the Market Place & the stall holders were busy trying to clear their stalls.
When he got to the Church Gates, four decrepit policemen in top hats & sparrow tails took at him, the rough character gave them a contemptuous look & to the amusement of the crowd took each one by his breeches & collar & threw them one after another through the shop window which is now Majorams.
Scott was followed by Brudell a huge man, there was one Constable Alcock when I first remember & he arrested Munsey on Meeting Hill (first cottage on left after passing Rev Walters) who murdered his wife with an axe. Isaac Youngman drove Alcock down & they brought Munsey back in the trap.
Woolnough was the next super he was an old Crimea man.
I remember the keepers at honing Hall shooting a poacher named Buller (?) in the legs, he was lame for the rest of his life. I saw him taken to court at the old Town Hall that was afterwards destroyed by fire.
Lubbock was the next super, as a constable he had been put in charge of the Empress of Austria (who was afterwards assassinated in Switzerland) when she used to stay at Cromer. He had a watch and ?? pins she had presented to him.
A noted case was that of Inspector Brooks 1869 or 70. He surprised some poachers early one morning & a fight ensued, Brooks was beaten up and left for dead.
A man named Storey from Bradfield was arrested, tried & received a life sentence, after serving 19 ½ years he was liberated & he & his family emigrated to America.
I saw Storey the day before he sailed he was pointed out to me by someone who knew him.
Brooks recovered but was retired from the police, he had a silver plate in his skull, I have also seen him in Nth Walsham.