Tag Archives: police

Metropolitan Police Constable Thomas Gasson: a timeline

27 Apr

I mentioned yesterday (and on several occasions before that) that my 3x great-grandfather Thomas Gasson spent a short time a constable in the Metropolitan Police.

What I haven’t done until now is put together a timeline for this particular period of his life, bring together the evidence that I have for his time in the Metropolitan Police.

His exact dates of service are not known, so every little bit of evidence helps build up a picture, and may hopefully lead to further records.

28th July 1858 (Slaugham, Sussex)

  • Alfred Gasson son of Thomas and Harriet Gasson is baptised in St Mary’s Church, Slaugham. This is the last record of the family that I have in Sussex before Thomas joins the Metropolitan Police. Thomas is recorded as a labourer.

Q3 1860 (Edmonton Registration District, Middlesex)

  • The birth of their son Edward Gasson was registered in Edmonton Registration District, Middlesex. This places the family in Middlesex, but without checking the actual birth certificate I can’t tell whether Thomas was serving with the Metropolitan Police at the time.

7th April 1861 (Winchmore Hill, Edmonton, Middlesex)

  • Thomas, Harriet and their four children are shown in the 1861 census in Winchmore Hill in the parish of Edmonton, Middlesex. Thomas is recorded as a “Metropolitan Police Constable”.

16th May 1861 (N Division, Middlesex)

  • The Metropolitan Police Orders for the 16th May 1861 record that P.C. 265, Gasson was dismissed for being drunk on duty. This doesn’t provide enough information to confirm that P.C. 265 was my Thomas Gasson. I am also not sure what made up the boundaries of N Division, but I don’t think this matches Winchmore Hill.

Q1 1863 (Cuckfield Registration District, Sussex)

  • The birth of their daughter Harriett Gasson was registered in Cuckfield Registration District, Sussex (later census returns give her place of birth as Bolney or Warninglid, Sussex). This places the family back in Sussex, although it is not conclusive that Thomas had lost his job and they had permanently moved back home.

The only real evidence of Thomas’ service is the 1861 census, but it looks like he probably joined between July 1858 and Q3 1860, and he left between April 1861 and Q1 1863, probably in May 1861. With a bit more work I might be able to narrow these date ranges down a bit, especially with the purchase of a couple of birth certificates and a couple of baptism records.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Metropolitan Police orders for the 1861 census

15 Aug

One of the advantages of searching a document page by page rather than going to a particular page, is that you find all manner of things you weren’t looking for but are still interesting nevertheless.

One such example was in the Metropolitan Police Orders for 1861 (MEPO 7/22) that I was searching at The National Archives last weekend. I was looking for a mention of my 3x great grandfather Thomas GASSON, but I came across this entry on Saturday the 6th April 1861.

CENSUS OF 1861.-The Superintendents are to instruct the Police of their respective Divisions to correctly state the particulars required in the Schedule left at their places of residence, and that the names of those on duty during the night of Sunday, the 7th April, are also to be inserted in the same manner as if they had slept at their homes.

The Schedules sent to Divisions from the Commissioner’s Office this day are to be duly filled up by the Superintendents, as far as in their power, respecting all persons confined at the Police Stations on the night of Sunday, 7th, and they are to be returned to the Enumerators of the Districts in which the Stations are situated when called for on 8th. The total numbers of Male and Female Prisoners confined in each Division, and returned in the Schedules, are to be sent to the Commissioner’s Office on 11th.

The Police are to give the necessary assistance, if required by the Enumerators, to suppress any disturbance which may occur while they are visiting each house to collect the Schedules.

With regard to the first part, Thomas GASSON was recorded at home in the 1861 census, so I guess I will never know if he was actually on duty that night or not. I have not come across any schedules for Police Stations in my searches of the 1861 census (or others) but I might have a quick look, I would love to see if there are any prisoners listed in the Police Stations. If you know of any please let me know in the comments.

Restoration of Police Constable’s grave as a result of a family historian’s discovery

24 Apr

This interesting story turned up on the BBC News website today, about a family history researcher who has helped get the grave of a murdered policeman restored, 140 years ago today. The twist to the story is that it was her 3x great uncle William Pullin who was responsible for the murder.

Elaine Rees deserves recognition and congratulations for actually doing some good with her research, in making sure the memory of PC Richard Hill lives on.

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