From An 1866 Pocketbook

Thanks to Ed Heley

We have a number of pocket books written in Wotton under Edge in the 1860s and 70s. Unlike today the pocket books are not always written by the same officer, it seems that the pocket books were the property of the station rather than the officer.

One of the books was started by Police Constable 107 Albert  Camm on 1st October 1866 and taken over by Police Constable 74 George  Webb.   We know that Police Constable Camm resigned on 1st November 1866 (exactly a year to the day that he joined) but we don’t know what happened to him in the month between him handing on his diary to Police Constable Webb and resigning his post.

Albert Camm was very young when he joined the constabulary only 19 years old. It seems as after he left the Police he went in the army and may have even spent some time in Prison for  assaulting a police officer, he later settled in London.

Police Constable George Webb joined the police on 1st September 1866 was discharged in April 1867 he rejoined in May 1867 and was discharged again in June 1867. This was not unusual at the time because there was no sick pay and officers were discharged if they were unfit for duty and then rehired later. The entry in the Register of Rural Constabulary notes that he was a good officer during his first time in the Force but indifferent during his second time.

Looking at the census it appears that George became a railway policeman and moved to Derby.

One interesting case shows Police Constable Webb and Police Constable Bowkett escorting three prisoners to Dursley  station.


The three prisoners Edwin Hulbert , Thomas Ricketts and Henry Little were accused of assaulting a police officer which was reported in the Gloucester Journal  on 15th December 1886


The record from Gloucester Gaol gives us more details about the convicted men


When Police Constable Charles Wells retired in July 1872 The Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard reports that he never fully recovered from the attack.


Police Constable Webb often escorted prisoners to Dursley

He escorted Worthy Spencer in November 1866 .


The Western Daily Press on 2nd November 1866 states that Spencer was fined  or if he was unable to pay would be imprisoned.

It seems that he was unable to pay as he entered Gloucester Gaol on 13th November for one month.

it seems that he was a bit of a rogue as this was his 6th conviction.

There are many other offences listed in the pocket books ranging from letting animals stray on the highway to  movement of farm animals without a licence.

Not all criminals arrested were older males. Harriet Williams and Ellen Miner were 16 and 14 when they were sent to prison for theft. we know that Miner offended several times more there is a record of her in Shepton Mallet Gaol when she was 16.

This page was added on 31/07/2023.

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