Police Constable 99 John Riddiford

Thanks to Ed Heley

John Riddiford joined Gloucestershire Constabulary in January 1869 when he was 22 years old. He served in Wotton Under Edge  and resigned in November 1871.           Extracts from his pocket book            

 

Charity fraudsters at large in 1870

0n 8th April 1870. Police Constables Riddiford and Bowkett went to Wickwar to apprehend Maria O’ Ryan and Harriet Hancock for going door-to-door and obtaining things under false pretences. They sold these items at extortionate prices, supposedly to help a lady in distress. Both O’ Ryan and Hancock were sentenced to 1 month’s hard labour.

 

Constable Riddiford on garden watch in 1870

On 10th April 1870, Police Constable Riddiford watched a field of greens belonging to Mr. Giles a Farmer and while on night duty on 30th April 1870, he kept watch over the garden of Mr. Harris  a Surgeon.

 

The Chipping Sodbury Job

On 18th June 1870, Police Constables Riddiford and Bowkett escorted 2 prisoners, Job Wicks and Mary Selwood to Dursley Station en route to Gloucester Gaol. Selwood, of Chipping Sodbury, who had no occupation, had stolen a purse, a gold locket and 4 shillings and 1 penny, the property of Elizabeth Butler in Chipping Sodbury on 6th June 1870. Selwood was sentenced to 1 month’s hard labour. Job Wicks was sentenced to one year hard labour for stealing a hammer, a hand saw and other articles from John Blunsdon of Marshfield in October 1869.  It appears that Job had 6 previous convictions.                                     .

 

The poor had it tough in 1870

0n 7th May 1870, Police Constable  Riddiford escorted the prisoner Elizabeth Hughes to Dursley en route to Gloucester Gaol. Hughes was a pauper from Chipping Sodbury, sentenced to 14 days hard labour for misconduct in the Union Workhouse in Yate.

 

Domestic violence in 1870

On 16th May 1870, Police Constable Riddiford and Police Sergeant Watts went to Sinwell to apprehend Jane Goodrich, charged with assaulting her husband George Goodrich. The case was settled out of court. However, in August of that year, Jane Goodrich was convicted of assaulting Mary Neal and was fined 10 shillings plus costs.

 

Animal cruelty in 1870

On 13th July 1870, Police Constable Riddiford was patrolling along New Road where he met Issac Bishop, who was driving two horses with a cart loaded with stone – the property of William Hurn of Tiltups End. Police Constable  Riddiford found that the horses were wounded and in an unfit state to be worked. He ordered them to be unhitched from the cart. Police Constable  Riddiford also found another horse on Adey’s Lane which was also suffering with a wound and in an unfit state to be worked. Police Constable Riddiford subsequently attended the Petty Sessions at Newark Park on 19th July 1870 where he gave evidence against William Hurn and Isaac Bishop. Hurn was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for killing a horse.

We are not sure why Police Constable Riddiford resigned but the entry against him in the Register of Rural Constabulary shows that he was of good character.

This page was added on 24/01/2024.

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