London Watchman – 18th Century

Scanned from ‘Old and New London – Its History, its people and its places’, published by Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co. 1878.

Night watchmen patrolled the streets between 9 or 10 pm until sunrise, and were expected to examine all suspicious characters. In the City of London, daytime patrols were conducted by the City Marshall and the beadles. Like the night watch, their primary responsibilities were to apprehend minor offenders and to act as a deterrent against more serious offences. Over the course of the eighteenth century, however, the arrangements by which men served as constables and watchmen changed significantly, in ways which altered how felons were detected and apprehended.

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