Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
         
Machynlleth
Crime and punishment
 
  Constable Jones' Journal  
  In 1841 a police force for Montgomeryshire was created. This was the first time a proper professional police force was set up in the area.
 
  Policeman's journal page heading
 

Victorian policemanBefore this, law and order was kept by local parish constables. These were just local men willing to undertake simple duties for one year.
Under the new Police Force, Machynlleth and the Dyfi valley had two permanent Police Constables who had proper uniform and duties. With no local senior officers to guide them they took their orders from the local Justices of the Peace. They must have walked many miles in the course of their duties, patrolling the villages around Machynlleth.

One of the first policemen to serve in the area was a Police Constable Thomas Jones. Like all Policemen he was required to keep a Journal or diary of what he did each day. Every now and again a Sergeant would visit him from Newtown to check his notebook to see if he was doing his duty.

Although all Police Constables had to keep a Journal, only Constable Jonesí has survived. It tells us a lot about how the police helped uphold the law around Machynlleth in the 1840s.

There are entries from Constable Jones' diary on the following pages ...

A drunken man from Derwenlas...
A weaver attacks a miner...
The vicar's son in trouble...
Prisoner freed by an angry rabble...Checking up on strangers in town...
Escaping the famine in Ireland...

 

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