Police Gazette (UK)

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Police Gazette or Hue and Cry
Police Gazette or Hue and Cry 6 August 1831.jpg
The front page of Police Gazette or Hue and Cry 6 August 1831
Type Weekly newspaper
Format with regular supplements
Owner(s) Home Office
Founded 1772 (242 years)

The Police Gazette (also known as The Hue and Cry) was a magazine produced in London from 1772 onwards, for circulation among all the police forces of Britain. Its primary purpose was to publish notices of wanted criminals with requests for information, and where appropriate to offer rewards.[1] [2]

History[edit]

The Quarterly Pursuit was first issued by John Fielding, chief magistrate of the Bow Street Police Court, in 1772.

Changes of title[edit]

The publication was repeatedly renamed, first to Public Hue and Cry. It became The Hue and Cry, and Police Gazette on 30 September 1797. It was renamed to Police Gazette; or, Hue and Cry on 18 January 1828. It became simply The Police Gazette on 1 April 1839.[3]

Responsibility for its production rested with the Home Office. Editing was delegated to the Chief Clerk to Bow Street Magistrates Court, notably John Alexander (chief clerk) who edited the Police Gazette from 1877 until 1895. Responsibility for the Police Gazette was transferred to the Metropolitan Police ('Scotland Yard') in 1883.[2]

The Police Gazette is still published today.[3]

Stated purpose[edit]

The purpose of the publication was stated on the front page in 1831 as follows:[4]

Containing the Substance of all Informations received in Cases of Felonies, and Misdemeanors of an aggravated nature, and against Receivers of Stolen Goods, reputed Thieves and Offenders escaped from Custody, with the time, the place, and every particular circumstance marking the Offence. The Names of Persons charged, who are known but not in Custody, and of those who are not known, their Appearance, Dress, and every other mark of identity that can be described. The Names of Accomplices and Accessories, with every other particular that may lead to their Apprehension. The Names of all Persons brought before the Magistrates, charged with any of the Offences mentioned, and whether committed for Trial, Re-examination, or how otherwise disposed of. Also a Description of Property that has been Stolen, and particularly of Stolen Horses, with as much particularity as can be given, with every circumstance that may be useful for the purpose of Tracing and Recovering it.

—Police Gazette[4]

Structure[edit]

The Police Gazette was published as follows:[2]

Section Frequency Content
Main Magazine Weekly crimes committed, information wanted
Supplement A Fortnightly details of active travelling criminals.
Supplement B Weekly particulars of convicts on licence, persons under police supervision and other wanted people.
Supplement C Fortnightly? wanted aliens.
Supplement D Fortnightly, (alternating with Supplement A) absentees and deserters from HM Forces.
Supplement E  ? photographs of active criminals.
Supplement F - not issued?
Supplement G Daily deaths of people who had previously appeared in the Police Gazette.

Circulation[edit]

The Police Gazette was intended for circulation throughout the British Isles. Since an archive survives in New South Wales, Australia,[5] the Police Gazette may also have been circulated in countries governed by Britain around the world. However, local gazettes were printed by states in Australia (see e.g. Victoria Police Gazette which began in 1853).

Historical value[edit]

The Police Gazette records the history of crime; the role of the police; and major social events such as the 'Transportation' (deportation of criminals) to Australia. The many references to personal names - of missing persons, criminals, army deserters and those deported and imprisoned - make it an important source for genealogy when census and marriage records prove insufficient.[5]

Surviving archives[edit]

At least 61% of the total run of issues from 1772 to 1900 survives, archived by the initiative of local police forces, as well as by the British Library.[5]

Many of the Supplements between 1914 and 1965 also survive.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The National Archives, Series Reference HO 75, 'Hue and Cry and Police Gazette', 1828-1845 http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=7630&CATLN=3&accessmethod=5&j=1
  2. ^ a b c d The Open University Archive, The Police Gazette Collection, ref GB/2315/POLGAZ http://libraryarchive.open.ac.uk/ead/html/gb-2315-polgaz-p1.shtml
  3. ^ a b "The Police Gazette". Publisher's Note. Adam Matthew Publications. 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Police Gazette; or, Hue and Cry." No. 371. Saturday, August 6, 1831.
  5. ^ a b c Adam Matthew Publications, The Police Gazette, Parts 1 to 4 http://www.ampltd.co.uk/news/documents/PoliceGazette.pdf

External links[edit]