Victorian True Crime Through the Eyes of a Victorian Detective
Date of publication: October 2011
Publisher: The History Press
George Clarke joined the Metropolitan Police in 1841. Though a ‘slow starter,’ his career took off when he was transferred to the small team of detectives at Scotland Yard in 1862, where he became known as The Chieftain. One particular fraudster, Harry Benson, was to contribute to the end of Clarke’s career which led to the first major Metropolitan Police corruption trial in 1877.
Prompted by the discovery of family correspondence and papers, author Chris Payne researched the subject in depth for many years and has captured the essence of Victorian crime and detection, using widespread sources of information, and many of Clarke’s own case reports.
The most detailed picture yet published of detective work in mid-Victorian Britain.
Includes accounts of ‘murders most foul’ in the slums and in London’s Society; robbery; the emergence of terrorism related to Ireland; and also Victorian frauds.
‘The Chieftain’s’ infamous corruption trial led to the creation of CID.
Extensive previously-unpublished material - also case reports from several of George Clarke’s investigations, complemented by court proceedings and contemporary newspaper reports.