Po­lice pen­sions on­line

An­ces­try digi­tises large col­lec­tion of records from the Met

Your Family History - - Agenda: Genealogy News -

An­ces­try has re­leased al­most 70,000 Metropoli­tan Po­lice pen­sion records from 1852 to 1932, the first time these have been avail­able on­line. The orig­i­nal records are held at The Na­tional Archives.

Among the no­table names of in­spec­tors, of­fi­cers and con­sta­bles who served the cap­i­tal that ap­pear in the records are the most se­nior mem­bers of the Jack the Rip­per in­ves­ti­ga­tion unit. Fred­er­ick Ab­ber­line, for ex­am­ple, who had been the chief in­spec­tor on the case, re­signed in 1892 aged 49 with an an­nual pen­sion of £206, 13 shillings and four pence (the equiv­a­lent of £24,000 to­day); in­spec­tor Ed­mund Reid (the main char­ac­ter in the BBC/Ama­zon TV se­ries Rip­per Street) re­tired in 1896 with a pen­sion of £117 (£14,160 to­day), aged 49. Another well-known name in the col­lec­tion is Jonathon ( Jack) Whicher, one of the found­ing mem­bers of Scot­land Yard’s De­tec­tive Branch in 1842. His in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the 1860 Con­stance Kent mur­der was ex­plored in the book and film The Sus­pi­cions of Mr Whicher.

The reg­is­ters in­clude in­for­ma­tion about the of­fi­cer’s length of ser­vice, whether he re­tired or was dis­charged, his pen­sion amount and who the next of kin ben­e­fi­cia­ries were. Also in­cluded is the place of birth, mar­i­tal sta­tus and par­ents; from 1923, the records also give the birth and mar­riage de­tails of the spouse.

The col­lec­tion re­veals how the Metropoli­tan Po­lice was made up of men from across the coun­try and even fur­ther afield: Corn­wall, Wales, Lan­cashire, Ire­land, the Isle of Wight and even Aus­tralia are listed as places of birth.

The records typ­i­cally re­veal the rea­sons for re­tire­ment or dis­charge. Ill­nesses such as lung dis­ease, in­fir­mity, ‘gid­di­ness in the head’ and loss of vi­sion of­ten fea­ture. A Con­sta­ble Sawyer was pen­sioned off in 1855 at the ripe old age of 45 for ‘be­ing worn out and un­fit for fur­ther ser­vice’ af­ter 15 years on ac­tive duty.

The records are avail­able for An­ces­try sub­scribers to search or browse at http:// search.an­ces­try.co.uk/search/ db.aspx?dbid=61310.


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