PC 117D George Kingshott

George Kingshott was born in Upperton, near Tillington, Sussex in 1832 and was baptised at Tillington church on the 11th November that year. At the time of the 1851 census, taken on 30th March, he was still in Tillington and working as an agricultural labourer. Shortly afterwards, George decided that he wanted more out of life and moved to London, joining the relatively new Metropolitan Police. He was assigned the collar number 117D, denoting that he worked in D division which was Marylebone.

 

On 3rd November 1861, at All Souls Church, Marylebone, George married Jane Collyer, a 28 year old lady from Surrey.

George and Jane, in common with many Victorian families, went on to have ten children, all of whom seem to have survived. They lived at 8 Polygon Mews South, Paddington, London, from the mid 1860's to the mid 1890's, which was unusual at the time.

 

George was a career constable, and was content to work the streets for his entire service with the Metropolitan Police. Such people were, and should still be, the stalwarts of an effective police service and all credit to him for remaining in that important rank. 

George joined the Metropolitan Police on 1st September 1856 under the sponsership of Elijah Bridger of New Town, Bermondsey and a Mr Wardell. He joined at Scotland Yard and was immediately posted to D Division, hence the D at the start of his collar number. He was to spend his entire service in that division.

 

The Metropolitan Police Pensioner's Ledger records that George was five feet eight inches tall, had a fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. He also sported a magnificent set of Victorian whiskers, which were emulated over 100 years later by my dad!

 

An interesting report in The Times, shows us the kind of man that George was. It relates to an unusual circumstance where he was called upon to arrest a fellow constable! The story was reported throughout the country, and was clearly quite a sensation at the time. One of the more complete reports reads:- 

"At Marylebone, Francis Kelly, aged 32, police constable 102 D division was brought up on a warrant by Inspector Wells, D Division, charged with violently assaulting on the 15th inst., George Kingshott, police constable 117 D, while in the execution of his duty, and also further charged with tearing his uniform coat at the same time and place. Inspector Wells watched the case on behalf of the Commissioners of Police.

 

Police Constable Kingshott, 117D, said about 20 minutes past 12 on Saturday night he was on duty in Seymour Place at the corner of Nutford Place. A Hansom cab came driving by at a very furious pace. He went to see the cause of the cablam driving so fast. He said he had brought a fare into Queen Street who got out at the corner and after saying that if there had been any house open he would have treated him ran off along Little Queen Street and into Nutford Place. They found the prisoner at Number 7, in Moore Street. The door being unfastened, the witness pushed it open and saw the prisoner there in drink.

 

The cabman asked the prisoner for his fare, and he said he would see him - before he would pay him. He asked the prisoner if he lived there, and he replied that he did not. He did not know the prisoner, who was in private clothes, was a policeman.

 

The witness told him he must come out, upon which the prisoner seized him by the collar and nearly choked him. He tore his collar; also threw himon the ground and kicked hi. The cabman and a passer-by came to assist him. The prisoner knocked him about the face, which was severely cut and bruised. At the corner of Moore Street he seized hold of the fence and they could nto release his hold without great force.

 

After a desperate struggle, and getting him a short distance, the prisoner turned upon him and struck him violently several times on the face. The cabman and the person assisting him were so afraid that they refrained from further assistance. The prisoner took advantage of this and kicked him several times. One kick put his right thumb out of joint, and this rendered him powerless.

 

The witness had to draw his staff to defend himseld from the prisoners violence, and in doing so he broke it in two.

 

After putting the prisoner down he had to lie on him and strike his legs with his staff to prevent him from kicking. At this period a sergeant and constable arrived to his assistance.

 

Cross-examined by the prisoner - He was not aware who he was at first, and did not catch hold of him and pull him about in the passage. He did not tear his scarf or take his pin. He did take hold of him to get him from the passage. In the struggle they fell together. There was no demand of half a sovereign made by the cabman. All he asked was 2s and he would not pay it.

 

Mr D'Eyncourt said he would remand the case for the cabmans attendance.

The prisoner said he did not think the cabman would throw any light on the matter. He could not deny his transaction with him. The only thing to be dealt with now was the question of the assault.

 

John Quarry, Sergeant 3D Reserve, stated that he was on duty when the prisoner was brought in, charged with running away and refusing to pay his cab fare. He knew him to be a constable and living in the station house. He said he would pay his fare, and gave the cabman 2s. and he went away. The prisoner was very drunk and witness detained him. While in the station the prisoner made a desperate kick at Kingshott, and he ordered that officer out of his way while the charge was being taken.

 

Mr D'Eynecourt remanded the prisoner till Friday."

The Times, Tuesday, Aug 17, 1869_ pg. 9_ Issue 26518_ col E

 

George Kingshott retired from the Metropolitan Police on 16th March 1873 and was awarded a pension of £33 16s for his service. He was thereafter recorded on census forms as a Police Pensioner. His wife had died in 1878 and George moved back to Tillington, the village of his birth, and died there in 1907.

 

George was my 4th cousin 5 times removed.

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