Drunkards, Thieves & Rioters

We are excited to announce the publication of our latest local history book – ‘Drunkards, Thieves and Rioters and the Basingstoke Police 1836-1889′ by Bob Clarke.

Drunkards, Thieves and Rioters describes a window of 50 years in Basingstoke’s history when the Borough had its own police force. Established in 1836 and absorbed into the Hampshire Constabulary in 1889, the Basingstoke Borough Police dealt with the crime, criminals and social challenges of their day. As well as drunkards, thieves and rioters, the police had to cope with other ne’er-do-wells including the bungling burglar of Basingstoke, the cork-legged swindler, assorted wild women and feral kids. No wonder that of the 45 policemen who left the force before 1889, 13 were dismissed for drunkenness. Included is a transcription of the Police Superintendent’s diary from 1853 to 1857 enhanced with a backstory based on contemporary newspaper reports.

The book was officially launched at the Willis Museum on 24th November and is available from the Willis Museum, Milestones, Waterstones or directly from the society. It retails for £10.

If you would like to buy the book, or any of our other publications, directly from BAHS please send your order to:

Mark Peryer,
6 Aviemore Drive,
RG23 7EN

For UK addresses, please add £1.70 per book to your order to cover postage and packing. Please make your cheques payable to BAHS.

The Basingstoke Riots

Bob Clarke’s previous book, The Basingstoke Riots, is also available from the society and local museums. It tells the story of the clashes between the Salvation Army and the Massagainians in Basingstoke at a time when the town had 56 public houses and several breweries. The Basingstoke Borough Police tried to keep the peace, but were generally in a no-win situation.


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