It’s another #WisdomWednesday! Today’s book is HUE AND CRY by Patrick Pringle.
Hue and Cry is the Story of Henry and John Fielding and their Bow Street Runners. London was a lawless city in the mid-eighteenth century. Robbery, rape and even murder occurred with astonishing frequency and casualness. Londoners, not trusting their government, seemed to prefer criminals to gendarmes. “For over a hundred years the people of London endangered (and in many cases lost) their property and their lives by refusing to establish a police force,” writes Pringle. This edition shows how Fielding introduced the English to the idea of what Pringle calls a “preventative police” and also showed “that it was possible for a state to have an efficient police force without becoming a police state. Almost alone in his age he realized that an Englishman’s liberty did not depend on slavish worship of the English Constitution, but could be lost in that way.
About Henry Fielding
Henry Fielding (1707-1754) the popular dramatist and great novelist, was an improvident man about town who, on finding himself happily married, sought income and a more stable career. He entered the Middle Temple and, in 1740, was called to the bar. Fielding was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1748 and, from the inside, battled against the prevailing dishonesty in his profession.
Henry was aided in his courageous crusade by his half-brother John Fielding. John was committed as Henry to ending an openly corrupt system that victimized the poor. He was also a gifted detective. He is still known by his sobriquet, The Blind Beak, though John himself made little of his blindness. Together, the two pioneers and reformers created London’s police force and brought law and order where chaos and corruption had prevailed- thereby gave the citizens of London a freedom they had long lacked.
The volume has been photographically reproduced from the first edition of 1955 and thus preserves the historical authenticity of the original, including typographical errors and printing irregularities.
(Gryphon Editions, 2005. Retrieved from https://gryphoneditions.com/index.php/special-sales/hue-and-cry-the-story-of-henry-and-john-fielding-and-their-bow-street-runners-detail)
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