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Basset, William (d. in or after 1185), justice and sheriff, was a younger son of Richard Basset (d. in or before 1144) and grandson of Ralph Basset (d. 1127?), who were among the new men staffing Henry I's government. His mother was Matilda...

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Beauchamp, William de [William de Beauchamp of Bedford] (c. 1185–1260), judge and sheriff, was the son of Simon de Beauchamp (c. 1145–1206/7) [see under Beauchamp, de, family] and his wife, Isabella, whose antecedents are unknown. William's first wife, Gunnora (d...

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Braybrooke [Braybroc], Henry of (d. 1234), sheriff and justice, was the only son of Robert of Braybrooke, who had risen from obscurity late in Richard I's reign to become, under King John, sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, and Rutland, and who accumulated under-tenancies concentrated in ...

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Caxton, Jeremy of (d. 1249), sheriff and justice, was probably a relative of Geoffrey of Caxton, a knight active in Cambridgeshire affairs in the 1230s and 1240s, perhaps a younger brother or cousin. Both took their name from the Cambridgeshire village of Caxton...

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Patrick Colquhoun (1745–1820) by Robert Dunkarton, pubd 1802 (after Samuel Medley, exh. RA 1802) Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Article

Colquhoun, Patrick (1745–1820), magistrate and a founder of the Thames police, and his twin, Ann, were born on 14 March 1745 in Dumbarton. Their parents, Adam Colquhoun (1711–c.1755), sheriff-substitute and keeper of the register of sasines for Dunbartonshire, and Isabell, née...

Article

Conant, Sir Nathaniel (1745–1822), bookseller and police magistrate, was born on 10 April 1745, the sixth of eight sons of John Conant, rector of Hastingleigh and vicar of Elmstead, Kent, and his wife, Mary, daughter of the Revd William Wake. Four of his older brothers died in childhood or early adolescence. The ...

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Harriott, John (1745–1817), magistrate and a founder of the Thames police, was born on 14 June 1745 at Broomhills, Great Stambridge, Essex. His father was a seafarer whose forebears had been tanners and copyhold tenants in Brigstock, Northamptonshire. It is difficult to establish family details from surviving evidence but ...

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Sir William James Herschel, second baronet (1833–1917) by unknown photographer private collection; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Herschel, Sir William James, second baronet (1833–1917), developer of fingerprinting and judge, was born on 9 January 1833, probably in Slough, the eldest child of the three sons and nine daughters of Sir John Herschel, first baronet (1792–1871), astronomer and chemist, and his wife, ...