Launceston Borough Police (1836 - 1883)


This important and historic town, known as the 'Gateway to Cornwall', had its own borough force from the earliest opportunity, but it consisted of only one officer.

Edward Barrett

Edward Barrett, for many years the only constable in Launceston, garnered a menacing reputation thanks to the gratuitous use of his ‘black book’ and for the ravenous dog that accompanied him on his patrols.

Although the Cornwall County Constabulary policed the rural area known as the Launceston division, the county superintendent had his office at Camelford.

When the Launceston Borough Police was taken over by the Cornwall Constabulary in 1883 the superintendent's office was moved to Launceston.

In 1883, the loss of a government grant to the Launceston authorities forced them to reconsider Barratt’s position, and from that year the Borough of Launceston was policed by the Cornwall Constabulary.

Edward Barrett (above image © Launceston Museum), was the only full-time constable of Launceston Borough, from 1860 to 1883. He was a Cornishman born at St. Mellion near Saltash and only retired upon the amalgamation of the Launceston Borough into the county force in 1883.


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