Penryn Borough Police (1836 - 1889)


The Penryn Borough Police rarely numbered more than two full time constables, supported occasionally by special constables at times of disorder. Along with the Falmouth, Helston and St Ives constabularies, Penryn’s lawmen amalgamated with the Cornwall Constabulary by Act of Parliament in 1889.

The report of the Royal Commission on Municipal Corporations reported that officers of the Corporation were - mayor, recorder, town clerk, two sergeants at mace, six constables, one gaoler and one town crier. The two sergeants at mace received £6 per year in lieu of hats and cloaks. They summoned meetings of the Corporation, attended to the mayor and quarter sessions and acted as constables. They received 10s 6d per week at quarter sessions and 21/- for ringing the bell for divine service - the bell at the Town Hall having been rung for centuries except during World War II when this was illegal.

The constables received no salaries but had fees of 20/- divided between them at each quarter session and 10s 6d at the same time. The gaoler received £3 a year. The town crier received no salary but had a suit of clothes and a hat provided by the mayor, paid for by the Corporation.

The gaol was very small, two small apartments on the staircase of the town hall. No adequate supply of light and air and "no human being ought to be confined in such a place". Two cells are still to be seen in the town hall.

The Police comprised town sergeants and six constables. The Commission said that this was amply sufficient for the peace of the town.

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