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Richard Mayne

Richard Mayne

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Sir Richard Mayne KCB
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

 (27 November 1796 – 26 December 1868) was a barrister
A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

 and the joint first Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis is the head of London's Metropolitan Police Service, classing the holder as a chief police officer...

, the head of the London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police Service
The Metropolitan Police Service is the territorial police force responsible for Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London which is the responsibility of the City of London Police...

 (1829–1868). With an incumbency of 39 years, he was also the longest-serving Commissioner in the force's history, as well as the youngest on his appointment.

Mayne was born in Dublin, the son of Judge Edward Mayne
Edward Mayne
The Hon. Edward Mayne was one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas and later removed to The Court of the King's Bench....

. He gained his BA
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 from Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

 in 1818 and his MA
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 from Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

, in 1821. He was called to the Bar
Bar association
A bar association is a professional body of lawyers. Some bar associations are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in their jurisdiction; others are professional organizations dedicated to serving their members; in many cases, they are both...

 at Lincoln's Inn
Lincoln's Inn
The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray's Inn. Although Lincoln's Inn is able to trace its official records beyond...

 on 9 February 1822 and commenced practice on the Northern Circuit. In 1814 in the company of his eldest brother Charles Mayne, he made a tour of the continent.

Second Joint Commissioner

As a rising star of the English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 Bar, Mayne applied in 1829 to be one of the Joint Commissioners of the new Metropolitan Police, and was selected without interview. His senior colleague was to be Lieutenant-Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

 Charles Rowan
Charles Rowan
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Charles Rowan KCB was an officer in the British Army, serving in the Peninsular War and Waterloo and the joint first Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, head of the London Metropolitan Police....

. Rowan was to provide the discipline and organisational skills, while Mayne was to provide the legal expertise. They took up their new appointments on 7 July 1829 and were to become firm friends, working closely together until Rowan's retirement 21 years later. Later that month, they moved into their offices in 4 Whitehall Place and set about the monumental task of creating the new police force from nothing. On 29 August, they were sworn in as Justices of the Peace by Lord Chief Baron
Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer
The Chief Baron of the Exchequer was the first "baron" of the English Exchequer of pleas. "In the absence of both the Treasurer of the Exchequer or First Lord of the Treasury, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it was he who presided in the equity court and answered the bar i.e...

 Sir William Alexander. On 16 September, the two Commissioners personally swore in their new constables at the Foundling Hospital
Foundling Hospital
The Foundling Hospital in London, England was founded in 1741 by the philanthropic sea captain Thomas Coram. It was a children's home established for the "education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children." The word "hospital" was used in a more general sense than it is today, simply...

. The new force first took to the streets at 6:00 p.m. on 29 September.

Mayne was responsible for the second section of the General Instruction Book, which laid down the legal standing and powers of a police officer and the law he was required to enforce. These instructions are still the basis of the powers of a British police constable
A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions.-Etymology:...

, and made it clear that police officers did (and do) not have carte blanche to give orders to private citizens without a warrant
Warrant (law)
Most often, the term warrant refers to a specific type of authorization; a writ issued by a competent officer, usually a judge or magistrate, which permits an otherwise illegal act that would violate individual rights and affords the person executing the writ protection from damages if the act is...

 from a magistrate
A magistrate is an officer of the state; in modern usage the term usually refers to a judge or prosecutor. This was not always the case; in ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest government officers and possessed both judicial and executive powers. Today, in common law systems, a...

. Private citizens could make complaints against police officers and pursue them in the courts if necessary. It was not a police officer's job to enforce his own morality or that of a particular section of society.

Mayne was a more rigid and abrasive man than Rowan, and frequently clashed with Samuel Philipps, the Permanent Secretary
Permanent Secretary
The Permanent secretary, in most departments officially titled the permanent under-secretary of state , is the most senior civil servant of a British Government ministry, charged with running the department on a day-to-day basis...

 of the Home Office
Home Office
The Home Office is the United Kingdom government department responsible for immigration control, security, and order. As such it is responsible for the police, UK Border Agency, and the Security Service . It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs,...

, who believed that the Commissioners should answer to him and his officials, and not just to the Home Secretary
Home Secretary
The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the Home Office of the United Kingdom, and one of the country's four Great Offices of State...

. It was a mutual dislike, and although Rowan was more tactful, the Metropolitan Police and Home Office were at odds for sixty years. In 1848, Mayne was created a Companion of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

 (CB). Since Rowan was at the same time created a Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB), there were suggestions in the press that Mayne may have been deliberately passed over (although in fact Rowan had held the CB for his military services since 1815).

First Joint Commissioner

In 1850, Rowan retired, and Mayne expected to become sole Commissioner. However, the Home Office decided that a military man should also be appointed and Captain William Hay became Second Commissioner. In 1851, Mayne took personal charge of policing at the Great Exhibition. This angered Hay, who believed that as military commissioner he should have had the job, and he immediately began protesting. However, Mayne's policing at the Great Exhibition was so successful that he was finally raised to KCB. In 1855, Hay died, and the Police Act 1856 laid down that in future there should be a single Commissioner, with two Assistant Commissioners. For the next thirteen years, Mayne ran the Metropolitan Police single-handedly.

Sole Commissioner

As sole Commissioner, however, Mayne became increasingly aloof and distant from both the public and his men. He was feared and respected by his men, but not loved as Rowan had been, lacking the older man's talent for conciliation and explanation. He embraced the new Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 'morality' introduced by Prince Albert, and instructed his men to enforce regulations that were seen by many as petty and unnecessary (such as forbidding children to throw snowball
A snowball is a spherical object made from snow, usually created by scooping snow with the hands, and compacting it into a roughly fist-sized ball. The snowball is often used to engage in games, such as snowball fights. Snowball fights are usually light-hearted and involve throwing snowballs at...

s in public places). In fact, in many ways his new attitude was conflicting with the instructions written by him as a younger man; now the police were very much enforcing middle-class morality and were treating the gentry and aristocracy with a deference that sometimes interfered with their duties. Senior officers also started to be drawn from the officer classes, which conflicted with the original idea that only the Commissioners should be appointed from these classes. This issue was not resolved until the 1940s.

In 1866, Mayne took personal charge of suppressing the Hyde Park demonstration, and lost control, suffering physical injury himself. The Home Secretary, Spencer Walpole
Spencer Horatio Walpole
Spencer Horatio Walpole, QC, LLD was a British Conservative politician who served three times as Home Secretary in the administrations of Lord Derby.-Background and education:...

, let him take full blame, although he did refuse his resignation. In 1867, his resignation was again refused after the police mishandling of the Clerkenwell bombing.

Mayne died, tired and embittered, at his home in Chester Square
Chester Square
Chester Square is a small, residential garden square located in London's Belgravia district. Along with its sister squares Belgrave Square and Eaton Square, it is one of the three garden squares built by the Grosvenor family when they developed the main part of Belgravia in the 19th century.Chester...

 on Boxing Day
Boxing Day
Boxing Day is a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth nations. In Ireland, it is recognized as...

 1868. Although he had made mistakes, he had achieved astonishing things. The original force of less than 1,000 men had grown during his commissionership to nearly 8,000. The area it policed had increased to ten times its original area, and the idea had spread to every county
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 and town in the country. Mayne was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery
Kensal Green Cemetery
Kensal Green Cemetery is a cemetery in Kensal Green, in the west of London, England. It was immortalised in the lines of G. K. Chesterton's poem The Rolling English Road from his book The Flying Inn: "For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen; Before we go to Paradise by way of...

, London. He was survived by his widow, Georgina Marianne Catherine, eldest daughter of Thomas Carvick of Wyke Manor, Yorkshire, whom he had married in 1831, and children including his son, Vice-Admiral Richard Charles Mayne
Richard Charles Mayne
Richard Charles Mayne RN CB FGS MP was a Royal Navy Captain, later Admiral and explorer.Richard Mayne was the son of Sir Richard Mayne KCB and the grandson of Judge Edward Mayne. Both his father and grandfather were graduates of Trinity College, Dublin,. Richard Mayne was educated at Eton...

 of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...