Genealogy Wise

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Family history is about discovering more of our predecessors' lives; more than a simple listing of births, marriages and deaths.

So here is a list of men who volunteered to serve as Special Constables in the Newbury Borough Police at a time when there was a national scare of the Fenian threat. Is one of your ancestors in the list, if so please let us know.

T W Graham, H J Smith, G Poole, H Bailey, H B Scaird, H Meakin, C Lucas, R Panting, C Saunders, G Callis, E Plummer, J Liddiard, H J Matthews, W Wheeler, C D Finch, E Higgs, W W King, E Salway, W O’Brien, H J Matthews, W H Webster, Tom Newton, E Robinson, E Lack, T Willis, S Biddis, W J Pennington, W Swann, R Smith, T Deller, S H Wilkinson, A Burns, S Freeman, E T Brooks, W Sumpster, F Comyns, W Balding, J Slade, junr, W Dore, W Burgess, S Flint, H Attewell, T G King, R Basing, R Martin, W Knight, J Copas, G Deane, junr, C Paris, H Cayzer, S Elliott, W Hickman, M Gray, J Basing, H Cullum, T Tranter, J C Pinniger, R Cubbage, C Sangwell, G Jarrett, E Polhill, W Cook, J J Roake, E J Bance, G Mayo, J Withers, J Packer, J Burgess, C W Marr, G Liddiard, J Cooper, J Absalom, G Crosswell, J B Stone, S H Looker, B Sargent, E Windsor, J Fox, J Langton, J Philpot, G Boyer, F Stone, W H Jackson, W Griffin, E Harrison, H Purdue, W Griffiths, E Willis, J Britten, S Thatcher, R Willis, A Elliott

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Replies to This Discussion

Phil I have a coroners inquest (from 28 October 1874) on a relative and the coroner's name is J C Pinniger. So I guess he must have progressed from a "special" to the post of coroner.
A number of the specials were relatively high up the social scale - far higher than any PC. Pinnegar was a local solicitor, Thomas Deller and Samuel Flint owned two of the local breweries, both served on the town council and did their stint as Mayor. Charles Paris ran a far smaller brewery/pub and George Deane was landlord of the Tiger. Many other surnames are recognisable as shopkeeping families and there will be a few fortunate family historians who will recognise E T Brooks as the photographer who took that old photo of great grandad or grandma.
1868 was one of those times when the Irish were seen to be a real threat - Michael Barrett was executed in May (England's last public hanging) for blowing up Clerkenwell Prison. Loyal citizens were ready to take up arms against the feared Fenians. There was of course no great Fenian uprising and all the Specials did was do some drill once a week and parade from time to time until they were released a year later. They did get a slap up meal as a thank you when they disbanded.

Specials were simply citizens who signed up to support the small borough police force at times of need - usually when public order was at threat. There would always be a few signed up, but not this many.

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