British 18th Century Police Truncheon from City of Leeds in Yorkshire
Original Item: Only One Available. This was our mystery item a couple of weeks ago and sure enough several collectors correctly identified it and the city of origin.
This is one of England’s first Police Truncheons and is dated 1786. Strictly speaking Sir Robert Peel introduced the Police Force nationally in the early 1800s, however, many cities operated their own law enforcement agencies long before the national system was ever established.
This particular truncheon measures just 12.5" in overall length has a substantial 2.5" brass collar around the business end allowing it to pack quite a punch. The hardwood shaft has a hole across the handle end through which a leather thong once passed which the officer wound around his wrist to ensure the weapon could not be snatched from his grasp.
The overall form much resembles the "Belaying Pins" used by the British Navy at the time for tightening ropes etc, which were often used as clubs by "Press Gangs" and boarding parties.
This truncheon has an inlaid silver plaque bearing the Coat of Arms of the City of Leeds and the date 1786. The date perhaps memorializes the date of retirement for the officer who carried it, hard to be certain. It was no doubt considered an appropriate gift certainly a lot cheaper than the traditional gold watch that came along a hundred years later.
This is an exceptionally rare and early British Police Truncheon only recently acquired from an old collection in England.
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