A London ‘Charley’ watchman

#Picture Number TP246

Your download illustration: a standard jpeg greyscale image file (around 3mb) see about for more details.

Victorian illustration to download showing a London watchman carrying his stave and lantern. His job was to keep the peace and prevent crime during the night. Watchmen would patrol the streets, striking their staves on the pavement and calling out the time and the weather. Their watch-boxes served as shelters and as temporary lock-ups. They were largely superseded by the formation of the police force in 1829; however, Charlie Rouse, said to be London’s last watchman, was photographed outside his watch-box in Brixton Road in c1850.