Chieftain : Victorian True Crime Through the Eyes of a Scotland Yard Detective
George Clarke joined the Metropolitan Police in 1841. Though a ‘slow starter,’ his career took off when he was transferred to the small team of detectives at Scotland Yard in 1862, where he became known as ‘The Chieftain.’ This book paints the most detailed picture yet published of detective work in mid-Victorian Britain, covering ‘murders most foul,’ slums and ‘ Society,’ the emergence of terrorism related to Ireland, and Victorian frauds. One particular fraudster, Harry Benson, was to contribute to the end of Clarke’s career and led to the first major Metropolitan Police corruption trial in 1877. In this fascinating book, the author (Clarke’s great-great-grandson) has researched his subject in depth and has captured the essence of Victorian crime and detection, using widespread sources of information, including many of Clarke’s own case reports.