To Be a Lady: A Spy Series Short Story
“Marquess of what?”
“Evanshire,” Samuel said absently, his head bent to the paperwork strewn across the desk before him.
They had been ushered out of the carriage and into the commission of this part of London’s Metropolitan Police Force and from there, ensconced in what appeared to be Samuel’s office within the building. Jane tried desperately to look only at her brother, her mind wrestling with the reality that the young man who used to carry her about on his shoulders was now a constable or some such thing.
Her grandmother was in no way as discreet as she stood leaning on her cane, peering through the crack left by the open door at the marquess in the room beyond.
“Marquess of Evanshire, Jane,” she said. “You could do a lot worse.”
At that, Jane gave up the pretense of disinterest, turning her head to her grandmother.
“There is no cause for such a judgement,” she said. “I’ve not even had my first season.”
Grandmother raised an eyebrow.
“I didn’t say it was in the romantic sense,” her grandmother returned. “I was merely suggesting that as a rescuer, he is a rather fine choice.”
If you’ve ever read a Regency romance, you’ve probably heard of the Bow Street Runners. If you read Victorian romance, you’ve run into a constable or two.
In Jane’s story here, we’re talking about the first real police force in the city. The Metropolitan Police Act of 1839 established commissions in London, essentially what we would call precincts today. The commissions were responsible for maintaining order in their district of London. The law was enforced by officers. In this snippet, Jane refers to her brother as a constable or some such thing. Was she right?
You’ll have to wait for Samuel’s book to find out.