Liverpool Head Constables the arrest of the notorious Huffey WHITE, 1813

Liverpool Mercury, 9th, April 1813

Liverpool Police Officers

It affords us the greatest pleasure to be able to bear testimony to the good conduct of the Liverpool Police Officers, and we have more than once had that satisfaction.

It will be found by reference to our assize intelligence of this week that owing to a manoeuvre ably planned and spiritedly executed, our police apprehended a formidable gang of highway men, which spread dismay around the neighbourhood last winter and we are proud to state, that they have last week earned fresh laurels, by apprehending the celebrated Huffey WHITE.

In consequence of information being received, that WHITE and one Richard HAYWOOD where suspected of an intention on visiting the town, the Police Officers, where everywhere on the alert, and on Thursday evening last one of them was dodged into a house in Scotland Rd by Edward PRESTON, one of our head constables, who immediately, with Timothy. PARKINSON and Samuel. CLAYTON, also head constables, assisted by four sub officers, were despatched for the purpose of apprehending them, on knocking at the door a woman opened the window, and for some time refused them admittance, but on being informed who they were, and threatening to burst open the door, they were permitted to enter. PRESTON rushed past her, and immediately descended into the cellar followed by PARKINSON, where he met HAYWOOD, and whilst interrogating him as to his name, WHITE, ran past him and struck PARKINSON a violent blow on the nose, intending, no doubt, to have levelled him, and thereby aided his escape, but in this he was disappointed. PRESTON seeing what was going forward, immediately aimed a blow at the head of HAYWOOD, which brought him to the ground, when a desperate scuffle ensued, and in order to put an end to which, the former fired a pistol that he held in his hand over the head of the latter, to intimidate him, when he begged for the sake of God that he would not murder him, the other swore he would blow his brains out if he did not yield immediately, with which he at length complied. PRESTON now called for help from those who were stationed at the outside of the house, not doubting but WHITE had killed PARKINSON, the latter not having spoke since HAYWOOD was knocked down, but it appeared he had also had a scuffle with WHITE, who, in the conflict, had by some accident introduced his finger between the teeth of PARKINSON, which naturally precluded his speaking, in which state he was found by CLAYTON. The remainder of their party being called in and the prisoners secured, they proceeded to search the house, when, under the flags in the cellar they found a number of skeleton keys, dark lanthorns, and other implements for house breaking, all of which they brought away. The woman who kept the house is also in custody. HAYWOOD suffered very much in the conflict, having received several wounds to the head from the butt end of the pistol.

The coolness and courage evinced by the respective officers reflect the greatest credit on them, and it gives us the greatest pleasure to learn, that though they have received injury they are ready to undertake a similar expedition whenever it may occur.

About four years ago WHITE was capitally convicted at the Old Bailey, and sentenced to transportation for life, but made his escape. About twelve months afterwards he was taken to Stockport, tried at Chester for his escape, and sent back to the hulks, but again escaped. He afterwards robbed the Paisley Union Bank, was apprehended in Surrey, and tried for being at large, and was sent to the hulks, from hence he again escaped, and has since been in the counties of Cambridge, Huntington and Northampton, passing by the name of WALLIS, until the robbery of the Leeds Mail, on the 26th October last. He had a very narrow escape of being taken at Birmingham, and also at Bristol. The General Post Office offers £200 for his apprehension, which will of course become the reward for the brave fellows who have so eminently signalised themselves for vigilance and intrepidity. The prisoners arrived here about two hours previous to their apprehension.

We are informed that the Corporation have made the officers a present of £50 for apprehending DWYER’S gang. It is the public at large however, who are indebted to these men, on both these occasions, and we think it would be only justice to show their sense of the obligation, in the way the Corporation have done.

At the beginning of August at the Northampton Assizes Robert KENDAL, aged 33, and the well known HUFFHAM, alias Huffey WHITE, aged 36, were found guilty of stealing divers bags of letters from the Leeds mail coach on the 26th October last, they were sentenced to suffer death, and ordered for execution, Mary HOWES indicted as an accessory after the fact was acquitted. The trial occupied a crowded court from 8am until 10pm, 38 witnesses were examined, and Judge THOMPSON was three and a half hours in summing up. The acquittal of the woman arose from an objection to the indictment taken by her counsel, founded on an Act passed at the last session of Parliament, requiring that an accessory after the fact shall be arraigned in the county in which the offence was committed, and her offence did not arise until the other prisoners had travelled out of Northamptonshire to her dwelling in Huntingdonshire.

The executions were carried out later in August at Northampton. Huffey WHITE was one of the greatest depredators for many years, he was attached to gangs of robbers, consisting of housebreakers [of whom he was an expert] pickpockets and mail robbers etc. He was a man whose pox marked face did not by any means betray his profession as he was remarkable for his silence and easy manner. He was a temperate man and was said never to have injured the person of any one in his depredatory career, but, refused to be concerned by his accomplices who indulged in insults on the person.. WHITE disregarded the scaffold, and took little interest in the exhortations of the clergyman, who on asking him if he could administer any sort of comfort to him, replied, “only by getting some other man to be hanged for me”

Liverpool Head Constables

Liverpool Head Constables


Was killed in 1822 by the fall of a wall :-

Liverpool Mercury 09 August 1822

The public will learn with satisfaction that the Common Council have made provision of 5 shillings per week for the widow of Edward PRESTON, head constable, whose untimely death, by the falling of a wall a short time ago, when in the execution of his duty.



Samuel Clayton born in 1785 was baptised at St Peters Congleton on the 2nd of October 1785, son of William CLAYTON and Ann, his father William died at Congleton on the 15th, July 1831 aged 91

Lancaster Gazette 06 August 1831


On Friday the 15th ult, aged 81, Mr William CLAYTON of Congleton, father of Mr Samuel CLAYTON of Liverpool, and on Sunday, the 17th, aged 91, Mr Peter WILLIAMS, father of Mrs CLAYTON. What is most remarkable, both their mothers died nine weeks of each other, at the advanced ages of 76 and 96

Samuel CLAYTON married Elizabeth WILLIAMS at St Nicholas Church, Liverpool on the 28th September 1809, living in Peter St, occupation, labourer, they had a son William born 23rd April 1810, baptised at St Peters Church, 5th Aug 1810, a daughter Ann, born 25th February 1812, baptised at St Peters, 6th March 1812. In 1814, now living Bridewell St, occupation labourer, they had a son James baptised at St Peter, 22nd September 1814, in 1817 on the 25th, December [Christmas Day] James aged 3, was buried at St Nicholas, Samuel CLAYTON held the occupation of Bridewell Keeper. On the 1st December 1819 another daughter Mary Ellen was baptised at St Peters, abode Bridewell St, Samuel CLAYTON, held the occupation of Bridewell Keeper.

On the 22nd February 1844 Elizabeth the wife of Samuel CLAYTON died at the residence in Cheapside, not long afterwards at his residence in Cheapside Samuel CLAYTON died and was buried at St Nicholas on the 8th December 1844



Timothy PARKINSON, occupation watchman, married Ann CUSICK a widow on the 13th, December 1819 at St Peters Church, at the baptism of their daughter Elizabeth on the 8th Jan 1822, and son James, 2nd January 1826, at St Peters Church, they resided at Crosshall St, Timothy PARKINSON held the occupation watchman. Timothy PARKINSON died in December 1835.

Liverpool Mercury 18 December 1835


On Wednesday last, aged 61, Timothy PARKINSON, who was upwards of 30 years one of the head constables of the Liverpool Police. Upon him resigning his office from infirmity in 1828, the Common Council were pleased to reward his services by allowing him his full wages during the remainder of his days.


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