Detective Inspector Frederick Abberline.

Scotland Yard Detective that led the Whitechapel murder investigations. Liaised with Bradford CID into the investigation of the John Gill Manningham murder investigation.

frederick abberline

Detective Superintendent Dobson

Detective Supt Dobson was the senior investigating officer in a number of serious crimes including the John Gill murder of 1888. He was also involved in tackling the Fenians conspiracy in Bradford and the public disorder that arose during the Manningham riots.

Detective Superintendent A.W.Dobson
Detective Superintendent A.W.Dobson




Bradford’s Victorian detectives that brought criminals to justice.

Prior to 1842 there was little or no specialist department in the police service for investigating crime. Crime investigations and executions of warrants were undertaken by the Bow Street Runners.

As criminals became more sophisticated and the rise in terrorism from the Fenians (later known as the IRA) the Metropolitan Police responded by introducing the first detective branch in 1842.

Other police forces were to follow including the West Riding Constabulary and subsequently Bradford Borough Police.

The Bradford borough force established a detective department in January 1848.

Bradford’s Victorian Detectives-Rates of Pay.
Bradford’s Detective officers were paid 25 Shillings a week which was 4 Shillings more than Sergeants and 8 Shillings more than Constables.

After April 1858 Bradford Detectives were paid something like 38 Shillings a week. Bradford’s Detectives always formed a small part of the force during the 19th Century (in 1848 there were 2 detectives out of 67 salaried men. In 1899 a CID department of 21 was only about 7% of a force more than 300 strong). In the same year the force had 1 Det. Superintendent, 1 Det. Inspector., 5 Det.Sergeants, 12 Det. Constables and 2 Clerks. All detectives came under “A Division” and worked from the Town Hall.

The high rate of pay for early detectives and the success of the subsequent Sweet Poisoning investigations show that even in the 1850s there was a significant emphasis on detective work – but the Watch Committee minutes indicate a greater need/influence in Bradford from the 1870s onwards. (Contributed by Natalie Baines Bradford Police Museum)

Some of the more notable characters of Bradford’s Detective Branch were:

Some of these Bradford detectives were involved in several murder investigations including the Victorian Manningham Ripper investigation and the capture of the notorious murderer John Jackson.

They also feature in some of the books written about the events of that period.

Victorian Detectives including Detective Sergeant Butterworth
Bradford’s Victorian Detectives including Detective Sergeant Butterworth 4th from the left-front row.                                                                                                                       Kindly donated by his great great grand daughter.