The notebooks of William Donaldson, Superintendent of the Dorking Police Force

Item author: William Donaldson
Item date: 1838-1849
Grant Value: £1,650
Item cost: £3,750
Item date acquired: 2012
Item institution: Surrey History Centre
Town/City: Woking
County: Surrey

Superintendent William Donaldson, commanded the Dorking Police Force from its foundation in 1838 to its amalgamation into the newly formed Surrey County Constabulary in 1851.  These notebooks appear to be the only surviving record of the force and they provide a very interesting and unusual picture of crime in Dorking before the creation of a countywide police service, and stand as a unique record of a small Surrey town’s initiative in tackling disorder in an era of considerable social and political change and economic dislocation.

In 1851 he transferred to the new Surrey Constabulary, becoming the first member of the force to die on active service when he was killed in 1855 following a brawl in the King's Arms, Haslemere.