Tuesday 25 October 2011

Who do You Think You Are? An Unexpected Discovery.

About five years ago, while investigating his family tree, Natland resident Chris Payne ‘discovered’ a great-great grandfather who had risen to the rank of Chief Inspector in the small team of Detectives at Scotland Yard during the mid-Victorian era. An internet search revealed that his ancestor, George Clarke, had also been in the dock at the Old Bailey in 1877 in the first Metropolitan Police corruption trial.  Spurred on to dig deeper, Chris has spent much of the last four years researching George Clarke’s career and has now written a book on the subject. 
Published by The History Press in October 2011, “The Chieftain; Victorian True Crime through the Eyes of a Scotland Yard Detective” paints a detailed picture of detective work in mid-Victorian Britain, through Clarke’s investigations of murders, the Fenians, and the diversity of frauds and other crimes perpetrated by the Victorian criminal community.  You will also discover the outcome of Clarke’s own trial! The book is available through bookstores and on-line retailers and is also being sold at Natland Post Office, where signed copies can be arranged.  For more information about the book and Chris Payne’s research interests, check out his website: www.chrispaynebooks.com