William Stuchberry, Constable

From medieval times, the peace in many parishes was kept by the parish constable, initially under the oversight of the manor and later the Vestry. The first mention of a constable in Finmere is in 1823, when a special constable was appointed by William Jocelyn Palmer’s vestry to prevent undue jollity on Sundays:

Resolved that for the better order of the parish and especially for the keeping within decent bounds the disposition to play on the Lord’s Day, a thing not at all to be encouraged or approved but by no means to be allowed until the proper business of the day be over and then only so far as allowed by law. It is expedient that a special constable be appointed to assist the petty constable. (Finmere Vestry Book 15 April 1823)

Harten Tompkins of Tingewick was accused of stealing 2 hempen sacks, value 2/-, two augers 1/-, 1 gouge 6d. from William Tredwell, his master, on 28 February 1830. He was found guilty at the Easter Buckinghamshire Quarter Sessions and sentenced to 3 months' hard labour. The witnesses were William Tredwell (Bacon House, Finmere), William Stuchberry, constable of Finmere and William Barrett [of Finmere Grounds]. This case gives us the name of the constable, William Stuchberry, though it is not known if he was the same constable as in 1823.

[Source: Buckinghamshire Record Office: QS/JC/13]