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The London Police and Racy Romance Novels

London has 15,000 streetlamps, but they throw a feeble light. Frankly you won't see gas-lamps on the streets until hoop-skirts disappear at the turn of the century. Public drunkenness and crime is on the rise. One takes his life in his hands going out at night and instead of using a whistle to call for help, people swing a clacker or grogger... a wooden ratchet that makes noise as it turns. This device is still in use on the Jewish holiday of Purim (POOR-um). With all this crime and noise going on in London, WHERE ARE THE POLICE? The government is depending on the power of citizen arrest and offering rewards to turn in known criminals. London residents hire watchmen and bodyguards to repel the riff-raft and they hire private detectives to solve crimes petty crimes... until now. Henry Fielding is a magistrate who has taken it upon himself to organize the first London police force. It will begin with 6 men and they won't be patrolling. They will be issuing writs and official demands from the magistrate out of his Bow Street office. Thus the new policemen will be called the Bow Street Runners. (They actually hate this name, but what can you do?) Funding will be sketchy, but their work will draw government attention to the need for public law enforcement. It won't be long before a force with recognizable police duties will be established. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Henry Fielding was not only the founder of the first London police force. He also wrote racy romance novels. Fielding is actually famous for writing "Tom Jones," a novel with sexual situations so base and crude (for 1750) that the novel was not considered appropriate for sensible readers. The novel was also hilarious, so sales were fairly brisk. Some historians call "Tom Jones" the first modern novel, but the teenage romance novel "Pamela" had been published a few years earlier and it was still popular. In any case, "Tom Jones" is considered Fielding's greatest work and a "must read" novel. (I have only read excerpts but it looks like a situational comedy with adult situations.) [6]

Henry Knox and Logistics, Logistics, Logistics

Henry Knox is born this year to a Scotch-Irish parents in Boston, Massachusetts. Knox will be mostly self-educated. He will open a bookshop in Boston and become a witness to the Boston Massacre while trying to convince the British soldiers to return to their barracks. His bookshop will specialize in military history, and in reading his own product, he will become an expert in military strategy. As the American Revolution gets started, Knox will suggest to General George Washington that he could bring the cannons south from Fort Ticonderoga for use at the Siege of Boston. Washington will approve Colonel Knox's plan... which will include an INSANE journey in the middle of winter moving several tons of cannon through the snow and ice over hundreds of miles. He will seal his legend by SUCCEEDING and eventually be promoted to Major General. He will follow Washington from battle to battle, managing the artillery logistics. When the United States is formed, Henry Knox will be appointed as the first Secretary of War. [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Fort Knox, Kentucky was established after the Civil War. It became the location for the United States Bullion Depository in 1936 and presumably gold bullion is stored at the site. I say "presumably" because when Congressman Ron Paul demanded to inspect the Fort Knox installation, he was denied. Perhaps he was just grandstanding, but it made me wonder what is actually being stored at Fort Knox? Ron Paul's son, Senator Rand Paul, has NOT made a demand to inspect Fort Knox gold, but he agrees that auditing government resources is important. I have seen reports of gold bars with all the proper stamps having tungsten cores. That doesn't mean that the Fort Knox gold has been similarly debased, but these sort of reports make me nervous. I'd like to see an audit, but I'm not holding my breath. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

Hassidic Judaism is Founded

The Polish Rabbi's name is not as well know as his special title is: the Baal Shem Tov (BAH-AWL SHEM TOHV). The Rabbi disagrees with the rote Jewish educational methods. He emphasizes the spiritual over the ritual (although he does ritual just fine.) An entire new movement of Judaism is established called Hassidic Judaism (or Pious Judaism). It is a charismatic movement and when the Rabbi dies, the movement will split into several subgroups which will move in various directions promoting Jewish mysticism. [14] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I've been vague here because a technical discussion of the movement will not benefit a general audience. I am NOT a member of this Jewish sect, but I get along fine with them. I am glad to pray with them. I also think that their approach to Jewish mysticism is reasonable. I believe that Jewish mysticism can be harmful and misleading, but these fellows manage to break it down into manageable chunks. I can never be a member of this group because of technical religious issues. My rabbi doesn't like this group at all and I think I make him nervous that I'm actually civil to them. Nevertheless, I am civil to people who are civil to me. So there.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1750, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Besant, Walter. London in the eighteenth century. Harper. 
  2. Cornwell, Patricia Daniels (2003). "Chapter 9: The Dark Lantern", Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 0425192733. “London was protected by night watchmen armed with staves, lanterns, and wooden noisemakers called rattles that made a startling clack-clack-clack sound when the head was spun. It wasn't until 1750 that times began to change. Henry Fielding, better known as an author than a magistrate, gathered a faithful group of constables under his command. With £400 allotted by the government, Fielding formed the first squadron of 'thief-takers.'” 
  3. Thief-taker - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Henry Fielding - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Bow Street Runners - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. Gutenberg.org (2016). Retrieved on 22 March 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 346-347. 
  8. Henry Knox - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 23 March 2016. “Called by historian Victor Brooks 'one of the most stupendous feats of logistics' of the entire war,[29] Knox's effort is commemorated by a series of plaques marking the Henry Knox Trail in New York and Massachusetts.”
  9. Ron Paul wants gold at Fort Knox audited. money.cnn.com (June 24, 2011). Retrieved on 23 March 2016. “Paul called a congressional hearing Thursday to grill federal officials about his bill to audit and inventory all of the gold reserves at Fort Knox, Ky., West Point, N.Y., and Denver, even though Treasury officials insist that the gold is audited annually and is all there.”
  10. Rand Paul talks 2016 plans, Senate majority, bi-partisanship and marijuana. legacy.whas11.com (December 8, 2014). Retrieved on 23 March 2016. “'I don't know,' (Rand) Paul continued. 'I think auditing our resources in general or auditing the federal reserve, auditing the pentagon and knowing where our resources are - what we spend what we haven't, but I don't suspect some great conspiracy that the gold has disappeared or anything like that.'”
  11. United States Bullion Depository - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 23 March 2016. “The Gold Vault was completed in December 1936 for US $560,000.”
  12. Fake gold hits NYC. New York Post (September 23, 2012). Retrieved on 23 March 2016.
  13. Tungsten-Filled 10 Oz Gold Bar Found In The Middle Of Manhattan's Jewelry District. Zero Hedge (September 18, 2012). Retrieved on 23 March 2016. “However, when a 10 ounce 999.9 gold bar bearing the stamp of the reputable Swiss Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux (PAMP, with owner MTP) and a serial number (serial #038892, likely rehypothecated in at least 10 gold ETFs across the world but that's a different story), mysteriously emerges in the heart of the world's jewerly district located on 47th street in Manhattan, things get real quick.”
  14. Baal Shem Tov - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 23 March 2016. “Besht did not combat the practice of rabbinical Judaism; it was the spirit of the practice which he opposed. His teachings being the result not of speculation, but of a deep, religious temperament, he laid stress upon a religious spirit, and not upon the forms of religion. Though he considered the Law to be holy and inviolable, and emphasized the importance of Torah-study, he held that one’s entire life should be a service of God, and that this would constitute true worship of Him.”

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