P C Thomas Chubb

Police Constable in Ivybridge

Local Law & Order

It was the Court of Petty Sessions which dealt with the majority of minor legal cases both of a criminal and civil nature at this time. These included offences such as theft and larceny, assault, drunkenness and illegitimacy issues. From 1872, they were also responsible for approving licences to sell alcohol in ale houses and public houses. All cases were heard without a jury (summary jurisdiction) and presided over by Justices of the Peace who were unpaid officials, more often than not, having no formal legal training. Furthermore, the position did not attract a wage so was filled by wealthy individuals, usually prominent landowners or gentlemen of status. In Ivybridge, John Allen, owner of Stowford Paper Mill, and later his son Edward Allen both served as JPs, as did Henry John Fice Lee, owner of the provender mill. The Petty Sessions sat daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the volume of cases. In Ivybridge they were held bi-monthly in venues including The London Hotel and the Erme Inn in Keaton Road. A clerk would record the details of each case in a register and these documents have proved invaluable to historians when researching crimes.
Cases of a more serious nature requiring a jury, were held at the Quarter Sessions, which, as the name suggested, were held four times a year (Epiphany, Easter, Midsummer and Michaelmas). The sessions were presided over by at least two Justices of the Peace, dealing not only with criminal cases but a variety of other local matters similar to the business of a modern-day local council. The JPs also dealt with other disputes such as poor law disputes, settlement issues, bankruptcy, planning, licensing and the transportation of criminals. Quarter sessions generally sat in the seat of each county and county borough. For Ivybridge this meant at Exeter.

P C Thomas Chubb

was born in 1852 at Bradworthy, a village in north Devon, famous for its old village square, the largest in the Westcountry.

 

Thomas served as a Police Constable in Ivybridge prior to 1891, arriving to the village with his wife, Ellen Elizabeth and two children Thomas Joseph and Ellen Elizabeth, who were both born at Tamerton Foliot.

 

Thomas Chubb and his family lived at 4, Highland Street. This served both as a home and lock-up, the latter comprising of two cells with barred windows. Village lock-ups were used for the temporary detention of local miscreants and the confinement of drunks, who once sober, were released. They were also used to hold individuals being brought before the local magistrate or Justice of the Peace.
The external barred windows at 4 Highland Street, a reminder of its former past.
In 1898, Thomas Chubb retired from the police force aged just 48. However, this was not unusual, the Local Government Board at the time commented “If early retirement appeared a disadvantage to the county it must be remembered that it was beneficial, in so far as the advantages offered secured them better men than they would otherwise obtain” and went on to describe Thomas as a ”first-class constable (merit class)”

 

Thomas was also well respected by the local community of Ivybridge. To mark his retirement from the local police force he was presented with a silver pocket watch, elaborately engraved with the wording “Presented to Thomas Chubb by the inhabitants of Ivybridge … as a mark of esteem”. This watch is now held within our own artefact depository.
Following his retirement from the police Thomas took up the position of postman in the village, living at various addresses in Ivybridge. Thomas Chubb died in 1930 aged 78, at that time living at 7 Keaton Road. A newspaper report documented a rather sad event surrounding his death. Shortly before, he had travelled back to Bradworthy to attend the funeral of his sister. However, during his stay he contracted an illness which unfortunately prevented him from attending the funeral and later he passed away at his sister-in-law’s house in Bradworthy.

 

The bearers at his funeral were members of the Devon Constabulary, his former employer, marking the high esteem Thomas was held in, given that he had retired from the force some 32 years previously. His obituary read “Deceased had done duty as police constable at Ivybridge for many years. He had been a keen sportsman”. 

PC THOMAS CHUBB

Police Constable in Ivybridge

was born in 1852 at Bradworthy, a village in north Devon, famous for its old village square, the largest in the Westcountry.

 

Thomas served as a Police Constable in Ivybridge prior to 1891, arriving to the village with his wife, Ellen Elizabeth and two children Thomas Joseph and Ellen Elizabeth, who were both born at Tamerton Foliot.

 

Thomas Chubb and his family lived at 4, Highland Street. This served both as a home and lock-up, the latter comprising of two cells with barred windows. Village lock-ups were used for the temporary detention of local miscreants and the confinement of drunks, who once sober, were released. They were also used to hold individuals being brought before the local magistrate or Justice of the Peace.
The external barred windows at 4 Highland Street, a reminder of its former past.
In 1898, Thomas Chubb retired from the police force aged just 48. However, this was not unusual, the Local Government Board at the time commented “If early retirement appeared a disadvantage to the county it must be remembered that it was beneficial, in so far as the advantages offered secured them better men than they would otherwise obtain” and went on to describe Thomas as a ”first-class constable (merit class)”

 

Thomas was also well respected by the local community of Ivybridge. To mark his retirement from the local police force he was presented with a silver pocket watch, elaborately engraved with the wording “Presented to Thomas Chubb by the inhabitants of Ivybridge … as a mark of esteem”. This watch is now held within our own artefact depository.
Following his retirement from the police Thomas took up the position of postman in the village, living at various addresses in Ivybridge. Thomas Chubb died in 1930 aged 78, at that time living at 7 Keaton Road. A newspaper report documented a rather sad event surrounding his death. Shortly before, he had travelled back to Bradworthy to attend the funeral of his sister. However, during his stay he contracted an illness which unfortunately prevented him from attending the funeral and later he passed away at his sister-in-law’s house in Bradworthy.

 

The bearers at his funeral were members of the Devon Constabulary, his former employer, marking the high esteem Thomas was held in, given that he had retired from the force some 32 years previously. His obituary read “Deceased had done duty as police constable at Ivybridge for many years. He had been a keen sportsman”.