Meaning of Bow Street Runner in English:

Bow Street Runner

Pronunciation /ˈbəʊ/


  • The popular name for a London policeman during the first half of the 19th century.

    ‘Byrne, described by the Bow Street Runner as a ‘very human kind man’ did not testify.’
    • ‘Well, as I'm sure you know, the Bow Street Runners were the precursors to the Metropolitan Police.’
    • ‘By then, the Bow Street Runners were 70 strong and London had a total of 120 full-time police officers.’
    • ‘His successor, Fielding, commissioned half a dozen constables known as the Bow Street Runners in 1749.’
    • ‘The renowned Bow Street Runners were established here but it was also a haunt for criminals.’
    • ‘The Bow Street Runners gained the trust of a disillusioned public and soon became widely revered.’
    • ‘The Bow Street Runners operated with no official authority and were always a plain clothes force.’
    • ‘London's greatest beauty and most notorious madam employs the services of a disgraced Bow Street Runner to keep her safe from a stalker.’
    • ‘Wasting no time in a reload, the Bow Street Runner dropped his spent Colliers, and pulled two squat .66 Newarks from the voluminous pockets of his great coat and fired again.’
    • ‘These became known as Bow Street Runners and are the forerunners of the police force which was not formed until the early part of the 19th Century.’
    • ‘The famous Bow Street Runners were formed by Henry Fielding.’
    • ‘The Bow Street Runners travelled all over the country in search of criminals and gained a reputation for honesty and efficiency.’
    • ‘Grant Morgan was the hero of my first Bow Street Runner novel, Someone To Watch Over Me, and afterward he played significant parts in Lady Sophia's Lover and Worth Any Price.’
    • ‘I have co-written the first in a new mystery series called Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner.’
    • ‘Later they became known as the Bow Street Runners, maintaining order until Sir Robert Peel established the Metropolitan police in 1829.’
    • ‘Initially nicknamed Robin Redbreasts, on account of their scarlet waistcoats, the constables came to be known as the Bow Street Runners.’
    • ‘These first constables were later to become known as the Bow Street Runners.’
    • ‘Hunting down highwaymen was not the usual preserve of a Bow Street Runner.’
    • ‘All the cases in the book are real and are described by the author himself in ‘Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner.’’
    • ‘The association would usually advertise a reward following an offence committed against a member and would also pay the fees of a Bow Street Runner together with prosecution expenses in certain cases.’


Named after Bow Street in London, site of the chief metropolitan magistrates' court.