Thomas Instone

Born: 1829 ~ Died: 30 June 1909 Wolverhampton
Occupation: Police Sergeant
Married: Emma Hales 24 October 1853 ~ St Phillips Birmingham

Born in Ditton Priors, the son of Ann Instance (daughter of Peter and Mary - Peter son of Samuel and Mary) a single mother (who I think married Thomas Blunt on 30 August 1833 and a Thomas Blunt aged 12 was living with them in Lower Penn in 1841 who is probably him; by 1851 Thomas and Ann had returned to Worfield and Thomas was nowhere to be found). Thomas was red haired and blue eyed with a fresh complexion and as an adult was 5' 9" tall and of proportionate figure; he moved to Birmingham and to Lichfield Street in 1853 (at the time of his marriage to Emma) moving to Frieston Street in Ladywood 3 years later in 1856, 7 years later he was to be found at 10 Cromwell Street married with a young family. He had 8 children Elizabeth, Emma A, Alice M, Thomas, Alfred, Emily, Clara and Rosa. They had moved to the back of 7 Smith Street, Aston by 1871 and to 154 Cooksey Rd Small Heath where Emily died in November 1881 aged 15 from TB. Prior to his recruitment in the Police Force he was working for a Mr Whitehouse of Ladywood as a gardener and at the time of his marriage was a labourer.

He joined the Birmingham Police Force on 11 June 1856 aged 27 (examination report) whilst living at Frieston Street Ladywood and married with one child and was posted to the 3rd Division headquarters at Staniforth Street covering Wheeler Street, Summer Lane, Gosta Green and Old Square in Birmingham. He served for 25 years retiring on a pension on 6 March 1881. Interestingly his Police records have his place of birth at Lower Penn, Wolverhampton, Staffs which is probably where he moved to shortly after his birth

Discipline records for Sergeant Instone 3011 (collar numbers PC101, PC 200, PS14, PSE3), are as follows:

11 December 1857

Walking 4 a breast along Belmont Row while on duty

3 days drill

12 July 1859

Absent from his post 40 minutes

Explained 11 Oct 1859

4 September 1860

Absent from part of his beat 1 hour

Explained 9 October 1860

19 February 1861

The Watch Committee were pleased upon the recommendation of the CS to offer PC Instone a reward of 20/- for his corageous and exemplary conduct in apprehending a Burglar in New Canal Street on the morning of the 14th February 1861

view newspaper article

10 February 1863

The Watch Committee were pleased to compliment PC Instone for the active part he took in rescuing the inmates and assisting to extinguish the fire at the 'Bell Inn' Prospect Row on the 1 February 1863

view newspaper article

23 February 1864

Absent from part of his beat 65 minutes 19th January


3 July 1866

Gossiping with a Civilian when on duty 23 June


8 June 1869

Promoted to Rank and Pay of Sergeant

3 July 1871 : 8 DAYS PAID LEAVE

5 April 1872

Not paying proper attention to the Pawn Shop of Mr Atkinson 56 New Town Row


3 June 1872 : 11 DAYS PAID LEAVE

16 June 1873 : 11 DAYS PAID LEAVE

4 May 1874 : 8 DAYS PAID LEAVE

16 June 1874 Joined the Long Service Class

31 May 1875 : 8 DAYS PAID LEAVE

16 November 1875

Promoted to Merit Class Sergeant

22 July 1876 Joined the second stage of Long Service

1 May 1876 : 8 DAYS PAID LEAVE

Out of his 8 children only 2 married and had children: Elizabeth died, Emma A and Alice M ended up as spinsters living together running a grocers shop at 313 Cooksey Road, Thomas married and had 7 boys, Alfred never left home and worked as a railway signalman, Emily died, Clara was a servant and Rosa married John Tredwell. His wife Emma died in 1898 from Chronic Meningitis suffering over an 18 month period (aged 66) at 5 Harris Road Aston, Birmingham and he died in 1909 (aged 80) from Nephritis, at his daughter Rosa's house 61 Sherwood Street, Wolverhampton; she was there at his side.