Sir Robert Peel
On the esplanade in Piccadilly stands the grand statue of Sir Robert Peel who was responsible for the introduction of one of the iconic figures of British culture the British Policeman known around the world as a "bobbie" after him.

Peel was born in Bury in 1750 the son of a successful calico printer.  He was educated at Harrow and Oxford and went on to have a brilliant political career.  He was elected as an MP at the age of 21 and by 1822 he was appointed as Home Secretary.  It was duriung this period that he introduced radical changes to policing through the introduction of the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829.  It set up an organised police force for London, with 17 divisions, each with 4 inspectors and 144 constables. It was to be controlled from Scotland Yard, and answerable to the Home Secretary.  The constables were known as 'Peelers' and 'Bobbies' after their founder, and wore a dark blue longcoat and a tall hat which they could use to stand on and look over walls.  Peel went on to hold the post of Prime Minister.  He died suddenly in 1850 following a fall from a horse while riding in Hyde Park.

The statue was cast in Pimlico and transported to Manchester in 1853.  It was unveiled in October of that year.


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