©  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 16, 2019
Webpage updated: January 02, 2020




Frederick Wreford was born at Morchard Bishop, near Crediton, Devon, on October 28th 1831.  His parents, Mr John and Mrs Tammy Wreford, ran the village grocers and drapery store.

Mr Frederick Wreford married Miss Ellen Kingdon at Callington, in Cornwall, on April 25th 1851.  Their first son, John, was born at Morchard Bishop, Devon, in 1852.  According to his Obituary he joined the Cornwall Constabulary as a supernumerary Constable and rapidly gained promotion to Inspector.  He then transferred to the Hampshire Constabulary, where he was promoted almost immediately and posted to Winchester.  This ties up with the fact that their daughter, Louisa, was born at Hartley Wintney, in Hampshire, in 1857.  Frederick returned to the Cornwall Constabulary and while there, in 1859, his wife gave birth to their third child and second son, Frederick.  Sadly, Mrs Ellen Wreford died later that year, leaving Frederick with a young baby to look after.

Luckily help was at hand and at Callington on April 19th 1860 Mr Frederick Wreford married for the second time, to a Miss Fanny Jackman. whose father was a butcher in Tavistock.

It would appear that this emergency caused Frederick to leave the police force as at the time of the census in 1861 he was listed as a grocer assisting his parents in the store at Morchard Bishop.

He joined the Plymouth Borough Police in 1863 as a First Class Inspector.  Upon the retirement of Superintendent Freeman in 1866, he received the rank of Acting Superintendent.  In February 1867 he became Chief Superintendent.  Mr Wreford was appointed Chief Constable of the Plymouth Borough Police in 1879.

During early 1891 he was seized with a severe attack of influenza and with the additional problem of a complication of disorders, he tendered his resignation but agreed to stay in post until a successor could be appointed.  He had served as Chief Constable for thirteen years.

Mr Frederick Wreford passed away peacefully at 6.20pm on the evening of Monday April 25th 1892.  He was 60 years of age.  His wife and Chief Inspector Gasking were present at the death and Mr Charles Wreford, described as his 'only son', arrived shortly afterwards.

Although a strict disciplinarian, he was king in manner and always supported the reasonable demands of his staff at Watch Committee meetings.  He was responsible for the introduction of the eight hour working day in the Plymouth force.

His funeral on Friday April 29th 1892 was a large affair.  Leaving from his home at 17 Addison Road, the long cortège proceeded up Tavistock Road and along Mutley Plain to the upper gate of the Plymouth Cemetery, where the body of escorting police officers lined the roadway from the entrance to the chapel.  The escort comprised 25 men from the Plymouth Borough Police, under Chief Inspector Gasking and Inspectors Wood, Warne, Yabsley, Scantlebury and Dart; 20 men from the Devonport Borough Police, under Superintendent Evans and Inspectors Matters and Webber; 20 members of H Division, Devon County Constabulary, under the direction of Superintendent Ackland-Allen and Sergeants Dawson and Grylls; 17 men from the Metropolitan Police at the Royal Dockyard, under the command of Inspector Morman; and a contingent from the Garrison Military Police led by Sergeant O'Brien.  Also present were men from the Plymouth Borough Fire Brigade, led by Engineer McKeer and the East Stonehouse Fire Brigade, under the command of Superintendent Blight.  The Mayor of Plymouth, Mr F W Harris, led a large group of representatives from the Borough Council.

The officiating minister was the reverend J C Wright, of King Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, and the funeral arrangements were undertaken by Mr J S Adams on behalf of Messrs Spooner and Company.