With the death of Captain Charles Napier in 1867, advertisements were placed for his successor in a series of newspapers:
Advertisement for New Chief Constable
25th January 1867 - Candidates for the appointment of Chief Constable for the County of Glamorgan are requested to send in testimonials, stating age, and other particulars required by the Standing Orders of HM Secretary of State for the Home Department, addressed "Glamorgan Constabulary" on or before the 20th day of February 1867. No candidate must be above the age of 45 years and if selected by the Justices, must be subject to the approval of HM said Secretary of State. The salary is £450 clear of income tax, with an allowance of £50 per annum towards the expenses of a clerk.
"Several candidates have already announced themselves for the appointment vacated by the death of Captain Napier. Colonel Gore Lindsay (a son-in-law of Lord Tredegar's) and Captain A. Traherne, being among the most promising. Both gentlemen have issued canvassing circulars to the magistrates."
The following newspaper report from an unnamed source is damming of how Chief Constables are appointed. The report promotes controversy by recognising Superintendent Wrenn as a worthy candidate, and recognises the unfairness behind the way decisions are made. In the period of 20 years that Wrenn spent at Merthyr, he acquired a reputation that would have taken him to the top of his profession, had it not been for the class barrier which had existed for nearly one 100 years. This made it impossible for a professional policeman to become Chief Constable:
An Attractive Position
25th January 1867 - "The vacant Chief Constableship of Glamorgan as a position of more dignity and profit than drudgery is likely to be eagerly sought after. The only names we hear mentioned as standing even the ghost of a chance of appointment, amongst the police chiefs, are those of Superintendent Stockdale (Cardiff) and Superintendent Wrenn of the Merthyr District of the County Force. If excellence, merit and quality were likely to guide in the selection there would be no need to look further for the successful candidate. But "blood will tell" in matters of this kind, and pedigree and high connections are expected to be taken more into account than anything else.
There are numbers of magistrates on the County list who never officiate as such and not even reside in the County, but they are all sure to be present when an appointment like the Chief Constable is to be filled, and how can it be expected of them, who are themselves sinecurists in the magistrates of Glamorgan by its honour without participating in its labours, to recognise long and efficient service as a good claim to promotion. If the working magistrates of the County were disposed to confer the Chief Constableship on a deserving officer now in the force, one whose reputation would be a guarantee at once to the whole County of the fitness of the selection, they would probably be outvoted by non-resident colleagues."
22 February 1867 - "For the vacant office of Head Constable of this County there are over 100 applicants. To anyone acquainted with the prodigious amount of testimonials which accompany applications of this kind it must be evident that to examine the claims of each candidate carefully and impartially would require more time than the magistrates can devote to it in one day. And yet the claims of each candidate should be carefully and impartially considered, or advertising for them may be a mockery and a delusion - a preference may be given where there are no merits to warrant it, and no effort is made to secure the fulfilment of the good English maxim in having "the right man in the right place."
"The Lord Lieutenant has manifestly taken the right course to have this appointment made on the merits without the leaven of personal friendship or political bias being permitted to influence the Court."
"We are given to understand that he will be at the meeting at Bridgend on Tuesday next, move for the appointment of a committee to make a selection of a few of the applicants who seem best qualified for the vacant situation, and to have their names and recommendation laid before the Court of Quarter Sessions by which the appointment will be finally made..... In some quarters however it is rumoured that an attempt will be made to have the appointment settled at the meeting at Bridgend in favour of the relative of a noble Lord belonging to the County. We cannot believe that this will be the case. The dodge referred to would be utterly unworthy of a gentleman, and would be as abhorrent to the feelings of the nobleman in question, as it would be to his friends, even though successful."
23 February 1867 – "Upwards of 70 gentlemen have applied for this post. There is much diligent canvassing, and it is said that a special train has been ordered in the name of Lord Tredegar to convey to Bridgend supporters of Colonel Lindsay, a son-in-law of his Lordship."
1 March 1867 - "Chief Constableship. It is suggested that in the event of any of the naval candidates being elected to this much-coveted position, a new police vocabulary will be needed. Instead of "move on" it should be "steer ahead, you lubber;" for "stop," "ground your anchor," also "port your helm" and "starboard" according to the needs of the case. The analysis of the list of candidates shows the following: 3 Colonels, 6 Lieutenant Colonels, 7 Majors, 38 Captains, 7 Lieutenants, 1 ensign. Naval: 2 Captains, 3 Commanders, 1 Lieutenant. Also 1 Governor of a Gaol, 3 Irish Constabulary Officers, 1 from the Railway Police, 1 Bank Accountant and 1 Superintendent of Police. Military men seem to have made a dead set for the Chief Constableship, but in Scotland there is only one military man, based at Aberdeen, and yet it is very clear that the service at Scotland is well carried out."
15 March 1867 - "The meeting of the Committee appointed at the last Court of Quarter Sessions to examine the testimonials of the various candidates took place last Tuesday."
"The Committee selected 8 gentlemen as the most eligible. We understand that although the very excellent Superintendent of Merthyr, Mr Henry Wrenn, is not one of the 8 candidates, he received the support of the Lord Lieutenant and other gentlemen, a sufficient guarantee of the estimation in which Mr Wrenn is held by those who are best capable of judgement of his qualifications."
22 March 1867 - "On Monday last, the dreariest of Winter days, was performed the last act in the appointment of a Chief Constable for the County of Glamorgan. Large as was the attendance of magistrates - 83 - there is no doubt there would have been considerably more if the weather had not been genial, or we should say more seasonal. As it was, amongst others who were prevented from attending by the heavy fall of snow, which made many of the County Roads impassable, was the Chairman of the County Sessions himself His place was taken by Richard Bassett Esq."
"It was known from the first that no stranger would have a chance with those candidates who in addition to having the advantage of the highest testimonials, were personally known to many of the magistrates, and the asking of 6 other gallant officers to present themselves for inspection was a procedure we could never quite understand. We are surprised that 5 of them actually responded to the invitation, for it is incredible that after the proceedings of the last meeting they should have cherished the hope of success.
On the retirement of Captain Treherne, the local candidates were reduced to 2, Lieutenant Colonel Lindsay and Commander Nicholl. Either was beyond question well qualified for the appointment, but a large majority of the magistrates appear to have thought that a soldier was better qualified for the duties of the office than a sailor."
Election of County Chief Constable
22 March 1867 - "Votes were taken and upon the first Division appeared: Lieutenant Colonel Lindsay, 46 votes; Lieutenant Colonel Nicholl, 15 votes; Lieutenant Colonel Stevens, 13 votes; Captain Lyon, 5 votes; Captain Luard, 5 votes; Captain Hurley, 1 vote; Lieutenant Colonel Masters, nil; Colonel Desborough, nil (did not appear).
The lowest 4 were then struck out and the Court again divided, the following being the result:
Lieutenant Colonel Lindsay, 51 votes; Lieutenant Colonel Nicholl, 17 votes; Lieutenant Colonel Stevens, 10 votes.
Lieutenant Colonel Lindsay thanked the magistrates for his election and assured them that he would use his best efforts to discharge the duties of the office in an efficient and satisfactory manner."
30 March 1867 - "The remarks we felt it our duty to make last week on the appointment of the Chief Constable of Glamorgan, have elicited expressions of concurrence in our views from quarters where approval and approbation cannot be but gratifying. We are pleased to find that although Superintendent Wrenn's name was not even among the 8 selected candidates, yet there are not a few of the most enlightened magistrates of the County who feel an injustice has been done to the Police Force in passing over all its officers as if not one were worthy of promotion.
We learn also that the choice actually made has not given satisfaction in the quarters where it might have sought approval, in military circles. The claims of Chief Constable Lindsay as a military man, we are assured on the highest authority, were not comparable at all with those of some of the other military gentlemen who applied. We have therefore before us a letter from a distinguished army officer (who was not a candidate) and is in fact far above the necessity of competing for such an appointment.
He explained indignantly that such men as Stevens, Luard and Mollam should not have been thrown out for a young gentleman whose testimonials are trifles compared with theirs. Captain Lindsay's testimonials show he did his duty as a n officer of a company - but could scarce help it without showing want of ordinary respect, but those out of 3 colonels who came forward showed that, holding office in high and trying situations, they were men of greatest ability........etc. There is a great difference between a staff officer and one who has held command and an officer in Lindsay's position who had no responsibility but to obey.
Another letter received says that there were at least 12 better men, but hunting and shooting privately in the Monmouthshire borders carried the day."
Colonel Gore Lindsey - 2nd Chief Constable of the Glamorgan Constabulary (Click Here)