Date added: 16 Feb 2015
William Henry Pearce was born in Sussex in 1793.In August 1807 at the age of 14 he joined the 91st regiment (Argyllshire and Sutherland Highlanders) and served with them until August 1814 by which time he had been promoted to Sergeant.
In 1815 he joined the 18th Hussars and fought at the Battle of Waterloo. He left the army in 1819 with the rank of Drill Sergeant Major.
In November 1819 he joined the Royal Irish Constabulary as a Constable and served in a number of counties including Limerick, Meath and Kings County. On 1st May1822 he was promoted to 1st Sub-inspector and on 1st March 1839 he was promoted to 3rd County Inspector. On 8th January 1844 he was promoted again to 2nd County Inspector, the rank he held until he resigned on 1st May 1847 on being appointed Glasgow's first Chief Superintendent. The Post of Chief Superintendent was created at that time following the amalgamation of Glasgow Police with three surrounding burghs of Calton, Gorbals and Anderson the previous year.
William Pearce served only one year before resigning on 10th April 1848 due to severe criticism levelled at the Glasgow Police for their handling of a serious riot on 6th and 7th March 1848 in which two men were killed.
Submitted by Ian Pearce