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Romford Outrage summary

The Romford Outrage

The Romford Outrage: the murder of Inspector Thomas Simmons, 1885
by Linda Rhodes & Kathryn Abnett

Inspector Thomas Simmons of Romford was shot near Bretons House on the Upper Rainham Road in January 1885, and died four days later. The search for his killers culminated in the murder of PC Joseph Byrnes at Plumpton in Cumberland. This meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated book describes the crimes, the country-wide manhunt, court cases and executions (including the triple hanging of Rudge, Martin & Baker in Carlisle). The illustrations include previously unpublished views of old Romford, together with newly-discovered prison photographs of the criminals.

Reviewed in the Essex Family Historian: "There are numerous illustrations, plus a list of sources with further reading and an index. The authors have meticulously researched all the aspects of Victorian police work in connection with the murders, in great detail. A graphic and very readable case study".


The book is published by Wharncliffe/Pen & Sword Books, rrp 12.99, and is available at bookshops. Click here to purchase the Romford Outrage on Amazon.co.uk.

In 2010 a memorial to Inspector Simmons was unveiled to mark the 125th anniversary of the murder. Click here to find out more.

To book a talk on the Romford Outrage, please click here.

Links to details of our other true crime books:

The Dagenham Murder: the brutal killing of PC George Clark, 1846
Foul Deeds & Suspicious Deaths in Barking, Dagenham & Chadwell Heath

Right: the grave of Thomas Simmons at Romford's Crow Lane Cemetery
Below: the book launch at the Essex Police Museum, with an interested spectator


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