Constable Crimes - surely not!

You would think that my namesakes would avoid making a career in law enforcement
- but you'd be wrong! I've found a surprising number of people who have done just that. Remember that all variants (Chrimes, Crimes, Chrymes and Crymes) are pronounced "crimes". Here are the ones who I have found so far:

The three earliest references are to "constables":

  • William CRIMES b.1792 Chester was appointed as constable of Trinity Ward at Chester in 1823.
  • Thomas CRIMES was cautioned as a 'Constable of Ward' for refusing to attend to duty at Chester in 1829. Unfortunately I have not yet identified this Thomas.
  • Samuel CRIMES was described as "constable of the township of Halton" in a notice of reward in 1830. Unfortunately I have not yet identified this Samuel.

Bearing in mind that the first proper police force was not established in England until 1829 (in London), William, Thomas and Samuel were very early provincial "constables" indeed.

There are two cases where the son followed the father into the profession:

  • Arthur CHRIMES b.1869 Warrington was a Police Officer for at least 25 years. His son Arthur b.1894 Warrington followed in his footsteps. The son's marriage certificate (above) confirms this finding neatly as does this extract from the Burnley Express of 18 September 1946: "The forthcoming retirement on pension from the Burnley Police Force is announced, of .... Sergt. Arthur Chrimes.....Sergt. Chrimes, who lives at 31 Cleaver Street is the son of a Warrington police pensioner. In the 1914-8 war he served in France with the South Lancashire Regiment. He joined the Force in 1921, and for some time served in the Fire Brigade. For seven years he was in the chief clerk's department, and in 1938 was promoted sergeant."
  • Joseph CRIMES b.1878 Gawsworth was a Police Constable in Liverpool starting sometime before 1901. His son Joseph William CRIMES b.1908 Liverpool followed in his footsteps and, coincident with the Warrington pair above, also rose to be Sergeant.

We also find that (in chronological order):

  • Samuel CRIMES b.1821 Rusholme, Manchester was a "Trouper" in Australia. See story Samuel CRIMES - Bigamist and Policeman for Samuel's intriguing life story.
  • Thomas CHRIMES b.1854 Shropshire was a Police Constable at Wellington, Shropshire.
  • Ernest CHRIMES b.1882 Norley, Cheshire was a Constable during his short time in Queensland, Australia
  • William Harry CRIMES b.1894 Tarvin, Cheshire was a Railway Police Constable in Cheshire
  • Victor CHRIMES b.1942 Hale, Cheshire was a Police Constable at Sheffield in 1966
  • John Edward CRIMES b.1954 Lewisham was a Police Constable at Ellesmere Port at the time of his marriage in 1975

One example stands out here - that of Thomas CHRIMES b.1775 Warrington who was the son of a humble brewer and slater. Thomas had 12 siblings, but 6 of them died in infancy. Despite this tragedy, of Thomas's surviving siblings, his brother Joseph's son Joseph became mayor of Warrington, and his brother Edward founded the highly successful CHRIMES of Rotherham dynasty. Thomas moved to London before 1807, which is where he became an Articled Clerk in 1809. By 1816 he had risen to be an "attorney". He died in 1834 at the age of 58 years.
Thomas's son, Thomas CHRIMES b.1807 London had also become an "attorney" by 1841 and had retired to Brighton before his death at the age of 52 years.

Others in the legal profession include 4 within the Virginia branch of CRYMES:

  • Thomas CRYMES b.1840 South Carolina was an Attorney at Athens, Georgia
  • Thomas Neblette CRYMES b.1889 Virginia was a Lawyer/Attorney for 40 years at Surry, Virginia
  • John Westmoreland CRYMES b.1893 South Carolina was an Attorney for 20 years at Greenwood, South Carolina
  • Henry Minor CRYMES b.1903 Mississippi was an Attorney/Lawyer for 40 years at Memphis, Tennessee


  • Samuel Wesley CHRIMES b.1914 Norley was a Company Solicitor in Northwich, Cheshire. The court hearing for his divorce from his first wife was reported in full sordid detail in the local newspaper with Samuel Wesley, who represented himself, failing in his petition. Surprisingly for a solicitor, he appears to have died intestate.

David CHRIMES and Deborah CHRIMES work in the legal profession.

Not only is it surprising to me that ANY of my namesakes have chosen a career in law enforcement and the legal profession, but it seems that the number is disproportionally high compared to the general population. I have not attempted to prove this analytically, so perhaps it's a case of - if you look hard enough for something, you'll find it.

Of course, there have been plenty of cases where my namesakes have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, charges ranging from riding a bicycle without a light to murder. See, for instance, the stories on this website:

Can you help? Do you have any further information or comments on this story?

March 2019 David Chrimes

Return to List of Stories