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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > Monro, Commisioner James

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  #1  
Old 10-20-2012, 10:57 AM
Phil Carter Phil Carter is offline
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Default A question regarding a Knighthood

Hello all,

I have a question that would like some ideas and thoughts to mull over.

I believe I am correct in saying that Monro was and still is,to date(?), the only ex-Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police who has never recieved the honour of a Knighthood? Why?

From what I can see from his appointment after Warren, and the work that he did whilst Warren was in charge himself, he has done nothing that would disqualify him from recieving such an honour. I may be wrong. I realise that the dedication he had for the everyday policeman and the conditions of work they had may not have enamoured him to some, but in being presented the Commissionership, the political faith in him was not only restored but shown that in being chosen, the powers that be believed him to be the best man for the job.

I would also ask another question in relation to all of this. In the written memoirs discovered a while back in Monro's family cupboard, as it were, which do not mention JTR, is there any reference to retirement, knighthood etc? If so, is there a possibility that the person(s) who are in posession of these documents could kindly post any of this material on these boards for our perusal? (I do not factually know who it is that currently posesses them, but presume the family has ownership). If not, would it be possible for the said people to again contact the family for permission to post on here?

I look forward to all ideas and replies.

With respect to all parties concerned.

best wishes

Phil
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:00 AM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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Some people have, can and do, refuse the honour - for personal, political or moral reasons.

I don't know whether anyone would do so in the much more socially conscious C19th, but they do today.

It occurs to me that you have to be NOMINATED for an honour, so if those in the Home Office wished ill of Munro they could have decided not to put his name forward. He had quarrelled with warren and left his post after a further argument, so maybe that was the rweason.

You ask good and pertinent questions though.

Phil H
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:28 AM
Phil Carter Phil Carter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil H View Post
Some people have, can and do, refuse the honour - for personal, political or moral reasons.

I don't know whether anyone would do so in the much more socially conscious C19th, but they do today.

It occurs to me that you have to be NOMINATED for an honour, so if those in the Home Office wished ill of Munro they could have decided not to put his name forward. He had quarrelled with warren and left his post after a further argument, so maybe that was the rweason.

You ask good and pertinent questions though.

Phil H
Hello Phil H,

Thanks for the excellent reply.

Yes, you are quite correct that nomination is of course the due course..but I admit to being puzzled as to why specifically only Monro would have enraged the Home Office enough to have warrented being overlooked and or even snubbed re nomination? The Home Office have, since, never taken this action since (as far as I am aware..please correct me if need be) in conjunction with this particular post.

The quarrel with Warren was pre Commissionership, and it should be mentioned that he was still working in the background for the Met before his appointment to Commissioner, after his resignation in connection with his series of disagreements with Warren, no?

Religious views can also something to do with refusing to accept honours. We know that Monro was of the same ilk as Anderson, yet we know that Anderson accepted HIS knighthood.
It may also be mentioned that some Freemasons refuse to accept honours, in conjunction with in house tradition, I am led to believe. (again, I could be wrong here).
Are there many personal views you have heard of for refusing awards Phil H?
Anti-Royalists of course may object on grounds of political principle. I do not believe we have reason to believe Monro falls into this catagory, though?

A personal friend recieved a CBE a few years ago before his death for his work at the NPL (National Physical Laboratory, Teddington) over many years, and when I asked him the general feeling within HIS workplace regarding awards, he said that he knew of nobody who refused an honour based on any personal views.

You mention the political climate of the late 1800's, and feel fairly sure that an objector would be a very rare being in those days, I agree.

So perhaps the family and or those in posession of the Monro papers can shed a little light on this subject?

best wishes

Phil
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Last edited by Phil Carter : 10-20-2012 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:13 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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In my day as a civil servent, (John Major - I think - changed things), certain military ranks and levels of civil servant automatically got a "gong" to assist with their standing and authority. Whether that applied in Munro's day, I know not.

A bot on the reputation, as it were, might mean that an honour was withheld. Noel Coward's knighthood was withheld for many years because he was believed to have avoided tax during the war (or something similar); John Gielgud's because he was done for soliciting.

I know of people today who would refuse an honour if offered. In terms of famous people, I believe Paul Scofield (the actor) always declined offers.

Phil H
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:13 PM
Robert Robert is offline
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Hi Phil H

Do you mean, Paul Scofield was offered the same honour more than once? I had always somehow assumed that once someone turned down an honour, they'd ruled themselves out permanently.
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:31 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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I don't know. But when you are THAT eminent in your field, I suppose they might recheck after a time. As far as I know Scofield never accepted honours, certainly not a "Sir".

Phil H
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:50 PM
Sally Sally is offline
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For those interested, details of honours can be found here:

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:07 PM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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Hi Phil,

I've often wondered about this myself. It certainly doesn't seem that Monro turned down any honors, but instead was refused them. I haven't read his memoir, but it's been described as the attempt of an angry man to defend himself. And apparently something behind the scenes occurred that caused his colleagues to view him with some measure of disgust. I can't remember specifics right now, but I read something to that effect. Monro disgraced himself in some way.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:27 PM
lynn cates lynn cates is offline
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Default upset

Hello Phil, Tom. I was under the impression that his resignation had upset Her majesty?

Cheers.
LC
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:05 PM
Simon Wood Simon Wood is offline
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Hi All,

James Monro C.B., variously described as an honest and decent man, badly blotted his copybook during the Cleveland Street affair.

A family account tells of him being offered a knighthood [KCB] as an inducement to toe the government line—something we know he refused to do.

Monro's resignation had little to do with pensions, and Lord Salisbury, in writing about the matter to Queen Victoria, really stuck the boot in about him.

Regards,

Simon
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