Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Mayne, Richard

MAYNE, Sir RICHARD (1796–1868), police commissioner, fourth son of Edward Mayne, one of the judges of the court of king's bench in Ireland, was born in Dublin on 27 Nov. 1796. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated B.A. in 1818, and then, proceeding to Trinity College, Cambridge, was incorporated B.A. in 1818, and proceeded M.A. in 1821. He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn on 9 Feb. 1822, and went the northern circuit. On the institution of the metropolitan police, 29 Sept. 1829, Colonel (afterwards Sir) Charles Rowan and Mayne were appointed joint-commissioners, and in 1850, on the resignation of the former, the latter became chief commissioner. With his colleague he had to raise, organise, and train a small army, to instruct them in duties hitherto unknown in England, and to teach them to discharge their office with patience and consideration. In addition, a system had to be created dealing with great public gatherings and for controlling street traffic. Great ability, industry, and patience had to be exercised, and much active service by day and night. The number of police ultimately under his command reached about seven thousand men. The portion forming the X Division Mayne originally recruited to take charge of the International Exhibition of 1862. In July 1866, during the Hyde Park riots, Mayne was ill-treated by some of the mob. But his management of the police was very successful during his long tenure of office. For his services he was created a C.B., 29 April 1848, and on the close of the Great Exhibition of 1851 was promoted to be K.C.B. on 25 Oct. He died at 80 Chester Square, London, 26 Dec. 1868, and on 30 Dec. was buried in Kensal Green cemetery, where a monument to his memory was unveiled on 25 Jan. 1871. In 1831 he married Georgiana Marianne Catherine, eldest daughter of Thomas Carvick of Wyke, Yorkshire. She was granted a civil list pension of 150l. on 21 April 1870.

His son, Richard Charles Mayne (1835–1892), admiral, was educated at Eton, and entered the navy in 1847. After serving in the Baltic and Black Seas and the Sea of Azof in 1854–5, he went out to New Zealand, where he was wounded in 1863, and commanded the survey expedition to the Straits of Magellan (1866–9). He retired with the rank of rear-admiral on 27 Nov. 1879, and was made a C.B., and on 26 Nov. 1885 was gazetted a retired vice-admiral. After unsuccessfully contesting the parliamentary representation of the Pembroke and Haverfordwest district in the conservative interest in 1885, he was returned in 1886. He died suddenly, after attending a Welsh national banquet at the Mansion House, London, on 29 May 1892. He was author of ‘Four Years in British Columbia and Vancouver Island,’ 1862, and of ‘Sailing Directions for Magellan Straits and Channels leading to the Gulf of Penas,’ 1871 (Times, 30 May 1892).

[Law Times, 1869, xlvi. 178; Register and Magazine of Biography, 1869, i. 113–15, 358; Times, 28 Dec. 1868 p. 7, 29 Dec. pp. 6, 7; Illustr. London News, 1869 liv. 23, 45, 1871 lviii. 117.]

G. C. B.