Douglas Labalmondière

Douglas Labalmondière

Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas William Parish Labalmondière CB (1815–8 March 1893) was the first Assistant Commissioner (Administrative) of the London Metropolitan Police and acted as Commissioner for three months in 1868–1869.

Labalmondière was descended from an aristocratic French family who had established sugar plantations in the West Indies. He was educated at Eton College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, where he passed out at the head of the list with exceptional honours, and was commissioned an Ensign in the 83rd Regiment of Foot (County of Dublin Regiment) (later the Royal Irish Rifles). He served in Canada, 1837–1838, carried dispatches during Mackenzie's Rebellion and Papineau's Rebellion, and was promoted Lieutenant. He was promoted Captain in 1844. In 1848–1849, he served in Ireland during the Irish Potato Famine, with special duties under the Poor Law Commissioners.

In 1850, he retired on half pay as a Lieutenant-Colonel and joined the Metropolitan Police as its second Inspecting Superintendent, effectively functioning as deputy to the two Joint Commissioners, Sir Richard Mayne and Captain William Hay (who had been his predecessor as Inspecting Superintendent). He was made a Companion of the Bath (CB) for his services in policing the Great Exhibition in 1851 and in 1855 was selected to attend Queen Victoria in Paris.

In 1856, after Hay's death and the reorganisation of the police, Labalmondière was appointed Assistant Commissioner (Administrative). He was responsible for administration and discipline, with the Assistant Commissioner (Executive), Captain W. C. Harris, being responsible for supplies, buildings and other such business. Mayne was now the sole Commissioner. One of Labalmondière's duties was to make quarterly inspections of every police station and station house, with every tour of inspection taking nineteen days.

After Mayne's death on 26 December 1868, Labalmondière acted as Commissioner until the appointment of Colonel Edmund Henderson three months later. He continued to serve Henderson and his successor, Sir Charles Warren, as Assistant Commissioner until his retirement in 1888.

Police appointments
Preceded by
William Hay
Inspecting Superintendent, Metropolitan Police
Succeeded by
Last incumbent
Preceded by
First incumbent
Assistant Commissioner (Administrative), Metropolitan Police
Succeeded by
Alexander Carmichael Bruce
Preceded by
Sir Richard Mayne
Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

Succeeded by
Edmund Henderson


  • The Times
  • Martin Fido & Keith Skinner, The Official Encyclopedia of Scotland Yard (Virgin Books, London:1999)

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