Officer Francis M. Doyle

Officer Francis M. Doyle

Metropolitan Police Department, District of Columbia

End of Watch Friday, December 29, 1871

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Francis M. Doyle

Officer Francis Doyle was shot and killed as he and several other officers attempted to force entry into a home at 339 Maryland Avenue while conducting an investigation. Officers had gone to the home earlier in an attempt to recover a stolen watch and were held off by the suspect's wife. When the officers returned the forced the door open but were immediately fired at by the woman. Officer Doyle was struck in the chest and killed instantly.

The woman was charged with murdering Officer Doyle but acquitted at trial.

Officer Doyle was a U.S. Navy Veteran of the Civil War. He had served with the Metropolitan Police Department for five years and was survived by his wife and three children. He was buried at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Acquitted

Most Recent Reflection

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Born in Limerick, Ireland son of Peter & Catherine (Nash) Doyle. Prior to his police service, Private Doyle was employed as a blacksmith at Washington's Navy Yard, in the 1850's and early 1860's. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in Captain Robert Clarke's Company of DC Infantry, on April 24, 1861. serving a three month enlistment and being discharged on July 24, 1861. He reenlisted in the Navy on March 2, 1865, serving as a firemen on the Man-O-War Wabash until his discharge on April 18, 1867.

*Captain Robert Clarke's Company" is "Major Robert Washington Clarke" who is Francis Michael Doyle's Uncle Michael Nash's 2nd Wife's (Ann Maria (Clarke) Nash) Brother."

*Francis brother, Peter George Doyle lived in Richmond before the war & fought for the Confederacy (Yes brothers on Both sides!) their father was beaten while bookkeeping at Tredegar Foundry 19 Oct 1861 & family story handed down was that he went to NY looking for work, we have found no sign of him after the violent assault (The family never mentioned he was assaulted)

22 Feb 1860 National Intelligencer lists "Special Police" Francis' cousin William Nash was listed & maybe when the family started serving..

On February 15, 1868, Francis Michael Doyle was appointed as a member of the Metropolitan Police Department, and would serve continuously until his untimely end.

Private Doyle's funeral was held On December 31, at his home, 340 K Street SW, with Reverend Father Call officiating. Following the service, a funeral cortege was formed with fifty-two police officers under the command of Lieutenant Gessford, conveying his remains to Congressional Cemetery for interment.

not sure where 16 Oct 1858 came from but I have the newspaper clipping that states the 18th that Francis & Ellen Married

* His son Robert Emmet Doyle was born 24 Feb 1871 grew up to become a Captain DC Policeman like his father...
*WALT WHITMAN Was Present at his Funeral & wrote his mother about it

Please take the time to look at Francis Michael Doyle's Memorial on Find a Grave I have also added quite a bit of info to that. & if anybody would like to read the Full Story from the Evening Star 30 Dec 1871
Here is my Cousin in our family tree with lots of supporting records see the Gallery for more newspaper Clippings, you are more the welcome to use everything!

I know you don't want website addresses so you don't have to post this but the sites I have left you have Francis Michael Doyle's Bio & would really fill in the gaps you have here.... Take Care & Have A Nice Day! :)

Jen Hill
Cousin 4x Removed & Genealogist

November 14, 2016

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