Specialising in police, criminal and legal history, Masonic history and Northamptonshire local history, Monkshood Publishing is a small, independent book publisher established by Richard Cowley (a Cowl is a Monk's Hood) to publish and market his own books. But other author's works are published if considered interesting enough.

Based in Kettering in Northamptonshire, England, Monkshood Publishing has three imprints :

Peg and Whistle Books for police, criminal and legal history

Hooded Lion Books for Northamptonshire local history and

Twin Pillars Books for Masonic history.


Richard Cowley

Richard Cowley is a retired Northamptonshire Police officer. Born in Finedon in Northamptonshire, he became an apprentice compositor in the printing trade. Subsequently, he worked in estimating and production planning before becoming a typographer and graphic designer. He still retains a keen interest in printing history and typography.

In 1968 he joined the then Northampton and County Constabulary as a Special Constable before joining the regular constabulary two years later. Always stationed in the north of the county, he served in large towns, small villages, desk jobs and specialist squads, and along the way, picked up his interest in police, criminal and legal history.

He graduated from the Open University with a BA in Modern History, before going on to gain an MA in Victorian Studies from Leicester University. He has written one previous book : Policing Northamptonshire 1836-1986 in 1986, which is now being re-written to bring it up to date, and will be re-published in 2010. In 2005 he was commissioned by the Home Office to write the history of the Inspectorate of Constabulary for the 150th anniversary of its establishment.
Now retired, he is the Curator and Archivist of Northamptonshire Police; and also the Curator and Archivist of Northamptonshire Saint John Ambulance, of which he has been a member for 25 years, and which in 2006 awarded him the dignity of a Serving Brother of the Venerable Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.

Married to Valerie, they both enjoy their six grand-children and two great-grand-children.