As one of their first acts after end of the War of the Castilian Succession in 1479, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile established the centrally-organized and efficient Holy Brotherhood as a national police force.They adapted an existing brotherhood to the purpose of a general police acting under officials appointed by themselves, and endowed with great powers of summary jurisdiction even in capital cases. Police forces are often defined as being separate from military or other organizations involved in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors; however, gendarmerie are military units charged with civil policing. The term is most commonly associated with police services of a sovereign state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility.The marshalcy dates back to the Hundred Years' War, and some historians trace it back to the early 12th century.Another organisation, the Constabulary (French: Connétablie), was under the command of the Constable of France.Their duties included apprehending thieves and robbers and capturing runaway slaves.
The military policing responsibilities of the Marshal of France were delegated to the Marshal's provost, whose force was known as the Marshalcy because its authority ultimately derived from the Marshal.
In ancient Greece, publicly owned slaves were used by magistrates as police.