Established in 1763 following the passing of an Act for lighting and watching the area of the town within the walls. The four parishes of St Nicholas, All Saints, St Andrew and St John each elected 12 Commissioners to administer the Act. The Commissioners also regulated chairmen, hackney coachmen, cartmen, common porters and watermen. A lamp and watch rate was levied to pay for it.
The Commissioners were replaced by the Watch Committee of Newcastle City Council in 1836.