A Short Biography of Mr. Sherlock Holmes

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On Saturday, July 3, 1880, the traditional English university long vacation began, and with it, the beginning of the brilliant career of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective.

"It seems to me that all the detectives of fact and fancy would be children in your hands," a justice of the peace named Trevor told the young man. "That’s your line of life, sir, and you may take the word of a man who has seen something of the world."

Trevor, of course, turned out to be a escaped criminal who gained his freedom when the prison ship "Gloria Scott" was overrun and blown up on November 6, 1855, "when the Crimean War was at its height." Both Trevor and his fellow survivor of the tragedy, a sailor named Hudson, are quoted that the incident was being thirty years before, when their true words had to be more like "three decades ago." In the intervening decades, the 1860s and 1870s, Trevor had time to settle in England and raise a son to college age. That son, Victor Trevor, would eventually befriend Sherlock Holmes, invite him home for the long vacation, and introduce him to his father: the man who would steer Holmes on to the path of detection.

After staying with the Trevor family for less than a month, Sherlock Holmes returns to his London rooms, where he spends the rest of the vacation doing experiments in organic chemistry. 1881

On Thursday, June 23, 1881, Reginald Musgrave comes to call on Sherlock Holmes, to ask for his help in the matter of the Musgrave Ritual. Holmes is now living on Montague Street, around the corner from the British Museum. The Ritual has a variety of puzzles to it, one of which being that must be performed six months from the First . . . Charles the First, who died on January 30, 1649.

On Saturday, July 16, 1881, Holmes spends the day working in the chemical laboratory at St. Bart’s Hospital. In the morning, he complains to a young medical man named Stamford about not being able to find someone to go halves on some nice rooms he’s found in Baker Street. In the afternoon, Stamford brings a retired army surgeon named John H. Watson into the lab to inquire about sharing rooms. The next day, Holmes and Watson go together to inspect their potential domicile at 221B Baker Street. They make the arrangements then and there with the landlady, a woman by the name of Hudson, and Watson starts moving in that night. Holmes starts moving in the next morning, Monday, July 18. Within a few weeks, a fellow named Lestrade starts visiting Holmes there.


On Sunday, April 1, 1883, heiress Helen Stoner shows up at 221B Baker Street shortly after seven in the morning, fearful of a mysterious "speckled band" that was responsible for the death of her twin sister. Sherlock Holmes takes her case and saves her life.


On Tuesday, March 4, 1884, Tobias Gregson of Scotland Yard sends Holmes a letter, asking for his help on a matter involving a dead American found in an empty house. Holmes eventually captures the man’s killer at 221B Baker Street, but not before another American is also killed.

On Saturday, March 29, 1884, hop merchant Grant Munro comes to Baker Street from Norbury to seek Holmes’s advice on his wife’s suspicious behavior.

Also this year, Holmes arranges an affair for Fairdale Hobbs of Great Orme Street.


On Tuesday, January 6, 1885, Fairdale Hobbs’s landlady, Mrs. Warren, comes to see Holmes about another of her lodgers. Tobias Gregson and a Pinkerton detective named Leverton are on the trail of a multiple murderer named BlackGorgiano, and Holmes helps them as well. Holmes and Watson also attend Wagner night at Covent Garden.


On Friday, February 26, 1886, Alexander Holder of the banking firm, Holder & Stevenson of Threadneedle, consults Holmes about some missing collateral, which Holmes recovers for him

On Saturday, October 2, 1886, Dr. Percy Trevelyan comes to bring Sherlock Holmes to see his paranoid landlord.


On Monday, February 14, 1887, Sherlock Holmes begins his two-month-long investigation of Baron Maupertuis and the Netherland Sumatra Company, spending over fifteen hours a day working on the case (including one five day marathon of detection).

On Thursday, April 14, 1887, Holmes is ill with exhaustion and depression, resting at the Hotel Dulong in Lyons, France.

On Monday, April 25, 1887, Holmes takes a vacation at the home of Colonel Hayter, an old friend and wartime patient of Dr. Watson. While there he investigates a burglary/murder.

On Tuesday, July 19, 1887, the Premier of Britain and the Secretary for European Affairs come to 221B Baker Street, seeking Holmes’s help in finding a letter from a foreign potentate (believed by this writer to have been U.S. president Grover Cleveland)

Also in July of 1887, Holmes handles a case involving the first families of England, working with Dubuque of the Paris police and Fritz von Waldbaum, the Dantzig specialist. He also takes a case involving a tired captain.

On Tuesday, August 30, 1887, Colonel Barclay of the Royal Munsters at Aldershot dies under mysterious circumstances and Major Murphy requests that Holmes investigate.

On Friday, September 16, 1887, young John Openshaw comes to 221B Baker Street in fear for his life after receiving five orange seeds in the mail.

On Thursday, October 6, 1887, Lord Robert St. Simon comes to Holmes for help in finding his missing bride.

Also in 1887: Holmes tackles cases involving the Paradol Chamber, the Amateur Mendicant Society, the loss of the Sophy Anderson, the Grice Pattersons of the island of Uffa, and a poisoning in Camberwell.


On Saturday, January 7, 1888, Sherlock Holmes gets a coded tip from an informant in the Moriarty organization. At this point, Moriarty does not yet see Holmes as a threat, Scotland Yard doesn’t see any reason for Holmes’s suspicions about Moriarty, and the eventual arch-enemies have yet to lock horns.

Between early January and late March, 1888, Holmes travels to Odessa to investigate the Trepoff murder, to Trincomalee to handle the Atkinson tragedy, and to parts unknown on a mission for the Dutch royal family.

On Tuesday, March 20, 1888, Sherlock Holmes is visited by both his married friend Watson and the disguised King of Bohemia, the latter of whom seeks his help in foiling the blackmailer, Irene Adler.

During mid-April, 1888, Holmes becomes in the separation of Mr. And Mrs. Dundas, as well as tracks the missing fiance of Miss Mary Sutherland.

In early June of 1888, Sherlock Holmes begins a thrice daily course of drug injection, morphine at times, cocaine at others.

On the evening of Wednesday, June 20, 1888, Mycroft Holmes consults his brother over the matter of a Greek prisoner held at an unknown location.

On September 4, 1888, Sherlock Holmes discovers the body of Bartholomew Sholto while accompanying Miss Mary Morstan to a mysterious rendezvous.

On Tuesday, October 23, 1888, Holmes receives telegrams from Colonel Ross and Inspector Gregory asking for his help in finding the missing racehorse Silver Blaze. The detective waits until Thursday to investigate, and delays his solution of the case until he has a chance to win money betting on the Wessex Plate on October 30th.


On Saturday, June 1, 1889, Dr. Watson visits Holmes after three months of barely seeing him, and the two look into the matter of Hall Pycroft’s strange job. A week later, Holmes interupts Watson’s breakfast to take him away from his busy medical practice to investigate a murder in Boscombe Valley. On the last Sunday of that same month, Watson will come to Holmes with wounded engineer Victor Hatherly, in search of the young man’s assailant.

Around mid-May of 1889, Sherlock Holmes is working for the Pope on the little affair of the Vatican cameos and appears to have been out of England. On Friday, August 30, 1889, Holmes is called in by Scotland Yard after a woman receives two severed ears in the mail. Dr. Watson has writtten up a second of Holmes’s cases, that of The Sign of the Four, but it will not be published until early 1890.

On Tuesday, October 1, 1889, Sherlock Holmes first hears the legend of the hellhound of the Baskervilles, a myth whose modern existence he will soon dispel. He is also handling an important blackmail case, and before the next two months are done he will also deal with a card scandal and the defense of an innocent woman against a murder charge.


On Tuesday, March 18, 1890, Holmes is consulted by a job-hunting governess and bemoans the lack of creative criminals – a state that will soon change.

On Saturday, October 11, 1890, Sherlock Holmes is consulted by red-headed pawnbroker Jabez Wilson on a job he’s just lost, and Holmes winds up saving a large amount of French gold. And though a bold fellow named John Clay at first takes credit for the foiled scheme, Holmes finally has his hands on the first key he’s had to the elusive Professor Moriarty’s organization since the death of "Porlock."


By January of 1891, the detective’s hidden campaign against Moriarty is fully under way. By January 23, Holmes has cost the criminal mastermind a lieutenant, blackmailer Charles Augustus Milverton. Using the ruse that he is working for the French government on the Continent (concocted with the help of his many friends in France’s law enforcement community), Holmes goes undercover in London to compile all the evidence he will need to bring down Moriarty’s organization in one grand stroke.

On Monday, April 27, 1891, Scotland Yard acts upon Holmes’s word and brings down the whole of Professor Moriarty’s syndicate, with the exception of two men: Professor Moriarty and Sebastian Moran, who have followed Holmes to Europe. Holmes sends Moriarty to his death in a struggle on the cliffs of Reichenbach Falls, only to be hunted by assassin Sebastian Moran. Holmes flees Europe.


On Tuesday, March 24, 1892, a severely distraught Dr. John H. Watson conjures the delusion of his old friend Sherlock Holmes as he seeks to help Scotland Yard on a case that is inevitably solved by another detective. Watson’s visitations by this hallucinatory Holmes continue sporadically through mid-March of 1893, when he looks into the mystery surrounding the legacy of young Douglas Maberly.


Shortly before April 3, 1894, word of Watson’s condition reaches Sherlock Holmes, now in France, who returns to both deal with assassin Sebastian Moran and take Watson under his wing. Holmes rebuilds his former establishment, bringing back Billy the page in June, beginning with the capture of Count Sylvius. A matter concerning ex-president Murillo follows, a remnant of a case handled by Watson and his fabricated Holmes two years earlier. They also come near death in the matter of the Dutch steamship Friesland, and save John Hector McFarlane from a murder charge before the summer is over. Although Watson is now a full partner in his detective agency, Holmes puts Watson under a strict prohibition against writing up any of their cases together. Before the end of the year, they would deal with cases involving a red leech, a banker named Crosby, the Addleton tragedy, an ancient British barrow, the Smith-Mortimer succession case (which would bring them back in contact with Dr. Mortimer of Dartmoor), Huret the boulevard assassin, and a murder and exposure of an anarchist at Yoxley Old Place.


In April of 1895, Holmes would deal with the persecution of tobacco millionaire John Vincent Harden, the stalking of Miss Violet Smith, and begin a sequence of events that would place him in one of England’s great university towns by the time May arrived. Before mid-July, Holmes would look into the death of Cardinal Tosca at the request of the Pope, remove an East-end plague spot by arresting a canary-trainer named Wilson, and solve the harpoon-murder of Captain Peter Carey.

On November 21, 1895, Sherlock Holmes would again be consulted by his brother Mycroft, in the theft of the Bruce-Partington submarine plans.


The years 1896 and 1897 would bring Holmes in contact time and again with the remnants of tragedy: the suicidal Eugenia Ronder in September of ’96, the premature death of a college man’s young wife and the execution of an abusive husband, both in February of ’97, and the madness and death of an entire family in March of that same spring.


In August of 1898, Holmes is involved in a matter involving two Coptic patriarchs, as well as death of a paint-man’s wife and best friend.


On October 4, 1900, Sherlock Holmes will be summoned by the greatest financial magnate of his day, J. Neil Gibson, in matter of his wife’s murder.


On May 16, 1901, Holmes will be summoned to find the kidnapped son of the Duke of Holdernesse.

On November 19, 1901, an old acquaintance of Watson’s contacts Holmes regarding vampires, a thesis Holmes quickly debunks.


On June 4, 1902, Inspector Lestrade calls Holmes in to deal with a madman’s pattern crime. Later in that same month, a more harmless case of fraud turns deadly and Watson is shot in the leg by an American killer.

On July 26, 1902, Holmes sends Watson to Europe first-class, to look into the mysterious disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax. The matter is eventually solved back in London, but Watson gets a good vacation out of it.

In September of 1902, Sherlock Holmes is severely beaten as he tries to prevent the marriage of murderer Adelbert Gruner.


In January of 1903, Dr. Watson has left the partnership again, and Holmes handles matters involving the Duke of Greyminster, the Sultan of Turkey, and the appearance of a Boer War veteran’s missing comrade. In May of that year, Holmes will handle the murders of a St. Pancras policeman and Lady Beatrice Falder.

In September of 1903, Watson will begin publishing the stories gathered in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, and anyone who didn’t know Holmes was alive again most certainly did now. In that same month, Holmes would deal with the odd behavior of Professor Presbury.

In late October of 1903, Sherlock Holmes would investigate the death of Victor Savage, the last case of Holmes’s professional career before his retirement to Sussex Downs. In November, Holmes would move out of London to take up the study of nature in general and beekeeping in specific. In the next nine years, Holmes would write and publish the book Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen.


On July 30, 1907, Sherlock Holmes would take up the one case we know of during his retirement years, the murder of Fitzroy McPherson.


In the summer of 1912, the Premier and the Foreign Minister come to Holmes asking him to come out of retirement to bring down a spy network. Holmes travels to America, to Chicago, to begin his infiltration, which will take him from America, to Ireland, and back to Britain as a bitter Irish-American named Altamont. In August of 1914, he would enlist Watson’s help in the finish of his case and the capture of German master spy Von Bork. Holmes returns to London with Watson and Von Bork, and that is the last we have recorded of him.

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