Life and Times of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, John H. Watson, M.D., Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Other Notable Personages


by Leslie S. Klinger

Year Life of Sherlock Holmes Life of John H. Watson Life of Arthur Conan Doyle Events in England Events on the Continent Events in the World
1844 Siger Holmes and Violet Sherrinford marry. Sarah Berhhardt, Richard D'Oyly-Carte born. Charles XIV, King of Sweden and Norway, dies; Oscar I succeeds to throne. Friedrich Nietzsche born.
1845 Sherrinford Holmes born. Irish potato famine; Anglo-Sikh War begins. Engels publishesCondition of the Working Class in England Poe publishes "The Raven." Texas and Florida become states.
1846 James Moriarty born. Repeal of Corn Laws. Planet Neptune discovered. Austrian and Russian troops enter Cracow; Austria annexes Cracow. Oregon settlement sets U.S. boundary at 49th parallel. Mormons commence move to Utah.
1847 Mycroft Holmes born. Ten Hours' Act Sonderbund War in Switzerland Thomas Alva Edison, inventor, born
1848 W. G. Grace born Second French Republic. Birth of painter Paul Gauguin. Marx and Engels'Communist Manifesto published.
1851 Opening of the Crystal Palace Foucault demonstrates earth's rotation with huge pendulum. First Australian gold discoveries. "New York Times" first published.
1852 John Hamish Watson born. First Derby-Disraeli government Louis Napoleon proclaims himself Napoleon III; Second French Empire begins Polygyny instituted in Utah.
1853 Lillie Langtry, Cecil Rhodes born. Tenor Edouard de Reszke born Telegraph system established in India.
1854 William Sherlock Scott Holmes born. Family moves to Australia (date approx.). Crimean War begins. Birth of Oscar Wilde. Francis Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, marries Bavarian Princess Elizabeth Kansas-Nebraska Act. Sacramento becomes capital of State of California.
1855 Holmes family sails to Bordeaux Lord Palmerston becomes Prime Minister . "Daily Telegraph" first published. Paris World Fair Czar Nicholas I of Russia dies.
1856 Treaty of Paris ends Crimean War. "Big Ben" cast. George Bernard Shaw born. Sigmund Freud born.
1857 Joseph Conrad born Publication of Flaubert'sMadame Bovary. Indian Mutiny. Transatlantic cable commenced.
1858 Holmes family travels to Montpellier Second Derby-Disraeli government
1859 Arthur Conan Doyle born May 22 in Edinburgh, 2d child of Charles Doyle and Mary Foley Palmerston's second administra-tion; Darwin's Origin of Species published.  King Oscar I of Sweden dies; succeeded by Charles XV; German Emperor William II born. Charles Blondin crosses Niagara Falls on tightrope.
1860 Holmes family returns to England. Violet's father dies; Holmes family sails to Rotterdam, settles in Cologne. J. M. Barrie born; Wilkie Collins publishesWoman in White. Lenoir constructs first practical internal-combustion engine. Abraham Lincoln elected President
1861 Holmes family begins Continental tour. Mary Morstan born. Mrs. Beeton publishes Book of Household Manage-ment. Eman-cipation of Russian serfs Outbreak of American Civil War. Birth of Henry Ford.
1862 Sarah Bernhardt debuts in Paris; Albert Memorial designed. Bismarck becomes Prussian Prime Minister Henry David Thoreau dies.
1863 Metropolitan Railway (under-ground) opens in London.  Civil War breaks out in Afghanistan. Battle of Gettysburg
1864 Holmes family returns to England, leases villa in Kennington. Sent to a board school with Mycroft, Sherrinford sent to Oxford. Prussia and Austria-Hungary defeat Denmark; beginning of Prussian expansion Alexander II emancipates the serfs
1865 Severely ill. Returns to England, attends Wellington College, Hampshire. King George V, Rudyard Kipling born. War breaks out between Boers of Orange Free State and Basutos.  Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Ku Klux Klan founded.
1866 Taken to Yorkshire, entered as day boy at grammar school near Mycroft. Herbert George Wells born. Third Derby-Disraeli government formed. War between Prussia and Austro-Hungarian Empire Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.
1867 Extension of suffrage among male workers. Karl Marx publishes Vol. I of Das Kapital. Canada born through British North America Act. Organization of Ku Klux Klan.
1868 Sails with parents to St. Malo, travels to Pau; enrolled in fencing salon.  Sent away to Hodder, prep. school for Stonyhurst--

Jesuit-run public school in Lancashire

Gladstone (Liberal Party) takes office as Prime Minister. Publication of Wilkie Collins'The Moonstone. Birth of Neville Chamber-lain.Whitaker's Almanack first appears. Impeachment of U. S. President  Andrew Johnson. Birth of Mahatma Ghandhi.
1869 First performance of Wagner's Das Rheingold. Completion of Suez Canal.
1870 Enters Stonyhurst, remains for 5 years, excelling at cricket and displays literary talent Death of Charles Dickens. Irish land reform.  Franco-Prussian War. Italian troops take Rome. Birth of Bernard Baruch.
1871 Holmes family returns to England Gilbert and Sullivan form partnership. Publication of Darwin'sDescent of Man. Bank Holidays introduced. Paris Commune; German Empire proclaimed at Versailles. U.S. passes Ku Klux Klan Act, banning activities. 
1872 Tutored by Professor James Moriarty. Enters Christ Church, Oxford. Enrolls at University of London; works in surgery at St. Bartholomew's Hospital. Disraeli's "Crystal Palace" speech Civil War in Spain U. S. Grant re-elected president despite scandals; U. S. General Amnesty Act pardons most ex-Confederates.
1873 Mass production of the typewriter begins. Cities of Buda and Pesth united. Gunsmith firm of E. Remington & Sons begins to produce typewriters
1874 GLOR*

Enters Caius College, Cambridge.

Visits London, stays with uncle Richard Doyle, sees Henry Irving in Hamlet Disraeli (Conserv-ative Party) becomes Prime Minister. Winston Churchill born. Harry Houdini (Ehrich Weiss), Marconi born. First "impression-ist" exhibit. Herbert Hoover born.
1875 Passes matriculation exam with honors, spends year at Jesuit school at Feldkirch, Austria Disraeli acquires the Suez Canal. London main sewerage system; first Gilbert and Sullivan operetta performed completed. Birth of Albert Schweitzer. Risings in Bosnia and Herzegovina against Turkish rule.
1876 Decides to become doctor and enrolls at Edinburgh University. Meets Dr. Joseph Bell and Professor Rutherford. Disraeli becomes Earl of Beaconsfield. Wagner's "Ring" first performed. Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates telephone. Serbia and Montenegro declare war on Turkey.
1877 Takes rooms in Montague St. "Months of inaction." Victoria becomes Empress of India. Publication of Mozart's complete works begins. Schiaparelli observes canals on Mars. Death of Brigham Young, leader of the Mormons. Thomas Edison patents phonograph. Publication of Alan Pinkerton'sMolly Maguires and the Detective.
1878 Receives degree of doctor of medicine. Attends Netley for Army surgeons' course. Sails for India. Takes part-time doctoring job Second Afghan War begins. First performance ofH..M.S. Pinafore. C.I.D., New Scotland Yard, established. Congress of Berlin; Austro-German Alliance Birth of Carl Sandburg.
1879 MUSG

Appears on London stage inHamlet. Sails for America with Sasanoff Shakespeare Co.

Charles Doyle goes into nursing home. Early stories published anonymously. Zulu War begins. Albert Einstein born. Thomas Edison patents incandescent lamp. Birth of photographer Edward Steichen
1880 Returns to England from U.S. Wounded at Battle of Maiwand; escapes to British lines. Suffers enteric fever at Peshawar. Returns to London onOrontes. Stays at private hotel in Strand. Signs on as ship's doctor with Arctic whaler; 7-month voyage. Initial interest in spiritualism, paranormal. Gladstone takes office again as Prime Minister. Swan and Edison devise first practical electric lights. Birth of Douglas MacArthur.
1881 Meets John H. Watson. Takes up residence in Baker Street.


Meets Sherlock Holmes. Takes up residence in Baker Street. STUD. Bachelor of Medicine rec'd. Signs on as ship's doctor with West African steamer. Nearly dies of fever. Death of Benjamin Disraeli, Thomas Carlyle. Irish Land Act. Flogging abolished in Army and Navy. Birth of painter Pablo Picasso. Tsar Alexander II assassinated; President James Garfield assassinated.
1882 Renounces Catholic faith. Joins George Budd, medical schoolmate, in practice in Plymouth. Becomes concerned about Budd's ethics and sets up own practice in Southsea, Portsmouth. Death of Charles Darwin. Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria and Italy. Franklin Delano Roosevelt born.
1883 SPEC Publishes first story. Death of Karl Marx, Richard Wagner. French in Indochina. Birth of John Maynard Keynes. Mark Twain writes the first book on the typewriter.
1884 Travels to America, woos Constance Adams in San Francisco. Begins first novel. First deep tube (under-ground) railroad; General Gordon reaches Khartoum. Germans occupy South-West Africa. Birth of Harry Truman.
1885 Marries Louise Hawkins. Lord Salisbury (Conservative) becomes Prime Minister. Death of General Charles George Gordon in Khartoum. Germany annexes Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Indian National Congress formed.
1886 BERY Returns to England. Weds Constance Adams, buys practice in Kensington. Gladstone, then Salisbury serve as Prime Minister. Irish Home Rule Bill. Bonaparte and Orléans families banished from France. Birth of painter Diego Rivera.
1887 RESI


Publishes STUD. 1st wife dies in December. Publishes STUD. Victoria celebrates Golden Anniversary of her reign. Field Marshal Montgomery born. Birth of painter Marc Chagall. Death of Henry Ward Beecher, Jenny Lind. Birth of artist Georgia O'Keeffe.
1888 VALL







Brother Henry dies. Meets and marries Mary Morstan. Buys practice in Paddington. Jack the Ripper killings begin. T. E. Lawrence born. Kaiser Wilhelm II takes throne. Hertz discovers radio waves. Jim Thorpe born.
1889 SCAN











Publishes SIGN. Daughter Mary Louise born. Publishes Micah Clarke, SIGN. Cecil Rhodes' British South Africa Company granted royal charter; Barnum & Bailey's Circus appears in London. Birth of Adolf Hitler. Paris Exhibition and opening of Eiffel Tower. Second Int'l Franco-Russian Alliance. Strowger patents direct-dial telephone.
1890 REDH



Publishes White Company. Oscar Wilde publishesPicture of Dorian Gray. Suicide of Vincent Van Gogh. Birth of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Utah legislature bans polygyny. Global influenza epidemics.
1891 FINA

Travels as "Sigerson."

Sells Paddington practice, returns to Kensington. Arranges for publication of SCAN, REDH, IDEN, BOSC, FIVE, TWIS inStrand. Mary Morstan dies, possibly in early 1892. Abandons Southsea practice, writesDoings of Raffles Haw. Returns to London and opens practice in Devonshire Place. Soon decides to give up medicine. First stories of ADVEN begin to appear inStrand Magazine. Thomas Hardy publishes Tess of the d'Urber-villes. Triple Alliance (Germany-Italy-Austria) renewed Zipper invented. Widespread famine in Russia. Earthquake in Japan kills 10,000 people.
1892 Continues to travel. BLUE, SPEC, ENGI, NOBL, BERY, COPP, SILV published inStrand. Takes up skiing. Son Kingsley born. Gladstone again becomes Prime Minister. Death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Kipling writes of "white man's burden." Invention of Diesel engine by Rudolf Diesel. Birth of John Paul Getty.
1893 Settles in Montpellier to conduct coal-tar derivatives research. CARD, YELL, STOC, GLOR, MUSG, REIG, CROO, RESI, GREE, NAVA, FINA published in Strand. Charles Doyle dies. Louise diagnosed with TB. Remainder of ADVEN and MEMOI stories published inStrand. Premiere ofUnder the Clock, an "extravaganza" in one act starring Charles H. E. Brookfield as Sherlock Holmes. Franco-Russian Alliance signed. Chicago World's Fair (Columbian Exposition).
1894 Returns to London. EMPT




Sells practice, returns to Baker Street. Successful lecture tour in America. PlayWaterlooperformed. Gladstone dies in office; Lord Rosebery becomes Prime Minister Dreyfus case begins in France. 1st steel-framed skyscraper built in Chicago. Nicholas II becomes Tsar.
1895 WIST*





Buys land in Hindhead for home; travels to Egypt. PublishesStark Munro Letters. Salisbury regains office of Prime Minister. Death of Lord Randolph Churchill. H.G. Wells publishesThe Time Machine. Lumiere brothers hold public film exhibitions in Paris. Death of Parnell, leader of Irish Home Rule. Röntgen discovers X-rays. Gillette invents safety razor. Sino-Japanese War. Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey born.
1896 VEIL



Travels up Nile. Serves as war correspondent for British/Dervish fighting. PublishesBrigadier Gerard andRodney Stone. Czar Nicholas II visits London New evidence in Dreyfus case suppressed. Alfred Nobel dies, Nobel prizes created. First Modern Olympics held in Athens. Cracker Jack, Tootsie Rolls, and S&H Green Stamps introduced.
1897 ABBE


Meets and falls in love with Jean Leckie. Publishes Uncle Bernac. Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Publication of Bram Stoker'sDracula. First World Zionist Congress. Klondike gold rush begins.
1898 DANC Death of Lewis Carroll. H. G. Wells publishesWar of the Worlds.. Lord Kitchener defeats Dervishes at Omdurman. German naval race with England. Death of Otto von Bismarck. Fashoda crisis, Spanish-American War
1899 RETI


Volunteers for army, rejected.A Duetpublished. Second Boer War begins. Winston Churchill goes to South Africa as war correspond-ent. Emperor William II visits England. First magnetic recording of sound. William Gillette produces and stars in Sherlock Holmes, in Syracuse, NY.
1900 SIXN Serves in hospital unit in South Africa. Writes The Great Boer War; The War in South Africa: Its Causes and Conduct. Stands as Unionist candidate in Edinburgh, loses. Death of Sir Arthur Sullivan, Oscar Wilde. Paris Metro opens. Death of Friedrich Nietzsche. Publication of Freud'sInterpreta-tion of Dreams. Davis Cup tennis matches inaugurated. First Sherlock Holmes film,Sherlock Holmes Baffled, appears.
1901 PRIO



HOUN published inStrand. Publishes HOUND. Death of Queen Victoria. Edward VII ("Bertie") ascends to throne. First British submarine launched. Boxing recognized as legal sport. Negotiations for Anglo-German alliance end without agreement. Assassination of William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt becomes U.S. president. Australia becomes a Common-wealth. Birth of Walt Disney.
1902 SHOS





Moves to rooms in Queen Anne Street. Remarries, returns to practice. Knighted.  Lord Salisbury retires as Prime Minister; Arthur Balfour takes office. England signs peace treaty with Boers. Triple Alliance renewed for six years. Anglo-Japanese Alliance. 1st recording of Enrico Caruso. Death of Levi Strauss.
1903 BLAN



Holmes retires.

Publishes EMPT; NORW; DANC; SOLI. First stories of RETUR appear in Strand. PublishesAdventures of Gerard. First motor taxis appear in London. First Tour de France (bicycle race). Henry Ford founds Ford Motor Co.
1904 Publishes PRIO; BLAC; CHAS; SIXN; 3STU; GOLD; MISS; ABBE. First concert of London Symphony Orchestra. Anglo-French Entente. Paris Conference on white slave trade. Russo-Japanese War. Panama Canal started.
1905 Publishes SECO. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (L) becomes Prime Minister. Actor Henry Irving dies. Tangier crisis precipitated by Kaiser's visit. Publication of Einstein's relativity theory
1906 Runs again as Unionist candidate, loses. George Edalji case. Becomes involved in Divorce Law Reform Movement. Louise Doyle dies. PublishesSir Nigel. Social insurance and parliamentary reform commence Franco becomes Prime Minister of Spain. International ban on women working night-shifts.
1907 LION Marries Jean Leckie. George Edalji released.Through the Magic Door published. Baden-Powell founds Boy Scouts. Triple Entente. 1st Cubist show in Paris. Oscar II, King of Sweden, dies. Immigration to U.S. restricted by law.
1908 Publishes WIST; BRUC. Herbert H. Asquith becomes Prime Minister as Liberal.Strand Magazinepublishes My African Journeyby Winston Churchill. Bosnian crisis Jack Johnson becomes first black world heavyweight boxing champion.
1909 Writes Crime of the Congo. Son Denis born. Girl Guides established. First cross-Channel airplane flight. Admiral Peary reaches North Pole.
1910 Publishes DEVI. Case of Oscar Slater taken up. Son Adrian born. PlaySpeckled Band first produced in London. Death of King Edward VII ("Bertie"). George V takes throne. Revolution in Portugal. Death of Mark Twain, Florence Nightingale. Union of South Africa formed.
1911 Publishes REDC; LADY. Death of Sir William Gilbert. Inauguration of air mail service. Chinese Revolution
1912 Leaves for America to infiltrate Irish secret society; travels to Chicago. Publishes Case of Oscar Slater, Lost World. Daughter Lena Jean born. Royal Flying Corps. established. Balkan crisis Sinking ofTitanic.
1913 Publishes DYIN. PublishesPoison Belt. Suffragette deomonstra-tions. Balkan War ends. Modern brassiere invented.
1914 Returns to England. LAST Assists Holmes in LAST. Forms local volunteer force. Writes To Arms! Ulster Crisis; World War I commences. Assassina-tion of Archduke Ferdinand; World War I commences. World War I commences.
1915 Publishes VALL. Begins 6-vol history ofBritish Campaign in France and Flanders. Publishes VALLE. Herbert Asquith remains Prime Minister for Coalition. Poison gas first used in war. Ford sells 1 millionth car. Gallipoli campaign begins.
1916 Visits fronts. Announces conversion to spiritualism. Battle of Jutland; Irish troubles. David Lloyd George (Coalition) become Prime Minister. Bloody battles at Verdun and the Somme. Assassination of Rasputin.
1917 Publishes LAST. Publishes LASTB. Mata Hari executed as spy. U.S. enters the Great War. First large-scale use of tanks. Russian Revolution. John Fitzgerald Kennedy born. "Buffalo Bill" Cody dies.
1918 Son Kingsley dies from combat wounds. Publishes New Revelation. Women over 30 allowed to vote. Armistice. Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates. Knute Rockne becomes coach of University of Notre Dame.
1919 Brother Innes dies. PublishesVital Message. Government of India Act. Peace of Versailles. Weimar Republic established in Germany. Death of Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Peace of Versailles. Death of Andrew Carnegie.
1920 Travels to Australia to promote spiritualism. First Agatha Christie mystery novel published. Clemenceau resigns; Millerand takes over as Premier of France. U.S. adopts women's suffrage.
1921 Publishes MAZA. Mother dies.Wanderings of a Spiritualist published. Irish Free State. BBC founded. Einstein wins Nobel Prize. First Indian Parliament meets.
1922 Publishes THOR. Lecture tour of America. Announces belief in fairies, publishesComing of the Fairies. Lloyd George resigns. Bonar Law becomes Prime Minister, first to come from an overseas possesion. Mussolini becomes Prime Minister of Italy. Washington Disarmament Conference.
1923 Publishes CREE. Returns to America and Canada. Publishes Our American Adventure. Stanley Baldwin become Prime Minister. Hitler's "Beer Hall Putsch" fails. Paavo Nurmi runs four-minute mile.
1924 Publishes SUSS: 3GAR. Publishes Our Second American Adventure; Memories and Adventures. J. Ramsay MacDonald becomes Prime Minister, heads first Labor Government; succeeded by Baldwin. Hitler imprisoned. Leopold and Loeb sentence for kidnap-slaying of Bobby Franks. J. Edgar Hoover becomes director of F.B.I.
1925 Publishes ILLU. Presides over International Spiritualistic Congress in Paris. Austen Chamberlain wins Nobel Peace Prize. Hitler reorganizes Nazi Party, publishes first volume ofMein Kampf Harold Vanderbilt invents contract bridge.
1926 Publishes BLAN; LION. Publishes 3GAB; RETI. PublishesHistory of Spiritualism; Land of Mist. Queen Elizabeth II born. Germany admitted to League of Nations. Harry Houdini dies.
1927 Publishes VEIL; SHOS. Oscar Slater freed. CASEB and Pheneas Speakspublished. Parliament House opens in Canberra, Australia. First television broadcast. "Black Friday" in Germany, economy collapses. "The Jazz Singer" (first "talkie") appears. Academy Awards inaugurated; Babe Ruth hits sixty home runs. Lindbergh flies "Spirit of St. Louis" from New York to Paris.
1928 Travels to South Africa. H. H. Asquith, actress Ellen Terry die. Kellogg-Briand pact, outlawing war, signed in Paris by 65 states Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin.
1929 Dies under circumstances unknown. Visits Scandinavia, Holland, returns exhausted, has heart attack. PublishesMaracot Deep, Our African Winter. Baldwin again becomes Prime Minister. Lillie Langtry dies. Yugoslavia created as dictatorship. Ernest Hemingway publishesFarewell to Arms. "Black Friday" in New York, world economic crisis begins.
1930 Publishes Edge of the Unknown; dies July 7. Britain, U.S., Japan, and Italy sign naval disarmament treaty. Last Allied troops leave the Saar. First Sherlock Holmes radio show broadcast in U.S., starring William Gillette.

1. The source of information about the lives of Sherlock Holmes and John H. Watson, M.D., is Baring-Gould, William S., Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street: A Life of the World's First consulting Detective. New York: Clarkson N. Potter (1962); however, the dates given for the cases represent a "consensus" of the major chronologists compiled in "The Date Being--?": A Compendium of Chronological Data, by Andrew Jay Peck and Leslie S. Klinger. A "consensus" is the choice of a majority of the fifteen major chronologists for some cases; for others, the choice of a plurality of the major chronologists. Those cases for which there is no consensus date are marked "*," and the date given is this editor's choice. The source of information about the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is Julian Symons's fine Portrait of an Artist: Conan Doyle.

2. Several chronologists place this case in the pre-Reichenbach era.