BOOK: One of 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and one of 12 stories in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes cycle. It is chronologically the earliest case in Sherlock Holmes canon. This story is related mainly by Holmes rather than Watson, and is the first case to which Holmes applied his powers of deduction.
STORY: Sherlock spent a month with his university friend, Victor Trevor. In his youth, Victor’s father was convicted of fraud and sent to Australia aboard a ship called The Gloria Scott. Whilst on route, he discovered a conspiracy to take over the ship. Several crew members died as a result of the ensuing revolt. Jack Prendergast, the instigator, wanted to murder all of the remaining crew. Victor’s father and several others did not wish to partake in murder, so they asked to be set adrift in a small boat, to make their own way to Australia. Soon after, The Gloria Scott exploded. Victor’s father and the others rowed back to search for survivors. They found only one, a man named Hudson. Once they reached Australia, the drifters changed their names and embarked on a new way of life as free men, before eventually returning to England. Victor’s father had lived a safe and peaceful existence until Hudson turned up on his doorstep, attempting to blackmail him and other members of the mutinous crew. When he received a letter informing him that Hudson had told the police about The Gloria Scott, Victor’s father suffered a stroke and died.
SHIP: “The Gloria Scott had been in the Chinese tea-trade, but she was an old-fashioned, heavy-bowed, broad-beamed craft, and the new clippers had cut her out. She was a 500-ton boat; and besides her 38 jail-birds, she carried 26 of a crew, 18ldiers, a captain, 3 mates, a doctor, a chaplain, and 4 warders.”
COIN: Depicts the Gloria Scott sailing close to land. Sherlock Holmes sits watching on a rocky outcrop.