Irregular Postings on Coin Collecting & Numismatics - Both Canonical & Conanical

A Scion Society of The Baker Street Irregulars

Numismatists Do Not Fear Change

Data! Data! Data! – The Resident Patient

Data! Data! Data! – The Resident Patient

“‘Data! Data! Data!‘ he cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay.’”

– The Adventures of The Copper Beeches (COPP)

illus-resi-paget-06This column is composed of material (Data!) developed for a short course called Appreciating Sherlock Holmes that I teach twice a year in the Community Education Life Enrichment Program for a local community college. It is composed of “points of information” that are common to many / most / all of the 60 Canonical stories.

The information here has been researched by me or borrowed / stolen from many efforts of other Sherlockians.

HERE GOES . . . . . This month’s story The Adventure of the Resident Patient.


“A case that greatly interested Watson since the client was a young doctor struggling to establish a reputation as a nerve specialist.  Dr. Trevelyan had acquired what many young doctors dreamed of, a wealthy patient entirely under his care.  But then a Russian nobleman came to consult him, and passed into a trance while the doctor was questioning him.”

DUMMIES SHORT SUMMARY (From Sherlock Holmes for Dummies by Steven Doyle & David Crowder)

“Holmes looks into the hanging death of a wealthy but paranoid man in another crime-scene investigation tour de force.”


This is the 23rd of the 60 stories. First published in The Strand Magazine in August, 1893 and in the United States in Harper’s Weekly on August 12, 1893. The story is part of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes collection by George Newnes, Ltd., London, 1894 and by Harper Bros., New York, 1894.

The British Illustrator was Sidney Paget, while the American illustrator was W. H. Hyde.


At 7,355 words RESI has the 20th most words (#1 is VEIL – 4,499, #56 if NAVL – 12,701)


1944 – The Baker Street Irregulars voted it #6 on their worst list
1999 – The Baker Street Irregulars rated it 43rd of the 56 short stories
1999 – The Sherlock Holmes Society of London rated it 41st of the 56 short stories

CLASSIFYING THE CASE (From the Wandering Gipsies of Grimpen Mire of Decatur, Alabama)
This case is one of 23 classified as a MURDER where the perpetrator was either arrested, killed, or otherwise satisfactorily handled. Holmes solved the case but this is one of 5 where the perpetrator escaped justice. The others were FIVE, GREE, MUSG, and WIST.

Doyle was often very vague about stating WHEN the tale took place and included few contemporary references to help. Whether this was done intentionally or unthinkingly, the dating of events in the Canon is a very popular pastime pursued by several of our “scholars” researching and justifying their results to no end. We will again default to William Baring-Gould’s dating of Wednesday, October 6 to Thursday, October 7, 1886 which makes it 5th of the 60. This means that Holmes is 32 and Watson 34.


Somogyi SoL Medal obv
Statue of Liberty medal by Marika Somogyi
Alfred Noble
Alfred Noble











• Royal Niger Company chartered.
• British annex upper Burma.
• Prime Minister Gladstone’s Home Rule bill is defeated. It would have established a separate Irish legislature, Gladstone resigns.
• Chamberlain forms Liberal Unions.
• English Lawn Tennis Association is established.
• Woolwich Arsenal football team established.
• Slavery abolished in Cuba.
• Tunisia becomes French protectorate.
• First Tournament of Roses is held in Pasadena.
• Geronimo surrenders, effectively ending the Indian Wars of the Southwest.
• Haymarket Square riot in Chicago.
• Statue of Liberty is dedicated.
• The Westinghouse Electric Company is established.
• Bonaparte family is banished from France.
• Robert Louis Stevenson publishes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well as Kidnapped
• Henry James publishes The Bostonians
• Rodin exhibits his statue, The Kiss.
• James E Keeler discovers Saturn’s rings being made of debris.
• Alfred Nobel invents nitroglycerine.
• The element Fluorine is isolated.

Holmes and Watson are both residing in Mrs. Hudson’s 221 Baker Street.

• PERCY TREVELYAN, a physician who wrote a monograph on obscure nervous diseases.
• BLESSINGTON aka SUTTON, who set Trevelyan up in business.
• THE PAGE, employed by Trevelyan and Blessington but who was bribed by the gang into betraying Blessington.
• BIDDLE, HAYWARD, MOFFAT, SUTTON and CARTWRIGHT, the Worthingdon Bank gang.
• TOBIN, caretaker at the Worthingdon Bank.
• LANNER, of Scotland Yard.

• “However, wretch as he was, he was still living under the shield of British law, and I have no doubt, Inspector, that you will see that though the shield may fail to guard, the sword of justice is still there to avenge.”
• “the features are given to man as the means by which he shall express his emotions and your are faithful servants.”

HOLMES’ FEEgranada-resi
The source of Holmes’ fee end up dead. Dead men don’t pay bills.

• 1921 The Resident Patient with Eille Norwood as one of the 47 movies he made in 3 years.
• 1985 The Resident Patient with Jeremy Brett as part of his Sherlock Holmes series for the BBC / Granada TV
• 1999 The Resident Patient as an episode in the Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (Animated TV series)

Victorian London, in the Holmes’ time, had approximately 1 doctor for every 100 people. 31 of the 60 tales have a doctor in them. This, of course, does not count Holmes’ Boswell. This listing is by Leslie Klinger in the Winter, 2015 edition of The Baker Street Journal. Either it was Doyle or Watson, both doctors, writing the story. In this story, there was one doctor . . .
•  Dr. Percy Trevelyan – the client

FAINTING IN THE CANON (courtesy of Sherlockian Karen Murdock)
Fainting is extremely common in the Canon, appearing, in some form, in 37 of the 60 tales. In 21 cases someone actually faints. In 22 cases someone almost faints. And in 5 cases someone pretends to faint. In this month’s story no one faints.

Sherlockians love this topic and are regularly searching for these items. Holmes mentions published or projected works in 11 of the stories. In this tale, none are mentioned.

NEWSPAPERS (Real and Fictional)
Though included in only 20 tales some of our more obsessed Sherlockians love this one. None in this story.

• “tour-de-force” French for a feat of remarkable strength.
• “Scylla and Charydbis” From Homer’s “Odyssey,” Scylla was a sea-monster with 6 heads, 12 feet, and a voice like the yelp of a dog. Charydbis, another sea-monster, lived on the opposite side of the sea.
• “Lady Day” March 25. A Day to observe the Virgin Mary, commemorating the Feast of the Annunciation.
• “five and three pence for every guinea” A guinea is 21 shillings and there are 12 pence to a shilling, this is exactly ¼ of a guinea.
• “scratches on this ward” part of a key lock
• “shingle of Southsea” pebble beaches of Southsea
• “General Gordon” Charles “Chinese” Gordon (1833-1885) – British General sent to Khartoum in Sudan in 1884 to rescue garrison under attack – was besieged for 10 months – Gordon was killed 2 days before relief arrived
• “brougham” a 4 wheeled enclosed carriage named for statesman Lord Brougham (1778-1868)

• Pistol – Which Sutton (alias Blessington), the bank robber turned police informer, kept for protection against the members of his former gang, and which he pulled on Holmes and Watson, mistaking them for two of his former partner in crime.
• Rope, Block, and Pulley – Used to hang Sutton (alias Blessington) by Moffat, Biddle, and Hayward, three members of his former gang.

2015-03-30 10.41.54Frank Mentzel, aka Merridew of Abominable Memory, is the current Gasogene of the Six Napoleons of Baltimore and has one last meeting remaining in his term. He is currently in the middle of teaching his four week Appreciating Sherlock Holmes classes for the Community Colleges of Baltimore County, MD for the Fall semester.

Leave a reply