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Sir Sherlock Holmes

Sir Sherlock Holmes

…it was in the same month that Holmes refused a knighthood for services which may perhaps some day be described.

– The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (3GAR)

Knights_Bachelor_Insignia

Is it coincidence that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has Sherlock Holmes refusing a knighthood during the time period that he himself was informed of his impending knighthood?

Doyle’s pending knighthood was part of King Edward VII’s Coronation Honours list that was announced on June 26, 1902.  Although many presume that Doyle’s knighthood was in recognition of creating Sherlock Holmes, the knighthood resulted from Doyle’s vigorous defense of the British tactics in the Second Boer War. Doyle would receive his Knights Bachelor orders on October 24, 1902.

At the time Doyle received his knighthood, there was no insignia for the honor.  In 1926, this oversight was was corrected and a 2 3/8 by 1 3/8 inch medallion was created. The insignia is described as “Upon an oval medallion of vermilion, enclosed by a scroll a cross-hilted sword belted and sheathed, pommel upwards, between two spurs, rowels upwards, the whole set about with the sword belt, all gilt.”

In the August 23, 1902 Books and Men column of The New York Times, Arthur Conan Doyle is quoted as to discovering his knighthood by receiving a billing statement from his gunsmith, whose clerk addressed it to Sir Sherlock Holmes.

Books and Men - The New York Times, August 23, 1902
Books and Men – The New York Times, August 23, 1902

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