Elias Openshaw

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

John Openshaw's uncle.

In the Sherlock Holmes Stories

  • He was the uncle of John Openshaw and brother of Joseph Openshaw. (FIVE, 62)
  • He emigrated to America when he was a young man, and became a planter in Florida, where he was reported to have done very well. At the time of the war he fought in Jackson's army, and afterwards under Hood, where he rose to be a colonel. When Lee laid down his arms my uncle returned to his plantation, where he remained for three or four years. About 1869 or 1870 he came back to Europe, and took a small estate in Sussex, near Horsham. He had made a very considerable fortune in the States, and his reason for leaving them was his aversion to the negroes, and his dislike of the Republican policy in extending the franchise to them. He was a singular man, fierce and quick-tempered, very foul-mouthed when he was angry, and of a most retiring disposition. He had a garden and two or three fields round his house, and there he would take his exercise, though very often for weeks on end he would never leave his room. He drank a great deal of brandy, and smoked very heavily, but he would see no society, and did riot want any friends, not even his own brother. (FIVE, 65)
  • He took a fancy to his nephew John Openshaw. (FIVE, 74)
  • In 1878, he was in England since eight or nine years. He asked Joseph Openshaw to let John Openshaw live with him and he was very kind to his nephew. When he was sober he used to be fond of playing backgammon and draughts with John. (FIVE, 75)
  • On March the 10th, 1883, he received a letter from India, with a Pondicherry post-mark, including five little dried orange pips. (FIVE, 81, 122)
  • He had done his duty well, and had borne the repute of being a brave soldier. (FIVE, 131)
  • His death was upon the night of the 2nd of May in 1883. (FIVE, 123)