Mary Louise Conan Doyle

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Mary Louise Conan Doyle (1919).

Mary Louise Conan Doyle aka Toots (28 january 1889 - 12 june 1976) was the daughter and first child of Arthur Conan Doyle and Louisa Hawkins.

She had a direct younger brother Kingsley and 3 half-siblings Denis, Adrian and Jean (Lena) from the second marriage of her father.

Mary, aged 9, wrote A Visit to Heven which her father published privately in 200 copies.

She worked as journalist and musician.

Arthur Conan Doyle about Mary

In his autobiography Memories and Adventures (1923), Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about his daughter :

« One daughter, Mary, had been born to us, our household was a happy one... »
« I came home with this great suggestion buzzing in my head and as my wife was quite willing and Mary, my little girl, was old enough now to be left with her grandmother, there seemed to be no obstacle in the way. »
«  The two children, Mary and Kingsley, were passing through the various sweet phases of human development, and brought great happiness into our lives. »
« My daughter Mary gave herself up altogether to public work, making shells at Vickers' and afterwards serving in a canteen. »


In the movie footage below, Arthur Conan Doyle with his daughter Mary, R. G. Monier-Williams and Miss De Morgan at the entrance of The Psychic Bookshop (ca. 1925) :


Birth certificate (28 january 1889). GRO Ref. : 1889/Mar/PORTSEA ISLAND/02B/514.



  • 28 january : Birth of Mary Louise Conan Doyle at 1 Bush Villas, Southsea, Hampshire, delivered by Arthur Conan Doyle himself.


  • 7 february : Mary baptised at St. James Church, Milton, Portsmouth.


  • Winter : She spent the winter in Davos (Switzerland) with her mother Louisa, her brother Kingsley and her aunt Lottie.
A Visit to Heven (1899)


  • Aged 9, she wrote a short story A Visit to Heven. Her father found it so clever for her age that he published it privately in 200 copies.


  • Mary was sent to Prior's Field boarding school, Godalming, Surrey, a just-opened progressive school for girls.


  • May : She went to Paris with her mother Louisa.


  • September : Mary was in Dresden, Saxony (Germany) to study music until july 1910.




  • November : She was living at 9 St. Mary's House, London.


  • 24 november : Mary sailed from Glasgow on board the Columbia for America.
  • 4 december : Mary arrived in New York from Glasgow on the Anchor liner Columbia on her way to San Francisco. She was accompanied by Mrs. C. R. A. Colonna [1] (or Mrs. W. H. Coleman [2]), an English concert singer.


  • september 1920 : Mary returned to England after several months on the USA West coast.


  • august : Mary started a tour of Europe.
  • 30 september : Mary and her young Indian friend Pillo were in Florence (Italy).


  • 23 october : Mary played piano with the Scolia Folk Song Quartette at the Aeolian Hall, New Bond Street, London. Arthur Conan Doyle attended the concert.
  • Mary worked in The Psychic Bookshop of her father as a temporary manager after the opening but was asked to stay by the hired manager and assistant.


  • 24 march : Mary played piano with the Scolia Folk Song Quartette at the Faculty of Arts Gallery, and gave a lecture.


  • 11 july : She attended the funeral of her father at Windlesham.
  • 13 july : She attended the Memorial service organised by the Marylebone Spiritualist Association at the Albert Hall.


  • 7 july : She attended the re-burial of the remains of her father from Windlesham to Minstead Church, New Forest.


  • 12 june : Mary died, aged 87. She was buried next to her mother Louisa at St. Luke's Church, Grayshott.

Articles by Mary


Related articles

  1. New York Tribune (5 december 1919, p. 7)
  2. Elmira Star-Gazette (10 december 1919, p. 3)