From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

On tuesday 8 december 1885, Arthur Conan Doyle attended and spoke about "Pauperism" at the Portsmouth Literary and Scientific Society (PLSS) meeting held at the Penny-street Lecture Hall (Portsmouth).


  • President/Chairman
    • Rev. H. Maxwell Egan Desmond, M.A., F.R.G.S.
  • Speakers
    • Rev. E. K. Kendall (lecturer)
    • Rev. E. M. Johnstone
    • Dr. Watson
    • Mr. Orchard
    • Dr. Conan Doyle
    • Dr. Claremont
    • Dr J. Ward Cousins
  • Attendees
    • General A. W. Drayson, F.R.A.S.
    • Captain Bamber
    • Surg-Major W. M. Harman
    • Rev. E. K. Kendall
    • Rev. E. M. Johnstone, M.A., R.N.
    • Dr. J. Watson
    • Dr. Conan Doyle
    • Dr. R. Emmett
    • Dr. C. C. Claremont
    • Dental-Surgeon W H Kirton
    • Mr. G. Ollis
    • Mr. A. Howell
    • Mr. W. Inglis, R.N.
    • Mr. J. M. Ollis, R.N.
    • Mr. W. Milln
    • Mr. C. Foran
    • Mr. H. J. Orchard
    • Mr. W. Watkins
    • Mr. F. H. Wollaston
    • Mr. G. F. Bell
    • Dr J. Ward Cousins (Hon. Sec.)
  • Elected members
    • Surgeon-Major W. M. Harman, B.A.
    • Mr. Wiles
  • Nominated for membership
    • Lieut-General T. N. Haward
    • Colonel T. Bryson

Conan Doyle contribution

Dr. Conan Doyle thought that if a man became a pauper through adverse circumstances and in spite of his endeavours, he had a direct claim on the State. There was in England a great deal of ground that might be reclaimed from the sea, and of marsh land that might be cultivated, and the Government might step in and organise regiments of tramps to march about and carry out this work. He proposed a vote of thanks to the lecturer.

Full Report