The Art of Killing

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

On tuesday 3 december 1889, Arthur Conan Doyle attended and spoke after the lecture "The Art of Killing" at the Portsmouth Literary and Scientific Society (PLSS) meeting held at the Guildhall (Portsmouth).


  • President/Chairman
    • Dr. W. H. Axford (replacing Mr. H. P. Boulnois)
  • Speakers
    • General A. W. Drayson (lecturer)
    • Dr. Bernard J. Guillemard
    • Dr. G. Kirker
    • Dr. A. Conan Doyle
    • Dr. C. C. Claremont
    • Dr. J. Ward Cousins
  • Attendees
    • General A. W. Drayson, F.R.A.S.
    • Captain R. Jackson, R.N.
    • Rev. Trist
    • Dr. J. Ward Cousins (Hon. Sec.)
    • Mrs. and Miss Cousins
    • Dr. A. Conan Doyle (Hon. Sec.)
    • Dr. F. Way
    • Dr. C. C. Claremont
    • Mrs. Claremont
    • Dr. Bernard J. Guillemard
    • Mrs. Guillemard
    • Dr. G. Kirker
    • Mrs. Kirker
    • Dr. de Fon Martin
    • Dr. N. Raw
    • Dr. E. J. Norris
    • Mr. and Mrs. A. Howell
    • Mr and Mrs. F. H. Wollaston
    • Mr. and Mrs. C. Foran
    • Miss A. Arnaud
    • Mr. J. Robson, R.N.
    • Mr. James L. Childes
    • Mr. A. W. Darley
    • Mr. G. A. Strong
    • Mr. W. Read
    • Mr. W. T. Pover, R.N.
    • Mr. J. Watkins
    • Mr. G. A. Cook, R.N.
    • Mr. R. Mayston, R.N.
    • Mrs. Mayston, R.N.
    • Mr. H. C. Goldsmith, R.N.
    • Mrs. Goldsmith
    • Miss Pike
    • Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Ball
    • Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher
    • Mrs. and Miss Tomlinson
    • Mr. E. R. Ramsay
    • Mr. W. Worthington
    • Mr. S. T. St. Clair
    • Mr. G. L. McGreggor
    • Mr. F. Archdale
    • Mr. G. R. McIntyre
    • Mr. J. W. Balfour
    • Mr. T. Simpson
    • Mr. W. M. Helby
    • Mr. G. F. Bell
  • Elected members
    • Dr. T. Austen, R.N.
    • Mr. H. S. Lilley

Conan Doyle contribution

Dr. CONAN DOYLE (Hon. Secretary) amusingly detailed how, when he voyaged to the West Coast of Africa as ship's surgeon, he innocently took out quite a battery of Birmingham guns and ammunition, expecting the negroes to gladly buy them with gold. He took the weapons up and down the coast, but found that the chiefs, who allowed nobody but themselves to acquire firearms, were already armed with Remington rifles, Winchester repeaters, and other modern makes which he himself had never seen. (Laughter.) Eventually he did succeed in bartering one of the weapons for a tooth-brush. (Renewed laughter.)

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