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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Treasure Seekers: The Mysterious Voyage of the Xema

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Treasure Seekers: The Mysterious Voyage of the Xema is an article published in The Leeds Mercury on 5 september 1906.

Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the shareholders of The Xema Expedition.

Treasure Seekers

The Leeds Mercury
(5 september 1906, p. 5)

The Mysterious Voyage of the Xema.

Veil Lifted.

Titled Directors and Shareholders.

Romance and business are curiously blended in an interim report just issued about the doings of the good ship Xenia. in whose treasure-hunting venture so many distinguished and titled people are interested.

The debonair company that owns her, the Collis Diamond Syndicate Limited, has gratified its noble and eminent shareholders with a peep behind the veil of mystery that has been so tantalisingly spread over the affair.

The directors are — Sir Alexander Muir Mackenzie, Dunkeld, Perthshire; Knightley Grey Burne, gentleman, South Norwood; Arthur Lindsay Hughes-Hughes, retired captain R.N.; Frederick George Jackson, captain; Arthur Lundsberg, diamond merchant, Hatton-garden; and Arthur Brooks Larkins, gentleman, Philbeach-gardens, W., while the shareholders include Lord Aberdare (prospective father-in-law of Miss Camille Clifford), Lord Ardwall (Judge of the Court of Session), Marquis of Tweeddale, Prince F. Dhuleep Singh, Earl of Albemarle, Lord Saltoun, Lord Willoughby de Eresby, Lord Dunedin, Lord Sempill, Lady Louisa Prescott, Admiral Sir Berkeley Milne, Sir T. L. Hare, Sir W. H. Holland, Sir George Hare, Sir W. Davis-Goff, Sir Neil Menzies, Sir W. Barrington, K.C.M.G., Sir G. W. Des Voeux, K.C.M.G., Sir A. Conan Doyle, and Vice-Admiral E. H. Davis.


Cardiff was left by the Xema on August 19th last. All the wondering public who saw her off knew was that she was en route for a treasure island, latitude and longitude undivulged, where diamonds beyond the dreams of avarice abounded. This Eldorado of an island was rumoured to be somewhere in the Southern Atlantic.

The report carries us further. To begin with, it gives the longitude of the Xema up to date. She reached Las Palmas on August 26th, and departed three days later, intending to call at St. Helena before she took her final clash for the unknown.

All about the unknown, says the report, is contained in a big sealed package which is lying securely stored away in the locker of Captain Jackson, the director accompanying the expedition.

"It is only natural," the report remarks, "that accounts dealing with the objects of the expedition should teem with errors and inaccuracies." That is why an interim report has been issued.

Previous expeditions, the report points out, have cost sums such as £25,000 and £30,000. This expedition, owing to rigid economy, will not entail an outlay of more than £9,000.

So even in the event of comparative failure society may hope to get cent. per cent.


Romance is once more introduced when we come to the list of what the Xema cargo consists of so far as the report considers proper to divulge it. There are to be two large and three small houses, built in sections, bell tents, and a dining marquee — enough to make the mouths of a dozen Crimes water.

Most romantic of all is the tally of arms and explosives, 300 lb. of gelignite, 300 detonators, 14 rifles, 6 revolvers, and 3,000 rounds of ammunition. Cannibals, beware!

The report expects to hear something further of the fate of the Xema, the diamonds, and the 3,000 rounds of ammunition about. the middle of October. It will be at once communicated to the prominent folk who have invested their money in the innocent speculation of treasure hunting.

It is worthy of remark that to use the fourteen rifles and six revolvers, there are, in addition to officials and officers, seventeen seamen and an engine-room staff of thirteen.