Now We Are Six

Founded April 11, 2013, during a time of burgeoning momentum in “Things Doyle,” the John H. Watson Society seeks a level of equality in scholarship and enthusiasm for the life and work of John H Watson, M. D. We are an open and inclusive Society, seeking the collegiality and conviviality of Members worldwide and at all stages of involvement in Watsonian, Sherlockian and Holmesian interests. Really, we are about having fun.

(About the Society)

This month, the John H Watson Society turns six years old. Our members are a glorious representation of the worldwide Sherlockian community. We have now published 11 issues of the Watsonian (with the 12th issue currently at the printer). We will be presenting our seventh annual Treasure Hunt this August, and we are among the sponsors of the inaugural Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium this October.

As a Society, we have grown and matured, and I look forward to seeing what the future brings.

As you know, the John H Watson Society is a labor of love, run entirely by volunteers. Your current volunteers have worked to construct an executive leadership team consisting of a chairperson (Boy-in-Buttons), a treasurer (Carter), and a membership secretary (Boswell). This core group will work with other volunteers to continue the activities of the John H Watson Society. At this time, we are looking for volunteers to step into two of these leadership positions.

Members will soon receive an email with further details about these positions and information on how to apply. I hope that you will consider donating your time to this worthy venture and enjoy the opportunity to become more involved in your Society.

Statement Regarding Allegations of Harassment

The John H. Watson Society was founded as the Open and Inclusive Worldwide Online Sherlockian Society (Really, We’re About Having Fun), but having fun cannot be prioritized at the expense of the safety and security of our members. The JHWS is dedicated to providing a safe space for women, queer folks, and others who have found themselves marginalized in the Sherlockian world. As part of that commitment, we cannot tolerate the harassing behaviors by Chris Redmond that have been documented elsewhere, including those of which some of our members have been victims. This behavior is not acceptable and is not condoned by the JHWS, nor is any level of sexism, racism, ableism, or homophobia. To that end, Mr Redmond’s membership has been ended effective immediately. To anyone who has been affected negatively by this behavior please know that we see you, we trust you, and we believe you.


Beth Gallego (JHWS “Selena”), Boy-in-Buttons, and Elinor Gray (JHWS “Misty”), Watsonian Editor-in-Chief

TH7: Second Warm Up Quiz

Dear fellow Watsonians,
here’s the second “Appetizer” quiz that will be published before the Hunt. I hope that it will be challenging and stimulating.

“An excess of frankness could make it sink. What?”

Since it’s a busy period for many of us, what with Sherlockian conventions and other things (221B Con starts in Atlanta tomorrow) you have time until after the Easter holidays to submit your answers to:
Please send your email within April 23rd, Tuesday.

Happy Hunting!
Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master
JHWS “Reggie”, BSI “Attenta, Pericolo”

Quick Holiday for the Shop

Holmes and Watson seated on a train
Illustration from BOSC by S. Paget

Your Shopkeeper is taking a short holiday, so please be aware that there will be a delay in shipping any print publications ordered through the Shop this week.

Any new memberships purchased this week will be processed next week, after your Shopkeeper returns.

Two Watsonians nab tickets for Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium

‘There were some figures also upon a sheet of paper, with the names of some club friends…’

With the use of a John Watson Bowler hat and some slips of paper, the names of two Watsonians were drawn this morning to receive the admission tickets for the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium in Portland, Oregon, this October. The lucky recipients are:

Bruce Parker, JHWS ‘Oxford’

Robert Perret, JHWS ‘Sampson’

Many congratulations to our winners, and thanks to all the Watsonians participating in the contest. Our winners will receive registration instructions via email.

Registration is on-going for the symposium. It is sure to be an excellent weekend of Watsonian, Sherlockian, and Holmesian fun. Information can be found at

The JHWS will be well represented at the symposium. Won’t you join us?

Margie Deck/ ‘Mopsy’

Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium Ticket Drawing – Two Days Left!

Our opportunity drawing for two lucky Society members to win admission to this October’s Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium closes to entries in two days, on 15 March. You don’t want to miss this fun weekend of Sherlockian shenanigans! (Sherlockianigans?)

Current members are encouraged to complete the Entry Form with your name, email address, and Society Moniker for your chance to win free admission to this fabulous event! (If you are unsure if you are up to date, please hop on over to our Member Roster to check your membership dates.)

“As We Go To Press”…

The Spring Watsonian is in the final editing stages and will soon be headed to the printer. As physical copies are mailed directly from the printer, that means this is the time to make sure that you will be on the list!

Please check your membership ending date on our Member Roster. If it was 12/18, and you wish to continue your membership (and we certainly hope you do!) and receive the Spring Watsonian upon publication, please renew your membership before the 15th of March in the Shop: Society Membership.

Our opportunity drawing for two lucky members to win tickets to the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium will also close to entries on March 15th, so don’t forget to complete the form if you want to enter.

As ever, if you have any questions or run into any difficulties, please contact Selena Buttons.

TH7: First Warm Up Quiz – Answer

So, here is the answer to the first Warm Up Quiz in preparation for the Annual Treasure Hunt 2019.

Three members of the family lived in the upper, and one lived in the lower. What place are we talking about?

Tredannick, in Cornwall. Brenda, Owen and George Tregeniss lived in Tredannick Wartha, and Mortimer Tregennis lived in Tredannick Wollas. In Cornish language, Wartha means “Upper” and Wollas means “Lower”.

“The nearest of these was the hamlet of Tredannick Wollas, where the cottages of a couple of hundred inhabitants clustered round an ancient, moss-grown church. …we […] had come to know, also, Mr. Mortimer Tregennis, an independent gentleman, who increased the clergyman’s scanty resources by taking rooms in his large, straggling house.” (DEVI, 956)
“…his two brothers, Owen and George, and of his sister Brenda, at their house of Tredannick Wartha, which is near the old stone cross upon the moor.” (DEVI, 956)

«The “Wollas” in the village name comes from the Cornish word goles, meaning “lower”; similarly, the “Wartha” in Tredannick Wartha means “upper”. The real village of Predannack was split into upper and lower manors owned by different families in medieval times.»

Congratulations to John Gehan, Sheila Holtgrieve “Daisy”, and Ron Lies “Chips”, who all gave the right answer!

I received three correct answers from three participants, so perhaps this question wasn’t so hard after all. Well, we’ll see with the next!
Michele aka “Reggie”

Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium Ticket Give-Away

The Society is proud to be a sponsor of the upcoming Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium this October. It’s going to be a fun and educational weekend, full of interesting talks and social events. And we have admission tickets to give to two lucky Society members!

The drawing will close to entries on March 15th, and it is limited to current Society members. (If you are unsure if you are up to date, please hop on over to our Member Roster to check your membership dates.) Just fill out the Entry Form with your name, email address, and Society Moniker for your chance to win free admission to this fabulous event!

TH7: First Warm Up Quiz

“Well, it begins to define itself.” (3GAR)

So, fellow Watsonians, here we are. In about six months we’ll have our seventh Annual Treasure Hunt. I’m proud and happy to announce that I’ll be returning this year as Treasure Hunt Master.

The task, as usual, won’t be easy. Trying to make up a satisfactory set of questions means being caught between “the Scylla and Charybdis” (RESI) of making the quiz difficult enough to challenge the resources and the brains of the participants, but not too complex or convoluted, lest people lose interest and throw the towel in, wishing the quiz maker to the bottom of the Reichenbach.
Some informations: the quiz will consist of 60 questions (a Canonical number!) and part of them will probably be chain questions like those devised by our “Mopsy” for last year’s Hunt. As always, the use of a good Sherlockian Encyclopadia is recommended (Jack Tracy’s Encyclopaedia Sherlockiana, Orlando Park’s Sherlock Holmes, Esq. and John H. Watson, M.D.: An Encyclopedia of Their Affairs, Martin Dakin’s A Sherlock Holmes Commentary), as well as a good annotated version of the Canon (Les Klinger’s, Baring-Gould’s, and/ or the Oxford Annotated).

In order to raise your interest, and to test and balance the level of the challenge, here’s the first of the “Appetizers” that will be published before the Hunt. Warning: this is a difficult question. It requires not only knowledge of the Canon, but also a certain amount of Internet research and/or the use of a good encyclopedia. If I am judging correctly, this is about the highest difficulty level that you will find in the questions of the Hunt. (But then again I may be wrong and you’ll all breeze through it…) The subject here is geography.

“Three members of the family lived in the upper, and one lived in the lower. What place are we talking about?”

(N.B. The answer must be the exact name of the place, not a generic one. E.G. if the answer was “Florence”, “Italy” or “Tuscany” would not be acceptable answers.)
Please submit your answers to: within February 22nd, Friday. Happy Hunting!
Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master
JHWS “Reggie”, BSI “Attenta, Pericolo”

Seeking Associate Editor for the Watsonian

Greetings Watson-ian friends! The next issue of the Watsonian is in production, and the team of editors is seeking another pair of eyes. We would like to extend an invitation to members of the society to submit their name for potential associate editorship. Below are the expectations for an associate editor:

  • Familiar with using Google Docs to make suggestions/edits to submissions, or willing to learn;
  • Available twice a year (February and August) to participate in the editing process;
  • Able to edit for style, clarity, spelling, and grammar (American and British English are both accepted, MLA citation style preferred);
  • Willing to help make judgment calls on accepting some or all submissions, as necessary;
  • Excited about a variety of forms of scholarship: essays, fiction, puzzles, poetry, etc.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, or if you have further questions, send an email to with your qualifications as they pertain to the list above. As with all roles in the society, this position is strictly voluntary. Looking forward to hearing from you!

What’s Wrong with a Deerstalker Bike Helmet?

“Chips” writes to share a tidbit from an article written by Russ Bengtson for Complex (in 2013, but it was shared on the Hounds of the Internet recently).

In 11 Bike Helmets You Should Never, Ever Wear, Bengtson includes:

The Sherlock Holmes

You know why Sherlock Holmes could get away with wearing a deerstalker cap? Because it was the 1800s, he did cocaine, and he was A FICTIONAL CHARACTER.

“Chips” says:
 I disagree with this selection. Strongly. I have worn a Sherlock Holmes cap while riding my bike and now while riding in my wheelchair and my mobility scooter every day. And I have no ill effects. Folks tell me how dashing I look. 

“Selena” adds: I would quite like a deerstalker bike helmet. I might have to get one if I ever ride a bike again. To you cyclists out there, please do wear a helmet, no matter what style! Though if you happen to wear a deerstalker helmet, we’d love to see photos.

BSI Honours 2019

A hearty congratulations to the newest investitured members of the Bakers Street Irregulars, including two of our current members:

  • Michele Lopez (JHWS “Reggie”) – “Attenta, Pericolo”
  • Monica Schmidt (JHWS “Margaux”) – “Julia Stoner”


Cover of 1930 edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes

At the end of 2017, I decided that I would read my copy of the 1930 Doubleday edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes, cover to cover, during 2018. I started on January 1st with the preface by Christopher Morley, and I finished “The Retired Colourman” in the evening of December 31st.

I wrote out a schedule for the year that broke the reading down more or less evenly over 52 weeks, though I ended up reading it in bigger chunks less regularly. It was an interesting experience, immersing myself in the Canon in approximate publication order, having read some stories many times before, and others only once or twice.

This year, I’m going to explore the Canon from a different angle, and read through my Baring-Gould annotated edition.

Do you have any Sherlockian goals for 2019?

Renewals for 2019

The digital version of the Fall 2018 Watsonian was released to Paperless and Paper+PDF Members over the last week. (The digital version of our journal has been bundled with the print edition memberships/subscriptions since January 2016.)

If your membership is scheduled to expire on 31st December, this was the final Watsonian issue in your subscription. We hope that you will renew your membership and join us for 2019 at this link: 2019 Membership. (If you are unsure of your membership dates, please check our Member Roster.) Prospective members are welcome to join at the same link.

We apologize for the confusion resulting from the notes that appeared with some of the digital edition notifications. Formal renewal emails will be sent after the New Year to those whose subscriptions have lapsed.

In the meantime, we hope you are having a lovely end of year, keeping warm (or cool, for our friends down under!) and happy.

Compliments of the Season!

On behalf of the John H Watson Society, I wish the very warmest compliments of the season to you and yours.

Last year, “Chips” posted a photo of his copy of the BSI-published edition of “The Blue Carbuncle” with preface by Christopher Morley. In July, I ran across a copy in my local used bookshop, and found this lovely inscription inside:

To Ernie Baumgarth, at Christmastime, as a sort of keystone for a Sherlockian library. With all affection,
Russ McLauchlin
“Let me recommend this book, one of the most remarkable ever penned.”

Dec. 25, 1948

(My thanks to Chris Redmond (JHWS “Buster”) and Chris Music for deciphering the names.)

Knowing that this book was once given as a token of friendship from one Sherlockian to another makes it even more special to me.

Gregsonian Quiz Results

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

The third Gregsonian Quiz received four responses, and it proved really difficult to stump this crowd.

Congratulations to Michael M. Ellis (JHWS “Lobo”), Shiela Holtgrieve (JHWS “Daisy”), Margie Deck, (JHWS “Mopsy”), Paul Hartnett (JHWS “Scout”), and Beth Gallego (JHWS “Selena Buttons”)!

  1. In the popular 2013 series Шерлок Холмс many of the classic Canonical stories are remixed.  For instance, whom does Watson marry in this show?  Mrs. Hudson.
  2. A Study in Scarlet first appeared in November of 1887 in what periodical?  Beeton’s Christmas Annual.
  3. What is the alternate title of William Gillette’s famous 1899 play Sherlock Holmes?  The Strange Case of Miss Faulkner
  4. What was Shinwell Johnson’s nickname?  Porky Shinwell.
  5. What was the occupation of Watson’s friend Lomax?  Lomax, was the sublibrarian.
  6. If we were never to leave the Canon, we would know very little about Mrs. Hudson, not even her first name.  In fact, the Mrs. Hudson we now know was largely created not by Conan Doyle but by this popular Sherlockian author in the 1933 essay “The Singular Adventures of Martha Hudson.”  Vincent Starrett.
  7. Sesame Street has its own “great” detective in the style of Sherlock Holmes.  What is his name?  Sherlock Hemlock.
  8. Robert Downey, Jr, disguised as a chair In the final scene of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows we see Holmes in a very unusual disguise (One that is echoed in BBC Sherlock).  What is the disguise? A chair (near where Watson types)– Holmes’s “urban camouflage” blends with the fabric, design, and color of the chair.
  9. What is the most remarkable component in Professor Presbury’s rejuvenation serum?  Serum of Black-faced langur.
  10. What real life criminal organization are the Scowrers of The Valley of Fear based upon?  The Molly Maguires.

May all of your carbuncles be blue this holiday season!  If you would like to see more Gregsonian quizzes in the future, please let us know at