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“Could we not get a warrant and legalize it?” [BRUC] 

Sherlock Holmes spent his entire career in the pursuit of truth and justice. While he helped law enforcement, he wasn't always on the right side of the law (allowing criminals to escape, breaking and entering).

The legal profession was well-represented in the Canon; a handful of examples demonstrate how lawyers and the legal profession played a conspicuous role in the stories:

Making a will

Can you name an adventure in which a hastily scribbled will misled Inspector Lestrade? "The Norwood Builder" featured Jonas Oldacre, who made solicitor John Hector McFarlane his sole beneficiary.

Legal contract

In which story do we find an owner of a house restricted from removing any items in the house upon its sale? Mrs. Maberley unknowingly had an exposé in her possession that revealed the perfidy of Isadora Klein in "The Three Gables."

Trial by jury

In which story did Holmes, acting as judge and Watson, acting as jury, come to the verdict of "not guilty"? When Captain Croker told his story about the death of Sir Eustace Brackenstall in "The Abbey Grange," Holmes took the law into his own hand.


Can you name a cantankerous old litigant, described comically by Watson as "an elderly red-faced choleric crank whose passion is the British law, and who is said to have no less than seven lawsuits upon his hands at present?" That would be Mr. Frankland in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

There are other examples of course, but it's likely Holmes got his start with the legal profession in his early days at Baker Street Elementary...

For further information about Sherlock Holmes and the law, please check out I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere Episode 161: Canon Law.

Baker Street Elementary follows the original adventures of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, as they and their friends work through the issues of elementary school in Victorian London. An archive of all previous episodes can be viewed at www.bakerstreetelementary.org.