Does Sherlock Holmes Have a Second Brother Apart From Mycroft Holmes?

by Megan
(Melbourne, Australia )



Question by Megan From Melbourne, Australia



I have a vague memory of reading or seeing somewhere that there is a third Holmes brother.

I have this idea that he is a cab driver, choosing this role despite reportedly having an intellect that eclipses both Mycroft and Sherlock's.

I've scanned the original texts and can find no reference so I'm wondering if I may have gotten this impression from the Jeremy Brett TV Series adaptation instead.

Do you know of any mention of this in either the canon or adaptations?

Thanks!

My Answer


Hi, Megan.

First: There's no third brother mentioned in the canon - the original set of Sherlock Holmes stories and novels.

Not just that, there's not even a hint of a third Holmes brother.

Mycroft Holmes is the only brother mentioned and he himself appears in exactly 3 Sherlock Holmes stories - The Greek Interpreter, The Bruce-Partington Plans and The Final Problem.

You mentioned a vague recollection of the third Holmes brother being a cab driver. So I'll just mention here that Mycroft does drive a brougham - a type of horse 'cab' in The Final Problem as he carries Watson to a place chosen by Sherlock Holmes.

But that's about it...

What about the Jeremy Brett Series? Does that have any third Holmes brother?

Nope. Nix, nought and nothing.

The Third Brother Created by William Baring-Gould

Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street - Book CoverI've encountered exactly 3 popular adaptations or fan-fiction works which talk about Sherlock Holmes having a brother other than Mycroft.

The first one is William Baring-Gould's book - Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street.

This book is a fictional biography of Sherlock Holmes.

In this book, Baring-Gould invents a brother called Sherrinford Holmes - born in 1845. This brother is 9 years older than Sherlock Holmes and 2 years older than Mycroft.

Apparently, this Sherrinford Holmes becomes a country squire like his dad. He manages the estate while his brothers do intriguing things like helping the Government and solving mind-boggling crimes.

Baring-Gould's extra 'brother' also helps quite a few Sherlockians answer this question: What happens to the squires' property? After all Sherlock Holmes says in the original books that his ancestors were squires...

The answer is simple: the eldest brother Sherrinford manages the property.

Take a peek at this excerpt from the book:

Siger Holmes married Violet Sherrinford at St Sidwell's, Exeter, on May 7, 1844. Sherrinford Holmes, their first-born, named, of course, for his mother's family, came into the world in 1845.

The second son, Mycroft, arrived in 1847, their third son, Sherlock, not until seven years later.



A fun-fact here is that Sherrinford is also the name that Conan Doyle first wanted to give Sherlock Holmes.

In the Novel - All-Consuming Fire by Andy Lane

In this intriguing novel that has the famous fictional character Doctor Who as well, Sherlock Holmes' brother is mentioned.

This brother's name is: Sherringford (there's an extra 'g' if you didn't notice.)

Here's an excerpt from All-Consuming Fire:

'I remember Sherringford writing to tell me,' he murmured, 'that one of our distant ancestors had been Commander in Chief of the Naval Forces of his Holiness the Pope. I had never credited the story until now.'

I was amazed, not so much at what had been said, but at Holmes's uncharacteristic revelations concerning his family.

After all, it had been five years before he revealed to me that he possessed a brother. I made a note to ask who Sherringford was when we got back to London.

Later, Watson learns that Sherringford is Sherlock Holmes' brother.

I won't reveal Sherringford's role (that'll spoil your experience if you read the book) - but he's well, quite an important character.

In the Movie - The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother

Sherlock Holmes' Smartest BrotherThere's yet another mention of Sherlock Holmes' other brother apart from Mycroft in this movie.

In fact, the 'smarter' brother is Sigerson Holmes - Sherlock Holmes' younger brother.

Now this guy is younger, not older as in the other cases. His name's different too - Sigerson and not Sherrinford.

This Sigerson dude is jealous of older brother Sherlock in the movie. He handles one of his cases though and it all ends up becoming quite funny. It's a comedy overall.

So, What's the Conclusion?


Is a third Holmes brother mentioned in the original Sherlock Holmes stories and novels?

Nope.

Have people tried to create a third brother? Oh, yes. For fun.

Does Sherlock Homes' second brother drive a cab? Not that I'm aware of.

I'd love to know if you ever find more references to the third Holmes brother!

Click here to post comments

Click here to return to Ask Me Anything About Sherlock Holmes!.