Who are we?

The Conan Doyle Estate Ltd consists of eight people, all but one of whom are the beneficiaries of the will of Dame Jean Conan Doyle, the youngest child of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Most of us are relations of Sir Arthur, by marriage or blood.

We originally set up the company to manage the literary, merchandising, and advertising rights in Conan Doyle’s works and characters, including Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Professor Challenger. We own United States copyrights in the works still under copyright protection in the U.S.A. and also own U.S. trademark and common law rights in the name and image of Sherlock Holmes and several other Conan Doyle characters.

However, our mission now is much broader. Everyone has heard of Sherlock Holmes but few know much about his creator. Indeed we have met people in many different countries who are convinced Holmes was a real person - and don’t wish to hear he was not! Like everyone else, we loved reading the Sherlock Holmes books and stories when we were children. We have actively supported the recent re-imaginings of the detective on screen and in print. We are particularly delighted that this has caused many to read Conan Doyle’s original stories. But he created many other fascinating characters. We can attest that Dame Jean preferred her father’s witty stories about Brigadier Gerard, a dumb but endearing Napoleonic officer, which are themselves drawn from the memoirs of one of Napoleon’s generals. And then there is the irascible Professor Challenger, hero of Conan Doyle’s Lost World, the story of an expedition to a plateau in South America where dinosaurs have survived into modern times. Michael Crichton’s sequel to Jurassic Park bears the same title, in homage to Conan Doyle, and has some similar story lines. Conan Doyle himself thought his best literary works were two historical novels – The White Company and Sir Nigel.

Conan Doyle was a man of many talents who led an extraordinary life. As well as being a prolific and highly successful author, he was a physician, an adventurer, a sportsman and a campaigner on a wide range of issues. For most of his life and for many years after his death in 1930, his name and his exploits were known not only in the UK but also around the world. We, as his family, are determined to make him famous once more.

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
22nd May 1859 – 7th July 1930

Richard Pooley
The Conan Doyle Estate
Director & Step Great Grandson

Meet the Family

A short film shot on location in The Leadenhall Building one of the City of London's iconic skyscrapers with incredible views over some of London's major landmarks, including the river Thames, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster. A fine setting for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Great-Nephew, Richard Doyle to reveal a fascinating personal insight into his family, The Man, the brand and direction for The Conan Doyle Estate.

With thanks to Landing 42 at The Leadenhall Building.

Family Tree

The Conan Doyle Estate’s genealogy reveals a direct link to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself. Explore below the direct link to the man himself.

  • May 1859

    The Man

    Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, Born Edinburgh, Scotland 22nd May 1859.

  • March 1873

    The Brother

    John Francis Innes Hay Doyle (Pictured right) Born Edinburgh, Scotland 31st March 1873.

  • August 1911

    The Marriage

    John Francis Innes Hay Doyle married Clara Claudia Schwensen on 2nd August 1911.

  • June 1913

    The Nephew

    John Reinhold Innes Doyle, son of John and Clara. Born 24th June 1913.

  • January 1955

    The Great-niece

    Catherine Ruml Doyle, born 1st January 1955. Daughter of John Reinhold Innes Doyle and his first wife Ann Ruml who died in 1963.

  • August 1965

    The Great-nephew

    Richard John Francis Doyle, born 3rd August 1965. Son of John Reinhold Innes Doyle and his second wife Angela Firmston-Williams who died in 1975.

  • November 1997

    The Legacy

    Daughter of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
    Dame Lena Jean Conan Doyle
    died 18th November 1997, aged 84.
    Her Will passed the responsibility for her father's rights to 8 family members.

JUNE 2005


A new company is established by 8 members of the family all of whom are relations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by blood or marriage. The company is lead by a board of three family directors whose work continues to this day in promoting, protecting and developing the legacy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Board of The Conan Doyle Estate Limited.
Pictured above, left to right.
Richard Pooley (Step Great Grandson), Richard Doyle (Great-Nephew) and Catherine Beggs (Great-Niece). Photography by India Hobson. Location is Landing 42, The Leadenhall Building, London.

Estate News
Friends of the Estate

The Conan Doyle Estate would like to thank the following friends for their contributions to
The Estate and this website.

  • Jon Lellenberg - Author
    Dangerous Work, Diary of an Artic Adventurer
    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Benjamin Allison - Lawyer
    Bardacke Allison LLP
    Santa Fe, N.M.
  • Catherine Cooke - Curator
    Conan Doyle Collection
    Marylebone Library, London
  • David Spadafora - President
    Kittle Collection of Doyleana
    Newberry Library, Chicago
  • Daniel Stashower - Author
    Teller of Tales:
    The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Isaac Gewirtz - Curator
    Berg Collection
    New York Public Library
  • John Tibbets - Professor
    Film & Media Studies
    University of Kansas
  • Mattias Boström - Author
    From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men
    and Women Who Created an Icon
  • Michael Dirda - Author
    On Conan Doyle; Or,
    The Whole Art of Storytelling
  • Michael Gunton - Curator
    Richard Lancelyn Green Collection
    Portsmouth Central Library
  • Mike Ashley - Author
    Adventures in The Strand:
    Arthur Conan Doyle and The Strand Magazine
  • Peggy Perdue - Curator
    Arthur Conan Doyle Collection
    Toronto Public Library
  • Saul Cohen - Lawyer
    Sutin, Thayer & Browne
    Santa Fe, N.M.
  • Timothy Johnson - Curator
    Sherlock Holmes Collections
    University of Minnesota Libraries
  • Zach Dundas - Author
    The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise
    and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes

  1. CBS - Elementary
  2. Warner Bros. - Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
  3. Hartwood Films - Sherlock
  4. Miramax - Mr Holmes
  5. Scholastic Books - Baker Street Academy
  6. The British Library - London
  7. Exhibits Development Group - The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes
  8. Stepping Stones School - Undershaw, Portsmouth Road, Hindhead, Surrey
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Registered company number 05470933

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