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Professor James Moriarty
prof moriarty The Professor
First appeared in "The Final Problem", in which Holmes, on the verge of delivering a fatal blow to Moriarty's criminal organisation, is forced to flee to the Continent to escape Moriarty's retribution.
Moriarty follows, and the two apparently fall to their deaths whilst locked in mortal combat atop the Reichenbach Falls.


Moriarty plays a role in only one other of Conan Doyle's Holmes stories: The Valley of Fear, published after but set before "The Final Problem", in which Holmes attempts to prevent a murder being carried out by Moriarty's agents. Moriarty himself does not appear, although he does send Holmes a note of commiseration at the end. In addition to these, Holmes mentions Moriarty reminiscently in five other stories: "The Empty House", "The Norwood Builder", "The Missing Three-Quarter", "The Illustrious Client", and "His Last Bow".


Although Moriarty only appeared in two of the sixty Sherlock Holmes tales by Conan Doyle, Holmes' attitude to him in those two stories has gained him the popular impression of being Holmes' nemesis, and he has been frequently used in later stories by other authors, parodies, and in other media. In fact to some casual fans, it is assumed the real overall plot arc of the Holmes stories is the war that the detective wages with Moriarty who oversees the crimes that Holmes foils.
In the Canon, Dr. Watson never meets Moriarty (only getting a distant glimpse of him on one or two occasions in "The Final Problem"), and relies upon Holmes to relate accounts of the detective's battle with the criminal. In stories by other writers, Watson has encountered Moriarty more often.
Conan Doyle himself is inconsistent on Watson's familiarity with Moriarty. In "The Final Problem", Watson tells Holmes he has never heard of Moriarty. But in The Valley of Fear, set earlier on, Watson already knows of him as 'the famous scientific criminal'.
Moriarty's weapon of choice was the "air-rifle", a unique weapon constructed for the Professor by a blind German mechanic, Von Herder, and used by his employee Colonel Sebastian Moran.
Holmes described Moriarty as follows:
He is a man of good birth and excellent education, endowed by nature with a phenomenal mathematical faculty. At the age of twenty-one he wrote a treatise upon the binomial theorem, which has had a European vogue. On the strength of it he won the mathematical chair at one of our smaller universities, and had, to all appearances, a most brilliant career before him.

Moriarty's family

The stories give a number of indications about the Professor's family, some seemingly contradictory.
In The Valley of Fear, Holmes says of him: "He is unmarried. His younger brother is a station master in the west of England." In The Final Problem, Watson refers to "the recent letters in which Colonel James Moriarty defends the memory of his brother." In neither story are we told the Professor's own first name; it is only in The Empty House that Holmes refers to Professor James Moriarty. The question of how many Moriarty brothers this makes, and which of them is called James, has provided much amusement for Sherlock Holmes fans in the years since the stories were first published

Others: Colonel Sebastian Moran

Colonel Sebastian Moran is the villain in "The Empty House". He is born in London 1840 and formerly employed in 1st Bengalore Pioneers, he is self-employed but has worked for the late unlamented Professor James Moriarty. He plays cards on several high-ranking clubs to make money. He is also responsible for the death of Mrs. Stewart of Lauder in 1887
He has written the books ; "Heavy game of the Western Himalayas" in 1881, Three Months in the Jungle" in 1884.
He is the son of the late Sir Augustus Moran, former Minister of Persia and he is educated in Eton and Oxford, his address is Conduit Street, his clubs is The Anglo-Indian, the Tankerville and the Bagatelle Card Club.

Holmes has remarked that Moran is the second dangerous man in London.

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