Robert James Lees - Documentary material

Robert James Lees


Documentary Material

Car of Phoebus dustcover


The dust cover from the fifth impression (1960) of “The Car of Phoebus” by Robert James Lees, first published in 1898.



Le Matin on Jack the Ripper


The first page of Bernard Laporte's report on Lees' alleged involvement in the Jack the Ripper investigations, following Lees' death in January 1931.


Cover of `A Corner Wall mystery


This is the only copy I have seen of Robert James Lees' first published work. It is a brief account (more precisely, in Lees' own words, `a piece of sarcasm') of his battle with the municipal authorities in St Ives, Cornwall in 1895/6. Chronologically, it takes up his life story from where `The Heretic' concludes. During this period, the authorities apparently accused Lees of keeping a dangerous dog - hence the frontispiece which shows him with his pet dog. The caption (in Lees' hand) says `The Mahatma and his Ogre'.


Lees' diary for 1888


Robert James Lees' diary entries for the first week of October 1888 relating to the double murders. This is the only documentary evidence from the period of Lees' interest in the Whitechapel Murders


Leicester Mercury article


Members of the family may be interested in this article published on 18 February 2002 in the Leicester Mercury. However, some of the facts noted by`Mr Leicester' are only available, to my knowledge, on this website!


Conan Doyle letter


The letter from Arthur Conan Doyle to Lees, seeking Lees’ confirmation of the claims that he served Queen Victoria as a medium and introduced the Queen to the Scottish ghillie John Brown. There is no evidence that Lees ever replied to this request.


W.T.Stead letter to Lees


W.T.Stead drowned on The Titanic just three weeks after writing this letter to Lees.


Fenian letter


Did Lees assist Scotland Yard in their anti-Fenian investigations? The text of this note, presumably from a police officer to Lees, and dated 20 September 1898 is: Sir, I have been directed by Mr Anderson Director of Criminal Investigation Dept (Scotland Yard) to call on you and thank you for your kind offer of assistance re anarchists and to say that he will avail of the offer to the fullest. With this object I am instructed to address to the matter and would like to see you previous to next meeting night or say at your house at 7 pm on Saturday night subject of course to your convenience. If you can or other suitable arrangement if you would be good enough to drop me a line I will be delighted to attend to it. Yours etc F.Powell.


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© 2003 Stephen Butt