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Lord Horace Blackwater is a character appearing in The House of Silk. A decadent scion of an ancient noble family, Lord Blackwater is a key witness against Sherlock Holmes during his trial for the murder of Sally Dixon.

The House of Silk[]

During his investigation into the death of Ross Dixon and its connection to the mysterious "House of Silk", Holmes is embroiled in and accused of the murder of Ross' sister, a serving girl named Sally. During the trial, Lord Blackwater is called as a witness by the prosecution. He admits that he is an occasional smoker of opium, and that he had been partaking in Isaiah Creer's opium den when he saw Holmes enter. He corroborates Creer's story that Holmes took the drug, became paranoid and wold, and was thrown out, after which he murdered Sally Dixon on the street outside. He stuns the court when he reveals that he is the son of the Earl of Blackwater himself, and a member of one of the most notable families of Hallamshire. Watson is shocked to think that a member of one of England's oldest families would frequent a "sordid drug den" in the East End, but admits that his social position will give his testimony particular weight.

Later, Holmes uses Lord Blackwater's name to gain admittance to the House of Silk by claiming to be his friend; this, along with his white silk ribbon, gains Holmes and Watson entrance to the brothel. However, Lord Blackwater is not found to be present when Inspector Lestrade raids the school. Holmes explains to Lestrade that the young noble was doubtless a frequent visitor, and that photographs taken of him during his visits were likely used by Charles Fitzsimmons to blackmail him into falsely testifying against Holmes at trial.

Nevertheless, Lord Blackwater manages escapes any punishment at the end of the case, a fact that irritates Watson enormously.

Appearance[]

Lord Blackwater is described as red-faced, "languid and overly refined", no older than thirty and highly fashionable. He is a member of one of the oldest and most respected families in the country, and farms over a thousand acres in Hallamshire. He claims his opium use is "an occasional indulgence" no different from tobacco or alcohol, for which he feels no shame.

Trivia[]

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