Morland Holmes
Morland holmes
Vital statistics
Sex Male
Nationality British
Family Sherlock Holmes (son)
Mycroft Holmes (son)

May Holmes (wife)

Behind the scenes
Appearances Elementary
Portrayed by John Noble[1]

Morland Holmes is the father of Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes.


Morland Holmes owns the brownstone where Sherlock and Joan live and hired Joan Watson to take care of his son, Sherlock, after his release from rehab in New York City, after recovering from a descent into drug abuse. His name appeared as "M. Holmes" on Joan's mobile phone when she requested to be allowed to stay with Sherlock for a while longer as his sober companion. Morland denied the request but Joan lied to Sherlock and told him his father had said yes.

He is described as an international consultant, and an "influence peddler par excellence".

He was willing to provide Sherlock with an exorbitant sum of money for ransom in a kidnapping case his son was investigating. He also undersold an estate of his to a buyer who started a super-PAC that supported the re-election of the New York City district attorney to get his son off an assault charge, and to get him back into the good graces of the NYPD. This is a legally shady action, which could be constituted as a violation of American campaign financing laws. It is assumed that he takes actions such as these on a regular basis, as Sherlock implies that his father had a direct hand in starting the Falklands war in 1982.

Joan notices he eats in a peculiar way, mostly because he eats small amounts of food and takes his time chewing, with a high dosage of vitamins. Later she learns he has suffered an attempt on his life while in Paris, France, an occasion in which he probably got shot in the stomach by hollow-points, which could have destroyed his internal organs.


As the only testament of Mr Holmes' personality came from Sherlock until his appearance, he was portrayed in a very negative way. He is extremely unscrupulous in his business dealings and with his personal associates, to the degree that Sherlock assumes that any colleague of his is equally despicable.

He is known to be very negligent towards Sherlock. As stated by Sherlock, his father never keeps appointments, and often sends representatives in his place, even in cases of family. This has apparently always been the case, as Sherlock has memories of it going back to childhood. He visited 221B Baker street only once, when he apparently "excoriated" Sherlock for not having any of his favourite tea.

In spite of his perceived shortcomings, Morland truly does care for and love his family. While their relationship was strained, he has proven that he does consider Sherlock his son on occasion. He paid for Sherlock's rehabilitation and set him up in a brownstone in Brooklyn (albeit it is his least impressive property of his five properties in New York). He also provided aftercare for Sherlock by employing sober companions, although he never met with them before hiring them.
He has stated that he "was always willing to go lengths" to help and protect Sherlock, as proven by his less-than-legal methods to have charges against his son dropped, and his influencing of the New York Chief of Detectives to reinstate him and Joan to being consultants. Morland apparently has no patience for weakness, real or imagined, and sent Sherlock away from London after becoming an addict because he lost faith in him, wanting him out of sight and mind. He was duly surprised when this move proved to be more fortunate than he had anticipated, and expressed pride at Sherlock's work in New York, and thus did not hold his relapse against him. (Evidence of Things Not Seen)

While being a ruthless businessman, Morland does have morals, as he shows to be opposed to the idea of assassinating an official from Mumbai for delaying a deal he was engineering, and thus was replaced by a mercenary outfit that carried out the deed. When the same sniper acts with similar methods to hide another assassination, he is disgusted by the cavalier attitude of the suspect, who "[compared] a massacre to inclement weather" in his opinion (The Cost Of Doing Business).

Sherlock also points out that, while Morland's business may result in someone in a distant land dying, he is not the kind of man who could pursue murder as a business and lead Jamie Moriarty's organization, saying his dad would be a "spectacular failure" and "[didn't] have the stuff to be an evil mastermind." Indeed, he seems rather shocked when he learns that Moriarty's organization considered him a potential successor.


Sherlock Holmes

Judging by how Sherlock speaks of his father, their relationship is not a close one. Sherlock was sent to a boarding school at the age of eight and tells someone that he would "trade his father for a Tic-Tac". He describes his father to relative strangers as a "Lovecraftian horror", and to Watson as having the moral neutrality of the plague.

Mycroft Holmes

According to Joan, Mycroft is closer to his father than Sherlock. Indeed, it appears that Mr Holmes favors the elder brother. After Sherlock fled to America, his rooms at 221B were given to Mycroft, who put all of Sherlock's belongings in storage. He also granted Mycroft his trust-fund early in order to open several restaurants in London. Mycroft, however, was entirely willing to use the breach between his father and brother in his own schemes to get Sherlock out of New York. Similarly, Mycroft's name comes up rarely in conversation between the other two Holmes.


  • Sherlock tells Joan (in the Pilot) that his father owns five properties in New York and that the brownstone is the "shoddiest and the least renovated".


  1. John Noble To Play Sherlock Holmes’ Dad In ‘Elementary’, Denise Petski,, 3 June, 2015.