is John Clayton?
John Clayton is a cabman who drove a disguised Stapleton in The
Hound of the Baskervilles. He appears in two of the original
Sidney Paget illustrations that accompanied the novel's first publication
in The Strand Magazine, yet looks slightly different atop
his cab than he does when he meets Holmes and Watson face-to-face.
One theory is that Clayton donned false whiskers himself for the
later interview, to try to avoid recognition from a previous encounter
with Holmes. Many rumors surround Clayton, including theories that
he was the grandfather of Tarzan, as well as the cab driver driving
straight at the artist on the cover of Strand Magazine. He
has also been said to be an American immigrant to London, the son
of a Peoria wagonmaster named William Clayton.
What we do know for sure about Clayton is that he drove cab number
2704, out of Shipley's Yard near Waterloo Station. He lived at number
3 Turpey Street, the Borough. He earned two pounds, two shilings
driving Stapleton in following Henry Baskerville, and another half
pound for telling Sherlock Holmes about it.
He also has a Sherlock Holmes society named after him, "The
Hansoms of John Clayton" of Peoria.
Other than those few details, Clayton, like so many things in the
world of Sherlock Holmes, remains a mystery.