Wednesday 26 April 2017

Cane used to kill spy for sale

Lyon and Turnbull auctioneer Alex Dove with the walking stick
Lyon and Turnbull auctioneer Alex Dove with the walking stick

A walking stick used to bludgeon its spy owner to death more than 100 years ago is to be sold at auction.

The intricately carved stick once belonged to William Gill, a British spy and multi-millionaire explorer. But in 1883 it was used by Bedouin tribesmen to murder Gill in the Sinai desert.

The 39-year-old adventurer was gathering intelligence for the British Government at the time of his death. The walking stick is being sold by an anonymous vendor and is expected to fetch £400 in the Lyon and Turnbull sale in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

It is thought he was on his way to cut the telegraph lines between Constantinople and Alexandria when he was killed.

Gill inherited millions and used his fortune to fund his explorations, while at the same time gathering information for his country.

He visited Persia, China, Tibet, India, the Balkans, Turkey and North Africa, keeping detailed diaries of his adventures, which he sent to his mother.

He was also awarded the Royal Geographical Society's gold medal for his work as an explorer.

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