Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher Biography


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Henry Wade was born Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher on September 10, 1887, in Leigh, Surrey, England, the eldest son of Sir Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher and Emily Harriett Wade Aubrey-Fletcher. (“Henry Wade” was a pen name that he adopted in 1926.) Educated at Eton College and New College, University of Oxford, Wade joined the Grenadier Guards in 1908, serving in the First Battalion until his retirement in 1920. He returned to active duty during World War II (1940-1945). Wade was wounded twice during World War I and was awarded both the Distinguished Service Order and the French Croix de Guerre.

In 1911, Wade was married to Mary Augusta Chilton. They had four sons and one daughter. Mary Augusta died in 1963; in 1965, Wade was married to Nancy Cecil Reynolds.

After retiring from the Grenadier Guards, Wade held a number of positions in Buckinghamshire, including justice of the peace, alderman, and high sheriff. He served as lord lieutenant of Buckinghamshire (the queen’s representative in the county) from 1954 until 1961 and was a lieutenant in the Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (1956-1957). Wade succeeded to the baronetcy after his father’s death in 1937.

Wade began his career as a writer in 1926 with the publication of The Verdict of You All. His 1929 novel, The Duke of York’s Steps, introduced Detective Inspector Poole. During a writing career that stretched from 1926 until 1957, Wade produced a total of twenty-one novels (seven featuring Poole) and two collections of short stories, plus one nonfictional work, A History of the Foot Guards to 1856 (published in 1927 under his own name). Wade’s novels and short stories reflect his extensive experience with police business, as well as his dissatisfaction with the British legal system and its traditions. Wade’s work as a writer was interrupted by World War II, but he resumed writing in 1947 and produced seven novels following the war. He died on May 30, 1969.