Born in the year 1840, James Bartholomew Bass spent the first twelve years of his life as an orphaned only child in the Derbyshire workhouse where his mother lived and worked for a short time after her husband’s tragic death in a mining accident, until her passing during the birth of her only child, James.
Soon after his 12th birthday James absconded from his dour, oppressive workhouse existence and made directly for London where, in the East End district of Whitechapel, he proceeded to live for the next two years of his young life relying on his natural guile and wits alone in order to survive. During this time Bass formed what was to become a lifelong friendship with fellow street urchin Alan Tiberius Blackmore and whilst becoming adept at employing certain questionable methods for the purposes of securing their next meal and keeping a dry roof over their heads the pair began to develop not only a keen instinct for survival but also, coupled with an encyclopedic knowledge of both London and Whitechapel, a problem solving acumen that honed to perfection their rapidly developing intellects, and was in turn supported by the pair's fearsome reputation for employing often uncompromisingly stern discipline in order to achieve their goals.
Facing the unenviable choice of immediate transportation to an antipodean penal colony for life, or joining the Army after being arrested and found guilty of perpetrating various misdemeanours in and around the city, the hapless pair opted for the latter and were pressed into service with the Prince Consorts Own 95th Rifle Brigade. Following a distinguished career of fifteen years with the Rifle Brigade, after which five years were spent with Prince Albert's own Royal Hussars Regiment, followed by a further seven years as special agents sequestered to Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s special black operations unit CSF (Covert Special Forces), both men eventually retired bearing full military honours in the year 1885, after distinguished service in the second Anglo-Afghan war.
Having been highly decorated for services above and beyond the call of duty rendered to Queen and country and rising to the rank of Major, James Bass and his companion, Commander Tiberius Blackmore, were recommended by their military superiors for recruitment into the London Metropolitan Police force where they were each immediately raised to the rank of Detective Inspector under the command and mentorship of their old army associate and great friend Detective Chief Superintendent Francis (Frank) William Abilene, and were subsequently based at the Leman Street station house, situated deep within the heart of Whitechapel.
Both detectives became founder members of the organisation named 'The League of Ghosts' and a series of novels chronicling the pair's many and varied exploits were adapted from the original journals kept by Detective Chief Inspector James Bartholomew Bass.