|Also known as:||Lord John Spears|
Lord Jack Spears appears in Sharpe's Sword. He is a British cavalry officer who works for Major Hogan as an exploring officer. He is considered handsome, and is described as golden haired, elegant, and charming. He is a chronic gambler, reckless with his safety, and a serious womanizer. His charming, devil-may-care attitude, however, is very winning.
Spears is one of the few officers who befriends Sharpe simply because he likes the man. Sharpe respects Spears and admires his bravery as an Exploring Officer, riding behind enemy lines in full uniform so as not to be mistaken as a spy. "I've impressed the great Sharpe, how wonderful!"
He tells Sharpe that the French spy, Leroux, had nearly caught him and that an injured arm was a result of his escape through a window. The reality was, he had been captured and signed his parole. Leroux then used the parole and Jack's weakness, to turn him - information for money. He had made 500 in gold for betraying a fellow exploring officer, and had gambled it away. Just as he had gambled away his entire estate leaving nothing for his sister, Dorothy, for whom he cared.
Finally, he stole el Mirador's contact list for a promise of money to be sent to Dorothy once it reached Paris.
Then, knowing he was dying from the pox, he rode out to the battle lines and tried to get himself killed. Sharpe followed. He was mortally wounded by the French, but when he then spoke to Sharpe, he let slip something he ought not to have known, and Sharpe forced a confession out of him.
At the end, Spears asks Sharpe to kill him before the looters could, and to write Dorothy to tell her her brother had died a hero; "The last office of a friend." Sharpe, who had liked Spears, liked that he had made him laugh, agrees. He kills him cleanly, and then throws away the coat Spear's blood had splashed upon.
- "You know who I am."
"Harris handed me the name of the traitor just half an hour ago."
- — Spears and Sharpe
In the television movie Spears has a lost one arm, rather than merely injured it, and on Sharpe's behalf, refuses to shake Sir Henry Simmerson's hand, saying, "As I seem to have the most unfortunate habit of losing things, I think I'll hold on to me one good hand."
After Harris breaks the spy code discovered on a dead Frenchman, and discovers the name of the agent in their camp, Sharpe quietly confronts Spears who told him Leroux saved his life simply by ceasing to torture him until he died. He had been utterly broken, and forced into the life of a spy, but he said that he might be able to betray his country but he could never betray his friend, and the injuries to Sharpe and the loss of their colonel had not been because of him.
Sharpe wondered what to do with him, a 'proper' officer would arrest him and have him shot, letting his family die of shame. A gentleman would leave him a pistol so that he might shoot himself. Sharpe takes a third option, and sends Spears off to a hero's death, leading the attack against the French fort.