Genealogical research sometimes presents the most amusing surprises, and when it comes to class society, the unmistakable features of which are still preserved in Great Britain, a certain pattern is seen in these sweet coincidences.
You do not need to be a brilliant detective to consider the aristocrat in Benedict Cumberbatch. The actor never boasted of his roots and did not boast of thoroughbred relatives. “I’m not born for titles, I don’t have land and boreholes”, says Benedict. But you can’t hide manners!
In the fall of 2014, the Internet resource Ancestry (“Pedigree”) found out that Benedict is a distant relative of his own hero from the movie “The Simulation Game” – mathematician Alan Turing. They are cousins in the 17th tribe, and both originate from John Beaufort, the first Earl of Somerset, born in 1373. This honorable gentleman was the illegitimate grandson of King Edward III. And although neither the count nor his descendants had the right to the throne, one of them in 1485 sat on the throne under the name of Henry VII. This was the first monarch from the Tudor dynasty to rule Britain for more than a hundred years. You can learn more about their sovereignty from the eponymous series, in which Benedict was not called for some reason. Although he is directly related to the family, Cumberbatch did not have to dig so deep to find a reason for family pride. It is enough to cast a glance at the relatively close 19th century.
Great-great-grandfather of actor Robert William Cumberbatch served as British Consul General in Turkey. His residence was located in the large port of Izmir. The Briton did not just sit out his pants in a rich eastern city. He prevented several Jewish pogroms. And besides, he actively fought against slavery, which flourished in the country at the official level.
Robert’s son, Henry Arnold Cumberbatch, followed in his father’s footsteps and also became a diplomat. It is noteworthy that a hereditary foreign relations specialist was born in 1858 in the city of Berdyansk (now Zaporizhzhya Region), where his dad and mother arrived on an official visit.
Henry, like his parent, served as consul in Izmir for 12 years. In the same place in 1900 his only son was born – Henry Carleton Cumberbatch.
Grandfather Benedict, having returned with his family to England, became interested in military affairs and managed to take part in two world wars – the First and Second. He resigned with the rank of submarine commander. About how much Cumberbatch was revered at home, at least the fact that in 1934 a photo from his wedding adorned the front page of The Times newspaper speaks.
“One of the reasons why I get out of bed every day and try to squeeze out everything that I am capable of is the desire that my parents be proud of me!”
The only son of Henry Carleton and his wife Paulina, Timothy Carleton, unexpectedly chose the profession of an actor for everyone. For her sake, he abandoned the unpronounceable surname Cumberbatch. “Spectators simply will not be able to remember her!” – the descendant of a noble family justified. In all the credits and on the theater posters he was listed simply as Timothy Carleton. But such a sacrifice did not bring him success: Sherlock’s father remained a little-known actor.
In 1970, on the set of the drama series “Family during the War” Timothy met the charming blonde Wanda Wentham. At that time, the actress was married and raised her daughter Tracy. But the office romance so turned her head so that the young lady left her husband and moved to Timothy. Two years after the wedding, the couple had the only common son Benedict.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Arthur Conan Doyle turned out to be relatives
More recently, when the remains were discovered, according to scholars’ assumption that belonged to King Richard III, to identify the person, it was necessary to compare the DNA from the nameless grave with the genetic data of the king’s descendants living in our time. So the world learned about the relationship of Richard III and Benedict Cumberbatch, who, ironically, had the opportunity to embody the image of a distant relative in the Shakespearean “Henry VI” and “Richard III” in the television series “The Hollow Crown”.
But this does not end with mysticism. As it turned out, Benedict Cumberbatch, who came to world fame after a brilliant game in the television series Sherlock, is a distant relative of Arthur Conan Doyle, author of immortal works about a detective, the British newspaper The Guardian reports citing Ancestry.com.
Their common ancestor is John Gaunt, the first Duke of Lancaster (1340-1399), the fourth son of King Edward III and the father of Henry IV. The nickname “Gaunt” (indicating the place of his birth – the Dutch Ghent) was assigned to him thanks to the work of the same William Shakespeare, who portrayed this historical figure in “Richard II”. Thus, John Gaunt was Doyle’s great-grandfather in the 15th tribe, and Cumberbatch in the 17th.
As reported, at the time of the publication of the results in the press, the actor did not know what conclusions the experts came to. According to reports, it is known that the initiative to conduct the examination also did not come from Benedict Cumberbatch.
Good luck in finding.