Raj links: British PM’s ancestry traced to Kolkata

LONDON (TIP): British PM David Cameron’s ancestry has been traced to India, specifically Kolkata. This comes just months after Prince William was found to have Indian blood in him and a direct descendent of an Indian woman.

An exhaustive analysis into the Cameron’s ancestry has revealed that he and comedian Al Murray are cousins connected through William Makepeace Thackeray, the author of Vanity Fair. William was born in Kolkata on 18 July 1811. He was sent to England in 1815 after the death of his father.

Speaking exclusively to TOI, Myko Clelland, family historian said, “Documents from the British Raj that were made available online on Wednesday by the British Library shows that both Cameron and Murray’s family were very high up in the East India Company and for generations the two families administered India. Records then show that they inter married and the blood lines mixed making Murray and Cameron distant cousins.”

Records published online by leading family history organization “Findmypast” shows that Cameron is William’s first cousin five times removed through his direct ancestor John Talbot Shakespear. Murray is William’s great great great grandson. Shakespear is Cameron’s great great great great grandfather and William’s uncle. He was a senior civil servant with the East India Company. William wrote about East Indian civil servants and colonial adventurers.

“His characters may have been inspired by Cameron’s relatives,” the experts said. His father Richmond Thackeray was born in South Mimms, Hertfordshire and travelled to India in 1798 aged 16 to work as a writer (civil servant) with the East India Company. He later rose to the position of secretary to the Board of Revenue. His mother Anne Becher was the second daughter of John Harman Becher who was also a secretary (writer) for the East India Company.

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