The Post Quiz: Dodgy Ancestors?

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Not all our ancestors managed to do us proud.

The Post Quiz: Dodgy Ancestors?

An artist's impression of a family tree.

Lots of famous Brits came from not-so-famous, or even infamous, ancestors. Can you answer these questions about them?

Short answers. (Please. The proctor is tired.)

  1. How did William the Conqueror acquire his unpleasant nickname?
  2. What was Elizabeth I's mother accused of?
  3. What did Christopher Marlowe's father do for a living?
  4. Daniel Defoe was a faker who claimed descent from the De Beau Faux family – his real name was Foe, and he wasn't an aristocrat. What was his father's profession?
  5. Talk about your inbreeding: James VI and I's parents were both great-grandchildren of what famous historical person?
  6. Winston Spencer Churchill is believed to have had an ancestor who worked for William the Conqueror. What was his job?
  7. JRR Tolkien was of German ancestry. What did his family name originally mean?
  8. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Irish mother, Mary, claimed to trace her ancestry back to what famous family?
  9. Speaking of Sherlock, what were Benedict Cumberbatch's ancestors doing on Barbados in the 18th Century?
  10. What about Dr Watson? Martin Freeman has discovered that his great-grandparents' generation suffered from what disease?

Were you able to sort out the skeletons in these family closets? Click the picture to reveal the answers.

A scene from the Bayeaux Tapestry depicting William the Conqueror on his horse.
Post Quiz and Oddities Archive

Dmitri Gheorgheni

16.02.15 Front Page

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