Who is benedict cumberbatch dating

16 Feb

‘The rapidity and destruction evinced the fury of the insurgents.’In the two months the uprising lasted, Bussa and an estimated 1,000 of his fellow slaves were killed.

A further 214 were executed after the rebellion had been put down, and 123 slaves shipped off the island.

In an irony which even a Hollywood screenwriter couldn’t make up, Benedict is currently treading red carpets in support of the Oscar campaign for 12 Years A Slave, the harrowing hit film which depicts the ugly reality of the slave trade.

The plantation was purchased in 1728 by Abraham Cumberbatch, Benedict’s seventh-great-grandfather.

‘It’s very hilly and rocky, as you can see, and a lot of hard work has to go each year into maintaining the plantation.’The one-storey building, believed to be almost 400 years old, is filled with antique furniture and fading photographs.

One paragraph stipulates: ‘My plantation be kept staffed with 250 negro slaves and 150 head of cattle.’In 1816, by which time the plantations had passed through the hands of Abraham Carleton and his son, also Abraham (1754-96), and were owned by Abraham Parry Cumberbatch (born 1794), a slave called Bussa led a bloody rebellion.‘Furniture of every description, rum, sugar, wine, corn, and every species of food which had been stored were promiscuously scattered in the roads and fields near to dwelling houses,’ recalled Edward Codd, a British soldier, in a letter home to London.

Shortly afterwards, the Cumberbatch clan had another headache.

By 1820, Abraham Parry Cumberbatch had acquired sufficient wealth to return to Britain to live in some splendour at Fairwater House, in a stately home which is now the site of Taunton School. ‘Sometimes the relationships involved sexual exploitation. Sometimes it was a genuine match, though there was always a power differentiation.’‘If Lawrence had a relationship with a slave called Elizabeth, that would be no surprise at all,’ he says.

One of those was a woman known only as Elizabeth, described in family documents as a ‘mulatto’, meaning that she was the light-skinned daughter of a white plantation owner and a black female slave. ‘I can guarantee that he didn’t marry her; she would have been called his “housekeeper” or similar.

She would become the unmarried Lawrence’s lover and produce his only son, John Edward Cumberbatch, who was born in 1800 when his father was 46.‘It happened wherever there was slavery,’ says Newton. The children of these unions were known as “reputed” or “natural” children in legal contexts such as wills.’John Edward Cumberbatch would, in turn, become the patriarch of another noteworthy Cumberbatch clan.