Benedict cumberbatch dating
The trade, which peaked in the 18th century, saw millions of men, women and children captured and shipped from West Africa to the Caribbean, where they were forced to spend their lives toiling on plantations.‘It was a system of unimaginable violence, founded by violence and sustained by violence,’ adds Newton.‘At the museum, we have whips designed to be as painful as possible, chains, manacles, and bracelets which identified you as a person’s property.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 was used to build the college’s Cumberbatch building, completed in 1966.As for actor Benedict’s line of the family, they would dispose of their Barbados land holdings in the years that followed the abolition of slavery after receiving more than £6,000 — a relative fortune — in government compensation for the loss of their human ‘property’.
This revelation — which we shall explore later — is particularly ironic given the plot of 12 Years A Slave, based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a 19th-century black musician who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Deep South.In his will, the hugely valuable estate was therefore left to Abraham Carleton (born in 1726 to his daughter Ann, and Benedict’s fifth-great-grandfather) — but only on the condition that he agreed to change his surname to Cumberbatch.Of course, like any colonial sugar fortune of the era, the family wealth derived squarely from the brutal and exploitative system of slavery.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.