Research has revealed that “Sherlock” star Benedict Cumberbatch shares an ancestor with the Sherlock Holmes’ creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, making him a direct descendant of the famed British author.
Just in time for the premiere of the fourth season of “Sherlock,” researchers for Ancestry.com have determined that the celebrated British actor and the nineteenth century Scottish author who created his TV role share a common link.
Cumberbatch and Doyle are 16th cousins, twice removed, according to the report. They are related through John of Gaunt, the first Duke of Lancaster, born about 1340.
“How rare that an actor in a major series has the chance to play a character created by a relative, especially one as iconic as Sherlock Holmes. Imagine our surprise to discover that the connecting link between these two is British royalty. Seems fitting,” Ancestry family historian Jennifer Utley said.
John of Gaunt is Cumberbatch’s 17th great-grandfather and Arthur Conan Doyle’s 15th great-grandfather.
John of Gaunt was the fourth son of King Edward III, and his legitimate male heirs included Kings Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI. He was a close friend of poet Geoffrey Chaucer.