Benedict Cumberbatch of BBC’s Sherlock Had a Real-Life Murder Mystery in His Family- Details Revealed

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By jaskiran kaur | December 4, 2013 4:47 PM EST

The enormously popular actor Benedict Cumberbatch best known for his leading role of detective Sherlock Holmes in BBC's "Sherlock" has a history of real life murder mystery in his family. The details of this murder mystery were recently revealed.  

Henry Ventham great-great grand uncle of the star Benedict Cumberbatch faced a trial for murder case more than 100 years back in 1893. He was tried for "The Romsey Stabbing Case" which pretty much sounds like yet another Sherlock Holmes murder mystery.

According to the records revealed, Henry Veltham was Benedict's maternal uncle who was just 14 when he was tried for the murder case in which he was convicted for stabbing his friend Fredrick Betteridge. The story was published in a newspaper called Hampshire Advertiser on Nov. 18, 1893. The headline read: "The Romsey Stabbing Case."

According to the reports, the act of stabbing was carried out during a row which occurred when both the friends, Henry and Fredrick were gathering nuts and blackberries. It was believed that there was an argument between the two that provoked Henry to stab his friend to death.

According to the official verdict, there was no such quarrel between the two friends. Instead Fredrick ran against his friend Henry and the knife accidently stabbed him. This argument was accepted by the jury of the court and supported actor's ancestor Henry's acquittal.

Henry Veltham was defended by a barrister named Bullen the Recorder of Southampton as instructed by Justice Hawkins. Henry's version of the story that helped him in his acquittal was supported by a third boy's account.

Hampshire Advertiser published the story with a conclusion which stated: "His Lordship ... was quite content with the view they had taken of the case (applause in court)." 

The 120 year old murder mystery was unraveled by a history Web site. The intriguing murder mystery can be viewed on

A family historian from the Web site wrote: "It seems that there was a dark horse in Benedict's family tree. His great-great uncle was not convicted of murder. But it just shows how many curve balls family history can throw at us."

While on his mother's side Benedict Cumberbatch has a past of real life murder mystery, his father's side has a history of an affluent English family of merchants and adventurers.

It is also reported that "Sherlock" star Benedict Cumberbatch's fifth great-grandfather Abraham Cumberbatch (1726-1785) owned slaves. He belonged to Bristol and yielded the family fortune by cultivating sugar plantations in Barbados.

In the present day, Cumbertach's progeny Benedict Cumberbatch is known for his skills of acting. He has gained prominence due to his excellent work in TV shows and movies like "Star Trek into Darkness."

Meanwhile, Benedict Cumberbatch is making a return as one of the most loved characters, Sherlock Holmes in BBC's "Sherlock" Season 3. The show is due to air on Jan. 1, 2014 with yet another murder mystery in store.

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