Benedict Cumberbatch’s family could face fight for Barbados slavery reparations

Oscar-nominated actor and sherlock Star Benedict Cumberbatch himself came under scrutiny from the Barbados government.

the 12 years of slavery The actor and his family could face financial pressure from Barbados in the coming months as government officials begin seeking reparations from former plantation-owning families. After officially becoming a republic in 2021, breaking 396 years of British monarchy control over the island, Barbados government officials have begun seeking reparations from descendants of once-slave and plantation-owning families. .

Cumberbatch’s seventh great-grandfather bought the country’s Cleland plantation on the north side of the island in 1728 and owned it until slavery was abolished in Barbados in 1834. The Cleland plantation believed to have housed 250 slaves and been the source of the Cumberbatch family’s small fortune.

Last month, the Barbados government announced its intention to seek reparations from British Conservative Member of Parliament Richard Drax, who inherited the island’s largest plantation, Drax Hall. The sugar cane plantation on the south side of the island is the only plantation remaining in the family of its original owners. Barbadian officials put pressure on Drax to return the land to the government. If Drax refuses, Barbados will seek compensation from an international arbitration tribunal.

“The money should be used to turn the local clinic into a hospital, support local schools, and improve infrastructure and housing,” Denny said of potential uses for the Drax family reparations.

If Barbados wins in court, it will set a precedent for its government to seek redress from other wealthy descendants of slavers, like Cumberbatch. The telegraph reported this week that the secretary general of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, David Denny, told the newspaper: “All descendants of white plantation owners who benefited from the slave trade should be asked to pay reparations, including the Cumberbatch family”. Although the Cumberbatch family no longer owns the Cleland Plantation, the sum paid to them when slavery was abolished is said to be around £1 million.

Cumberbatch has faced family controversy before, once revealing that his mother advised him not to use his real name for fear of redress claims. The actor has suggested in the past that he took his role as a plantation owner in 12 years of slavery in part to atone for his family’s past.

Barbados vice-chairman of the island’s national reparations commission, David Comissiong, insisted the call for reparations would continue for some time. When asked whether or not the Barbados government had specific plans to take legal action against the Cumberbatch family, Comissiong said The telegraph“It’s in its infancy. We’re just getting started. A lot of the story isn’t really being revealed until now.

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