Tony Robinson (Baldrick in Blackadder) and “Sexy National Archives”, Genealogy

The Daily Telegraph has an article by Ben Fenton about Tony Robinson (Baldrick in Blackadder, as well as Time Team) and his family’s history. Those of you who follow him, know that he’s now become well-known for helping to popularise archaeology, but surprisingly, he hasn’t looked into his family history all that much. That’s changed recently.

Excerpt from the article:

You might think that Tony Robinson, normally to be found scrutinising a dirty brown object that might be a shard of Roman pottery or a dried-out slug, would find the precise world of the National Archives rather dull.

The actor, unearthed first as Baldrick in Blackadder, but now best-known for popularising archaeology on programmes such as Time Team, seems to be more at home in the speculative habitat of the dig rather than the exact and certificated world of censuses and marriage registers.

Far from it.

“Whoever would have thought that archives could be sexy?” says Robinson, his eyes sparkling in the sterile atmosphere of a windowless sideroom in The National Archives in Kew.

In the space of a few hours, helped by experts from the Archives, the internet genealogy company and Nick Barratt, The Daily Telegraph’s family history expert, he has already uncovered enough nuggets about his own past to fuel gossip in the Robinson clan for another generation.

“For instance, nobody ever told me that my mum was born only six months after her parents married!” he say

A very intersting article, and worth reading, but I’m a bit worried that people with only a mild interest in genealogy will read it and come away thinking that genealogy is just as easy as the click of a mouse button.

Leave a Comment