‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ – the Poaching Ancestor of Gary Lineker | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ – the Poaching Ancestor of Gary Lineker

We really enjoyed watching last night’s episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, in which the family tree of Gary Lineker was explored.

We were especially interested in the Victorian newspaper stories that contained court reports on James Pratt, Gary’s gggg-grandfather.

We did a quick search for James Pratt in The Archive, and found several stories about him – one of which we’ve included below: a court report from ‘The Leicester Journal’ of September 1871.

James Pratt was a poacher and made several court appearances for this crime and, when convicted, was sent to Leicester Prison. Given Gary’s brilliant goal-scoring record, some football fans might be tempted to argue that the ‘poaching’ gene still runs in the family…

We’re not making any judgements about Gary’s ancestor, though, as we think having forecears who ended up in court and prison can happen to the best of us – especially back in the day when going to prison was much easier than it is today.

Indeed, while on a first reading, Gary was amused by the newspaper reports about his ancestor, who he initially considered to be ‘a bit of a lad’; he soon changed his tune, when he learned about the deaths of James Pratt’s first two children.

Leicester Journal – Friday 15 September 1871




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