Alex Kingston stunned by ancestry

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 18 September 2012
Alex Kingston

Alex Kingston

Alex Kingston was shocked to learn one of her ancestors was a prostitute when tracing her roots on 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

Alex Kingston discovered a family history of prostitution when tracing her roots on 'Who Do You Think You Are?'.

The 'Doctor Who' actress was stunned to learn her great great great great grandma Elizabeth Braham - a single mother of four children whose occupation was listed as a lodging housekeeper - was convicted of running a house of ill repute in London.

Alex, 49, was initially bemused by the findings, saying: "Almost all of the women are heads of the street which seems extraordinary. The men seem absent."

However, she then realises the meaning of her discovery and exclaims: "Are they prostitutes, are they really? Oh my god, oh no."

The show's historian Catherine Arnold explained women like Elizabeth - who died in 1873 aged 84 - ran houses where men paid for sex, like motels and could earn up to 10 times the amount servants did at the time.

Alex said: "When I heard she took in lodgers I thought it was like my nan.

"But the difference is the lodging Elizabeth established was a brothel.

"This afternoon I found my inner whore. I was not expecting that."

Elizabeth was also convicted of running another brothel in London and was cautioned for public disturbance.

Alex added: "She was a force of nature."

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