Are we all related to Henry VIII’s Master of the Mint?


CB8PYJ Old photographs.

IN 1540, Henry VIII’s coins were made in the Tower of London. One of the Masters of the Mint was Ralph Rowlett, a goldsmith from St Albans with six children. I wondered: am I descended from Ralph? My Rowlett ancestors were Sheffield steelworkers, ever since my three-times great grandfather moved north in search of work. The trail goes cold in a line of Bedfordshire farm labourers in the 18th century, offering no evidence of a direct relationship.

My instincts as a mathematician led me to investigate this in a more mathematical way. I have two parents. They each have two…

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