Friday, August 01, 2008

A Larcenous Lineage

Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd descends from a sweet-toothed criminal and an underwear thief.

Researchers looking into Mr Rudd's family history discovered that his fourth great-grandfather, Thomas Rudd, was transported to Australia in 1801 to serve a seven-year sentence for "unlawfully acquiring a bag of sugar".

However, his crime is eclipsed by that of the prime minister's paternal fifth great-grandmother Mary Wade, a London street urchin who made a pittance by sweeping streets and begging.

In 1788, aged 12, she and an older girl coaxed an eight-year-old girl into a toilet where they relieved her of "her dress, petticoats, a linen tippet, and a cap and absconded". [Link]
The details of the dastardly deeds will be found here and here.

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