Russell Crowe says he’s descended from last man beheaded at Tower of London SuperNayr

Russell Crowe has revealed that he believes himself to be directly related to Simon Fraser, the 11th Lord Lovat, who was the last man to be executed by beheading in England.

Fraser was sentenced to death for high treason in 1747 and died on Tower Hill after being held in the Tower of London.

Crowe, 59, who was born in New Zealand, wrote on X/Twitter that he had been carrying out genealogical research into his own family tree.

The Gladiator star explained that a relative on his father’s mother’s side, John ‘Jock’ Fraser, arrived in New Zealand in 1841. He is believed to be a direct descendant of Simon Fraser.

“Look him up,” suggested Crowe. “He’s quite the character. The Old Fox they used to call him.

“Seems his Machiavellian ways caught up to him at the age of 80, [and] he has a claim to infamy as the last man to have the head chopped off his living body in the Tower of London.

“His death even coined a phrase. Apparently, they set up temporary stands for the gentry to watch him die. One of these stands collapsed which resulted in the death of 9 onlookers. Being told this just before he was put to death made him laugh. He was still laughing when the blade struck his neck, thereby ‘laughing his head off’. Fascinating.”

Crowe also said he was pleased to have located traces of his family history in Italy.

“I’ve been on the hunt to track down my Italian forebears for quite some time,” he wrote. “Folkloric family tales and misspelling had seen me travel on a number of wrong tracks.”

“Turns out my great great great grandfather, on my mother’s side, who travelled to NZ in 1864 was Luigi Ghezzi. Born in 1829 in Ascoli Piceno, Marche, the son of Augestine & Annunziata born in Parma.

“Luigi had been working in Argentina, took a boat to India, was shipwrecked, and ended up in Capetown. While there he met and married Mary Ann Curtain and they migrated to NZ.”

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The actor added: “It’s so cool to finally find out the Italian connection, and that as much of Italy as I’ve seen, it’s to places I’ve never been. Looks like there’s an adventure ahead.”

Last year, Crowe denied rumours that he would make a cameo appearance in Gladiator 2 after he was spotted in Malta.

In fact, Crowe said, he was visiting the Mediterranean island to perform a concert with his band, Indoor Garden Party.



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