So Bond’s not British after all: Daniel Craig’s ancestors are French clergymen and adventurers, ancestry records reveal

It’s the kind of genealogical puzzle that James Bond himself would have been satisfied to solve.

Researchers have discovered that 007 star Daniel Craig has a rather more exotic heritage than the fictional Englishman he plays on screen.

Records reveal that the actor’s ancestors are French and that he comes from a long line of distinguished clergymen and adventurers.

And fitting for a man who plays Commander Bond, one of his descendants was a hero in the Navy.

The new research was carried out by family historian Laura Berry, who is the lead genealogist for the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? series.

The 47-year-old star, who will play James Bond for the fourth time in the upcoming film Spectre, is only the second Englishman to play the secret agent on screen. Roger Moore starred in seven films between 1973 and 1985.

Although his father was an officer with the Merchant Navy in the 1960s, his paternal lineage stretches back to celebrated Huguenot minister Daniel Chamier.

Born in 1564 in southern France, Chamier rose to become a key figure in the historic drafting of the 1958 Edict of Nantes, which granted his fellow two million Protestant Huguenots the right to worship freely in Catholic France.

He was killed in 1621 after Louis XIII led a revolt against the Huguenots. The Edict of Nantes was later revoked by King Louis XIV, forcing hundreds of thousands of Huguenots to emigrate. The Chamiers arrived in England in 1691.

The research also shows that another hero appears in Craig’s family tree in the 18th century – Vice-Admiral Sir William Burnaby, the actor’s six times great-grandfather.

Writing in the fourth annual edition of Discover Your Ancestors magazine Miss Berry said: ‘No ghoulies have been discovered in Daniel Craig’s family tree, but his descent from a fascinating line of men who served for crown and country may explain why he has settled into 007’s shoes with such ease.

‘Burnaby proved himself to be worthy, in true James Bond style. During the cruise off Peurto Rico in 1743 it was reported that he had captured two privateer sloops, destroyed another two and burnt a sloop in Aguada Bay.

‘He was quickly promoted through the ranks, knighted in 1754 and elevated to the peerage in 1767.

‘So there are plenty of reasons for the latest 007 star to be proud of his roots.

‘Being of solid military stock and descended from a strong cast of characters whose lives were tested by adversity and touched by tragedy, there are more than a few qualities shared by Daniel Craig’s ancestors and the secret agent he portrays.’

Daniel Craig first played Ian Fleming’s hero in 2006 film Casino Royale.

He went on to star in Quantum of Solace two years later and Skyfall in 2012. His latest outing as the secret agent is due for release in November.


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