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Shakespeare's kin hopes to connect with common man

Last updated: 03 November, 2010
London, Nov 3, (PTI): 14:59 IST

A reverend in Leicestershire sports the famous surname of Shakespeare and claims family links with the Bard but is not sure if the magic of words has rubbed off on his own poetry.

Reverend James Shakespeare, 39, is a descendant of William Shakespeare having descended from the famous playwright's first cousin, John Shakespeare.
James' family is said to be the closest living relations of the Bard and Reverend Shakespeare hopes that he has inherited his famous ancestor's ability to connect with the man in the street.

He is training to become a street pastor in Leicestershire and is taking to the streets in Market Harborough as part of a team who aims to calm people down and reduce alcohol-fuelled violence on Friday and Saturday nights.

"My famous relative had the knack of being able to speak to the ordinary person through his work and I am hoping that I will be able to do the same. I will be co-ordinating the team of street pastors in Market Harborough and am training so I can help reach out to the needy," James told the media in Leicester.

Recalling that his family was descended from John Shakespeare, first cousin of the playwright, he said, "The family link was discovered by my grandfather Sir Geoffrey Shakespeare, who was private secretary to David Lloyd George when he was prime minster."

In his spare time, Rev Shakespeare writes poetry for his own pleasure but has never had any work published.

"I use it as a form of expression and relaxation but you never know the genes may kick in and I might produce something worthwhile. That would be nice but I am more interested in connecting with the needy people on the streets by word of mouth.

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