4 May, 2016 @ 13:38
1 min read

Was Spain’s most famous writer Miguel de Cervantes English?


cervantesTHE author of Don Quixote may be Spain’s national treasure but new findings suggest he was less Spanish than previously thought.

New documents suggest Miguel de Cervantes was in fact from English heritage – making him the most famous expat of us all.

Utrera historian Julio Mayo has uncovered documents that reveal Cervantes had Anglosaxon family with the surnames of ‘Tintam’ (Titon) and Herbert’ (Herver).

An Utrera Town Hall manuscript from 1593 identifies ‘Juan Titon de Servantes’ as a relative – possibly father – of the iconic author.

Mayo delves into an investigation into the Timtams, an English, Bristol-based merchant trader family who settled in Sanlucar de Barrameda, Cadiz, in 1480 under the protection of Medina Sidonia mayor Enrique de Guzman.

John Tintam and his colleague William Fabian were responsible for growing trade links – slaves and precious materials – between Guinea’s coast which was then owned by Portugal.

Glamorously, Juan Titon’s father Hugo was also a British spy well-integrated into Sanlucar’s English community.

And Mayo believes Tintam’s descendent Juan Titon de Cervantes was a direct predecessor of Spain’s literary hero Miguel via his nun daughter Maria Titon.

Meanwhile the historian believes the novelist also had paternal lineage from the family Herver de Cervantes, who were silversmiths from Cordoba, coming from the English Herbert family.

“I truly believe I have proved Cervantes had English family and it’s only the beginning,” commented Mayo.

This year is the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’ death.

Iona Napier

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