Statement denies reports that John Lennon’s great uncle was a prolific Victorian criminal

Previous reports erroneously cited William Lennon as a relative of the late Beatle

A statement has been released denying recent reports claiming that the great uncle of John Lennon was a prolific criminal living in Victorian Liverpool.

Over 1.9 million legal and criminal records go online today (June 29), with a new digitalised database unveiled by the National Archives and website Find My Past.

The Independent previously reported the records showed the criminal history of a relative of John Lennon’s, William Lennon, over a period spanning over 20 years from 1876.


However, Find My Past have now issued a statement that reads: “We mistakenly said that we had found John Lennon’s great uncle in historic crime records. We have discovered that the William Lennon in our records, who was also born in Liverpool in the same year, was not related to John Lennon. While our fact checking process is rigorous, on this occasion we made an error.”

The person unrelated to the late Beatle, William Lennon was convicted several times of burglary, pick-pocketing and other crimes. He was also found in possession of counterfeited coins in 1895. Prison records also state that he had 15 scars.

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Meanwhile, the guitar used by John Lennon for The Beatles‘ first ever single, ‘Love Me Do’, was recently located after it had been lost for 50 years and is set to be sold at auction.

The J-160E Gibson was used by Lennon in 1962 but mysteriously disappeared in 1963, thought to be lost forever. Now, an amateur musician named John McCaw claims to have purchased the item for “a few hundred dollars” in San Diego during the 1970s.

The guitar is set to be sold at Los Angeles at auction house Julien’s Auctions from November 6-7. It’s expected to fetch between £400,000 ($600,000) and £500,000 ($800,000).