In her best actress acceptance speech at the Baftas, Meryl Streep disclosed that she was always destined to play The Iron Lady because - like Margaret Thatcher - she had strong Lincolnshire roots.

What the US actress didn’t reveal, however, was that one of her ancestors was directly involved in starting one of the bloodiest conflicts in American history. Streep, who was born in New Jersey, is known to have historic family ties to Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

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