Ed Balls voiced his deep concern as he revealed the dark past of William Dunbar, a distant relative.
The former MP, 54, has recently been seen making new ventures outside of politics on Good Morning Britain, and the former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, made another television appearance on BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? as he traced his ancestral family tree.
In Tuesday’s upcoming episode he discovers that his three times great grandfather, who was once a an assistant surgeon on HMS Victory during the Napoleonic wars, later took on a post at a workhouse.
‘I want him to be one of the good guys’: Ed Balls delved into his family’s dark past on BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? His ancestor was accused in a misconduct case at workhouse
Talking with RadioTimes, The former Labour politician said: ‘In both cases, the workhouse is – and the master of the workhouse is – mistreating one inmate and not feeding another, but in both cases, the accusation is that William Dunbar is an accessory.’
Ed continues to read a section from a history textbook before admitting that it was hard for him to recognize his ancestors’ successes after the events in Kent.
William is not only accused of kissing the workhouse master’s 16-year-old daughter but also manslaughter alongside the master.
After learning about the allegations against his relative, Ed was moved to reflect on what he had discovered.
Ed thought back to his surprise when he learned about the allegations against his relative, whom he had previously considered noble.
He added: ‘That feels like a noble pursuit, but to then read these accounts of the poorest and the most vulnerable being mistreated cruelly and to read that he might have been part of that… so from pride to deep concern.’
‘I don’t want to be ashamed. I’m related to him, I don’t want him to be part of the cruelty – I want him to be one of the good guys not one of the bad guys.’
Dark past: ‘I don’t want to be ashamed. I’m related to him, I don’t want him to be part of the cruelty’
Previously, Ed also discovered that an ancestor on his mother’s side agricultural worker Christopher Green had been an arsonist.
The farm worker rebelled against the introduction of machinery to do his work for him, and was eventually charged with torching the farmhouse.
It comes after Ed made his his Good Morning Britain presenting debut earlier this month – hosting the breakfast news show alongside Susanna Reid.
Making history: Ed learnt about his family history (pictured: Ed’s great grandparents Frank Smith Balls and Jessie Dunbar)