That's magic! Cornelius Fudge actually did exist
The mystery behind where JK Rowling got the name for a major Harry Potter character may have been found engraved on a 130-year-old whale tusk.
The massive piece of ivory – which belonged to a narwhal, a horned whale that lives in the Arctic – was presented to a person called Cornelius Fudge in 1881.
More than a century later JK Rowling gave the same name to the Minster for Magic in her Hogwarts novels.
A plaque at the bottom of the 2.5-metre tusk states that the original Mr Fudge was a sailor in the Royal Navy.
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It says: "Presented to Cornelius Fudge. Master At Arms. By his mess mates as a mark of respect and esteem on his leaving HMS London at Zanzibar to retire from the service. September 1881."
The tusk was brought by John Jeffries, of Tregony, Cornwall, over 40 years ago and is being sold at an auction in London in October.
Mr Jeffries, 64, has written to JK Rowling to ask if there is a link between the two people but is still waiting for a reply.
He said: "It seems a bit of a coincidence. Narwhals used to be seen as mythical creatures, until they were discovered by Vikings. It ties in well with the Harry Potter magical theme, so there's a chance the two names could be linked if JK Rowling knew about the tusk and who it was gifted to."
Mr Jeffries picked up the tusk from a private seller in the New Forest when he was 21. He bought it for a "couple of thousand pounds" but its starting price at auction now is set at £20,000.