The UK TV Gold poll of 3,000 teenagers also showed that 47% of British teens were convinced that another famous British historical figure, Richard the Lionheart, was a fictional character. An unspecified number of respondents thought likewise about Charles Dickens, Gandhi, and Cleopatra, among others.
Conversely, some 65% of teenagers thought that the existence of King Arthur, the legendary ruler of Camelot, was an established historical fact, while over half are said to firmly believe that Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest and "stole from the rich to give to the poor."
While the figures of King Arthur and Robin Hood are believed by many historians to be based on historical events, there is no proof for their actual existence.
58% of respondents also believed that Sherlock Holmes, the creation of novelist Arthur Conan Doyle, actually existed and lived in Baker St. The poll does not say if they also believed in the existence of the Hound of the Baskervilles, or, indeed, Professor Moriarty, just two of the characters from Doyle's books.
Over three quarters of respondents said they never read history books.
UK TV Gold, which shows repeats of 'classic' British TV shows, did not specify on their website the exact ages of those polled.