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WOMAN ALLEGES SUICIDE BARGAIN. Accusations against a Baronet.
A series of amazing letters, said to have been written by Theresa Agnes Doughty Tichborne, of Brockenhurst, Hants, who claims to be 'the last of the elder branch of the Tichborne family,' were read at Clerkenwell Police Court, Eng- land. An allegation that she was 'bribed to commit suicide' by Sir Richard Tichborne, Bart., whom she describes as her cousin, is repeated in the letters, reports a London daily. The woman is charged with writing a letter threatening to murder Sir George Lewis, the solicitor, and publishing a defamatory libel concerning Sir Richard Tichborne. Lord Fitzalan, late Viceroy of Ireland, and Miss Gladys Cooper 'were among the recipients of the letters. _ : ... (Half a century ago Arthur Orton, a butcher's son, claimed the title of Roger Charles Tichborne, who had been reported drowned, and, after maintaining the im- posture for a considerable time, was sent to prison.) Tichborne Claimant's Daughter. 'My cousin has bribed me to commit suicide, and has intended to take my debts. I am at starvation point.' This was' one of the passages read out by Sir Richard Muir (prosecuting) from the letters attributed to the defendant, a tall woman of dignified appearance, who had been charged at a previous hearing of threatening to kill Sir George Lewis, the well-known solicitor. In a statement to the police she claimed to be the last of the elder branch of the famous Tichborne family, while according to Sir Richard Muir (prosecuting) the woman claims to be a daughter of the notorious Tichborne claimant. Fresh charges would be brought against her, said Sir Richard, of demanding money by menace and publishing defamatory libels of Sir Joseph Tichborne. For some months past she had been writing defamatory and threatening letters to various people. Sir Richard said the defendant wrote in November, 1922, to the Coroner of Brocken- hurst: — A man named Draper came to see me last Saturday, and told me he was. bom Sir Joseph Tichborne. He said he wondered I did not feel suicidal with all those debts hanging over me. I said I often did. He then told me my cousin, Sir Joseph, had told him he would pay anything to know I was dead. I asked if he thought he would pay my debts if I were dead, and he. said, 'Rather.' I wrote to my cousin. Sir Joseph, last week, and said I will accept his offer and take my own life. £3,000 Debt. A letter to Sir Joseph Tichborne was quoted: — You are aware, no. doubt, that recently I have applied to the Magistrates in the Winches- ter district to protect me against you, as I have not been able to comply with your sugges- tion to take my own life. ... The suggestion is that I should give up ' the claim to the Tichborne estates and my name and relationship on the consideration that you give me sufficient income. I am owing to Brockenhurst £3,000. Defendant, wrote to Lord Fitz Alan, said counsel: — 'You knew my father was Sir Richard Tichborne, and showed me papers Lord Brompton had left.' A letter said to have been written to Sir George Lewis read:— If I am to shoot some one like you before committing suicide, as my cousin Tichborne has bribed me to do, there wouldn't be much chance of the matter being hushed up again. After reading a letter to Lewis & Lewis, Sir George's firm, asking for £50, counsel quoted the following to Sir Joseph Tich- borne:— Cousin Joseph — I am going to Lewis & Lewis at 3 o'clock to-day. If they do not come to a settlement with me, I am coming back here; or, if you are not here, going down to Tichborne by the afternoon train and commit suicide, as yon suggest I should do. ' This is the end. Sir Richard read a further letter ad- dressed to Miss Gladys Cooper:— You will no doubt remember that a little while ago I warned you to keep away from my cousin Joseph Tichborne and Denice. I did so because- my cousin has bribed me to commit suicide, and has intended to take my debts. I am absolutely at starvation point, and I have rent to pay to-morrow morning, and no money at all If you are any way grateful to me for the warning I gave you, would you lend me a few pounds by the morning?