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Romance from Real life.




The death of Lord Russell of Kil lowen, Lord Chief Justice, removed perhaps the last important figure in one of the most sensational romances of modern times-the famoub Tich borde case.

In the year 1871, the advertise ments perseveringly published by the Dowager Lady Ticlibornc for ! any news of her ton, Sir Rcger . Tichborne-who had left home early ... in the fifties, going none of his

friend* knew whither, though lie ! Was believed to have met his dealt

by drowning at sea, through the loss > Of the sailing ship Bella on which he ./ .had taken passage-were answered in vflStartllng and little-expected manner.

News arrived from Australia thai

s 'the nm^ng baronet was alive and

pibtooded returning home to claim his pMrthright, aud comfort tlie <)i» li.iin >

tPiye»t8 of the mother he hud so lorir ^deserted

The lond old Jiidv met her re

mkigiiinHj him, «.» sh<> most

^||pjiiMV?'iy ak-erti'd, whuruu|i«n u.e

>r&nch of (he family already in iossession of the extensive estates at

3|ta^)ifieldsay, in Hampshire, were *||edi with consternation and well

>|iDded alarm. They, however, from

Etainrumoura which came to their

J^wwe convinced tbe claimant

impudent impostor. Lord iteell waB one of ibe counsel for the fendantB.and tbe late Dr. Edward

i£han Kenealy. ex-M.P. forS:oke "i&t» eloquently and ably pleaded pie of me claimant.

|!^jal occupied the civil courts

long day, and excited

fcfide interest. The claimant's gniiiotiby :Lady Tichborne ai her

"l the chief point in his favour,

^S&ff^kijpcriStii one was his

jitancft with certain matters

wlyiliB Hghtful Sir Roger, it ^Pg{ltdl, feoold have known. He ^pw:|l»t|»oed in identically Ibe

inwiner as the missing baronet,

the other band he could

gVprwprd no satisfactory testi 'Ssip.liis movements since the

phis leaving England and bis I^Jipappearance, no witnesses |r|bat ihey knew him as Sir

""stead, plenty of persona ^ ind swore he was

the ton of a butcher ol

tapping, who had passed

. Where be bad led a le, under,the name of Jce

'?Ftitltherniore, those who ped the ttissingbat onefa ap _C,.8aid be in nowise resembled Sier,' Whereas .Sir Iloger in aayswas of medium build, the _,mocla5 tried to bo him was so

W to be cut in tbe " fc which lie eat in the court to


|$tfmaot could not remember E%es®tany of hii schoolmates

j^mMters at Stony hurst Col p^tote Sir Iloger bad been klfed>:. He could not apeak a ' tjfSPtencb, though this was Sir

telmOther tongae, and the yoang

"been a fluent French fih'. - -Bir Soger had alio excelled

jjobLln EocIid, and was so good ^demonstrations as to beat his

Stiyet V the claimant," as that iiiu was ever afterwards styled. |btpejppeir to know what Euclid i^£l. He knew as much of

the boy whom the parson fie knew who God was. The

Jpi^iPy WMV "No, air; unless he g||j^jbpaDdiy-rider on the next HUSh/'5Phe Solicitor-General, Si r

pt^tike Coleridge, afterwards the pjwjGhief Justice ol England, asked

' «.

When von were at schcol did you .ibw Euclid V

j^^o^-was the reply.

Wmft yo» remetfiber what class

tf#t!8 in V continued his cross nlner, with a dry smile.

9p,r«*a flgmn the answer.

" ,_is adtocate and adherents looked |lue at this totally unexpected de iflopment, and his tormentor jumpd again to the assault.

sJ^.JDid you erer drive through Ipuclid. or stay at any hotel there ?' hg?|5?$ro,I didn't.'

|/; ,:4Nbw oome, have yon ever heard ^of.Euclid? Is it a country in Asia Hp&ftfoa f

fey' ' I don't know. I can't remember.'

: iWben naked what was his mother's '^Christian name, the initial onlvof pSrbleh bad been given in court-the

Splitter.F.'- he said'Fanny.' As a Vjmatler of fact it was . Felice.' The \ fiate iras at length decided against

ft him He WAS declared to be a base

i jtnpoitor, to be the butcher's son, g^.au'ihut Orton, alias Castro, and ho fe^rai arreBted nnd convicted for per fejoty. after another lengthy trial in tbe Ipjourt of Queen's Bench, Westminster, p|>iifore the Lord Chief Justice, Sir fpAJexander Cockburn, and sentenced

.vto 14 years' penal servitude.

' . . He was liberated before the ex

piration of his sentence on ticket-of l.Bave, but up to the very hour of his "letth, he maintained he was Sir , Ibger Tichborne, and miny believed

;}n him, aod considered him a deeply ifzonged men. Several of his par

tisnns, i.-.cluding three members of Parliament, practically supported him when he caiuc out of prison, and his old advocate's zenl on his behalf was

ultimately the cnvse of tlmt gentle man's exclusion from the legal pro


Orton lectured on his prison ex periences, and nppeared at music halls, then, as the interest subsided, lie gradually sank lower end lower, until ho was willing to sit behind

the liar of public-houses :ind be used I as a "draw." Customers were per mitted 10 converse with '' Sir Roger Tichborne."

In 1892 he ciine forward a« a Parliamentary candidate lor Ilanlny, but did not go to the polland

thereafter little was heard of biin until the announcement of his death.

As we l>ave said, lib up to the lust maintained he was Sir lloger Tich borne, and no authentic solution to the mystery hss ever yet transpired.

01, the Select Committee ap pointed by the New South Walts Parliament inves'iga'.cd the matter, and their report showed that the real Sir Roger Tichborne wns an inmnto of Parr.unattft'um, Sydney. On the oilier hand, numerous stories and alleged explanations have, how-ver, been advanced from time to tini<» liv pHi'siins claiming to htivo met Sir H-Hii'i Tii'lO'iiiii'.- in tn-i wmiilt'*.

The mo-t ri'.i,«b!« "f these stories was told bv a mun named Jean liiiie, who :;tiaiiK'il certain pro minrncK owing to the evidence he gave at the Tichborne trial. He

state! (hat he was the mate of the j English ship Bella, commanded by

Captain ISirkeit, in March, 18f>4, at' which lime she was loading general1 durgn Rio de Janeiro tor New" York. Prior to tailing, the captiiin approached him and persuaded hiin to join in a conspiracy to steal the

vessel, and take her not to New York ! but to Australia. Tichborne, who ' was nt the timo in Rio drinking

heavily, -was induced by a friend of' his, a Captain Oales, to take passage on the Bella. When the ship was well out in mid-ocean, the long boat was cast adrift to lead to the idea that tbe Bella was lost As a matter of fact tbe boat was picked up, and was tbe only evidence e er brooght forward that (he Bella was wrecked, and all aboard her lost. The Bella was then painted blac'c, her name changed to the Osprey, and her roizzen rigging and spars alteied to make her into a barque. Tichborne eagerly threw in bis lot with tbe pirates, who made for Anckland, New Zealand. Here portion of the sargo was sold, and the vessel

further altered in appearance. Sail 1

was tlien set for Melbourne, where Tichborne went ashore with the captain, and was not seen again by Luic. The crew, as did the hands of almost every vessel arriving at Mel bourne in those days of the "gold fever," ran off (o the mines. All changed their names for fear of the consequences of the piracy of the Osprey, which was cold with the re mainder of her cargo to a Melbourne merchant. Tbe insurances on the

Bella and the cargo were paid to the owners by the English companies, as it was fully believed she had foun dered at sea, as no clue as to her identity with the Osprey had been

left or was over discovered.

This extraordinary tale was made public in 1894, and three other men, it is alleged, had corroborated it, namely, Jervis, the third man, and Petersen, the cook of the Bella, and a mau named Monkhouse, who remem bered the Osprey making certain alterations in ner rig at Auckland. No great notice though was taken of

(he story, but it had a curious sequel., A Mis. Jenkins, of Sydney,- claimed : to have discovered the real Sir Roger Tichborne in the person of William Cresswel', an inmate of the lunatic ' asylum at ParramattB. . he asserted j that, br the result or an extensive in-! vestigation, she had ascertained that1 after Sir Boger Tichborne landed at

Melbourne from the Bella, ho took i the name of Thomas Castro, and went j to Qippsland, where he worked as a | cattle and sheep drover. While there j he met Arthur Orton, and the two

worked together from 1854 to 1859. j Tichborne next, according to her,1 adopted the name of Charles Hamp ton, and went to Deniliquin in New South Wales. He fell seriously ill,

and, in fear of death, wrote three ' letters, giving instructions that if he ;

died two of them we re to be sent to,

England. The -third letter was an, open one, affirming that he was the son of a Hampshire gentleman and heir to a baronetcy.' However, he got better, a id for a time resumed his own name; and ho and Orton, who stuck to him, lived together at Hay, and nfterwards nt Karandera. In 1861 he adopted the name of William Cress well, and ns socli mar ried at Queanbeyan tin sisler of Thomas Oates. Whether this Thomns Oates was identical wi'h Captain Oates, his former friend, did not transpire. Next, ho is heard of at Qoindaroo, where in 1803 his wife died. After this he rejoined Orton,

and the two conducted a butcher's

business nt Wagga Wagga. In 1870, he was declared to be insane and put into Gladesville Asylum ut Sydney, where ho told the doctor he came from Strathfieldsay in Hampshire, and that some of his ancestors had

served under Wellington. In 1872

he wa9 removed to Parramatta Asylum, where lie remained.

A Mr. Priestman and a Dr. Kelly» of Sydney, took up Mrs. Jenkins statement with a view to substan tiating it. A nom'nsr of documents written by Cresswell at the time of his wife's death were said to be identified ne in Tichborne's writing, and facsimiles ol the letters were sent by Mr. Priestman to the Marquis of Zetland, Lord Petrie, end the London .' Times." Dr. Kelly averred lie found various iv.arKK upon the body of Cresswell siini'ur to tl;tise of Sir Ro^er Tiehborne. Hii Excl lcncy the Governor, it WHS reported, displayed considerable interest io the case, and Mr. Priestman asked the Tichborne family to graut hiin a power of Mtorney to act lor them in the matter. Whether they did so or not is not known, and no lurthcr results of tlio investigation were

made puWio, so the mystery until lately remained a puzzle.

The publicity given to Mrs. Jen kins' statements, however, called forth a number of other stories. A Catholic priest named Father Dunne, of Albury. a town situated on the border-line of Tietoria and New South Wales, asserted that Tichborne died in an institution he wno formerly connected whh at Gee

rail»d " A Home lor ihe Provi dent" The teverund gentleman added that before death the wild young baronet ad i itied his identity io auothi r inma\o, who was still


Another remarkable tale was pub lished noineysars ago in the " Finan cial World." It purported to be written from statements made by a man living in the Transvaal, end who claimed to have been a com

panion of Tichborne in the lalter's wanderings. According to this story, Sir Roger Tichborne and Arthur Orion were passengers togethernboard the Bells, that when she foundered at sea they were picked op by a Spanish vessel and landed at Rio de Janeiro, from which place they tra velled in company to Australia, and took part in the rush to the newly discovered gcldfields. There Orton adopted (be name ol Joe Castro, and Tichbourne was nicknamed " Gentle man John." It was not stated that he was known by any other name. At a mining camp near Mansfield, Gentleman John died suddenly, of fever it was thought at the time, of poison, the narrativo darkly hinted, : administered to bis food by his pal»

Castro or Orion.

I The tale went on to assert that | Orton secured the dead man's effects,

including a pocket-book, kept pretty much as a diary, and had himself tattooed with certain signs above his wrists and above his elbow, as well as with an imitation of a large mole on his back-the marks on the body : of the missing baronet. Orton made himself acqopinted, by means of Tichborne's diary, of many past events in the latter's lifet indeed gleaned from it all the little matters which which he so astonished his

opponents during the litigation; then : he went to England, and tried to personate his dead comrade and; obtain for himself the baronetcy and


The narrator of this story claimed j

to have been one of tho two men i

| who tattooed Orton, or Castro, in

the mining camp, and to have seen " Gentleman John's" notebook or diary in that individual's hands, as i well as to have had assurance from I the lips of two men, pals of Orton, I in the camp, nnd who afterwards

turned bushrangers, that Orton ' poisoned a pie eaten by " Gentleman


One of the bushiangers, who was known as "Harry," was hanged; the other, " Billy Power," the tutor in crime of Ned Kelly, the notorious .' Iron" bushranger, was asserted to be alive and released from gaol when the story was published. He is now dead. Furthermore, it was added thai the murdered baronet was buried in a ' spur' or ' turrace,' at German Creek, near Mansfield, that his body was wrappod in a plaid shirt and enclosed in a shroud of bark, and the grave was the seco/id one from the point of the spur.

This remarkable tale, so far <is can be learnt, was never verified, and the Tichborne Case still remains shrouded in mystery, notwithstanding the decision of the Select Committee in 1900. If the verdicts of the civil and criminal courts were right and just, and there is every reason to believe they were in 'he face of the evidence, then Arthur Orton must be declared as the most daring and impudent im postor of the modern times, and the full facts of liis crime should read like the wildest and most improbable romance. I', on the other hand, ho really was the man lie claimed to be, then he was a greater martyr than even Captain Dreyfus.

Those who remember the two trials, and waded through the 391 flays they took up, nre still divided in opinion on the subject, but there is, after all, very little room for doubt that the "claimant" was an impostor, a companion or servant of the real Sir Roger, who obtained possession in some way of his papers and therehv a clue to his identity, and conceived tho bold scbeme of personating him.