Issued by the "Police News" in 1874, priced at one penny. This large folded sheet is on news print paper and shows portraits of the main protagonists in the trial, locations and court scenes. It was probably very widely circulated at the time of this celebrated trial but is now a very scarce piece of ephemera.
The sheet measures approx 24 x 18 inches (folded) and 36 x 24 inches (unfolded). Torn at corner with paper loss and with some edge tears and creasing, but in very nice condition comensurate with its fragility and age.
case of the Tichborne Claimant was one of the most celebrated and reported
civil cases of the 19th century. The
heir to the Tichborne baronetcy, Roger Tichborne, was presumed to have drowned
in a shipwreck off Brazil in 1854. His grieving mother, believing him to be
still alive, advertised widely enquiring after his whereabouts and in 1866 a
butcher from Wagga Wagga, Australia, came forward claiming to be the lost heir.
Lady Tichborne brought him to England and, although he appeared unrefined and
ill-educated, she instantly accepted him as her lost son, although the majority
of the family refused to do so. When she
died in March 1868 there began a long legal battle in which the identity of
Roger Tichborne was disputed and his right to inherit the title and estates was
hotly contested. The court eventually held that the claimant was, in fact,
Arthur Orton, the son of a butcher from Wapping who, whilst in Australia had
also gone under the name of Thomas Castro.
Following his loss of the protracted civil case he was prosecuted for
perjury in what was one of the longest trials in the history of the English
criminal law and was subsequently sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. Following
his release on licence in 1884 Orton continued to pursue his claim but, by
then, the public had lost their appetite for the affair and he died destitute
on 1st April 1898. Although he is known as one of the great fraudsters and
imposters of history, there is some evidence to suggest that he may indeed have
been the real Roger Tichborne. When he died, it is reported that 5,000 people
attended his funeral and the family allowed the coffin to bear the inscription
"Sir Roger Charles Doughty Tichborne" and the burial was so recorded
in the Paddington cemetery records.