Arthur Orton

Arthur Orton—Who Claimed to Be Sir Roger Charles Doughty Tichborne, Bart

The case of Arthur Orton is too recent to need many words of introduction. We have hardly yet cooled down to a sober realization of the facts which, as they stand, mark the latest and most bulky of the claimants, as not only the greatest impostor of modern or perhaps of any days, the base calumniator who endeavoured to rob a woman of her fair fame to gratify his own selfish ends, but as a living proof of the height to which the blind credulity of the public will now and again elevate itself. Arthur Orton is in prison undergoing what all thinking men must admit to be a very lenient sentence—a sentence which in no way meets the justice of the case; for the advent of this huge carcase lumbering the earth with lies was nothing less than a misfortune to the people of England. And the word misfortune, if used even in its highest and widest sense, will in no way imply that which has happened to a peaceful family, who have been associated with their lands and titles as long as our history goes back, and who have had their privacy violated, and the sanctity of their homes invaded; who have been pilloried before a ruthless and unsympathising mob, who have had their women's names banded from one coarse mouth to another, and who—least misfortune of all—have had to expend large sums of money, and great amounts of time and trouble, to free themselves from a persecution as unparalleled as it was vicious and cruel. Those who, having neither fame nor fortune to lose, speak lightly and think not at all of the sorrows which were launched avalanche-like upon the devoted heads of the Tichbornes and their connections, would do well to ponder over what such personation as that of Arthur Orton means to its immediate victims. It means a sudden derangement of all the ties and sympathies by which life is made dear, a sudden shock which never in life will be recovered. There is no member of the community, no matter how well and how carefully he has chosen his path in life, who would not fear to have his every action published and criticised, his every motive analysed unfairly, and the most mischievous construction placed upon each deed or thought found capable of perversion. How much more terrible would it be, then, for any man to know that his wife or mother was to be subjected to such ordeal; that for no fault committed, for nothing but the delectation of an unscrupulous scoundrel and his admirers, a tender and sensitive lady was to be put to torture far worse than any physical punishment could ever have been, even in ages and countries whose only refinement was that of cruelty?

Arthur Orton is in prison, but there are still many who loudly assert their belief in his identity with the lost Sir Roger; there are others who are quite as strong in their avowals of doubt as to the name found for the huge mystery being the correct one; and there are again others who, caring little who or what the man may be, affect to credit many of his most villanous utterances. But do these people in their blind impetuosity ever give the merits of the case one thought? do they remember that Orton was detected in his every lie, and found as heinously guilty as man can be detected and found guilty, when the evidence against him admits of but circumstantial proof? They do not; and like the man who constantly avers that the earth is flat, and his congeners who deny the existence of a Being who is apparent in every one of His marvellous works, the believers in Orton must be placed in the catalogue of those who, either of malice prepense, or from mental affliction, take the wrong view of a subject as naturally as sparks fly upwards. If the man now in prison is Sir Roger Tichborne, then trial by jury, the selection of our judges, and the whole basis of our legal system—indeed, of almost every system by which calm and peaceful government is maintained, and the right of the subject duly regarded—must be radically wrong, and right is wrong also. If he is not Arthur Orton, then there never was an Arthur Orton, and Wapping is a place which has no existence out of the annals of the Tichborne trial.

The baronetcy of Tichborne, now Doughty-Tichborne, is not only old of itself, and connected with vast estates, but is held by a family well known in the history of this country, even as far as that history goes. No parvenu, whose rank is the result of success in cheesemongering or kindred pursuit, is the holder of the title, for, as Debrett tells us, the family of Tichborne was of great importance in Hampshire before the Conquest, and derives its name from the river Itchen, at the head of which it had estates; "hence it was called De Itchenbourne, since corrupted into Tichborne. Sir John de Tichborne, knight, sheriff of Southampton, on hearing of the death of Queen Elizabeth, immediately repaired to Winchester, and there proclaimed King James VI. (of Scotland) as King of England. In 1621, he was created a baronet, the honour of knighthood having been previously conferred upon three of his sons, while his fourth son Henry was subsequently knighted. Sir Henry, the third baronet, hazarded his life in defence of Charles I. in several enterprises, and his estates were sequestrated by the Parliamentarians. After the restoration he was successively Lieutenant of the New Forest, and Lieutenant of Ordnance." Other Tichbornes have been sufficiently prominent in their times to leave marks on the history of the country; and altogether riches and honours seemed, until comparatively recently, to be the unshadowed lot of the head of the family. That, however, large estates and long descent do not always secure perfect happiness, has been very well shown in the great trial just past, in many ways perfectly independent of the actual result, or of any question as to whether or not the claimant was he whom he professed to be.

Family differences and unpleasantnesses seem to have been the actual, even if remote, cause of the great imposition of Arthur Orton. Had matters been conducted as one might have anticipated they would among people blessed with the means of gratifying every whim and caprice, Roger Tichborne would have lived and died like other men, and his name would never have been known except as a quiet country gentleman of English origin and French tastes, which led him into more or less eccentricities, and caused him to be more or less popular among his neighbours and dependants. But this was not to be. All great families have their secret unpleasantnesses, and in these the Tichbornes were by no means behindhand. The Tichbornes generally had a knack of disagreeing, and this feeling was shown in excelsis by James, the father of Roger, and his wife, who lived abroad for many years, she being French in every sentiment, while the husband was but naturalized, and now and again exhibited a desire to return to his native land. When Roger was born there was but little chance of his ever becoming the owner of either titles or estates, and so his education was entirely foreign, his tutors being M. Chatillon, and a priest named Lefevre. As time wore on, it became evident that Mr. James Tichborne would in due course become Sir James, and he felt it his duty to secure to his son an English education. This the mother opposed most strenuously, and it was only by artifice that the boy was brought to England. Sir Henry Joseph Tichborne, who had succeeded to the baronetcy in 1821, had no son, and though time after time a child was born to him, Providence blessed him with no male heir. Again and again a child would be born at Tichborne, but it was always a girl. Sir Henry had seven children, of whom six lived, all celebrated for their good looks, and their tall and handsome proportions; but all were daughters. Still there was Sir Henry's brother, Edward Tichborne, who had taken large estates under the will of a Miss Doughty—which led to the present junction of the Doughty and Tichborne properties, and to the double surname—and with them had assumed the name of that lady, and he was after Sir Henry the next heir. Edward had a son and daughter. But one day there came the news to James and his wife in France, that Sir Edward's little boy had died, and then it was that the father perceived more clearly the error that he had made in permitting Roger to grow up ignorant of English habits and the English tongue. Edward Doughty was an old man. His brother James Tichborne himself was growing in years. The prospect of Roger one day becoming the head of the old house of Tichborne, which had once been so remote, had now become almost a certainty. It would not do for the Lord of Tichborne to be a Frenchman; sooner or later he must learn English, and receive an education fitting him to take the position which now appeared in store for him. All this was clear enough to Mr. James, but not so clear to his weak-headed and prejudiced wife. The father did, indeed, obtain her consent to take the boy over to England, and let him see his uncle and aunt, the Doughtys, at Upton, in Dorsetshire, and his uncle, Sir Henry, at the ancestral home down in Hampshire. But Roger was then but a child, and as he grew older Mrs. Tichborne became more than ever resolute in her determination that, come what might, her darling should be a Frenchman. What cared she for the old Hampshire traditions? France was to her the only land worth living in; a Frenchman's life was the only life worthy of the name. Her dear Roger might succeed to the title and estates, but she could not bear the thought of his going to England. It was in her imagination a land of cold bleak rains and unwholesome fogs. But it was worse; it was the country of a people who had been false to their ancient faith. Even the Tichbornes, though still Catholics, had not always been true to their religion. And so Mrs. Tichborne planned out for the future heir of Tichborne a life of perpetual absenteeism. He should marry into some distinguished family in France or Italy, and little short of a Princess should share his fortunes. If he went into the army it should be in some foreign service. But in no case should he go to Tichborne, or set foot in England again, if she could help it.

James Tichborne was like many other weak men who have self-willed wives. He put off the inevitable day as long as he could, but finally achieved his purpose by strategy. Roger was in his seventeenth year when the news arrived that Sir Henry had died. It was right that James Tichborne should be present at his brother's funeral, and reasonable that he should take with him the heir, as everyone regarded him to be. Accordingly Roger took leave of his mother under solemn injunctions to return quickly. But there was no intention of allowing him to return. The boy attended the funeral of his uncle at the old chapel at Tichborne, went to his grandfather's place at Knoyle, and thence, by the advice of relations and friends, and with the consent of the boy himself, he was taken down to the Jesuit College at Stonyhurst, and there placed in the seminary with the class of students known as "philosophers." When Mrs. Tichborne learnt that this step had been completed her fury knew no bounds. Roger wrote her kind and filial letters in French—ill-spelt it is true, but admirably worded, and testifying an amount of good sense which promised well for his manhood. But Mrs. Tichborne gave no reply, and for twelve months the son, though longing ardently for a letter, got no token of affection. Yet Mrs. Tichborne was not the person to see her son removed from her control without an effort. She upbraided her husband violently, and there was a renewal of the old scenes in the Tichborne household; but Roger was now far away, and the danger of Mr. Tichborne's yielding in a momentary fit of weakness was at an end. Meanwhile the mother wrote violent letters to the heads of the college, exposing family troubles in a way which called forth a remonstrance from even the lad himself. What was the precise nature of his studies at Stonyhurst, and what progress he made in them, are questions that have been much debated, but it is certain that he applied himself resolutely to the study of English, and made such progress that, although he could never speak it with so much purity and command of words as when conversing in his mother tongue, he learnt to write it with only occasional errors in spelling and construction. In Latin he made some little progress, and in mathematics more. He attended voluntary classes on chemistry, and his letters evidence an inclination for the study both of science and polite literature. At Stonyhurst Roger may be said to have passed the three happiest years of his life.

During the period just mentioned, the then last of the Tichbornes made many friends, and if he did not become what we understand as accomplished, he was refined and sensitive. During the vacations he used to visit his English relatives in turn; but there was one place above all others to which he preferred to go. This was the house at Tichborne, then in possession of his father's brother Sir Edward Doughty. There was a certain amount of delicacy in his position towards his uncle and his aunt Lady Doughty, which cannot but be intelligible to any one who has the least knowledge of human failings. It is not in the nature of things that either Lady Doughty or her husband could have been greatly predisposed towards the youthful stranger, and Roger was shy and reserved and over-sensitive. He had the misfortune to stand in the place which they must once have ardently hoped that their dead child would have lived to inherit. Sir Edward was in failing health, and his brother James was an old man. The time could not therefore be far distant when this youth, with his foreign habits and his strong French accent, would take possession of Tichborne Park with all the ancient lands. More than that, he would come into absolute possession of the new Doughty property, including the beautiful residence of Upton, near Poole, in Dorsetshire, for which Sir Edward and his family had so strong an affection. It was through Sir Edward alone that this property had been acquired, but the lady who had bequeathed it to him had no notion of founding a second family; in time all the lands and houses in various countries bequeathed by her, as well as those which were purchased by trustees under her will, were to go to swell the Tichborne estate, and to increase the grandeur and renown of the old house. Upton was the favourite home of the Doughtys. Sir Edward, who had been in the West Indies, had returned thence with his black servant named Andrew Bogle, then a boy, and had married—he and his wife doubtless for a long time looking on Upton as their home for life. It cost them a pang to remove even to the house at Tichborne. It was at Upton that their only surviving child Kate had spent her early years, and to return there and enjoy the fresh sea breezes in the summer holidays was always a fresh source of delight. It was hard to think that even Upton must pass from them, and that the day was probably not far distant when there would be nothing left for them but to yield up their home and estates to the new comer, and retire even upon a widow's handsome jointure and the fortune of Miss Kate. But if such feelings ever passed through the minds of the family at Tichborne, they could have been only transient. The shy, pale-faced boy with the long dark locks, came always to Tichborne in his holidays, making his way steadily in the favour of that household, and this not from interested motives on the part of Lady Doughty, as has been falsely alleged, and triumphantly disproved, but clearly from something in the nature of the youth which disarmed ill-feeling. Roger, despite his early training abroad, soon showed good sound English tastes. He took delight in country life; and though he did not bring down the partridges in the woods, or throw the fly upon the surface of the Itchen, with a degree of skill that would command much respect in the county of Hants, he did his best, and really liked the out-door life. In hunting he took delight from the time when he donned his first scarlet coat, and he rarely missed an opportunity of appearing at "the meet" in that neighbourhood. The time soon came when Roger had to think of a profession, and James Tichborne again gave mortal offence to his wife by determining that the young man should go into the army. Among the daughters of Sir Henry, was one who had married Colonel William Greenwood of the Grenadier Guards. Their house at Brookwood was but half an hour's ride from Tichborne, and Roger was fond of visiting there. Colonel Greenwood's brother George was also in the army, and he took kindly to Roger, and determined to do his best to get him on. So he took him one morning to the Horse Guards, and introduced him to the commander-in-chief, who promised him a commission. There was a little delay in keeping this promise, and the young man did not go troubling uncles again, but took the self-reliant course of writing direct to the Horse Guards, to remind the Commander-in-chief of what he had said; and before long Mr. Roger Charles Tichborne was gazetted a cornet in the 6th Dragoons, better known as the Carabineers. He passed his examination at Sandhurst satisfactorily, and went straight over to Dublin to join his regiment. From Dublin he went to the south of Ireland, and twice he came over to England on short visits. He went through the painful ordeal of practical joking which awaited every young officer in those days, and came out of it, not without annoyance and an occasional display of resentment, yet in a way which conciliated his brother officers; and few men were more liked in the regiment than Roger Tichborne, affectionately nicknamed among them "Teesh." In 1852 the Carabineers came over to England, and were quartered at Canterbury. They expected then to be sent to India, but the order was countermanded, and Roger saw himself doomed apparently to a life of inaction. There is a letter of Roger's among the mass of correspondence which he kept up at this period of his life, in which he notices the fact that his mother still dwelt upon her old idea of providing him with a wife in the shape of one of those Italian princesses of which he had heard so much, and with whom he had always been threatened. But Roger was by this time in love with his cousin, and his love was by no means happy. Roger had been for years visiting at Tichborne before he had ever seen his cousin Kate there. He had met her long before when he came over as a child from Paris on a visit, but Miss Doughty was too young at that time to have retained much impression of the little dark-haired French boy, who could hardly have said "Good morning, cousin," in her native tongue. When Roger was twenty years of age, they met for a few days at Bath, where both had come on the melancholy duty of taking leave of Mr. Seymour, then lying dangerously ill and near his death. Then they parted again; Roger went to Tichborne for a long stay, but Miss Doughty returned to school at the convent at Taunton. In the Midsummer holidays, however, they once more met at the house in Hampshire, and for six weeks the young cousins saw each other daily. Then Miss Doughty went away to Scotland with her parents; and the youth took upon himself the pleasant duty of going to see the party take their departure from St. Katherine's Wharf. October found the party again assembled at Tichborne Park; and there Roger took farewell of uncle, aunt, and cousin, to go to Ireland and join his regiment; and Miss Doughty, whose schooldays were not yet ended, went down to a convent at Newhall, in Essex. When Roger got a short leave of absence, his first thought was to visit his uncle and aunt, who had so affectionate a regard for him. There was a summer visit to Upton, in Dorsetshire, for a week, when Miss Doughty happened to be there; and there was a visit to Tichborne in January 1850, when there were great festivities, for Roger then attained his majority; again the cousins took farewell, and met no more for eighteen months. No wonder Roger loved Tichborne, with all its associations. In that well-ordered and affectionate household he found a tranquillity and happiness to which he had been a stranger in his own home. In his correspondence with his father and mother at this time there were no lack of tokens of a loving son; but no one was more sensible than Roger of the miseries of that life which he had led up to the day when he came away to pursue his studies at the Jesuit College, and to learn to be an Englishman. But there was another association, long unsuspected, yet growing steadily, until it absorbed all his thoughts, and gave to that neighbourhood a glory and a light invisible to other eyes. Roger had spent many happy hours with his cousin; she had grown in those few years from a girl almost into a woman, and he had come to love her deeply. To her he said not a word, to Sir Edward he dared not speak, but one day Roger took an opportunity of confiding to Lady Doughty the new secret of his life. His aunt did not discourage the idea; but Miss Doughty was still but a girl of fifteen; and there was the grave objection that the twain were first cousins. And besides, though Roger was of a kind and considerate disposition, truthful, honourable, and scrupulous in points of duty, he had certain habits which assumed serious proportions in the mind of a lady so strict in notions of propriety. He had in Paris acquired a habit of smoking immoderately. In the regiment he had been compelled, by evil customs then prevailing, to go through a noviciate in the matter of imbibing "military port;" and his habits had followed him to Tichborne, and the young officer had been seen at least on one occasion in a state of semi-intoxication—no less a word will describe his condition. He was also accustomed to bring in his portmanteau French novels, which were decidedly objectionable, though few young men would probably regard it as much sin to read them. So little did the young man appreciate her objections to this exciting kind of literature that he had actually recommended to his aunt some stories which no amount of humour and cleverness could prevent that pious lady regarding as debasing and absolutely immoral. How Lady Doughty felt under all the circumstances of Roger's love, as compared with his general conduct, will be best shown by the following letter:—

"1850. Tichborne Park, begun  29 Jan., finished 31st.

"My Dearest Roger,—After three weeks being between life and death it has pleased God to restore me so far that I have this day for the first time been in the wheel chair to the drawing-room, and I hasten to begin my thanks to you for your letters, especially that private one, though it may yet be some days before I finish all I wish to say to you, for I am yet very weak, and my eyes scarcely allow of reading or writing.... Remember, dear Roger, that by that conversation in town you gave me every right to be deeply interested in your fate, and therefore doubly do I feel grieved when I see you abusing that noblest of God's gifts to man, reason, by diminishing its power.... I cannot recall to my mind the subject you say I was beginning in the drawing-room when interrupted; probably it might have had reference to the confidence which you say you do not repent having placed in me. No, dear Roger, never repent it; be fully assured that I never shall betray that confidence. You are young, and intercourse with life and the society you must mix with might very possibly change your feelings towards one now dear to you, or rather settle them into the affection of a brother towards a sister; but whatever may be the case hereafter, my line of duty is marked out, and ought steadily to be followed; that is, not to encourage anything that could fetter the future choice of either party before they had fully seen others and mixed with the world, and with all the fond care of a mother endeavour, while she is yet so young, to prevent her heart and mind from being occupied by ideas not suited to what should be her present occupations, and hereafter, with the blessing of God, guard her against the dangers she may be liable to be ensnared into by the position in which she is placed.... You have been, I rejoice to hear, raised in the opinion of all with whom you have lately had to transact business by your firmness and decision. You are in an honourable profession, which gives you occupation.... Resist drink, or a rash throwing away life, or wasting in any way the energies of a naturally strong, sensible mind, and really attached heart. Now write to me soon; tell me truly if I have tried your patience by this long letter which I venture to send, for it is when returning to life as I now feel that renewed love for all dear to one seems to take possession of our hearts, so you must forgive it if you find it long. Your uncle and cousin send their kindest love.—Adieu, dearest Roger, ever be assured of the sincere affection and real attachment of your aunt.

Katherine Doughty."

Roger protested that his failings had been exaggerated, and by his letters it is noticeable there is a trace of vexation that Lady Doughty should have lent an ear to coloured reports of his manner of life; but there is no abatement in the affectionate terms on which he stood with his aunt at Tichborne. Matters, however, could not long go on in this fashion. As yet Roger Tichborne had never spoken of his love to Miss Doughty, though it cannot be doubted that some tokens had revealed that secret. But love must find expression in something more than hints and tokens, and at last came the inevitable time. It was on Christmas eve, 1851, that Roger joyfully set foot in Tichborne Park once more. That was a happy meeting in all but the fact that Sir Edward Doughty was in weak health. Now comes the dénoûment. Miss Doughty had given Roger a keepsake volume of Father Faber's Hymns, and there was an exchange of gifts. Suddenly the truth flashed across the mind of the father, and he was vexed and angry. On a Sunday morning, when the two cousins had been walking in the garden enjoying the bright winter day, and they were sitting together at breakfast, a message came that Sir Edward desired to see his nephew in the library. The girl waited, but Roger did not come back to the breakfast table. The eyes of the cousins met sorrowfully in the chapel, and in the afternoon, with Lady Doughty's permission, they saw each other in the drawing-room to take farewell. For Sir Edward's fiat had gone forth. Marriage between first cousins was forbidden by the Church, and there were other reasons why he was resolute that this engagement should be broken off before it grew more serious. So it was arranged that on the very next morning the young man should leave the house for ever. Thus the great hope of Roger's life was suddenly extinguished, and there was nothing left for him but to sail with his regiment for India, and endeavour, if he could, to forget the past. Some days after that, at his cousin's request, he wrote out for her a narrative of his sorrows at this time, in which he said:—

"What I felt when I left my uncle it is difficult for me to explain. I was like thunderstruck. I came back to my room, and tried to pack up my things, but was obliged to give up the attempt, as my mind was quite absent. I sank on a chair, and remained there, my head buried between my two knees for more than half an hour. What was the nature of my thoughts, my dearest K., you may easily imagine. To think that I was obliged to leave you the next day, not to see you again—not, perhaps, for years, if ever I came back from India. The idea was breaking my heart. It passed on, giving me no relief, until about two o'clock, when my aunt told me that you wished to see me. That news gave me more pleasure than I could express; so much so that I never could have expected it. The evening that I saw you, my dear K., about five o'clock, you cannot conceive what pleasure it gave me. I saw you felt my going away, so I determined to tell you everything I felt towards you. What I told you it is not necessary to repeat, as I suppose you remember it. When I came away from the drawing-room my mind was so much oppressed that it was impossible to think of going to bed. I stopped up until two o'clock in the morning. I do not think it necessary, my dearest K., to tire you with all the details of what I have felt for you during these two days; suffice it to say, that I never felt more acute pain, especially during the night when I could not sleep. I promise to my own dearest Kate, on my word and honour, that I will be back in England, if she is not married or engaged, towards the end of the autumn of 1854, or the month of January 1855. If she is so engaged I shall remain in India for ten or fifteen years, and shall wish for her happiness, which I shall be too happy to promote."

Neither Roger nor Kate had, however, given up hope of some change. Lady Doughty, despite a secret dread of her nephew's habits, had a strong regard for him, and would be certain to plead his cause. And in a very few days circumstances unexpectedly favoured his suit. Sir Edward's malady grew worse, the physicians despaired, and he believed himself near his end. Roger was sent for hurriedly to take farewell of his uncle. As he approached the sick bed his uncle said, "I know, my dear Roger, the mutual attachment which exists between you and your cousin. If you were not so near related I should not object at all to a marriage between you two: but, however, wait, three years; then, if the attachment still exists between you, and you can get your father's consent, and also leave from the Church, it will be the will of God, and I will not object to it any longer."

To which Roger replied—"Ever since I have had the pleasure of knowing you and my cousin, I have always tried to act towards you two in the most honourable way I possibly could. The Church, as you know, grants dispensations on these occasions. Of course, if you approve of it, I will get my father's consent, and also leave from the Church, and do it in an honourable way in the eyes of God and of the world." These two speeches seem rather stilted and unnatural, yet this is how they have been given in evidence. Days passed, and Roger sat up night after night with his uncle. It was during those tedious watchings that he again wrote at Miss Doughty's request a narrative of his feelings, which ran thus:—

"Tichborne Park Feb. 4, 1852 (1.30 A.M.)

"I shall go on," he said, "with my confessions, only asking for some indulgence if you find them too long and too tedious. You are, my dearest K., the only one for whom I have formed so strong and sincere an attachment. I never could have believed, a few years ago, I was able to get so attached to another. You are the only young person who has shown me some kindness, for which I feel very thankful. It is in some respects rather a painful subject for me to have to acknowledge my faults; but, as I have undertaken the task, I must write all I have done, and what have been my thoughts, for the last five weeks. I had a very wrong idea when I left Ireland. It was this: I thought that you had entirely forgotten me. I was, nevertheless, very anxious to come to Tichborne for a short time to take a last farewell of you, my uncle, and my aunt. My mind and heart were then so much oppressed by these thoughts, that it was my intention not to come back from India for ten or fifteen years. I loved you, my dearest K., as dearly as ever. I would have done anything in this world to oblige you, and give you more of that happiness which I hoped I might see you enjoy. I would have given my life for your happiness' sake. To have seen all these things, I repeat again, with a dry eye and an unbroken heart, or for a person who has a strong feeling of attachment towards another to behold it, is almost beyond human power. These feelings will arise when I shall be thousands of miles from you, but I have taken my pains and sorrows and your happiness in this world, and said a prayer that you might bear the pains and sorrows of this world with courage and resignation, and by these means be happy in the next. When I came here I found I had been mistaken in the opinion I had formed, and I reproached myself bitterly for ever having such an idea. It is not necessary for me to mention that I got rid of these bad thoughts in a few minutes. Things went on happily until Sunday, January 11, 1852, when I was sent for by my uncle at breakfast. What took place between us I think it unnecessary to repeat, as you know already. I was obliged to leave the next morning by the first train for London. I never felt before so deeply in my life what it was to part with the only person I ever loved. How deeply I felt I cannot express, but I shall try to explain as much of it as I can in the next chapter.

"What I have suffered last night I cannot easily explain. You do not know, my own dearest K., what are my feelings towards you. You cannot conceive how much I loved you. It breaks my heart, my own dearest K., to think how long I shall be without seeing you. I do feel that more than I can tell you. You have the comfort of a home, and, moreover, at some time or other, some person to whom you can speak, and who will comfort you. I have none. I am thrown on the world quite alone, without a friend—nothing; but, however, I shall try and take courage, and I hope that when you will see me in three years you will find a change for the better. I shall employ these three years to reform my conduct, and become all that you wish to see me. I shall never, my own, my dearest K., forget the few moments I have spent with you; but, on the contrary, I shall only consider them as the happiest of my life. You cannot imagine how much pleasure your letter has given me. It proved to me, far beyond any possible doubt, what are your feelings towards me. I did not, it is true, require that proof to know how you felt for me. It is for that reason that I thank you most sincerely for that proof of confidence, by expressing yourself so kindly and openly to me. You may rest assured, my own dearest K., that nothing in this world will prevent me, except death in actual service, from coming back from India at the time I have named to you—the latter part of the autumn of 1854, or the beginning of 1855. It will be a great comfort for me, my own dearest K., when I shall be in India, to think of you. It will be, I may say, the only pleasure I shall have to think of the first person I ever loved. You may rest assured that nothing in the world will make me change. Moreover, if you wish me to come back sooner, only write to me, and I shall not remain five minutes in the army more than I can help. I shall always be happy to comply with your wishes, and come back as soon as possible. Again rest assured, my dearest K., that if in any situation of life I can be of help or service to you, I shall only be too happy, my dearest K., to serve and oblige you.—Your very affectionate cousin,

"R.C. tichborne."

Roger went back to his regiment in Ireland soon after the date given in the foregoing extract; but the Carabineers were finally removed to Canterbury, and in the summer he again got leave of absence, which he spent with his aunt and cousin in London, and at Tichborne; and it was on the 22d of June 1852, that the young people walked together for the last time in the garden of Tichborne house. They talked of the future hopefully; and for her comfort he told her a secret. Some months before that time he had made a vow, and written out and signed it solemnly. It was in these words:—"I make on this day a promiss, that if I marry my Cousin Kate Doughty, this year, or before three years are over, at the latest, to build a church or chapel at Tichborne to the Holy Virgin, in thanksgiving for the protection which she has showed us in praying God that our wishes might be fulfilled." Roger went back to his regiment and indulged his habitual melancholy. To his great regret, the order for the Carabineers to go to India had been countermanded; but he had no intention of leading the dull round of barrack life in Canterbury. He had determined to go abroad for a year and a half or two years; by that time the allotted period of trial would be near an end. He had determined to leave a profession which offered no outlet for his energies. The tame round of the cities and picture-galleries of Europe had no charms for him. Among the many books which he had read at this time were the Indian romances of Chateaubriand, "René," "Attila," and "Le Dernier Abencerage." How deeply these stories had impressed his mind is apparent in his letters to Lady Doughty. "Happy," he says, "was the life of René. He knew how to take his troubles with courage, and keep them to himself,—retired from all his friends to be more at liberty to think about his sorrows and misfortunes, and bury them in himself. I admire that man for his courage; that is, the courage to carry those sorrows to the grave which drove him into solitude." Among his intimate friends and schoolfellows at Stonyhurst, was Mr. Edward Waterton, whose father, the celebrated naturalist, had given to the college a collection of stuffed foreign birds and other preserved animals; and there can be no doubt that the famous narratives of adventure in South America of that distinguished traveller were among the books which Roger and other college friends read at that period. How deeply the splendours of the natural history collection of Stonyhurst had impressed the mind of the boy is evidenced in the fact that Roger took delight at school in practising the art of preserving birds and other animals; while long afterwards, in humble emulation of the great naturalist's achievement, he gathered and sent home, when on his travels, many a specimen of birds of splendid plumage. South America, in short, had long been the subject of his dreams; and now in travelling in that vast continent, he would try to find occupation for the mind, and get through the long time of waiting which he had undertaken to bear patiently. His scheme was to spend a twelvemonth in Chili, Guayaquil, and Peru, seeing not only wild scenes but famous cities; thence to visit Mexico, and so by way of the United States find his way back to England. Having taken this resolution, he set about putting his affairs in order, for Roger was a man of business-like habits, and by no means prone to neglect his worldly interests. He made his will,—saying, however, as he remarked in one of his letters, "nothing about the church or chapel at Tichborne," which he said he would only build under the conditions mentioned in a paper which he had left in the hands of his dearest and most trusted friend, Mr. Gosford, the steward of the family estates. In truth, months before the day when he gave Miss Doughty a copy of "The Vow" in the garden at Tichborne, he had solemnly signed and sealed up a compact with his own conscience, and deposited it with other precious mementoes of that time in his friend's safe keeping. Parting with friends in England cost him, perhaps, but little sorrow, for his mind was full of projects to be carried into effect on his return. He aspired to the character of a traveller, and to be qualified for membership at the Travellers' Club, where, in one of his letters while abroad, he requests that his name may be inscribed as a candidate. He had an old habit of keeping diaries, and he promised to send extracts, and, after all, the time would not be long. There was one house in which Roger naturally shrank from saying farewell. He had made a solemn resolution that he would go to Tichborne no more while matters remained thus, and his pride was wounded by what appeared to him to be a want of confidence on the part of Lady Doughty. In a worldly point of view it is difficult to conceive any union more desirable than that of the two cousins. But it is clear that the mother trembled for the future of her child. Hence she still gave ready ear to tales of the wild life of the regiment, and hinted them in her letters to her nephew in a way that made him angry, but not vindictive. He was asked to go and see his uncle, Sir Edward, before starting; but his will was inflexible, and he went away, as he had all along said that he would, resolved to bury his sorrows within himself. Roger went away in February, and spent nearly three weeks in Paris with his parents and some old friends of his early days. His mother was much averse to his plan of travelling; and she opposed it both by her own upbraidings, and by the persuasion of spiritual advisers who had influence over her son. But it was of no avail. Roger had chosen to sail in a French vessel from Havre—"La Pauline"—and sail he would. His voyage to Valparaiso was to last four months, and thence he was going on in the same vessel to Peru. It was doubtless because of the strong hold which the French language and many French manners still had on him, that, though he took an English servant with him, he preferred a French ship with a French captain and French seamen. On the 1st of March, 1853, he sailed away from Europe, and, as we are bound to believe, never returned. The "Pauline" started with bad weather, which detained her in the Channel, and compelled her to put in at Falmouth, but after that she made a good voyage round Cape Horn to Valparaiso, where she arrived on the 19th of June. As the vessel was to remain there a month, Roger, after spending a week in Valparaiso, started with his servant John Moore to see Santiago, the capital of Chili, about ninety miles inland. Thence he returned and sailed for Peru, where he embarked for places in the north. At Santiago his servant had been taken ill, and, though recovering, was unfitted to travel. His master thereupon furnished him with funds to set up a store, and took another servant, with whom he underwent many adventures. At Lima he visited the celebrated churches, and purchased souvenirs for his friends and relatives. Having stored a little yacht with provisions, he started with his servant on a voyage of about three hundred miles up the river Guayaquil, and was for some days under the Line; he made similar journeys in a canoe with his servant and two Indians, still bent on collecting and preserving rare birds of gorgeous plumage. He also visited and explored silver and copper mines. During all this travelling he continued his home correspondence with great regularity. But the first news he received was bad. Scarcely had the "Pauline" left sight of our shores, when Sir Edward Doughty died, and Roger's father and mother were now Sir James and Lady Tichborne. By and by the wanderer began to retrace his steps, came back to Valparaiso, and with his last new servant, Jules Berraut, rode thence in one night ninety miles to Santiago again. Again he started with muleteers and servants on the difficult and perilous journey over the Cordilleras, and thence across the Pampas to Buenos Ayres, Monte Video, and Rio de Janeiro. In April 1854, there was in the harbour of Rio a vessel which hailed from Liverpool, and was called the "Bella." She was about to sail for Kingston, Jamaica, and it was to Kingston that Roger had directed his letters and remittances to be forwarded, that being a convenient resting place on his journey to Mexico, where he intended to spend a few months. The "Bella" was a full-rigged ship of nearly 500 tons burden, clipper-built, and almost new. Aboard this ship, then taking in her cargo of coffee and logwood, came one April morning a young English gentleman who introduced himself as Mr. Tichborne. He was dressed in a half tourist, half nautical costume, and wanted a passage to Kingston. Travelling with servants, hiring yachts and canoes, buying paintings, curiosities, and natural history specimens, had proved more expensive than he expected. His funds were exhausted; nor could his purse be replenished until he got to Kingston, where letters of credit were expected to be waiting for him. It was some little time before the captain believed the young man's story, but when he did, he not only undertook to convey him and his people to Kingston; he determined to help him in a matter of some delicacy and not a little danger; for when the vessel was near sailing, Roger was found to be without that indispensable requisite, a passport. Great excitement then prevailed in Brazil on the subject of runaway slaves. Black slaves had escaped by making themselves stowaways; "half-caste" people, relying on their comparative fairness of skin, had openly taken passage as seamen or even passengers, and thus got away from a hateful life of bondage. Hence the peremptory regulation that no captain should sail with a stranger aboard without an official license. Under these circumstances a plan was devised by the captain. When the Government officers came aboard, no Tichborne or other stranger was visible. As the vessel, loosened from her moorings, was slowly drifting down the harbour in the morning, the officers sat at a little table on deck, smoked and drank with the captain. At length the moment came to call their boat and take farewell, wishing the good ship "Bella" and her valuable freight a pleasant voyage. Scarcely had they departed, when the table was removed; and just beneath where they had been sitting a circular plug closing the entrance to what is known as the "lazarette" was lifted, and out came Roger laughing at the success of their harmless device. Before noon the "Bella" had passed from the harbour of Rio into the open ocean, and was soon on her voyage northward. That was on the 20th of April 1854, and that is the last ever known in good sooth of the "Bella," except as a foundered vessel. Six days after she had left the port of Rio, a ship, traversing her path, found tokens of a wreck—straw bedding such as men lay on deck in hot latitudes, a water-cask, a chest of drawers, and among other things a long boat floating bottom upwards, and bearing on her stern the ominous words "Bella, Liverpool." These were brought into Rio, and forthwith the Brazilian authorities caused steam vessels to go out and scour the seas in quest of survivors; but none were seen. That the "Bella" had foundered there was little room to doubt; though the articles found were chiefly such as would have been on her deck. Even the items of cabin furniture were known to have been placed on deck to make way for merchandise, with which she was heavily laden. The night before these articles were found had been gusty, but there had been nothing like a storm. When time went by and brought no tidings, Captain Oates, a great friend of the captain of the "Bella," who had been instrumental in getting Roger on board, came with other practical seamen to the conclusion that she had been caught in a squall; that her cargo of coffee had shifted; and that hence, unable to right herself, the "Bella" had gone down in deep water, giving but little warning to those on board. In a few months this sorrowful news was brought to Tichborne, where there was of course great mourning. One by one the heirs of the old house were disappearing; and now it seemed that all the hopes of the family must be centred in Alfred, then a boy of fifteen. So, at least, felt Sir James Tichborne. He had inquiries made in America and elsewhere. For a time there was a faint hope that some aboard the "Bella" had escaped, and had, perhaps, been rescued. But months went by, and still there was no sign. The letters of news that poor Roger had so anxiously asked to be directed to him at the Post Office, Kingston, Jamaica, remained there till the paper grew faded. The banker's bill, which was wanted to pay the passage money, lay at the agents, but neither the captain nor his passenger of the "Bella" came to claim it. Weeks and months rolled on; the annual allowance of one thousand a year, which was Roger's by right, was paid into Glyn & Co.'s bank, but no draft upon it was ever more presented at their counters. The diligent correspondent ceased to correspond. At Lloyd's the unfortunate vessel was finally written down upon the "Loss Book"—the insurance was paid to the owners, and in time the "Bella" faded away from the memories of all but those who had lost friends or relatives in her. Lady Tichborne was always full of hope that her son had been saved, and could never be brought to regard him as drowned; but we have now seen the last of the real Roger Tichborne, and our next business will be with the counterfeit.

At last, in the neighbourhood in which Sir James and his wife lived, it became notorious that the mother was prepared to receive any one kindly who professed to have news of her son, and naturally when the story once got wind there were many who tried to profit by her credulity. Among other adventurers, a tramp in the dress of a sailor found his way to Tichborne, and, having poured into the willing ears of the poor mother a wild story about some of the survivors of the "Bella" being picked up off the coast of Brazil, and carried to Melbourne, was forthwith regaled and rewarded. There is a freemasonry among beggars which sufficiently explains the fact, that very soon the appearance of ragged sailors in Tichborne Park became common. Sailors with one leg, and sailors with one arm, loud-voiced, blustering seamen, and seamen whose troubles had subdued their tones to a plaintive key, all found their way to the back door of the great house. Everyone of them had heard something about the "Bella's" crew being picked up; and could tell more on that subject than all the owners, or underwriters, or shipping registers in the world. And poor Lady Tichborne believed, as is evidenced by a letter of hers written in 1857, only three years after the shipwreck, to a gentleman in Melbourne, imploring him to make inquiries for her son in that part of the world. Sir James, however, though no less sorrowful, had no faith; and he made short work of tramping sailors who came to impose on the poor lady with their unsubstantial legends. But Sir James died in 1862. Shortly before this event his only surviving son Alfred had married Theresa, a daughter of the eleventh Lord Arundel of Wardour. This, however, did not prevent the mother, in one of her crazy moods, taking a step calculated to induce some impostor to come forward and claim to be the rightful heir—which was the insertion of an advertisement in the Times, offering a reward for the discovery of her eldest son, and giving a number of particulars with regard to his birth, parentage, age, date and place of shipwreck, name of vessel, and other matters. She also incorporated in her advertisement the stories of the tramping sailors about his having been picked up and carried to Melbourne; and this mischievous advertisement was published in various languages, and doubtless copied in the South American and Australian newspapers. This is the first step we find towards the formation of the imposture.

Time rolled on, and no Roger, true or false, made his appearance. One day the Dowager happened to see in a newspaper a mention of the fact that there was in Sydney a man named Cubitt, who kept what he called a "Missing Friends' Office." To Cubitt accordingly she wrote a long rambling letter, in which, among other tokens of her state of mind, she gave a grossly incorrect account of her son's appearance, and even of his age; but Cubitt was to insert her long advertisement in the Australian papers, and he was promised a handsome reward. Cubitt, in reply, amused the poor lady with vague reports of her son being found in the capacity of a private soldier in New Zealand; and as there was war there at that time the poor lady wrote back in an agony of terror to entreat that he might be bought out of the regiment. Mr. Cubitt soon perceived the singular person he had to deal with; and his letters from that time were largely occupied with requests for money for services which had no existence out of the letters. At last came more definite information. A Mr. Gibbes, an attorney at the little town of Wagga-Wagga, two hundred miles inland from Sydney, had, he said, found the real Roger living "in a humble station of life," and under an assumed name. Again money was wanted. Then Gibbes, apparently determined to steal a march on Cubitt, wrote directly to the credulous lady, and there was much correspondence between them. At first there were some little difficulties. The man who, after a certain amount of coyness, had pleaded guilty to being the long-lost heir, still held aloof in a strange way, concealed his present name and occupation, and instead of going home at once, preferred to bargain for his return through the medium of an attorney and the keeper of a missing-friends' office. All this, however, did not shake the faith of Lady Tichborne. Then he gave accounts of himself which did not in the least tally with the facts of Roger's life. He said he was born in Dorsetshire, whereas Roger was born in Paris; he accounted for being an illiterate man by saying that he had suffered greatly in childhood from St. Vitus's dance, which had interfered with his studies. "My son," says Lady Tichborne, in reply, "never had St. Vitus's dance." When asked if he had not been in the army, he replied, "Yes," but that he did not know much about it, because he had merely enlisted as a private soldier "in the Sixty-sixth Blues," and had been "bought off" by his father after only thirteen days' service. What ship did you leave Europe in? inquired Mr. Gibbes, with a view of sending further tokens of identity to the Dowager. To this inquiry, Roger Tichborne might have been expected to answer in "La Pauline," but, as was shown in the trial, this mysterious person replied, in "The Jessie Miller." "And when did she sail?" "On the 28th of November, 1852," was the reply; whereas Roger sailed on the 1st of March, 1853. Asked as to where he was educated, the long-lost heir replied, "At a school in Southampton," where Roger never was at school. But it happened that Lady Tichborne in a letter to Mr. Gibbes had said that her son was for three years at the Jesuit College of Stonyhurst, in Lancashire; Mr. Gibbes accordingly suggested to the client "in a humble station of life," that his memory was at fault on that point, but the client maintained his ground. "Did she say he had been at Stonyhurst College? If so, it was false;" and, he added, with an oath, "I have a good mind never to go near her again for telling such a story." Yet this strange person was able to confirm the entire story of the tramping sailors. He had  embarked in the "Bella," he had  been picked up at sea with other survivors in a boat off the coast of Brazil, and it was quite true that he was landed with them in Melbourne. In short, he corroborated the Dowager's long advertisement in every particular; but beyond that he had nothing of the slightest importance to tell which was not absurdly incorrect. His replies, however, were forwarded to the Lady Tichborne, with pressing requests to send £200, then £250, and finally £400, to enable the lost heir to pay his debts—an indispensable condition of his leaving the colony. It is evident that the statements thus reported puzzled the poor lady a little, and she seems to have been unable to account for the lost heir sending his kind remembrance to his "grandpa," because Roger's' paternal grandfather died before he was born; and his grandfather by the mother's side had also died several years before Roger left England, as the young man knew well enough. She was clearly a little surprised to hear that the resuscitated Roger did not understand a word of French, for "my son," she says, "was born in Paris, and spoke French better than English." But yet, with the strange pertinacity which causes people to cling to that which they know to be wrong, and try to force themselves into belief of its truth, she believed in the bona-fides  of the claimant for maternal solicitude and the paternal acres. "I fancied," she said in one letter to Gibbes, "that the photographies you sent me are like him, but of course after thirteen years' absence there must have been some difference in the shape, as Roger was very slim; but," she added, "I suppose all those large clothes would make him appear bigger than he is." Again, alluding to the "photographies," she remarks that at least the hand in the portrait is small, and adds, "that peculiar thing has done a good deal with me to make me recognise him. A year and a half was consumed in these tedious hagglings with brokers and agents for the restoration of a lost heir, and during great part of that time the lost heir himself made no sign, but contented himself with begging trifling loans of Gibbes on the strength of his pretensions. Sometimes a pound was the modest request; sometimes more. He had married, and a child was born, and on that occasion he implored for "three pound," plaintively declaring that he was "more like a mannick than a B. of B.K. (supposed to mean a Baronet of British Kingdom) to have a child born in such a hovel." Still the new man wrapped himself in impenetrable secrecy. The Dowager Lady Tichborne complained that while pressed to send everybody money, she was not even allowed to know the whereabouts nor present name of her lost Roger; and she entreated piteously to be allowed to communicate more directly. It was nothing to her that the accounts the pretender had given of Roger's life were wrong in every particular, except where her own advertisement had furnished information. I think she said on this point, "My poor dear Roger confuses everything in his head just as in a dream, and I believe him to be my son, though his statements differ from mine." In the midst of this curious correspondence trouble once more entered the old home at Tichborne. Sir Alfred, the younger brother of Roger, was dead, and the poor half-crazed mother in a solitary lodging in her loved Paris was left more than ever desolate. Widowed and childless, she had nothing now but to brood over her sorrows, and cling to the old dream of the miraculous saving of her eldest born, who, since the terrible hour of shipwreck—now twelve years past—had given no real token of existence. The position of affairs at Tichborne was remarkable, for though there were hopes of an heir to Tichborne, Sir Alfred had left no child. Should the child—unborn, but already fatherless—prove to be a girl, or other mischance befall, there was an end of the old race of Tichborne. The property would then go to collaterals, and the baronetcy must become extinct. It was under the weight of these new sorrows that the Dowager Lady Tichborne wrote pitiable letters to Gibbes, promising money and asking for more particulars; while enclosing at the same time to the man who thus so unaccountably kept himself aloof a letter beginning, "My dear and beloved Roger, I hope you will not refuse to come back to your poor afflicted mother. I have had the great misfortune to lose your poor dear father, and lately I have lost my beloved son Alfred. I am now alone in this world of sorrow, and I hope you will take that into consideration, and come back." It is hardly surprising that during this time Mr. Gibbes was constantly urging his mysterious client to relinquish his disguise. Why not write to the mother and mention some facts known only to those two which would at once convince her? True, he had already mentioned "facts," which turned out to be fictions, and yet the Dowager's faith was unabated. Mr. Gibbes's client was therefore justified in his answer, that he "did not think it needful." But Gibbes was pressing, for it happened that the Dowager had in one of her letters said, "I shall expect an answer from him. As I know his handwriting, I shall know at once whether it is him." Accordingly we find the Claimant, under the direction of Mr. Gibbes, penning this:—

"Wagga-Wagga, Jan. 17 66.

"My Dear Mother,—The delay which has taken place since my last Letter Dated 22d April 54 Makes it very difficult to Commence this Letter. I deeply regret the truble and anxoiety I must have cause you by not writing before. But they are known to my Attorney And the more private details I will keep for your own Ear. Of one thing rest Assured that although I have been in A humble conditoin of Life I have never let any act disgrace you or my Family. I have been A poor Man and nothing worse Mr. Gilbes suggest to me as essential. That I should recall to your Memory things which can only be known to you and me to convince you of my Idenitity I dont thing it needful my dear Mother, although I sind them Mamely. the Brown Mark on my side. And the Card Case at Brighton. I can assure you My Dear Mother I have keep your promice ever since. In writing to me please enclose your letter to Mr. Gilbes to prevent unnesersery enquiry as I do not wish any person to know me in this Country. When I take my proper prosition and title. Having therefore mad up my mind to return and face the Sea once more I must request to send me the Means of doing so and paying a fue outstranding debts. I would return by the overland Mail. The passage Money and other expences would be over two Hundred pound, for I propose Sailing from Victoria not this colonly And to Sail from Melbourne in my own Name. Now to annable me to do this my dear Mother you must send me"—

The half-sheet is torn off at this point, but it has been stated by Lady Tichborne's solicitor, who saw it when complete, that the ending originally contained the words "How's Grandma?" This must have again puzzled the Dowager, for Roger had no "Grandma" living when he went away. The date "22d April 54" was also incorrect, for the "Bella" sailed on April 20th. But there were other difficulties; Lady Tichborne had never seen, and, what is more, had never heard of any brown mark on her son Roger; she could say nothing about the "card case at Brighton" (which referred, according to Mr. Gibbes, to the Claimant's assertion that he had left England in consequence of having been swindled out of £1500 by Johnny and Harry Broome, prize-fighters, and others at Brighton races); and lastly, the anxious mother could not recognise the handwriting. The Australian correspondent was somewhat disappointed that the mother did not at once acknowledge him as her son. But the Dowager soon declared her unabated faith; sent small sums and then larger, and finally made up her mind to forward the four hundred pounds. Meanwhile she sent to him, as well as to her other Australian correspondents, much family information. Among other things she told him that there was a man named Guilfoyle at Sydney, who had been gardener for many years at Upton and Tichborne, and another man in the same town named Andrew Bogle, a black man, who had been in the service of Sir Edward. Mr. Gibbes's client lost no time in finding out both these persons, and soon became pretty well primed. It was shortly after this period that it became known in Victoria and New South Wales that there was a man named Thomas Castro, living in Wagga-Wagga as a journeyman slaughterman and butcher, who was going to England to lay claim to the baronetcy and estates of Tichborne. From the letters and other facts it is manifest that it was originally intended to keep all this secret even from the Dowager. "He wishes," says his attorney, Mr. Gibbes, "that his present identity should be totally disconnected from his future." It happened that one Cator, a Wagga-Wagga friend of the Claimant, whose letters show him to have been a coarse-minded and illiterate man, was leaving for England shortly before the time that Castro had determined to embark. Whether invited or not Cator was not unlikely to favour his friend with a visit in the new and flourishing condition which appeared to await him in that country. Perhaps to make a virtue of necessity, Castro gave to Cator a sealed envelope, bearing outside the words, "To be open when at sea," and inside a note which ran as follows:—

"Wagga-Wagga, April 2nd, 1866.

"Mr. Cater,—At any time wen you are in England you should feel enclined for a month pleasure Go to Tichborne, in Hampshire, Enquire for Sir Roger Charles Tichborne, Tichborne-hall, Tichborne, And you will find One that will make you a welcome guest. But on no account Mension the Name of Castro or Alude to me being a Married Man, or that I have being has a Butcher. You will understand me, I have no doubt. Yours truely, Thomas Castro. I Sail by the June Mail."

All this secrecy, however, was soon given up as impracticable for articles in the Melbourne, Wagga-Wagga, and Sydney journals, quickly brought the news to England, and finally Castro determined to take with him his wife and family. One of his earliest steps was to take into his service the old black man Bogle, and pay the passage-money both of himself and his son to Europe with him. Certain relics of Upton and of Tichborne which the Claimant forwarded to a banker at Wagga-Wagga from whom he was trying to obtain advances, were described by the Claimant himself as brought over by "my uncle Valet who is now living with me." The bankers, however, were cautious; and "declined to make loans." Nevertheless, the Claimant had the good fortune to convince a Mr. Long, who was in Sydney, and had seen Roger "when a boy of ten years old riding in Tichborne Park," and accordingly this gentleman advanced him a considerable sum. Finally the Claimant embarked aboard the "Rakaia," on his way to France viâ Panama, and accompanied by his family, and attended by old Bogle, his son, and a youthful secretary, left Sydney on September 2d, 1866, and was expected by the Dowager in Paris within two months from that date. But nearly four months elapsed, and there were no tidings. Between Christmas day and New Year's eve of 1866, there arrived in Alresford a mysterious stranger, who put up at the Swan Hotel in that little town, and said that his name was Taylor. He was a man of bulk and eccentric attire. He wrapped himself in large greatcoats, muffled his neck and chin in thick shawls, and wore a cap with a peak of unusual dimensions, which, when it was pulled down, covered a considerable portion of his features. The stranger, at first very reserved, soon showed signs of coming out of his shell. He sent for Rous, the landlord, and had a chat with him, in the course of which he asked Rous to take him the next day for a drive round the neighbourhood of Tichborne. Rous complied, and the innkeeper, chatting all the way on local matters, showed his guest Tichborne village, Tichborne park and house, the church, the mill, the village of Cheriton, and all else that was worth seeing in that neighbourhood. In fact, Mr. Taylor became very friendly with Rous, invited him to drink in his room, and then confided to him an important secret—which, however, was by this time no secret at all, for Mr. Rous had just observed upon his guest's portmanteau the initials "R.C.T." Indeed it was already suspected in the smoking-room of the Swan that the enormous stranger was the long-expected heir. Suspicion became certainty when the stranger telegraphed for Bogle, and that faithful black, once familiar in the streets of Alresford, suddenly made his appearance there, began reconnoitring the house at Tichborne, contrived to get inside the old home, to learn that it had been let by the trustees of the infant baronet to a gentleman named Lushington, and to examine carefully the position of the old and new pictures hanging on the walls. This done, the stranger and his black attendant disappeared as suddenly as they had come. But the news spread abroad, and reached many persons who were interested. Roger's numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins heard of the sudden appearance of the long-expected Australian claimant. The Dowager in Paris, the mother of the infant, then at Ryde, all heard the news; and finally Mr. Gosford, Roger's dearest and most intimate friend and confidant, then in North Wales, got intelligence, and hastened to London to ascertain if the joyful news could be true.

But the enormous individual had vanished again. The circumstance was strange. Bogle had written letters from Australia declaring that this was the identical gentleman he had known years before as Mr. Roger Tichborne when a visitor at Sir Edward's; and the Dowager had declared herself satisfied. But why did the long-lost Roger hold aloof? No one could tell. There was no reason for such conduct, and so suspicion was engendered. With infinite pains Mr. Gosford and a gentleman connected with the Tichborne family ascertained that the person who had figured as Mr. Taylor at the Swan had taken apartments for himself and his family at a hotel near Manchester Square, and that he had even been there since Christmas day. But once more the clue was lost. Sir Roger Tichborne had gone away with his wife and children, and left no one there but Bogle and his secretary. Then by chance Mr. Gosford discovered that "Sir Roger" was staying at the Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend. Forthwith Mr. Gosford, with the gentleman referred to, and Mr. Cullington, the solicitor, went to the Clarendon Hotel at Gravesend, where, after long waiting in the hall, they saw a stout person muffled, and wearing a peaked cap over the eyes, who, having glanced at the party suspiciously, rushed past them, hurried upstairs, and locked himself in a room. In vain the party sent up cards, in vain they followed and tapped at the door. The stout person would not open, and the party descended to the coffee-room, where soon afterwards they received a mysterious note, concluding:—"pardon me gentlemen but I did not wish any-one to know where I was staying with my family. And was much anoyed to see you all here." Lady Tichborne herself had failed to recognise in the letters from Wagga-Wagga the handwriting of her son, and Mr. Gosford was equally unsuccessful. The party therefore left the house after warning the landlord that he had for a guest an "impostor and a rogue." Still the idea that his old friend, who had made him his executor and the depositary of his most secret wishes, could have come back again alive, however changed, was too pleasing to be abandoned by Mr. Gosford, even on such evidence. Accordingly, by arrangement with an attorney named Holmes, he went down again, and, more successful this time, had conversation with the stranger who called himself Roger. But nothing about the features of the man brought back to him any recollection, and subsequent interviews but confirmed the first impression.

Meanwhile, Lady Tichborne had learned that he whom she called Roger had arrived in England; and she wrote letters imploring him to come to her, to which the Claimant, who had not been in London more than a fortnight, answered, that he was "prevented by circumstances!" and added, "Oh! Do come over and see me at once." On the very day after the date of this letter, however, he arrived in Paris, accompanied by a man whose acquaintance he had made in a billiard room, and by Mr. Holmes, the attorney to whom his casual acquaintance had introduced him. The party put up at an hotel in the Rue St. Honoré. They knew Lady Tichborne's address in the Place de la Madeleine, scarcely five minutes' walk from their hotel; but they had arrived somewhat late, and "Sir Roger" paid no visit to his mother that day. Lady Tichborne had in the meantime consulted her brother and others on the subject, but though the opinions given by them were adverse to the claims of the impostor, she only became more fixed in her ideas. Early the morning after the Claimant's arrival, she sent her Irish servant, John Coyne, to the hotel in the Rue St. Honoré with a pressing message, but was told that "Sir Roger" was not well; his mistress, dissatisfied with that message, sent him again, whereupon "Sir Roger" came out of his bedroom and walked past him "slowly and with his head down," bidding him at the same time go and tell his mamma that he was not able to come to her; and his mistress, still more dissatisfied, then directed her servant "to take a cab immediately and fetch her son." Coyne then went a third time and found "Sir Roger" with his attorney and his casual acquaintance sitting at breakfast, but was again unsuccessful. Lady Tichborne that afternoon went herself to the hotel, and was then permitted to see her son in a darkened chamber, and in the presence of his attorney and friend. "Sir Roger," said Coyne, who tells the story, "was lying on the bed with his back turned to us and his face to the wall," and he added that while he was in that position, his mistress leaned over and kissed Sir Roger on the mouth, observing at the same time that "he looked like his father, though his ears were like his uncle's." Then "Sir Roger" having remarked that he was "nearly stifled," Lady Tichborne directed Coyne to "take off her son's coat and undo his braces;" which duties the faithful domestic accomplished with some difficulty, while at the same time he "managed to pull him over as well as he could." Upon this Mr. Holmes, solemnly standing up, addressed John Coyne in the words: "You are a witness that Lady Tichborne recognises her son," and John Coyne having replied, "And so are you," the ceremony of recognition was complete.

Soon after this it was rumoured in the neighbourhood of Alresford, that the Dowager Lady Tichborne had acknowledged the stranger as her lost son Roger; that she had determined to allow the repentant wanderer £1000 a year; and that he was going to take a house at Croydon pending his entering into the possession of the Tichborne estates. There happened then to be living in Alresford a gentleman named Hopkins. He had been solicitor to the Tichborne family, but they had long ceased to employ him. He had also been a trustee of the Doughty estates, but had been compelled to resign that position, at which he had expressed much chagrin. Hopkins had an acquaintance named Baignet at Winchester, an eccentric person of an inquisitive turn. Both these began at this time to busy themselves greatly in the matter of the Tichborne Claimant, who, on his next visit to Alresford, was accordingly invited to stay at Mr. Hopkins's house. From that time Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Baignet became active partisans of the Claimant's cause. Hopkins had not been the solicitor of Roger Tichborne, but he had seen him occasionally from fifteen to twenty years previously; and he made an affidavit, that "though he could not recall the expression of Roger Tichborne's features," he had no doubt, from the knowledge which the Claimant had shown of the neighbourhood of Tichborne and of family matters, that he was the same person. All Alresford may, in fact, be said to have been converted; the bells were rung on the Claimant's arrival there; and Colonel Lushington, the tenant of Tichborne house, invited the Australian stranger and his wife to stay with him there. Colonel Lushington had never seen Roger Tichborne, but he has explained that he was impressed by his visitor's knowledge of the old pictures on the walls, which, it will be remembered, Bogle had been sent by "Mr. Taylor" to reconnoitre. When the news came that "Sir Roger's wife," on a visit with her husband to Col. Lushington, had had a child baptised in the chapel at Tichborne, while Mr. Anthony Biddulph, another convert, and a remote connection of the Tichborne family, had become godfather, the bells of Alresford rang louder; and nobody seemed for a moment to doubt the right of the Claimant to the estates and title. Still it was felt strange that "Sir Roger" went near none of his old friends. He had left Paris without an effort to see his former circle of acquaintances. Chatillon, his early tutor, had been brought by the Dowager there to see him; but Chatillon had said, "Madame, this is not your son!" Neither the Abbé Salis, nor Roger's dear old instructor, Father Lefevre, nor Gossein, the faithful valet, who had played with him from childhood, and had known him well as a man, nor, indeed, any person in Paris who had been acquainted with Roger Tichborne, received a visit. In England the facts were the same. The stranger would go nowhere, and at last it began to be believed that he was afraid of detection.

Active measures were meanwhile in preparation for those legal proceedings which have, within the past three years, occupied so large a share of public attention. Mr. Holmes and many others were busy in procuring information. The voluminous will of Roger Tichborne, setting forth a mass of particulars about the family property, was examined at Doctors' Commons. Then there were records of proceedings in the Probate Court and in Chancery relating to the Tichborne estates, of which copies were procured. The Horse Guards furnished the indefatigable attorney with minute and precise statements of the movements of the Carabineers during Roger Tichborne's service, and of the dates of every leave of absence and return. Then the Dowager's attorney procured from Stonyhurst lists of the professors and officials during Roger's three years' study there; and finally, the books of Lloyd's and the "Merchant Seamen's Register" were searched for information about the movements of the "Pauline," the "Bella," and other vessels. Coincident with these researches, there was a marked improvement in the Claimant's knowledge of the circumstances of what he alleged to be his own past life. There was no mention now of "the Sixty-sixth Blues," or of having been a private soldier; no denial, with or without an oath, of having been at Stonyhurst; no allusion to any other of the numerous statements he had made to Mr. Gibbes on those points. Then converts began to multiply, but not among the Tichborne family, or in any other circle that had known Roger very intimately. Affidavits, however, increased in number. People related wonderful instances of things the Claimant reminded them of, and which had happened in the past. On the one hand, these facts were regarded as "genuine efforts of memory;" on the other, they were stigmatised as the result of an organized system of extracting information from one person, and playing it off upon another.

At the end of July 1867, there was a public examination of the Claimant in Chancery, at which, for the first time, he made generally known that famous account of his alleged wreck and—escape in one of the boats of the "Bella," with eight other persons, which, with some variations, he has since maintained. It was then that, in answer to questions, he stated that he was not certain of the name of the vessel that picked him up, but was "under the impression that it was the 'Osprey.'" He also said that her captain's name was "Owen Lewis, or Lewis Owen," but he was "not certain," though he said that three months elapsed between the date of his being saved and his being landed in Melbourne in July 1854. Besides these, the most remarkable points in his examination were his statements that, on the very next day after his arrival, he was engaged by a Mr. William Foster, of Boisdale, an extensive farmer in Gippsland, to look after cattle; and that he henceforward lived in obscurity in Australia under the name of Thomas Castro. The name of Thomas Castro, he added, had occurred to him because, during his travels in South America, he had known a person so named at Melipilla, in Chili.

Mr. Gosford was also examined on that occasion, with results which had an important influence on the progress of the great cause célèbre. Some time before that gentleman had been induced to have one more interview with the Claimant in the presence of two of his most influential supporters, who thereupon requested Mr. Gosford to test their protégé by asking him about some private matter between him and his friend Roger in the past. Thus challenged Mr. Gosford naturally bethought him of the sealed paper, in which Roger had recorded his intention of building a chapel or church at Tichborne, and dedicating it to the Virgin, in the event of his marrying his cousin within three years; and he therefore requested the Claimant to declare, if he could, what were the contents of a certain packet marked "private" which Roger left in his hands when he went away. Having obtained no definite answer, Mr. Gosford, for the sake of fairness, went a step further, and said that it recorded an intention "to carry out an arrangement at Tichborne in the event of his marrying a certain lady." Still there was no answer; and thereupon Mr. Gosford, declaring that the whole interview "was idle," left the place. That packet, unfortunately, was no longer in existence. Some years after Roger Tichborne's death appeared to be beyond all doubt, Mr. Gosford had simply burnt it, regarding it as a document which it would be useless, and which he had no right, to keep, and yet one which, on the other hand, he should not be justified in giving up to any living person. The fact of its being burnt he had for obvious reasons concealed, but being now asked on the subject he was compelled to state the circumstance. It is remarkable that, on the very morrow of that disclosure, the Claimant for the first time made a statement to his supporter, Mr. Bulpett, as to the packet. It may be supposed that Mr. Bulpett and the Claimant's friends generally were inclined to draw unfavourable inferences from his apparent ignorance of the contents of the packet. He now, however, declared that not ignorance of its contents, but delicacy and forbearance towards Mrs. Radcliffe, had alone prevented his answering Mr. Gosford's test question. Mr. Gosford, he said, was right. It did relate to "an arrangement to be carried out at Tichborne," but an arrangement of a very painful kind. Then it was that he wrote out the terrible charge against the lady whom Roger had loved so well—confessing, it is true, his own diabolical wickedness, but at the same time casting upon her the cruellest of imputations. This, he said, was what he had sealed up and given to Mr. Gosford. Mr. Bulpett, the banker, put his initials solemnly to the document, and within a few months all Hampshire had whispered the wicked story. It is to be observed that, during all this time, no word had been spoken by the Claimant of his having confided to Mr. Gosford a vow to build a church. Four years later, when under examination, he was asked whether he had ever left any other private document with Mr. Gosford, and he answered, "I think not." Then it was that counsel produced the copy of the vow to build the church in Roger Tichborne's hand, which he had fortunately given to his cousin on the sorrowful day of their last parting; and finally there was found and read aloud the letter of Roger Tichborne to Mr. Gosford, dated January 17th, 1852, in which occur the precious words, "I have written out my will, and left it with Mr. Slaughter; the only thing which I have left out is about the church, which I will only build under the circumstances which I have left with you in writing." Happily these facts render it unnecessary to enter upon the question, Whether this story was not wholly irreconcilable, both with itself and with the ascertained dates and facts in Roger Tichborne's career?

The estates of Tichborne were not likely to be left undefended either by the trustees or by the family, who, with the exception of the Dowager Lady Tichborne, had, with one accord, pronounced the Claimant an impostor. Accordingly, very soon after his arrival in England, a gentleman named Mackenzie was despatched to Australia to make inquiries. Mr. Mackenzie visited Melbourne, Sydney, and Wagga-Wagga, and up to a certain time was singularly successful in tracing backwards the career of Thomas Castro. He discovered that, some months before the Dowager's advertisement for her son had appeared, and Mr. Gibbes' client had set up his claim, the slaughter-man of Wagga-Wagga had married an Irish servant-girl named Bryant, who had signed the marriage register with a cross. He also found that the marriage was celebrated, not by a Roman Catholic priest, but by a Wesleyan minister. Searching further he found out that immediately after the date of the arrival of a letter from the Dowager, informing Mr. Gibbes that her son was a Roman Catholic, Thomas Castro and Mary Anne Bryant had again gone through the ceremony of marriage in those names, and on this occasion the wedding was celebrated in a Roman Catholic chapel. By applying to Mr. Gibbes, Mr. Mackenzie then discovered that the Claimant, before leaving Australia, had given instructions for a will, which was subsequently drawn up and executed by him, in which he pretended to dispose of the Tichborne estates, and described properties in various counties, all of which were purely fictitious. The Tichborne family had not, and never had, any such estates as were there elaborately set forth, nor did any such estates exist; and the will contained no bequest, nor indeed any allusion to a solitary member of Roger's family except his mother, whom it described as Lady "Hannah Frances Tichborne," though her Christian names were, in fact, "Henriette Félicité." Mr. Gibbes explained that it was the knowledge which this document seemed to display of the Tichborne estates and family which induced him to advance money, and that the Dowager Lady Tichborne's letters being merely signed "H.F. Tichborne," he had inserted the Christian names, "Hannah Frances," on the authority of his client. Lastly, Mr. Mackenzie learnt that there had been a butcher in Wagga-Wagga named Schottler, and that Higgins's slaughterman, known as Tom Castro, had once told some one that he had known Schottler's family, and lived very near their house when he was a boy. Schottler had disappeared, but he was believed to have originally come from London. This information was slight, but it appeared to the shrewd Mr. Mackenzie to be valuable. If the Schottlers were known to Tom Castro as neighbours when he was a boy in London, it would seem to be only necessary to find the Schottler family in order to discover who the Claimant to the Tichborne estates really was. After much trouble, though Schottler was not discovered, a clue was found. The solicitor to the defendants in the Chancery suits obtained old directories of London, and discovered that there was one Schottler, who had kept a public-house, called The Ship and Punchbowl, in High Street, Wapping. In that direction, therefore, inquiries were instituted. The Schottlers had, it was found, gone and left no trace, but it was easy to instruct a detective to inquire after old neighbours, to show them a portrait of the Claimant, and to ask if any one in that locality recognised the features. At last the man prosecuting inquiries found himself in the Globe public-house in Wapping, the landlady of which hostelry at once declared the carte de visite to be a portrait of a mysterious individual of huge bulk who had visited her on the night of the previous Christmas day, stayed an hour in her parlour, and made numerous inquiries after old inhabitants of Wapping. His inquiries included the Schottlers, and he had particularly wanted the address of the family of the late Mr. George Orton, a butcher in the High Street, who answered the description of an old "neighbour of the Schottlers." The Christmas day referred to was the very day of the Claimant's arrival in England, and the landlady of the Globe was positive that the portrait represented her visitor, whoever he might have been. Moreover, she informed the gentleman that, struck by his inquiries after the Ortons, she had scanned her mysterious visitor's features closely, and observed, "Why, you must be an Orton; you are very like the old gentleman." Three daughters of old George Orton were then applied to, but they declared that the portrait had no resemblance to any brother of theirs. Neighbours, however, had perceived that these persons, who had been extremely poor, had suddenly shown signs of greatly improved circumstances. Further inquiry led to the discovery that they had a brother named Charles, "a humpbacked man," who had been a butcher in a small way, in partnership with a Mr. Woodgate, in Hermitage Street, Wapping. He had recently dissolved partnership rather suddenly, but he had previously confided to Mr. Woodgate the curious information that he had a brother just come home from Australia, who was entitled to great property, and who had promised him an allowance of "£5 a month," and £2000 "when he got his estates." When, after some trouble, Charles Orton was discovered, he showed signs of being disposed to explain the mystery "if the solicitors" would promptly "make it worth his while;" but in the very midst of the inquiry he suddenly vanished from the neighbourhood, and for a long while all trace of him was lost. Meanwhile, the Claimant had, by some mysterious means, become aware that these inquiries were in progress, for he wrote at this period to his confidential friend Rous, the landlord of the Swan, as follows:—"We find the other side very busy with another pair of sisters for me. They say I was born in Waping. I never remember having been there, but Mr. Holmes tell me it a very respectiabel part of London." Shortly afterwards two out of the three daughters of old Mr. Orton made affidavit that the Claimant was not their brother, nor any relation of theirs; the other sister and Charles Orton, however, made no affidavit. Four years later the Claimant confessed that he was, after all, the mysterious visitor at the Globe public-house on that Christmas eve; that he shortly afterwards entered into secret correspondence and transactions with the Orton family; that he gave the sisters money whenever they wrote to say they were in want of any; and that after the period when Charles Orton was solicited to give information to "the other side," he allowed him £5 a month—Charles Orton, who was then in concealment, being addressed in their correspondence by the assumed name of "Brand." The Claimant's explanation of these relations with the Orton family, which he at first denied, was, that their brother, Arthur Orton, had been a great friend of his for many years, and in various parts of Australia, and that hence he was desirous of assisting his family. At one time he said that his object was to ascertain if his friend, Arthur Orton, had arrived in England; at another he stated, on oath, that when he sailed from Australia he left Arthur Orton there. The solicitors for the defendants in the Chancery suit, however, did not hesitate to declare their conviction that the pretended Roger Tichborne was no other than Arthur Orton, youngest son of the late George Orton, butcher, of High Street, Wapping; that his visit to Wapping on the very night of his arrival was prompted by curiosity to know the position of his family, of whom he had not heard for some years; and that his stealthy transactions with the three sisters, and with the brother of Arthur Orton, had no object but that of furnishing them with an inducement to keep the dangerous secret of his true name and origin.

While all these discoveries were being made, the poor old lady went to live for a time with her supposed son at Croydon; but even she could not manage to stay in the extraordinary household, and after a time, though still strong, despite the advice of her best friends, that the huge impostor was her son, she left, and gradually becoming weaker and weaker in body as well as mind, she was, on the 12th of March 1868, found by a servant dead in a chair, and with no relative or friend at hand, in a hotel near Portman Square, where she had sought and found a shelter.

Amidst much that was vague in the Claimant's account of his past life, there were, at all events, two statements of a precise and definite character. These were, first, that he had been at Melipilla, in Chili, and had there known intimately a man named Thomas Castro, whose name he had afterwards assumed; and, secondly, that in 1854, he had been engaged as herdsman to Mr. William Foster, of Boisdale, in Gippsland, Australia. If he were an impostor, these statements were undoubtedly imprudent. But they served the purpose of establishing the identity of his career with that of the man whom he claimed to be, for Roger Tichborne had, undoubtedly, travelled in Chili; and, according at least to the tramping sailors' story, embodied in the Dowager's advertisement, he had been carried thence to Australia. The importance attached by his supporters to these apparent tokens of identity sufficiently explains the Claimant's explicitness on these points. Melipilla is a long way off; and Boisdale is still further. It may have been supposed that witnesses could not be brought from so far; but vast interests were at stake, and the defendant in the Chancery suit speedily applied for Commissions to go out to South America and Australia to collect information regarding the Claimant's past history. The proposition was strenuously opposed as vexatious, and designed merely to create delay, but the Court granted the application. Then the Claimant asked for an adjournment, on the ground that he intended to go out and confront the Melipilla folks, including his intimate friend Don Thomas Castro, before the Commission; and also to accompany it to Australia. The postponement was granted, a large sum was raised to defray his expenses, and he finally started with the Commission, accompanied by counsel and solicitors, bound for Valparaiso and Melipilla, and finally for Victoria and New South Wales. When the vessel, however, arrived at Rio. the Claimant went ashore, declaring that he preferred to go thence to Melipilla overland. But he never presented himself at that place, and finally the Commission proceeded to examine witnesses and to record their testimony, which thus became part of the evidence in the suit. The Claimant had, in fact, re-embarked at Rio for England, having abandoned the whole project; for which strange conduct he made various and conflicting excuses. Even before he had started, circumstances had occurred which had induced some of his supporters to express doubts whether he would ever go to Melipilla. When the Commission had become inevitable, the Claimant had written a letter to his "esteemed friend, Don Tomas Castro," reminding him of past acquaintance in 1853, sending kind remembrances to a number of friends, and altogether mentioning at least sixteen persons with Spanish names whom he had known there. The purpose of the letter was to inform Don Tomas that he had returned to England, was claiming "magnificent lands," and in brief to prepare his old acquaintances to befriend him there. This letter was answered by Castro through his son Pedro, with numerous good wishes and much gossip about Melipilla, and what had become of the old circle. But to the astonishment and dismay of the Claimant's attorney, Mr. Holmes, Pedro Castro reminded his old correspondent, that when among them he had gone by the name of Arthur Orton. A Melipilla lady named Ahumada then sent a portion of a lock of hair which the Claimant acknowledged as his own hair, and thanked her for. But this lady declared that she had cut the lock from the head of an English lad named Arthur Orton; and the Claimant thereupon said that he must have been mistaken in thanking her, and acknowledging it as his. In the town of Melipilla—sixty or seventy miles inland from Valparaiso—everyone of the sixteen or seventeen persons mentioned by the Claimant as old acquaintances—except those who were dead or gone away—came before the Commission, and were examined. They proved to have substantially but one tale to tell. They said they never knew any one of the name of Tichborne. Melipilla is a remote little towns far off the great high road, and the only English person, except an English doctor there established, who had ever sojourned there, was a sailor lad who, not in 1853, but in 1849, came to them destitute; was kindly treated; picked up Spanish enough to converse in an illiterate way; said his name was Arthur, and was always called Arthur by them; declared his father was "a butcher named Orton, who served the queen;" and said he had been sent to sea to cure St. Vitus's Dance, but had been ill-used by the captain, and ran away from his ship at Valparaiso. This lad, they stated, sojourned in Melipilla eighteen months, and finally went back to Valparaiso and re-embarked for England. Don Tomas Castro, the doctor's wife, and others, declared they recognised the features of this lad in the portrait of the Claimant; and being shown two daguerreotype portraits of Roger Tichborne, taken in Chili when he was there, said that the features were not like those of any person they had ever known. Searches were then made in the records of the consul's office at Valparaiso, from which it resulted that a sailor named Arthur Orton did desert from the English ship "Ocean" in that port at the very date mentioned, and did re-embark, though under the name of "Joseph M. Orton," about eighteen months later.

To Boisdale, in Australia, the Commission then repaired, and though this is many thousands of miles from South America, but here similar discoveries were made. Mr. William Foster, the extensive cattle farmer, was dead, but the widow still managed his large property. In reference to the Claimant's statement that in July, 1854, the very day after he was landed by the vessel which he believed was named the "Osprey," at Melbourne, he was engaged by Mr. William Foster, and went with him at once to Gippsland, under the assumed name of Thomas Castro, the lady declared that her husband did not settle at Boisdale, or have anything to do with that property till two years later than that date, and that they never had any herdsman named Thomas Castro. The ledgers and other account books of Mr. Foster were then examined, but no mention of any Castro, either in 1854 or at any other time, could be found. On the other hand, there were numerous entries, extending over the two years 1857 and 1858, of wages paid and rations served out to a herdsman named Arthur Orton, whom the lady perfectly well remembered, and who had come to them from Hobart Town.

All these discoveries were confirmed by the registers of shipping, which showed that Arthur Orton embarked for Valparaiso in 1848, re-embarked for London in 1851, and sailed again for Hobart Town in the following year. But there were other significant circumstances. The ship in which Arthur Orton had returned from Valparaiso was called the "Jessie Miller," which was the very name which the Claimant in his solemn declaration, prepared by Mr. Gibbes, gave as the name of the vessel in which he came out to Australia. In the same document he had stated the date of his sailing from England as the "28th of November, 1852," and this was now discovered to be the very day, month, and year on which Arthur Orton embarked in the vessel bound for Hobart Town. Mr. Foster's widow had specimens of Arthur Orton's writing, and other mementoes of his two years' service among them, and she unhesitatingly identified a portrait of the Claimant as that of the same man. Among other witnesses, a farmer named Hopwood deposed that he had known Arthur Orton at Boisdale under that name, and again at Wagga-Wagga under his assumed name of Thomas Castro. At Wagga-Wagga the will executed by the Claimant, and already referred to, was produced, and it was found that amidst all its fictitious names and imaginary Tichborne estates, it appointed as trustees two gentlemen residing in Dorsetshire, England, who have since been discovered to have been intimate friends of old Mr. Orton, the butcher. The testimony on the Claimant's behalf before the Commission threw but little light. It consisted chiefly of vague stories of his having spoken when in Australia of being entitled to large possessions, and of having been an officer in the army, and stationed in Ireland. Such testimony could, of course, have little weight against the statements of the Claimant in writing, made just before embarking at Sydney, with a view of satisfying capitalists of his identity, and betraying total ignorance of Roger Tichborne's military life.

While these exposures were being made abroad, matters at home began to look very bad for the Claimant. Charles Orton, the brother of Arthur, called upon the solicitors for "the other side," and volunteered to give information. In the presence of Lord Arundell and other witnesses, this man then stated that the Claimant of the Tichborne estates was his brother Arthur, that he had been induced by him to change his name to Brand, and to remain in concealment, that in return the Claimant had allowed him £5 per month; but that, since his departure for Chili, the allowance had ceased. Letters of Charles Orton to the Claimant's wife, asking whether "Sir Roger Tichborne, before he went away, left anything for a party of the name of Brand," have been found and published; and this same Charles has, since the conviction of the Claimant, put forth a statement of the whole matter, so far as he was concerned. Under these circumstances, Mr. Holmes withdrew from the case, and the county gentlemen who, relying in great measure on Lady Tichborne's recognition, and the numerous affidavits that had been made, had supported the Claimant, held a meeting at the Swan, at Alresford, at which, among other documents, certain mysterious letters to the Orton sisters were produced. These letters were signed, "W.H. Stephens," and they contained inquiries after the Orton family, and also after Miss Mary Anne Loader, who was an old sweetheart of Arthur Orton's, long resident in Wapping. They enclosed as portraits of Arthur Orton's wife and child, certain photographic likenesses which were clearly portraits of the Claimant's wife and child; and though they purported to be written by "W.H. Stephens," a friend of Arthur Orton's just arrived from Australia, it was suspected that the letters—which were evidently in a feigned hand—were really written by the Claimant. They manifested that desire for information about Wapping folks, and particularly the Ortons, which the Claimant was known to have exhibited on more occasions than one; and they indicated a wish to get this information by a ruse, and without permitting the writer to be seen. But the correspondence showed that the sisters of Orton had discovered, or at least believed that they had discovered, that the writer was in truth their brother Arthur. The Claimant, however, being called in and questioned, solemnly affirmed that the letters were "forgeries," designed by his enemies to "ruin his cause." Nor was it until he was pressed in cross-examination, three years later, that he reluctantly confessed that his charges of forgery were false; and that, in fact, he, and no one else, had written the Stephens' letters. The Claimant's solemn assurances did not convince all his supporters at the meeting at the Swan, but they satisfied some; and funds were still found for prosecuting the Chancery, and next the great Common Law suit which was technically an action for the purpose of ejecting Col. Lushington from Tichborne house, which had been let to him. Col. Lushington was then a supporter of the Claimant, and had not the least objection to be ejected. But the action at once raised the question whether the Claimant had a right to eject him. Of course that depended on whether he was, or was not, the young man who was so long believed to have perished in the "Bella;" and accordingly this was the issue that the jury had to try on Thursday, the 11th of May, 1871, that Sergeant Ballantine rose to address the jury on behalf of the Claimant, and it was not until the 6th of March, 1872, that the trial was concluded—the proceedings having extended to 103 days. On both sides a large number of witnesses were examined, many being persons of respectability, while some were of high station. The military witnesses for the Claimant were very numerous; and among them were five of Roger Tichborne's old brother officers, the rest being sergeants, corporals, and privates. There were Australian witnesses, and medical witnesses, old servants, tenants of the Tichborne family, and numerous other persons. With the exception of two remote connexions, however, no members of the numerous families of Tichborne and Seymour presented themselves to support the plaintiffs claims; and even the two gentlemen referred to admitted that their acquaintance with Roger was slight, and that it was in his youth; and finally, that they had not recognised the features of the Claimant, but had merely inferred his identity from some circumstances he had been able to mention. The plaintiffs case was almost entirely unsupported by documentary evidence, and rested chiefly on the impressions or the memory of witnesses, or on their conclusions drawn from circumstances, which often, when they were inquired into in cross-examination, proved to be altogether insufficient.

But the cross-examination of the Claimant himself was really the turning-point of the trial. It extended over twenty-seven days, and embraced the whole history of Roger Tichborne's life, his alleged rescue, the life in Australia, and all subsequent proceedings. Besides this, matters connected with the Orton case were inquired into. Much that was calculated to alarm supporters of the Claimant was elicited. He was compelled to admit that he had no confirmation to offer of his strange story of the rescue, and that he could produce no survivor of the "Osprey," nor any one of the crew of the "Bella" alleged to have been rescued with him. The mere existence of such a vessel was not evidenced by any shipping register or gazette, or custom-house record. It was moreover admitted that he had changed his story—had for a whole year given up the "Osprey," and said the vessel was the "Themis," and finally returned to the "Osprey" again. All the strange circumstances of the Wagga-Wagga will, the Gibbes and Cubitt correspondence, the furtive transactions with the Orton family, the curious revelations of the commissions in South America and Australia, were acknowledged, and either left unexplained or explained in a way which was evasive, inconsistent, and contradictory. His accounts of his relations with Arthur Orton were also vague, and his attempts to support his assertion that Castro and Orton were not one and the same, but different persons, were unsatisfactory, while by his own confession his habitual associates in Australia had been highway robbers and other persons of the vilest class. With regard to his life in Paris he admitted that his mind was "a blank," and he confessed that he could not read a line of Roger Tichborne's letters in French. He gave answers which evidenced gross ignorance on all the matters which Roger's letters and other evidence showed that he had studied. He said he did not think Euclid was connected with mathematics, though Roger had passed an examination in Euclid; and that he believed that a copy of Virgil handed to him was "Greek," which it doubtless was to him. He was compelled again and again to admit that statements he had deliberately made were absolutely false. When questioned with regard to that most impressive of all episodes in Roger's life, his love for his cousin, now Lady Radcliffe, he showed himself unacquainted not merely with precise dates, but with the broad outline of the story and the order of events. His answers on these matters were again confused, and wholly irreconcilable. Yet the Solicitor-General persisting for good reasons in interrogating him on the slanderous story of the sealed packet, he was compelled to repeat in Court, though with considerable variations, what he had long ago caused to be bruited abroad. Mrs. (she was not then Lady) Radcliffe, by her own wish, sat in Court beside her husband, confronting the false witness, and they had the satisfaction of hearing him convicted, out of his own mouth, and by the damnatory evidence of documents of undisputed authenticity, of a deliberate series of abominable inventions. It was during the course of this trial that the pocket-book left behind by the Claimant at Wagga-Wagga was brought to England. It was found to contain what appeared to be early attempts at Tichborne signatures, in the form "Rodger Charles Titchborne," besides such entries as "R.C.T., Bart., Tichborne Hall, Surrey, England, G.B.;" and among other curious memoranda in the Claimant's handwriting was the name and address, in full, of Arthur Orton's old sweetheart, at Wapping—the "respectiabel place" of which he had assured his supporters in England that he had not the slightest knowledge. The exposure of Mr. Baigent's unscrupulous partisanship by Mr. Hawkins, and the address to the jury by Sir John Coleridge, followed in due course, and then a few family witnesses, including Lady Radcliffe, were heard, who deposed, among many other matters, to the famous tattoo marks on Roger's arm; and, finally, the jury declared that they were satisfied. Then the Claimant's advisers, to avoid the inevitable verdict for their opponents, elected to be nonsuit. But, notwithstanding these tactics, Lord Chief-Justice Bovill, under his warrant, immediately committed the Claimant to Newgate, on a charge of wilful and corrupt perjury.

Those who fondly hoped that the great Tichborne imposture had now for ever broken down, and that the last in public had been seen of the perjured villain, were mistaken, as, after a few weeks in Newgate, the Claimant was released on bail in the sum of £10,000—his sureties being Earl Rivers, Mr. Guildford Onslow, M.P., Mr. Whalley, M.P., and Mr. Alban Attwood, a medical man residing at Bayswater. Now began that systematic agitation on the Claimant's behalf, and those public appeals for subscriptions, which were so remarkable a feature of the thirteen months' interval between the civil and the criminal trial. The Tichborne Romance, as it was called, had made the name of the Claimant famous; and sightseers throughout the kingdom were anxious to get a glimpse of "Sir Roger." It was true his case had entirely broken down, but the multitude were struck by the fact that he could still appear on platforms with exciteable members of Parliament to speak for him, and could even find a lord to be his surety. It was not everyone who, in reading the long cross-examination of the Claimant, had been able to see the significance of the admissions which he was compelled to make; and owing to the Claimant's counsel stopping the case on the hint of the jury, the other side of the story had really not been heard; and this fact was made an argument in the Claimant's favour. Meanwhile, the propagandism continued until there was hardly a town in the kingdom in which Sir Roger Charles Tichborne, Bart., had not appeared on platforms, and addressed crowded meetings; while Mr. Guildford Onslow and Mr. Whalley were generally present to deliver foolish and inflammatory harangues. At theatres and music halls, at pigeon matches and open-air fêtes, the Claimant was perseveringly exhibited; and while the other side preserved a decorous silence, the public never ceased to hear the tale of his imaginary wrongs. The Tichborne Gazette, the sole function of which was to excite the public mind still further, appeared; and the newspapers contained long lists of subscribers to the Tichborne defence fund. This unexampled system of creating prejudice with regard to a great trial still pending was permitted to continue long after the criminal trial had commenced. There had been proceedings, it is true, for contempt against the Claimant and his supporters, Mr. Onslow, Mr. Whalley, and Mr. Skipworth, and fine and imprisonment were inflicted; but the agitation continued, violent attacks were made upon witnesses, and even upon the judges then engaged in trying the case, and at length the Court was compelled peremptorily to forbid all appearances of the Claimant at public meetings.

The great "Trial at Bar," presided over by Sir Alexander Cockburn, Lord Chief-Justice of the Queen's Bench, Mr. Justice Mellor, and Mr. Justice Lush, commenced on the 23d of April, 1873, and ended on the 28th of February 1874—a period of a little over ten months. On the side of the prosecution 212 witnesses gave their testimony; but the documentary evidence, including the enormous mass of Roger Tichborne's letters, so valuable as exhibiting the character, the pursuits, the thoughts, and feelings of the writer, were scarcely less important. The entire Tichborne and Seymour families may be said to have given their testimony against the defendant. Lady Doughty had passed away from the troubled scene since the date of the last trial; but she had been examined and cross-examined on her death bed, and had then repeated the evidence which she gave on the previous occasion, and declared that the Claimant was an impostor. Lady Radcliffe again appeared in the witness-box, and told her simple story, confirmed as it was in all important particulars by the correspondence and other records. Old Paris friends and acquaintances were unanimous. Father Lefevre and the venerable Abbé Salis, Chatillon the tutor and his wife, and numerous others, declared this man was not Roger Tichborne, and exposed his ignorance both of them and their past transactions. When questioned, the defendant had sworn that his father never had a servant named Gossein; but the letters of Sir James were shown to contain numerous allusions to "my faithful Gossein," and Gossein himself came into the witness-box and told how he had known Roger Tichborne from the cradle to his boyhood, and from his boyhood to the very hour of his going on his travels. On the Orton question, nearly fifty witnesses declared their conviction that the defendant sitting then before them was the butcher's son whom they had known in Wapping. The witnesses from Australia and from South America unhesitatingly identified the defendant with Orton; but it is more important to observe, that their testimony was supported by records and documents of various kinds, including the ledgers of Mr. Foster of Boisdale, letters under the defendant's own hand, and writings which it could not be denied were from the hand of Arthur Orton.

On the other side, the witnesses were still more numerous. They included a great number of persons from Wapping, who swore they did not recognise in the defendant the lad whom they had known as Arthur Orton. Many others swore they had known both Orton and the defendant in Australia, and that they were different persons, but their stories were irreconcilable with each other, and were moreover in direct conflict with the statements of the Claimant on oath, while several of these witnesses were persons of proved bad character, and unworthy of belief. Great numbers of Carabineers declared that the defendant was exactly like their old officer; but while ten officers of that regiment appeared for the prosecution, and positively affirmed that the defendant was not Roger Tichborne, only two officers gave testimony on the other side; and even these admitted that they had doubts. Eight years had elapsed since Mr. Gibbes fancied he had discovered Sir Roger at Wagga-Wagga, but still no Arthur Orton was forthcoming; nor did the sisters of Orton venture to come forward on behalf of the man who had been compelled to admit having taken them into his pay. Not only was the Claimant's story of his wreck and rescue shown to be absurd and impossible, but it was unsupported by any evidence, except vague recollections of witnesses having seen an "Osprey" and some shipwrecked sailors at Melbourne in July, 1854; and it was admitted that if their tale were true the phantom vessel and the fact of its picking up nine precious lives must have escaped the notice of Lloyd's agents, of custom-house officers, and of the Australian newspapers. More, the Claimant's "Osprey" must have escaped the notice of such authorities in every port which she had entered from the day that she was launched. So, indeed, the matter stood until the witness Luie, the "pretended steward of the 'Osprey'" swore to his strange story, as well as to the defendant's recognition of him by name as an old friend. The Luie episode, terminating in the identification of that infamous witness as an habitual criminal and convict named Lundgren, only recently released on a ticket-of-leave, together with the complete disproof of his elaborate "Osprey" story, is familiar to the public. It was a significant fact, that other witnesses for the defence were admitted to be associates of this rascal; while one of the most conspicuous of all—a man calling himself "Captain" Brown—had pretended to corroborate portions of Luie's evidence which are now proved to be false.

Some allowance may perhaps be made in the defendant's favour for the singularly unskilful and damaging character of his counsel Dr. Kenealy's two addresses to the jury, which occupied no less than forty-three entire days. This barrister not only made violent personal attacks on every witness of importance for the prosecution, without, as the judges observed, "any shadow of foundation," but he assailed his own client with a vehemence and a persistence which are without parallel in the case of an advocate defending a person against a charge of perjury. He gave up statements of the defendant at almost every period of his extraordinary story as "false;" declared them to be "moonshine;" expressed his conviction that no sensible person could for a moment believe them; acknowledged that to attempt to verify them in the face of the evidence, or even to reconcile them with each other, would be hopeless; set some down as "arrant nonsense," denounced others as "Munchausenisms," and recommended the jury "not to believe them" with a heartiness which would have been perfectly natural in the mouth of Mr. Hawkins, but which, coming from counsel for the defence, was, as one of the learned judges remarked, "strange indeed." But the doctrine of the learned gentleman was, that the very extent of the perjury should be his client's protection, because it showed that he was not a man "to be tried by ordinary standards." When, in addition to this, he laboured day after day to persuade the jury that Roger Tichborne was a drunkard, a liar, a fool, an undutiful son, an ungrateful friend, and an abandoned libertine—declared in loud and impassioned tones that he would "strip this jay of his borrowed plumes," and indignantly repudiated the notion that the man his client claimed to be had one single good quality about him, the humour of the situation may be said to have reached its climax. Yet Dr. Kenealy at least proved his sincerity by not only insinuating charges against the gentleman who disappeared with the "Bella," but by actually calling witnesses to contradict point blank statements of his own client which lay at the very foundation of the charges of perjury against him. There were, it is true, many unthinking persons of the kind that mistake sound for sense, who considered Dr. Kenealy a vastly clever fellow. If he be so, then the world in general, and the constitution of the English bar in particular, are wrong; but anyhow one thing is certain, that the counsel damaged the case materially, and showed himself eminently unfitted for the position of leader. Mr. Hawkins' powerful address quickly disposed of Dr. Kenealy and his crotchets. The inquiry was raised into a calmer height when the Lord Chief-Justice commenced his memorable summing up, going minutely through the vast mass of testimony—depicting the true character of Roger Tichborne from the rich mine of materials before him, contrasting it with that of the defendant as shown by the evidence, and, while giving due weight to the testimony in his favour, exposing hundreds of examples of the falsity of his statements made upon oath. The verdict of Guilty had been anticipated by all who paid attention to the evidence. The foreman publicly declared that there was no doubt in the mind of any juryman that the man who has for eight years assumed the name and title of the gentleman whose unhappy story is recorded in these pages is an impostor who has added slander of the wickedest kind to his many other crimes. But not only were they satisfied of this; they were equally agreed as to his being Arthur Orton. The sentence of fourteen years' penal servitude followed, and was assuredly not too heavy a punishment for offences so enormous. Yet there are others still at large, who, having aided the impostor with advice and money, should not be allowed to escape, while the more clumsy scoundrel suffers the award of detected infamy.

Thus ended the great Tichborne impersonation case, the most remarkable feature in which was, not that a rude ignorant butcher should proclaim himself a baronet, but that thousands of persons sane in every other respect should have gone crazy about him, and should, despite the evidence given—sufficient many hundreds of times told, or for any reasonable being—even now persist that Roger Tichborne still lives, and is the victim of a gross conspiracy. What need is there to point out the idiotcy of such ravings? What necessity ever to contradict statements which contradict themselves?