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Arthur Orton
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Outlaw
    (March 20, 1834-April 1, 1898)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Became a butcher in Australia using the name Thomas Castro
    In 1866, claimed to be Roger Tichborne, heir to the Tichborne estate and baronetcy, who had been lost at sea in 1854
    Accepted as Roger by Lady Tichborne
    After Lady Tichborne’s death (1868), was cut off from the £1,000 per year pension she had given him
    Sued unsuccessfully in civil court to be recognized as Roger (1871)
    Convicted of perjury (1873)
    Served 10 years in prison
    While working as a butcher, he was fined for selling ‘unwholesome meat, unfit for human food.’ (1855)
    He did not look at all like Roger Tichborne, and not just because he weighed twice as much as Roger had before his disappearance.
    He had fair, wavy hair; Roger had dark, straight hair.
    Roger had a tattoo of his initials, he did not.
    Roger, who had spent his early life in Paris, was fluent in French; he couldn’t speak a word of it.
    When he first wrote to Lady Tichborne, he addressed her as ‘Harriet Frances’; her name was actually Henriette Felicité.
    He may have been coached by Andrew Bogle, a former Tichborne servant who held a grudge against the family over his dismissal.
    Such coaching would explain why he could produce convincing details about Tichborne Park and Roger’s life there, but repeatedly drew a blank on the stand when asked about Roger’s early years in Paris, his schooling and the time he spent in the military.
    The Tichborne family was able to dig up dozens of witnesses from Australia who testified that ‘Thomas Castro’ was really Arthur Orton, who had been living in Australia for two years before Roger Tichborne’s disappearance.
    He got so used to living the good life on Lady Tichborne’s dime that he went bankrupt in a year after her pension was cut off (1869).
    He was so morbidly obese that the prison had to install a specially-made bedstand to support his bulk.
    After his release from prison, he appeared as a sideshow attraction at circuses.
    He sold his confession of being an impostor to a newspaper for £4,000, then immediately repudiated it (1895).
    He may have written to Lady Tichborne solely to get enough money to return to England.
    Bogle may have been the real mastermind behind the scam, convincing Orton/Castro that he could provide him with enough inside information to pull off the imposture.
    He apparently was a quick study, since he memorized a ton of details about Roger’s life during his voyage to England.
    He convinced most of the Tichborne servants and many tenants in Tichborne Park that he was Roger.
    He came up with an ingenious technique for financing his suit against the Tichbornes despite his bankruptcy: he sold £40,000 worth of ‘Tichborne bonds’ at £20 each, promising to pay back £100 per bond when (and if) he won.
    A couple of the witnesses who testified that ‘Thomas Castro’ was really Arthur Orton later admitted to having been bribed by the Tichborne family.
    Tichborne family solicitor, Sir John Coleridge, while certain that ‘Thomas Castro’ was not Roger Tichborne, was less certain that he was Arthur Orton and speculated in private that he might have been an out-of-wedlock son of one of the Tichbornes.

Credit: C. Fishel


    In 2018, Out of 9 Votes: 55.56% Annoying
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