« PreviousContinue »
“ Shortly before leaving England, in March, 1852 [he should have said 1853, which was the year of Roger's departure], I placed in the hands of Gosford the document, with instructions not to open it except on certain events, one of which I know has not happened, and the other I hope has not happened.”
To the question what were the “ certain events” referred to in bis affidavit above quoted, he said that the one which he knew had not happened was his own return before his cousin's marriage. But afterward, being asked the same question again, he said, “I don't know, - I suppose it was my death.” The other event, that which he hoped had not happened, he strove hard to evade mentioning. But at last, in reply to repeated and obstinate inquires, he said : “ The confinement of my cousin.” The Attorney-General then said “ solemnly,” while Lady Radcliffe (the Kate Doughty referred to) sat in full view beneath him in the court-room :
Do you mean to swear, before the judge and jury, that you seduced
Atty.-Genl. Was it before or after the breaking off of the engagement
Atty.-Genl. How long before the engagement was broken off?
Atty.-Genl. You left, you know, in March, 1853. You say you seduced her in July or August, 1852, and before the breaking off of the engagement. You say you never saw her but once after that in the village, and you spoke to her about her confinement ?
Witness. I didn't say so. She wished to impress it on me.
Atty.-Genl. Did you make any further inquiry afterwards ?
Defendant after giving these replies was pressed as to the packet. He said it was dated in November, 1852, was read over by him to Gosford and then intrusted to Gosford's keeping; that it related to his cousin's being enceinte. In 1862 he gave to his attorney this version of it: —
In the event of my father being in possession before my return or dying before my return, he (Gosford) was to act for him according to instructions contained in the document. In the first place he was to have Upton to live at and there to manage the whole of the estate. He was to keep the farm in hand and show the greatest kindness to my cousin Kate, and let her have every thing she required. My cousin gave me to understand she was enceinte and pressed me very hard to marry her at once. I did not believe such was the case nor have I since heard it was. I always believed it was said to get me to marry her at once. For this my father try and persuade me. It also refer to the village at Prior's Dene. He (Gosford) was to have the cottages repaired and also to improve the estate in general. Was also to make arrangements for Kate to leave England, if that was true. Both Gosford and wife urged me very hard to marry her at once. I do not think Mrs. Gosford knew about Kate.
R. C. D. TICHBORNE. Being driven at the trial to give his recollection of the writing itself, he wrote as follows :
CHERITON, Nov. 1852. If it be true that my Cousin Kate Doughty should prove to be enceinte, you are to make all necessary arrangements for going to Scotland, and you are to see that Upton is properly prepared for her until I return or she marries. You are to show great kindness to her and let her have every thing she requires. If she remains single until I come back I will marry her. In the Event of my cousin's death you are to take charge of the Estate on my behalf, to keep the home farm and to repair the Cottages at Prior's Dean:
R. C. TICHBORNE. The defendant cut himself off from the assistance of supposing
that there might have been some other instrument given to Gosford, for he expressly swore that there was no other; and Gosford corroborated the testimony.
But the confidence which led the claimant to furnish contents for the sealed packet was misplaced. For though Gosford's copy had indeed been destroyed, yet a duplicate existed ; a duplicate which the defendant, not being the real Sir Roger, had never known or heard of or suspected. That duplicate had been written later; indeed it bore date June 22, 1852, but otherwise it was identical with the original. That duplicate had been given to Miss Doughty, and had most fortunately been preserved. It was produced at this trial, and was as follows:
TICHBORNE PARK, June 22, 1852. I make on this day a promise that if I marry my cousin, Catherine Doughty, this year, 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 thrown over us, and in praying God that our wishes may be fulfilled.
(Signed) R. C. TICHBORNE.
ke on this day fore three years ole Virgin, in thank
Here was the explanation about the church. The packet and the letter of January 17, 1852, to Gosford, were consistent.
But incredible as the whole of the defendant's story appeared, even when thus told, Mr. Hawkins undertook to furnish actual proof by dates of the impossibility of the seduction. Had it happened early in the year the results must have been known when Roger and his cousin “met and walked together” in November or December. But in addition to such circumstantial and inferential proof the witness himself had placed the occurrence in the latter part of July or beginning of August. It was fortunate that he was thus nailed to the definite point of time; for the whereabouts of Roger could now be adduced to show the story to be impossible. An alibi of the would-be seducer could be proved. In the early part of the year Roger was in Ireland with his regiment. In June he came back with it, and still remaining with it was sent to Canterbury. He then obtained a leave of absence from June 15 to 23: went to London for a visit of three days; on June 19 left London and came with Lady Doughty and her daughter Kate to Tichborne ; on June 22 he left Tichborne Park. and returned to his regiment at Canterbury. VOL. VIII.
Mrs. and Miss Nangle, aunt and cousin of Roger, were staying at Tichborne Park all this while, and remained there till June, 1853, after Roger had sailed. They swore that Roger was never at the Park after June 22, 1852. Lady Doughty had been examined on her dying bed, and then and there she also swore that Roger had not been at Tichborne after June 22. Letters written by Roger himself from Canterbury and elsewhere were produced, and by their dates and allusions nearly disproved even the possibility of his having been at Tichborne in July or August.
Lady Radcliffe swore that the whole story. was a base and infamous fabrication.
A very important portion of the case for the prosecution consisted in a comparison of certain physical peculiarities and marks. Concerning these Mr. Hawkins said, that upon the person of Roger Tichborne were certain indelible and ineradicable marks which did not exist upon this defendant; and upon this defendant were congenital marks which were not upon Roger Tichborne, and artificial marks the presence of which upon Roger Tichborne was not satisfactorily accounted for. Upon the arm of Roger Tichborne had been tattooed the emblems of the heart, cross, and anchor, with the initials R. C. T. This defendant not only had no present tattoo marks on his arm ; but he swore in the ejectment suit that he never had been subjected to the process. Nevertheless he had a scar which the prosecution expected to show was the result of an effort to erase by cauterizing the tattooing of the initials A. O. In Roger's childhood he had on his arm an issue, kept open by his mother's directions for several years. This had been by some persons confounded with a seton, but was quite different from a seton and had left a very different mark. On the defendant's arm were the traces of an attempt to form a seton, though there were no marks of an issue. The defendant had evidently heard that Roger had had a seton, and hence this effort to fabricate the apparent remains of one. Roger's ears adhered firmly to his cheeks; the defendant's ears, on the contrary, had unusually pendant lobes. Roger had been bled in the ankles, and the bleeding had left inerasable scars; the defendant had upon his ankles certain scars not of a real bleeding, but clumsily fabricated to simulate such genuine marks of the actual operation. The defendant had the brown birth-mark on his side; but Roger had not been thus marked. The defendant still suffered from the “twitching” of the eyebrows which was the remnant of the St. Vitus's dance which Arthur Orton had had in his youth, and which had never been fully eliminated from his constitution. This man had a scar on the back of his head which he said was caused by a fall which happened to him in his childhood in Brittany. Roger had indeed had such a fall, which some of the defendant's friends and informants in the family had doubtless mentioned to him, but the contusion had been at the side of his head near the temple and had left no scar. In the course of the former trial it had been suggested that Roger had a peculiar thumb, and that this man had it. The suggestion was not made until after the seventieth day of the trial. In fact Roger had no peculiarity of the thumb; and this sudden illumination had come to the mind of the claimant from the examination of a daguerreotype of Roger, in which, either because the plate had been rubbed or from an original defect, the appearance of the thumb was rendered somewhat peculiar.
Many witnesses who had known Roger in Paris were called, tutors and associates of the lad, and friends of the family. Defendant had forgotten them all, and fell into a series of blunders ; for example, he said he had only one tutor, whereas Roger had five or six; he said he was never at school in Paris, whereas Roger attended for a short time the famous Séminaire of M. Dupanloup. He said he confessed to the Abbé Salis; but Salis being called, denied this, and the Père Lefèvre, whose name conveyed no idea to the defendant, said that he prepared the lad for his first communion, — a great event to a Catholic child, — and confessed him. Just before sailing for South America Roger had confessed to this priest, who was therefore asked, on cross-examination, whether the penitent did not then confess to him the seduction of his cousin. The reply was: “He did not. It would have been infamy to disclose it if he had said it in confession ; but he never said it. If he had said it to me in confession, I should not have known it ; but I say that it was never said.”
These Parisian witnesses all agreed that Roger spoke French with ease, habitually and in preference to English. But the defendant was so ignorant of French as to be obliged to use an interpreter. He remembered none of the incidents which they sought to recall to him.
Donna Clara Novas de Hayley, a Spanish lady from Melipilla,