Profile of Arthur Orton
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The impostor who claimed to be a rich British woman's son
Arthur Orton was the subject of one of England's longest-running trials (1873-74). A butcher, he impersonated the son of Lady Henrietta Felicite Seymour Tichborne. Lady Henrietta's oldest son, Roger, had been lost at sea in 1854 and presumed dead. After her husband died, she continued to seek word of Roger, taking out an advertisement in Australian newspapers. Orton, then known as Thomas Castro, answered the ad, claimed to be her son and returned (with his wife) to England to live as heir to the family fortune. Lady Henrietta believed him, but others didn't. After a trial that lasted 102 days, a jury determined that the "Tichborne Claimant" was an impostor named Arthur Orton. Then followed a trial for perjury lasting 188 days, in which Arthur Orton was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison. He was released in 1884 and confessed in 1885.
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