1 of 19 portraits of Arthur Orton
by Sebastian Evans
pencil, pen and ink, July 1855
2 3/4 in. x 2 3/8 in. (71 mm x 61 mm)
Given by George Hubbard, 1927
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The son of a Wapping butcher, Arthur Orton joined the navy in circa 1849 but soon deserted. Having returned to England in 1851 he entered his father's business but the following year emigrated to Australia and his family lost contact with him. He returned to Britain in 1866 at the invitation of Lady Titchborne, the widow of Sir James Francis Doughty Tichborne. Lady Tichborne had convinced herself from descriptions that Orton was her eldest son Roger Charles, who was reported to have been drowned at sea in 1854. Purporting to be the missing heir, Orton brought an action against Sir Henry Tichborne, the nephew who had succeeded to the title. As a result of the trial (1871-2) Orton was arrested for perjury, convicted and sentenced to fourteen years' in jail. Known as the 'Titchborne claimant', he was released in 1884.