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
Sitterback to top
- Arthur Orton (1834-1898), The Tichborne Claimant. Sitter associated with 21 portraits.
This portraitback to top
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.
Portrait setback to top
Events of 1855back to top
Current affairsPalmerston becomes Prime Minister, leading a coalition government after Lord Aberdeen loses a vote of confidence over his handling of the Crimean war. Known by the nickname 'Lord Pumicestone' for his abrasive style, Palmerston is the oldest prime minister in history to take up the post for the first time at the age of 71.
Stamp duty on newspapers is abolished, creating the mass media market in the UK as newspapers became more widely and cheaply available.
Art and scienceFollowing a trip through the Holy Land to the Dead Sea, William Holman Hunt begins his symbolically-laden painting The Scapegoat.
John Millais marries Effie Gray, previously John Ruskin's wife, after their marriage was annulled that year.
The social theorist and sociologist Herbert Spencer and philosopher G. H. Lewes, publishes Principles of Pyschology, exploring a physiological basis to psychology.