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THE TICHBORNE TRIAL., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXXII, Issue 96, 21 August 1873
THE TICHBORNE TRIAL.
The more interesting passages in the evidence given on the trial, after the departure of the May mail, are as follows : — Commencing with the eighth day of the trial, we have first to notice the extraordinary scene in Court when the Claimant was confronted with the French witnesses— Pero Le Fovre, Mons. Gossin, the Abbe Salis, Mons. Duranz, and Mons. Chatillon. — Solicitor-General : " Now, upon your solemn oath, in the presence of these gentlemen, do you assert yourself to be Sir Roger Charles Tichborne?" — " Upon my solemn oath I do," he replied. The Claimant had on many previous occasions failed to recognise photographs of buildings, &c, that had been Bhown to him. On the 9th day a view of Sir Roger Tichborne's bed-room, Wardour Castle, a street in Calais, &c, were shown him. He replied he had seen a place like one of the views, and by way of settling the matter, he added, " I have made up my mind not to speak to photographs." A pressure being applied in the shape of questions having reference to individuals, the Claimant said, " Well, if you are going to cross-question me in this way with regard to names, the best way will bo to devote myself of un evening to looking up these things if you are going to be so severe on me. I toll you I will do it." Being repeatedly asked whether he would swear to this or that, and particularly whether ho should say " Henry " or "Alfred" when personolly addressing his uncles Henry and Alfred Seymour, the witness said, " There you are going to that swearing business again." A feaiuro of importance of which the Claimant was forgetful, was un extraordinary scene in the Lord-Lieutenant's drawing-room, at Dublin Castle, during a ball, when a gentleman vomited over the back hair of three ladies who were present. The reading of Roger Tichborno's letter to his mother, in which he graphically described the scene, and naively added, " after the performance the gentleman was removed from the room," elicited loud laughter from everybody in Court, the Lord Chief Justice himself being hardly able to proceed with his task. In reference to a ball at Bath, the Claimant said that he did not believe Sir Edwin Doughty was present, nor did he believe that Mrs. Allen was delivered of twins while the ball was going on. The Attorney-General asked whether he recollected making an excursion with Henry Nangle to Bee that gentleman's lady-love, at the same time adding, by way of commentary, " such a thing has an interest, you know, to a young lad of nineteen. We recognize the ashes of our former flames even in old age." The questions put to the witness on the twentyfirst day of the cross-examination, which was partly read, related to the Claimant's recollection of the personal acquaintances of Roger Tichborne, aud the practical jokes that were played upon him. He well remembered finding a small donkey tied up in his bed one night with a night-cap on. Other tricks were also frequently played, but his memory did not serve him to specify them. Ho knew that the Tichborne motto was, " Fugna pro patria" which, said the witness, means, " 1 fight for my country." " But," he added, " it strikes me I have to fight for myself now." The 22nd day's evidence opened with a Bkirmish between counsel, the Attorney-Greneral«applying for a medical examination of the person of the Claimant, and Sergeant Ballantine strenuously and effectually resisting the same. The next, and the chief point in the day's proceedings, the value of which, estimated per se, considerably strengthens the defendant's case iv the present trial, was the reading of three letters which, during the civil proceedings, were put in by the Attorney-General on behalf of the then defendants, as written by the Claimant. The particulars in question are known as " Pettingdreigh Correspondence," and presumptively were answers to letters received by the Claimant from a Mrs. Pettingdreigh, ostensibly the wife of a clerk in the office of Dobinson and Geare, offering to supply him with valuable inloimation. At that time the Claimant said that he had fallen into a trap which had been cunningly laid for him, denounced two of the letters as forgeries, and alleged that tho other one had been altered, thereby creating a marked sensation. This day, when the lettcrß in due course were read, the Lord Chief Justice, who said that he considered himself a good judge of handwriting, called attention to the caligruphy of the two letters alleged to be forgeries, adding that he was " much Btruck with the attempted similarity "and the practical dissimilarity." After some pointed discussion, and an exhibition of forensic fencing, which, from a professional point of view, did Mr. Hawkins great credit, he admitted that they were "fabrications." It wus alleged on behalf of the defendant that the words in the genuine letter purporting to be "please send me all tie Orton information you have" had been altered from " please send me ull the other information you have." This point was contested, but was ultimately dropped for the present, the Lord Chief Justice saying to Dr. Kenealy, "It seems to have been altered, although there is a doubt as to the particular words ; but it is enough for your purpose that it has been altered." Dr. Kenealy chiefly directed his cross-examination of this witness, with a view of showing that he was not sufficiently acquainted with Roger to speak to his identify with the defendant, and in this he was by no means unsuccessful, inasmuch as the Abbe admitted he had expressed his opinion that the Claimant was an imposter simply from looking at a photograph of him, and without the opportunity, which might have been aflbrded, of pronouncing a more mature opinion from a personal interview.
A point, demonstrating the attention paid to the case by the jury, was evinced when the foreman, asked the witness whether, in the Catholic religion, there was an ordor of the blue. The affirmative reply elicited, bearing in mind the cross-examination of the Claimant in 1871, when he deposed as a child he complained that he was kept up dressed as a girl too long in white frocks, trimmed with blue, &c, must be taken as telling decidedly in favour of tho defendant in the present trial Witness Donna Clara Norres Havley, being pointedly requested by Dr. Kenealy to state on which arm the tattoo mark was, created roars of laughter by naively glancing at Claimant, and energetically replying, "He ought to know better than me." Ultimately, she said she perfectly recollected it was on the left arm. She was to receive 1,000 dollars for coming to England to give evidence. She had already received half of that sum, and her expenses were likewise to be paid. The witness (Senora Hayley) created considerable amusement by stating that she knew Orton was a Protestant, because ho used to say he was not a Christian. Foribio Santander, a good-looking Spanish gentleman, excited laughter by describing himself as a Professor of Humanity. Having been carefully examined, Mrp. Mina Jury was then called, and a perfect flutter of excitement ensued as she stepped into the box, opera glasses being levelled at her from all directions. Iv the course of her examina-tion-in-chief the witness glanced at the defendant from time to time, when asked about Arthur Orton, and, with feminine positiveness of a marked type, said "That's the man who sits there." The defendant in each instance calmly returned her gnze, and, seeming to be much more at ease than she did, smiled complacently, and once or twice laughed outright. When cross-examined, she said that she might have said she was to have £500 for coming over to give evidence, and energetically added, " Neither £500 nor £1,000 would compensate me for my time and leaving my ten little orphans behind." Wrought to fever heat by a satirical remark of the learned counsel, she fairly turned the tables on him by retorting, "I expect to get paid; you dou't come here for nothing." Mr, Gibbes, the Australian solicitor, was a very amusing witness in the trial. Loud laughter rung throughout the Court when he said that he sat up laat night until one o'clock, and tried to remember as hard as he could whether the defendant had said anything to htm about a mule falling down a precipice in Chili, but that he had failed to do so. This witness said many other funny things also. But Mr. Gibbes's greatest feat, and the one to which he will hereafter look back with the most satisfaction, was his triumph over the Lord Chief Justice, when the latter, referring to the Wagga Wagga will, asked him how he came to make the defendant leave his mother no dower. "Did I do that?" said Mr. Gibbes, with a stare of intense astonishment, a host of wrinkles simultaneously crowding his brow ; " let me look at the will?" The will was handed to him, and he read, " I give and bequeath to my mother, in addition to her dowry — ." Returning the will to the Usher, Mr. Gibbes, who had risen from his aent, looked triumphantly round the Court, and said in tones implying at once exultation and reproof, " I thought 1 could not have made such a confounded mistake." A Mr. Hawkes created great laughter by describing the defendant " not the same man, but the same individual" — a paradoxical sentence which he explained by saying, that the person he knew was a slim youth of eighteen or nineteen years of age, but the individual before him had grown so stout that he was like a bullock now. The witness appeared +o have eccentric notions of personal peculiarities. Cross-examined he said : I don't know if he was pock-marked, or if he had his ears pierced for earrings. Every stranger is particularly noticed when he arrives in Hobart Town. I did not notice his eyes, hands, feet, or complexion. I think his hair was a little lighter than the defendant— not reddish. I was pock-marked, and had light hair when I was a young man. Now the marks are gone, and my hair is dark — " light scarlet " might describe the colour of his hair — [laughter]. Mr. Chew, a master lighterman, was called, and infused considerable fun into the proceedings. He described Arthur Orron as in-kneed — " what we call five over five," said the witness with a broad grin, the effect of which seemed to be electrical. Summoning to his aid all the dignity of which he was possessed, and straining a poiut, too, if possible, to increase the effect, Mr. Chew declared that he withheld his opinions as to the- Claimant being Arthur Orton, until he made the statement that he had seduced his cousin. " Then," said he, " I came forward to vindicate the honour of a lady." " Then you were indignant," said Dr. Kenealy. " I were," replied the witness, amid loud laughter, the cause of which he seemed utterly unable to fathom. Mrs. Church, an elderly woman, wife of a lighterman, created amusement by describing the draft of her evidence taken by Mr. Bower, as an affidavit which Bhe neither signed nor swore to. She remembered that Arthur Orton " walked particularly," and that his hair was " darkish." Mrs. Hallam's description of Arthur Orton, as being always a lump of a boy for his age, and having a husky voice, elicited great laughter. In cross-examination there was another ebullition of hilarity when, in reply to c, question by Dr. Keneuly as to the occupation of Whicher (a detective), the witness said, "He is a professional gentleman like yourself." Whilst the examination-in-chief of Mrs. Fairhead was in progress, Mr. Hawkins departed somewhat from chronological accuracy in obtaining her evidence, which brought down upon him from the Lord Chief Justice the following sharp rebuke :—"I: — "I often have to reprove the jnnior members of the bar for such practice; it spoils the judges, embarrasses the jury, and makes a complete embroglio. I must ask yon to set lho juniors a good example." Mr. Hawkins is very thick-skinned, and consequently it takes a great deal to disconcert him ; but he did not seem to relish this home-thrust. He is well aware that Judge Cockburn is not a man to be trifled with, so he wisely put a good face on the matter, and replied, " I believe I do sefc them a good example, my Lord." This brings the evidence to May 30. THE CLAIMANT ON- TEE STAGE. The Claimant, accompanied by Mr. Whalley, M.P , appeared at the Britannia Theatre, Hoxton, last night, and addressed a crowded audience. Their appearance on the stago was greeted with loud cheering, which lasted for some minutes, and it was renewed when the Claimant Btepped forward to speak. He Baid that, considering the critical position in which he was placed, he would not make them a speech ; and even if he did so, it would be construed into a bad meaning. Therefore Mr. Whalley would say a few words on his behalf. Mr. Whalley, who met with a -warm reception, referred to the position in which he, too, was placed, and said his only object in accompanying the Claimant was to endeavour to secure for him a fair trial ; and, being utterly destitute, this he could not secure without funds to bring forward his witnesses. The hon. member then read the application of the Claimant (and the Home Secretary's reply thereto) asking for aid to carry on his defence, and said that the statement in the reply, that it was contrary to precedent in public prosecutions for the Government to grant the prayer of the petition, was not a correct statement. He (the speaker) had taken care to write down the words he used that evening, for he had no wish -whatever to be punished again for words he had not used. He referred to the intention of the Government to oppose a motion for a return of the sums of money expended by the Treasury in respect of fees to counsel, &o , on behalf of prisoners in Ireland during the last ten years, and he considered their refusal to grant suck a return an admission that the Treasury had been in the practice of providing means for the defence of prisoners. The Claimant having requested Ihe audience to defer forming an opinion on tho trial until they had heard the evidence, left the stage (to which lie was recalled) amid tremendous cheering. Mr. Whalley is repeatedly referred to in the trial as follows : — Mr. Whalley, M.P., came into Court robed, and took his seat by the side of Mr. M'Mahon, the defendant's junior counsel.
THE TICHBORNE TRIAL., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXXII, Issue 96, 21 August 1873
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