Author(s): Paul Terry
History | No Category
In 1866, Thomas Castro, a fat butcher from the bush town of Wagga Wagga set the English-speaking world into a frenzy when he claimed to be the missing English nobleman, Sir Roger Tichborne, the baronet of Tichborne Park . It seemed too ridiculous to be true yet dozens of people who knew Roger, including his mother, accepted the fat man as the real baronet of one of England's oldest families.Now known only as the Claimant, he became the centre of the two longest-running trials in English history. In the process, the Claimant became the best known man in England. He sparked a powerful political movement, sent world media into overdrive and inspired a global souvenir industry on a scale never seen before. The Claimant's story was one of intrigue, deception, betrayal and conflict. It sparked a class war, impugned a lady's honour and even delivered the crushing finale to a 900-year-old medieval curse. When he died at the end of a lifetime of notoriety, the Tichborne family allowed him to be buried in a casket marked with Roger Tichborne's name. However, it was only after his death that an intriguing document emerged, claiming to shed light on a fine family's dark secret and providing a new theory on the real identity of the butcher who claimed to be a baronet. Who was he really a baronet or a butcher?