[The Tichborne Case.] Printed spoof 'Proclamation' relating to 'Dr Kenealy, M.P., A.S.S., &c.', titled 'The Kenealy Dynasty and Magna Charta Parliament', giving details of 'The Kenealy Ministry', which includes the Tichborne Claimant Arthur Orton.

[The Tichborne Case] Edward Kenealy [Edward Vaughan Hyde Kenealy] (1819-1880), Irish barrister and MP, counsel for the Tichborne Claimant Arthur Orton (1834-1898) [Magna Charta Association, London]
Publication details: 
Entered at Stationers' Hall. Price One Penny. London: C. Elliot, 8, Italian Walk, Vauxhall, S. | T. Roberts, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street. Undated [probably 1875, but certainly between 1875 and 1880]
SKU: 20983

The facts of the Tichborne Case, one of the most notorious scandals of Victorian England, are well known. As counsel for the claimant Arthur Orton ('Roger Tichborne'), Kenealy's behaviour was so extreme that in 1874 he was disbenched and disbarred. He started a newspaper, The Englishman, and formed the Magna Charta Association which toured nationwide tour to plead his cause and attack the judges. At a by-election in 1875, he was elected to Parliament for Stoke-upon-Trent, losing the seat in the 1880 General Election. The present satire on Kenealy's megalomania is extremely scarce: no copy has been traced, either on OCLC WorldCat, on COPAC, or elsewhere. On one side of a 50.5 x 34 cm piece of wove paper. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with unobtrusive repair to reverse. Laid out in the customary typographical style for a Victorian poster, with the usual arrangement of point sizes. Title in bold above a rule at head: 'PROCLAMATION | V K [the two letters flanking a royal crest] | THE | KENEALY DYNASTY | AND | MAGNA CHARTA PARLIAMENT.' Beneath the rule, in small print: 'WHEREAS it appearing to Dr KENEALY, M.P., A.S.S., &c., that the House of Commons, as at present constituted, does not possess his confidence or that of the Magna Charta Association, has resolved to dismiss the same forthwith, and fully believing himself, by his “Prayers and Meditations,” and his many assertions of his “Honour, Truth and Virtue,” to alone possess the entire confidence of the nation, doth hereby dismiss the same accordingly; and in the place thereof hath appointed the following members of the aforesaid Magna Chart Association to form his Cabinet.' A list of twenty-seven cabinet posts in 'THE KENEALY MINISTRY' follows, with three appointments to the 'ROYAL HOUSEHOLD', each of the thirty with salary in pounds per annum, coming to the enormous sum of £148,000. The top three posts – First Lord of the Treasury, Lord High Chancellor and Chancellor of the Exchequer – are all held by 'EDW. VAUGHAN KENEALY' at £10,000 apiece, and in the last he is '(Raised to the Peerage (by himself) as Lord Honesty, Truth & Virtue – Count of the Holy Roman Empire)'. Next, the position of Lord President of the Council is held by Kenealy's son 'MAURICE HUNTER KENEALY | (Raised to the Peerage as Prince Bouverie)'. Other Kenealys hold posts, some with names which are unlikely to be genuine (although Kenealy did have ten children): Cato Ahmed Kenealy ('Raised to the Peerage as Duke of Norwich'), Caesar Anthony Kenealy, 'Brutus Octavius Kenealy, Homer Shakspere Kenealy, Alexander Plantagenet Kenealy, Glendower Caractacus Kenealy, Junius Juvenel Horace Kenealy, with 'Mrs. EDW. VAUGHAN KENEALY' Mistress of the Robes, and 'Miss CLEOPATRA KENEALY' one of the Maids of Honour. The Tichborne Claimant features as Secretary of State for War, with a reference to his incarceration: 'ARTHUR ORTON | (Raised to the Peerage as Lord Dartmoor)'. His wife 'Mrs ARTHUR ORTON' is one of the 'Ladies of the Bedchamber'. Supporters of the Orton's claim and of Kenealy personally also feature in the 'Ministry': 'G. ONSLOW | (Raised to the Peerage as Lord Grotto)'; 'His Eminence Cardinal WHALLEY | (Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Pius.)'; 'MATTHEW A. ORR, K.G., K.C.B.', 'BOGLE, Sen.'and 'Captain BROWN', 'O'GORMAN [the Irish nationalist MP Purcell O'Gorman, Kenealy's only friend in Parliament] | (Raised to the Peerage as Lord Omerule)', 'BAIGENT', 'HOLMES', 'JANES', 'Rev – BUCKINGHAM', 'MARKHAM SPOFFORTH', 'HARCOURT', 'SKIPWORTH', 'Lord WATERHEAD' and 'LUIE | (Raised to the Peerage as the Earl of Chatham)'.