Caroline Horsnick alias Cramer – convict – Part 1

I wrote 5 blog posts about my 3 x great grandfather Thomas Green, also known as John Green, convict. He was granted his Conditional Pardon on the 7th March 1853 as John Green, only a few weeks before his wife Ann nee Wright died on the 3rd June 1853. (A conditional pardon was granted on the condition that convicts did not return to England or Ireland. They had the freedom to move about the Colony. [1]

Thomas took Caroline Horsnick as his 2nd wife on the 1st May 1854. As it was Caroline who led me to find out about Thomas Green, I thought it only fitting to tell her story too. Hold on to your seats as you’ll be in for a bumpy ride!!
I first came across Caroline Horsnick (Cramer) about 15 years ago when I received the Permission to Marry [2] and the transcript of their marriage. [3]  Interestingly, the record has transcribed Caroline’s surname as Harnish and we have Thomas Green with an ‘e’ (Greene). That happens. She is 24 years of age and a widow. As I delved further into her records, I found she also had an alias name of Cramer. Where does that fit into the big scheme of things?

Permission to Marry 1854

Permission to Marry RGD37-1-13P145 CON52/1/7 pg 153[Tasmanian Archives]

Horsnick, Caroline_Green, Thomas 1854

Marriage transcript – RGD27/1/13 no 347

There is an earlier application for Permission to Marry which shows her partner of choice to be John Green, not Thomas as I thought. [4] It was eventually determined that this was indeed my Thomas Green, using the name of John, convict no 15907, bootmaker, from Limerick in Ireland. This first application was refused because “woman need be 12 months in the colony 14/12/53” [5]

application to marry

Application for Permission to Marry 13 Dec 1853 – CON53/1/1 [4]

Green, John Permission to marry

Permission to Marry refused – CON52/1/6 no 046 [5]

With a little bit of super-sleuthing and those amazing records at the Archives of Tasmania using their Names Index, [6] Caroline Horsnick alias Cramer was found to have been tried at the CCC (Central Criminal Court – The Old Bailey) on the 10th May 1852 and transported for 10 years. She arrived in Hobart, Tasmania, per Duchess of Northumberland on the 21st April 1853, Protestant, can Read and Write.

Caroline was transported for larceny by a “servant in a dwelling house [illeg] obtaining goods under false pretences once felony Married Stated this offence robbery box of jewelery Prosecutor Askin tried with Joseph Strasney married long report.” The surgeon on board the Duchess of Northumberland says she was “good”.

Yes, the record of their crime is a long report and very damning in the evidence from several witnesses to their criminal activity.

Caroline has been given the police number of 969. A Fancy Needle Woman, she is described as Height 5′ 2-1/4″; Age 24; Complexion Fresh; Oval Head; Light Hair; Oval Visage; High Forehead; Light Eyebrows; Grey Hair; Straight Nose; Wide Mouth; Medium Chin and her left hand is injured. Native Place – Germany. [7]

So what is the story with this jewellery box that Caroline and her partner in crime, Joseph Strasney are supposed to have stolen?

The Central Criminal Court known as the Old Bailey has a wonderful resource with transcriptions of the proceedings available online. Here we read entry
543. Caroline Horsnick, alias Cramer, and Joseph Strassuer were indicted for stealing 3 bracelets, 8 rings and other articles, value 43l., and two 5l. Bank notes; the property of Frederick Arnold Engelbert D’Alquin, the master of Horsnick, in his dwelling-house: to which HORSNICK pleaded GUILTY . Aged 23.— Transported for Ten Years.
The evidence was interpreted to Strassuer.

Old Baily Court Record Horsnick_1852

Court Proceedings Old Bailey Central Criminal Court 1852-05-10-pg85 [8]

There is a very lengthy court proceeding, so I will extract some of the details and if anyone is interested in reading the full record, I will provide a link to the Old Bailey website in my sources. [8]

Caroline was employed by, Frederick Arnold Engelbert D’Alquin a German physician on the 11th February 1852 after she advertised in the Times and met with him at the Yorkshire Grey Coffee-House. Mr D’Alquin “thought she was a superior woman and said a place of all work was not fit for her, she was more fit for a lady’s maid,” She told him she was accustomed to working from her infancy and did not mind it. D’Alquin said she could try the place if she liked it.

It was the very next day after she began her employment that Caroline asked to go out for some little purchases, she was gone about an hour but left the street door open, which displeased D’Alquin as he had been robbed twice before. He told her it was not like Germany. She appeared to be in a great flurry and said she had lost a valuable brooch that had been given to her by her brother-in-law. Earlier she had seen a beggar come to the window but she had opened it to drive him away and must have left it open and the brooch was lying there. She reminded him too, that there had been three coats hanging in the passage and now there were only two. Later the D’Alquin’s noticed a teapot was missing, some forks and the next day the wife missed a sovereign and some bills on the file were taken away and burnt.

Five days after Caroline had been employed by D’Alquin, his wife had said she had seen a man, who was a friend of Caroline’s and who had visited several times in her husband’s absence. D’Alquin saw him come to the house on another occasion with a parcel under his arm and was talking to Caroline. She went into the house and asked him for some writing paper so she could write a letter to her mother as he brother-in-law was waiting outside and was going to Germany the next day.

Other witnesses were called to the stand including Joshua Monckton the police inspector. He went with another policeman to the Hotel de I’Europe where the two prisoners were found. Caroline was in the act of counting some money in Joseph Strausser’s hands. As they were taken into custody, Joseph reached into his waistcoat pocket and took out a razor. Before Monckton could stop him, he slashed his left wrist twice! The razor fell to the floor and Caroline swooped on it, cutting her left wrist once. Assistance was sent for and Dr Linton came advising that they be taken to the Charing Cross hospital. Both were badly cut and for some time their lives were despaired of, but ultimately they sufficiently recovered to be placed on trial. [9] Money was found on Joseph and he had two keys which unlocked a portmanteau (a large travelling bag, typically made of stiff leather and opening into two equal parts.) [10]
Note: I would love one of these!

SONY DSC

Portmanteau [9]

Inside the portmanteau was found two cloaks, a sheet and an ivory brooch, a box which was opened using one of the keys, a lady’s dress, shawl and two pieces of ribbon were found. D’Alquin swore that these all were his, except maybe the sheet. There were also jeweller’s tools in the box, Joseph was a jeweller and two seals were in his pocket, which make an impression like that which was written on the character reference Caroline had produced when she was seeking employment with D’Alquin.

Another witness John Watson told the court that he was a pawnbroker and produced jewellery, six seals and fourteen duplicates. Caroline had told John Watson that she was going to America to make a fresh start and needed to sell the items quickly. He became suspicious and notified the police. They set her up by asking the pawnbroker to make her an advance of 3/- to enable them to apprehend the male prisoner. When she was given the money and she gave Watson a receipt, the officers were waiting outside and followed her.

Other pawnbrokers gave evidence, one stating that he couldn’t understand her broken English so asked her to write her name. Caroline wrote it as Madame D’Alquin and said her husband was a physician. Throughout the court case, Joseph Strassuer said he knew nothing of the robbery but he too was sentenced to 10 years transportation.

The Newgate Prison register has Joseph Strafsner (Strassner), 26. 5/11 [illeg] Hanover, Jeweller, Stealing a case & a quarterly of jewels valued at £40 of Frederick Arnold Ingleby D’Alquin the Master of Horsnick. 14 May 1852. Guilty. Transported 10 years. Where disposed of – 16 Aug Millbank Prison.

Directly underneath is the record for Caroline Horsnick alias Cramer, 23, 5/2, [illeg] Berlin, Married. Stealing upon the High Seas etc. Guilty. Transported 10 years. Where disposed of – 16 Aug Millbank Prison.

On the Indent of Female Convicts on the Duchess of Northumberland, Caroline Horsnick alias Cramer, her mother’s name is Caroline, she has a brother Charles at N.P. (Native Place Germany), Husband Lewis gone to Italy!

I’ve done a small amount of research into the convict records for Joseph Straussner, Strasner, Strassnor, Strasney, but more is needed. Do I go down this road? In one of the newspaper reports, it was said that Caroline and Joseph had slept in the hotel together the night before they were caught. Was he really Caroline’s brother-in-law and where does the alias name of Cramer fit into things? And who is this husband Lewis who went to Italy? Is he Lewis Cramer? As with all things in genealogy, there is more mystery and completing of jigsaw puzzles than one can imagine. I always have a laugh when I’m asked, haven’t you finished yet?

There is more to Caroline’s story and just today, more information has come to light that needs more investigating.


Sources:
[1] Convicts to Australia – http://members.iinet.net.au/~perthdps/convicts/res-11.html
[2] Tasmanian Archives – Permission to Marry RGD37/1/13 no 145- CON52-1-7P042
[3] Tasmanian Archives – Marriage to Thomas Green RGD37/1/13 no 347
[4] Ancestry.com. Tasmania, Australia, Convict Court and Selected Records, 1800-1899 – Application for Permission to Marry – CON53-1-1
[5] Tasmanian Archives – Permission to Marry-CON52/1/6 no 046
[6] Tasmanian Archives – Names Index – https://stors.tas.gov.au/NI/1384125
[7] Tasmanian Archives – Conduct Register CON41/1/37-P97
[8] Old Bailey Proceedings Online May 1852, trial of CAROLINE HORSNICK, alias CRAMER JOSEPH STRASSUER (t18520510-543). https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=def1-543-18520510&div=t18520510-543
[9] Find My Past – Newspapaers – The Atlas, 1852, May 22_Pg 7_Law & Police Reports
[10] Publication Coach – https://www.publicationcoach.com/portmanteau/

Further Reading:
The Old Bailey Court Proceeding  https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=def1-543-18520510&div=t18520510-543
Edges of Empire Biographical Dictionary  of Convict Women from beyond the British Isles – Edited by Lucy Frost and Colette McAlpine https://www.eoe.convictwomenspress.com.au/index.php/biographical-dictionary/17-h/87-horsnick-caroline
The Last LadiesFemale convicts on the “Duchess of Northumberland” in April 1853
Female Convicts Research Centre – https://www.femaleconvicts.org.au/

 

About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
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6 Responses to Caroline Horsnick alias Cramer – convict – Part 1

  1. I’m finally getting back to this fascinating story to make a comment. Surely CAroline could pop up as someone’s ancestor in WDYTYA. Or maybe Bryce Courtney could write a new Potato Factory style novel. So I hope there are more chapters in this story. ( housework and husband on hold) I want to know what happened to Joseph too, did he end up in Australia?

  2. Eilene Lyon says:

    You’ve found yourself quite the rabbit hole, now haven’t you?

  3. Kerry & Jim says:

    I guess the question is ‘How much time do you have Jenny?’

  4. tstatton says:

    Oh Jenny! You have some very naughty ancestors! But I do love your thorough research and questioning mind. All this put together makes for great reading. Another very interesting piece of research. Well done.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      Thanks Kathy! I think this makes a great WDYTYA series, don’t you? I’m having a lot of fun, not getting much sleep and the house is starting to need a bit of TLC, probably the other half too! 🙂

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