Caroline who? – convict – Part 2

When I left you with this story 2 weeks ago, I was hot on the trail of Caroline Horsnick, alias Cramer, also known as, Arnish, Harnish, Horseman and Burnish. These are the various spellings as transcribed from records and how the newspaper journalists ‘thought’ the name was spelt. I was able to trace her movements up until the time of her marriage to Thomas Green and shortly after. As a convict, she left footprints everywhere, until Thomas was convicted for stealing a watch and sent to Port Arthur, where he died in 1855. But as luck would have it, I came down with Influenza A! Yep, I did. It knocked me for 6 and has taken some time to feel like sitting at the computer and stop the foggy head. In the meantime, we had our 2-year-old grandson and his mum visit. Thankfully, I was over the contagious stage by then, but oh boy, was it hard to have enough energy to keep up with the little tike!

When we left Caroline, she had boarded the Duchess of Northumberland convict ship bound for Van Diemen’s Land having been transported for Larceny.  The ship was the second last convict ship to arrive in Tasmania, then known as Van Diemen’s Land, on the 27th April 1853. [1]

The surgeon, Charles Smith, was instructed by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, in November 1852 to examine 220 Female Convicts at Millbank Penitentiary, as to their fitness to undertake a voyage to Van Diemen’s Land. All were in good health with two exceptions. On the 17th November, 219 females were received on board, one being left behind sick. There were also 34 children, most of whom were infants, the others were of different ages varying from two to ten years. On the 28th November 1852, the ship weighed anchor.

During the first six weeks, the weather was very stormy being a succession of westerly gales with much rain and occasionally very high seas so as to render it necessary to batten down hatchways foe & aft. The females suffered a good deal of sea sickness, lowness of spirits etc required the use of wine and medical comforts to support them, but they did not appear to be at all affected by the battering down of the hatchways, the ventilating tubes admitting the necessary quantity of air for the purpose of respiration.

Several children died from teething as well as two adults. The prisoners were kept as much on deck as possible, the bath was filled two or three times every morning during the hot weather and a certain number allowed to bathe every morning, which no doubt contributed much to the healthy condition of the females. Their minds were employed in sewing or knitting or reading etc. and they were encouraged to exercise on deck whenever the nature of the weather would permit.

On February 4th, 1853, Caroline [Burnish] aged 23, was added to the surgeon’s sick list when she suffered from Neuralgia and was discharged on the 22nd. [2]

On arrival in Hobart Town, Caroline was sent to the House of Correction at the Cascades Female Factory. She was soon put into service with J Barratt of Elizabeth Street, Hobart and was there for 8 months when she applied for Permission to Marry John Green, 13th December 1853, just 6 months after his wife Ann died. This was refused due to the fact that Caroline had not been in the country for 12 months. She continued in various services and spent some time back in the House of Corrections, Cascades Female Factory. [3]

Thomas Green and Caroline Horsnick were granted Permission to Marry on the 29th March 1854 and were married on the 1st May 1854. [4]

In the meantime, Thomas’ daughter Ann [my 2x great grandmother] was married to John Clinch [convict] on the 21st July 1851, two years before Caroline arrived in Tasmania. Their first child Annie Matilda Clinch was born on the 29th July 1853 and Matilda, Thomas’ other daughter, my 2 x great aunty, married John Year, a mariner, on the 16th January 1854 at the age of 16. No children have been found and to date, we don’t know when Ann, Matilda and their mother Ann arrived in Tasmania.

On the 29th August 1854, Caroline is granted her Ticket of Leave. On the 17th October of this same year, Thomas is sentenced to two years hard labour at Port Arthur for stealing a watch and he died there on the 27th February 1855.

Caroline is traceable for now. She was recommended for a Conditional Pardon 31 March 1855 but doesn’t receive it until April 1856. A note on her conduct record states “Not to enter service in Hobart Town”.  Why? What did she do now? This little notation had us looking through more of Troves newspapers. On the 1st May 1855 she was in the employ of Harris Rosenberg, a clothier, when she is apprehended for robbery! We know this is her by the name given in this article and Thomas was a shoemaker. But read on, it gets interesting.

Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), Tuesday 1 May 1855, page 3
MYSTERIOUS ROBBERY – On Sunday afternoon a son of Mr. Nicholson, of Campbell-street, found a cash box in the creek at the back of the windmill, containing a gold snuff-box, a bar of gold nearly three ounces, a gold ring, a silver pencil case, two gold eyeglasses, one gold pin and chain, a bank book, and cheque book. On enquiry, it turned out that the property had been stolen from Mr Harris Rosenberg, of Murray street, with the addition (as he reported) of £130 in notes and gold. Suspicion attached to a woman named Green, wife of a shoemaker, lately convicted and sentenced at the sessions, and the detective constables apprehended Mrs. Green, who had been in the habit of doing charing work at Mr. Rosenberg’s. The charge will be entered into today at the police office.

Horsnick, Caroline [Cramer]_1855-05-01-newspaper_Colonial Times_apprehended for robbery

Here she is named as Caroline Armish and the next article Caroline Horseman. Gee, they don’t make it easy do they? Fortunately, the name Rosenberg helped in finding these articles.

Hobarton Mercury (Tas. : 1854 – 1857), Wednesday 2 May 1855, page 2
LOCAL NEWS
EXTENSIVE ROBBERY.-Caroline Armish, T.L., a German, in the employ of Mr. Rosenberg, was brought up on the charge of stealing a cash box, containing £130 in money, and gold and jewellery to the amount of 150/. ; the box has been recovered by the police, with all its contents, except the money, and the prisoner was remanded till Wednesday, this day.

Local Intelligence. (1855, May 3). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 3.
THE ROBBERY AT MR. ROSENBERG’S.
Caroline Horseman, who has been in custody for several days upon suspicion of having been connected with the robbery lately perpetrated at Mr Rosenberg’s, Murray-street, was yesterday discharged from custody, there being no case against her.

So, there was no case against her and she was discharged. Was she really all that innocent?

Then this notice shows up in the paper, several times. It seems Mr Rosenberg had it in for Caroline and he did not trust her.

Rosenberg, Harris_1855-05-25_Newspaper_The Hobarton Mercury_pg 1

I did a little background research on Harris Rosenberg and found he was a bit of a strange guy. He too was a convict having been transported for Life in 1843 for wilfully setting fire to a house. Harris was from Prussia and his trade was that of a jeweller. It seems Caroline is attracted to jewellers!!

Rosenberg has his name in the papers when he appeared in court, charging this one and that one for assault, accusing someone of false pretences and he threatened Caroline. In August of 1855, he is declared insolvent and tries to shoot his son-in-law Julius Harris with intent to kill and murder, for which Rosenberg receives 12 months in gaol. He is declared insane and is in hospital in May 1856. He was a free man when he died of mania on the 24th September 1857.

The question begs to be asked, did Caroline really steal that jewellery or did Rosenberg think she did? Did she have a part in his being a maniac and set him up?  To date she hasn’t come across as being a very nice person from the time of her crime in England, stealing jewellery and I’m sure she was involved in setting up Thomas who had a clean slate, was given a Conditional Pardon but ended up being caught for stealing a watch and was sent to Port Arthur. Of course, I could be biased in wanting Thomas to have been reformed and there’s no way he’d get himself convicted a second time!

Now enters Charles Quasthoff, Quastoff, Quastaff! Charles, a German from Hamburg, first arrived in Victoria, on the 25th August 1854 before he makes his way to Hobart in October.  [5]

Charles’ occupation is a saddler and his name appeared in the birth records for an unnamed daughter born 1st November 1856. Often if the child is unnamed on a birth record, it usually meant a stillbirth. The child’s mother is given as Caroline Quasthoff formerly Cramer. Is this ‘our’ Caroline? Maiden name Cramer? Remember in Part 1 she was convicted as Caroline Horsnick alias Cramer!? We’ve checked out the original signature from the church records when Caroline signed her marriage to Thomas Green and compared it to the birth entry and they are definitely one and the same.

Horsnick, Caroline [Cramer]_1854_Signature on marriage to Thomas Green

Horsnick, Caroline [Cramer]_1856_Signature on birth of unnamed Quasthoff child

We now have Caroline hooked up with Charles Quasthoff. But there is no marriage to be found. Was she just living with him? Thomas had died, so she certainly was free to marry again.

After some more digging around the archives and newspapers, we find that Charles is in the employ of Major De Gillem when he appears in the newspaper of September 1857. Accused of assaulting Rosina Newman by throwing a stone against the back door of her house and knocking down her sister’s child. Further altercation went on between the two of them with each one suffering minor injuries, but not before Rosina reported him to the police. The complaint came about when poultry continually strayed into the garden of Mr De Gillem and caused much annoyance. The stones were aimed at the fowls, not at anyone else. [6]

Maybe things were a bit uncomfortable in Hobart as next, we find Charles and Caroline in Longford where a daughter, also named Caroline, is born on May 30th 1859. Charles’ occupation is that of a labourer and Caroline signs her name as Quastoff formerly Cramer.

A boy Louis is born in Campbell Town to Charles and Caroline Quastoff on the 2nd December 1860 however baby Louis’ death is recorded at just 9 weeks of age on the 29th January 1861 a Saddler’s child.

The next time we pick up Charles Quastoff, but no Caroline, is in the Supreme Court of Launceston, in June 1875. Charles does not appear in court, but his name is mentioned as the person who gave Mary Ann Gage a quantity of clothing. Mary Ann was in court along with her step-father Charles Duncombe on a charge of stealing the clothing. Quastoff was away and could not be examined. A Mr Hart, who was the owner of the business where the goods were stolen, said “Charles Quastoff left our employ because he was discharged for dishonesty; he was not prosecuted, because we supposed he had been made a tool of; I did not promise not to prosecute him, and have not so promised yet, but an opportunity was afforded for him to escape.” 

And that’s where we lose the trail of Charles Quastoff and Caroline. Where he went after he left the employ of Mr Hart, I haven’t been able to discover. The name Quasthoff appears only a couple of times in the newspapers. The Age newspaper for Melbourne in 1875 there is an advert for a concert in which Miss R Quasthoff and Miss C Quastoff are instrumental duetists.

On the 17th May 1876, The Herald of Melbourne has a notice from a Carl Quasthoff, applying for a publican’s license. Is this Charles?

An interesting notice in the Sydney Morning Herald of 1876 reads- BUSINESS CARDS- A Card – Madame Quasthoff (from Berlin), Premier Dressmaker. 10, Wynyard-ter., Wynyard. Is this Caroline?

Then in 1884, The Sydney Morning Herald has a notice which reads: “Quasthoff, Cis or Gran., Telegraph Address at once to the old hotel, Melbourne. C.A.G.”T

The trail has gone cold, but I’ll pop her name into searches every now and then and see what turns up. For now, back to the Green family, who are the direct ancestors.


[1] The Last Ladies – Chris & Bruce Wood http://www.chriswoods.id.au/The-Last-Ladies.php

[2] Duchess of Northumberland surgeon’s journal – Female Convicts Research Centre.

[3] Cascades Female Factory
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascades_Female_Factory
https://www.femaleconvicts.org.au/convict-institutions/female-factories/cascades-ff

[4] Permission to Marry CON52-1-6P046; Marriage RGD37-1-13P145

[5] Victoria Public Record Office – Images via Ancesty. Series: VPRS 7667; Series Title: Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (Foreign Ports) [Microfiche Copy of VPRS 947]
Tasmania Archives – Resource: CB7/13/1/1 p. 173 – https://stors.tas.gov.au/AB693-1-1$init=AB693-1-1_039

[6] The Hobart Town Mercury, 9 September 1857, pg 3

About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
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7 Responses to Caroline who? – convict – Part 2

  1. Eilene Lyon says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve been ill – no fun! Good to see the rest of the story (so far). Lots of interesting characters there!

  2. Kerry & Jim says:

    I hope you are well on the way to recovering Jenny. What a trail! It must have been a hard, hard time to be born into. Good luck on the continuing search.

  3. Wow Jen – what a trail of destruction. But I am not surprised. I’ve been on the Tasmania trail lately too and my lot were in Launceston – one of my great grandma’s sisters appear to be operating a brothel and her daughter at only 17 is “partly bald” from street fighting. I am still gobsmacked that any of us managed to grow into decency…… and poor you having Influenza. I copped it 2 years ago and 6 days flat in bed, rarely able to lift my head was my penance too but I did bounce back really quickly after that so hope you do too. I think my Vit D tabs helped a lot as I just don’t seem to be able to maintain any levels now. But I know how frustrated you must have been – when even the brain just cannot get going.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      When I read what some of our ancestors got up to, I too wonder how we have come to be what we are today. I’m going to have to get something to boost my energy, or I’ll go crazy!

  4. tstatton says:

    Puting all your facts together to make this “story” so interesting is a real credit to your researching abilities and your keeness to engage readers. Well done Jenny. Maybe Caroline Green / Cramer /, Horsnick will turn up again and the saga can continue. Until then we will wait with baited breath! I can’t wait until the next instalment on this family is researched and written. Hope you are feeling a lot better now after such a terrible bout of flu.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      Glad you enjoyed the read. It was a tough one to pull together and I feel there has to be more out there. I’d like to know how she got on with her step daughters, Ann and Matilda. They both left Tasmania, so did they all leave around the same time? Did they get on or did the sisters distance themselves from Caroline? Oh if only walls could speak. Slowly getting better, but pretty annoyed it’s dragged me down.

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