Moreover, my ancestors' souls are sustained by the atmosphere of the house, since I answer for them the questions that their lives once left behind. I carve out rough answers as best I can. I have even drawn them on the walls. It is as if a silent, greater family, stretching down the centuries, were peopling the house.

Carl Jung (1875 - 1961)

Monday, 8 July 2013

Out of the frying-pan…..

There is no evidence to support an assumption that Elizabeth’s next marriage was not a happy one. But trouble was just around the corner. Elizabeth was six months pregnant in 1876 when she married John Lewis Horne at his home in Ouse Street, Oamaru. She was 42; he was 30. She was earning a living by dressmaking – maybe -  and he was a labourer. Elizabeth claimed she was a widow, and we know that she wasn’t. Whether she did….. well, we will never know. There were some assumptions at the time that 7 years of unexplained absence allowed for the assumption of death (and therefore remarriage) – and also a journey ‘over water’ nullified a marriage bond in the original country. No idea what Elizabeth thought, but it’s fair to say that surviving in Colonial New Zealand and Australia with small children required resources and/or family support. Women often remarried for practical reasons, men too. James Ralph was long gone.

Sarah Ellen Clarkson (Lodge) 1866
Very soon John Lewis Horne was  in trouble with the law, and appeared in court in September and October 1876 charged with 4 counts of forgery, including one instance of using an accomplice  – rather elaborate, since it involved him donning a disguise of a wig and ‘black whiskers’ – not something that you would have just to hand, I would have thought. Elizabeth does a sterling job of inferring the blame was with Mr Dutton Lee but appears to stop short of giving information as to whose wig and whiskers were used. She tries a plea for sympathy saying John Horne was led astray with grog, and names goods bought with the money as items for the baby, but John Lewis Horne got three years prison. Mr Dutton Lee was released. It was not a good start to their married life.Something tells me that Elizabeth's life is not a serene depiction of motherhood as this photo of her younger sister, Sarah Ellen Clarkson with her 4th child Arthur Adam Clarkson in 1866, appears to portray.

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