Eliza Harnett and Richard Housego

Throughout the historical records, Eliza has always been recorded with the surname of "Harnett". Thomas Arnott's youngest daughter, married Richard Housego, the son of John Housego, another 96th Regiment soldier, who had also taken his discharge (with pension) in Van Diemen's Land (and wife Elizabeth Rood). Richard was possibly born in Ireland during his father's posting there, in 1836, and would have accompanied his parents and sister to Norfolk Island, prior to arrival in Van Diemen's Land.

It is the existence of a prayer book that has been handed down through the Housego family that ties Eliza Harnett to Thomas Arnott, with an entry, the second in a list of births, that states -

Richard Housego born 18 Nov 1836 married 9th Sept 1839 to E. Harnett, born about 1844.

There is also the fact that Richard and Eliza named one of their daughter's - "Christina", which strongly suggests a link to Christiana being a prominent member of the Arnott family.

Eliza and Richard married in St. Marks Chapel at Kangaroo Point 1 when she was just fifteen and a half years of age. The witnesses were Richard Arnott and his wife Margaret Farrell (nee Tollins). They then travelled to the North West Coast of Tasmania, maybe because he was posted there during his tenure in the police force. They had children from the far North West back to Hobart and many points in between. Eventually they ended up in Tunnack, possibly because his parents were at Oatlands the nearest big centre to there. By this time Richard was a shoemaker and Eliza is still having children, sadly only ten of the children reach adulthood, and only one of the last few little boys survives much beyond their births.

From September 1869 to November 1870, Richard's business appears in a Hobart City newspaper directory listing -

Boot and Shoemaker— R. HOUSEGO, 13, Macquarie-street. 2

TUESDAY, 24th August. TO CAPITALISTS AND OTHERS. THOMAS WESTBROOK has received instructions from the Trustees under the will of the late Mr. Francis Anderson, deceased, to sell by public auction, at the mart, Collins-street, on TUESDAY, 24th August, at 12 o'clock, THE WHOLE OF HIS VALUABLE PROPERTY, at under, vis.
The large block at the angle of Macquarie and Argyle streets, having an extensive frontage on the latter street, which will be sold in the following lots :
Lot 4
Is that capital block comprising four 2-story brick and stone houses (Nos. 19,17,16, and 13) in Macquarie-street, nearly opposite the coach manufactory of Mr. McPherson, and contiguous to the railway terminus. This lot has a frontage of 60 feet, with a depth of 70 feet.

The whole of the above lots (with the exception of the one occupied by Mrs. Anderson) are let to very respectable tenants at fair rentals, full particulars of which will be given at time
of sale. 3

In March of 1870, Richard is a member of an inquest jury -

An inquest was held at Mr. Allen's, Royal Exchange Hotel, Campbell-street, yesterday afternoon, before the Coroner, A. B. Jones, Esq., to enquire into the facts attending the death of an old woman named Mary Ann Stone, who died in the hospital on the 30th ult., from burns received on the 5th ult. The following gentlemen composed the jury :- Andrew Chas. Kirk (foreman), John Franks, Joseph Jones, Richard Housego, John Walsh, William Marriott, and Thomas Priest. The jury having been sworn, the following evidence was called:

Sarah Edwards said she was a married woman ; her husband was now a patient in the hospital ; lived in Argyle-street. She had seen the body of a woman lying at the hospital, it was that of a woman named Mary Ann Stone whom she had known for the past ten years. She could not say whether the blind man deceased had lived with was her husband or not ; they lived together as man and wife. On the 5th ultimo, whilst witness was in bed in her own house she heard the old lady shouting. Did not pay any attention at the time, but meeting the old woman in the evening of the same day she asked her what had caused her to shout so in the morning. She said that it was nothing ; it was only her apron which had caught fire. Witness did not see her again till the following Thursday morning, when she went into the old woman's room. Deceased was then sitting by the fire, and on witness asking her whether she was ill, answered that she was very much burned, and would be glad if witness would get an order for her admittance into the hospital. Witness got an order from Mr. Gray, and procured a bottle of medicine from the hospital dispenser, which she applied to the breast of the deceased. The burns seemed to be about five or six days old. Next morning witness took Constable Edwards down to deceased's house, and after he had seen her he said she had better call at Mr. Forster's office, when she would get an order for her admittance into the hospital. She went and procured the order, and on the same day deceased was admitted into that institution. When witness saw the deceased first, the old blind man was in the same room with them, and he then showed her his hands and said they had been burned whilst endeavouring to extinguish the fire which had caught the deceased's clothes. The deceased told witness that her clothes had caught fire whilst she was frying something. The deceased lived pretty friendly with the blind man.

Richard Stonehewer Bright, sworn, said the deceased was admitted into the hospital on the 11th March last, and placed in one of the wards under his care. She said, when admitted, that the burns had been received six days previously by her apron catching fire. She had, on admission, a burn four inches long and two inches wide on her breast, and several smaller ones about the body. She died on the 30th ult at seven a.m. Her death was caused by exhaustion and the general debility induced by the burns. He was of opinion that had she not been of such an advanced age she would have recovered.

William Stone said he lived in Argyle-street. He received 5s. per week from Government, and some tea and bread weekly from the Benevolent Asylum. He was married to the deceased in 1853. 4 On the 5th the deceased got up to light the fire to prepare breakfast, and half an hour afterwards she sang out that her apron was on fire. Caught her in his arms and put the fire out. They afterwards went out together down to town. A week afterwards she complained very much of the burns she had received. She was taken to the hospital. He did not know anything further.

The jury did not retire, but after a few minutes' deliberation returned a verdict of " accidental death." 5

Child-birth (retention of placenta) eventually sees Eliza die at the age of 41 in 1885, 6 after 25 years of marriage and about 16 children. She is buried in the local Tunnack cemetery and Richard died of consumption aged 49, the following year. 7
Eliza's sixteen children were -

  1. John (1860-1924) married Lydia (Lily) SMITH (1886-1894) in 1883
  2. Thomas (1862-1940) - never married
  3. Richard (1864-1927) married Alice Rebecca BROWN (nee BURRIDGE) (1863-1949) in 1889
  4. Christina (1866-1956) married Ernest Charles Richard KINGSTON (1861-1932) in 1886
  5. Clara (1868-1919) married James BYERS jnr (1861-1934) in 1891
  6. William Arnold (1870-1949) married Alice HARTNETT (1882-1947) in 1905
  7. Isabella (Belle) (1872-1941) married Frederick (Fred) TAYLOR (c1860-?) in Western Australia in 1910
  8. Frederick James (1874-1875)
  9. Walter (Hattie) Albert (1876-1949) - never married
  10. Amy (1878-1948) married James Alfred GARDNER (1867-1950) in 1901
  11. Alfred (1880-1881)
  12. George (1882-1883)
  13. Edwin (Teddy) (1883-1909) - never married
  14. Robert (1884-1884)
  15. Unnamed male (Robert's twin) (1884-1884)
  16. Ernest (1885-1885)