Saturday, July 11, 2020

Henry Hartland - another child of Jane Mason?

Two years ago I wrote a post about Jane and Bridget Mason, the two youngest sisters of my great great grandmother, Susan Mason. I mentioned that I'd come across a child named Naomi, reportedly born in 1881 to a Jane Mason in the Adelaide Railway station. I wasn't sure if this was the same Jane Mason or not.

A couple of weeks ago I was excited to receive an email from someone who is a descendant of Jane Mason. Not through Naomi though, but by another daughter. (More on that in a later post.) That was enough to send me back to do some more research on Jane.

I found a family tree online that included Naomi Mason, one I hadn't seen before. But Naomi's mother was said to be a girl named Sarah Jane Mason, the daughter of Thomas F Mason. The information on the tree was well documented, including a photo of the entry for Naomi's birth in the Destitute Asylum records. There was no doubt that Naomi didn't belong on my tree. So I went back and added an update to the post I'd written in 2018.

Since then I've discovered another possible child of "our" Jane Mason, a boy named Henry Hartland. He was born in Adelaide on 22 August 1873 and was originally registered as Henry Hartland Mason, suggesting he was born "out of wedlock". His father was listed as Henry Hartland.

I can't find any record of Jane Mason marrying Henry Hartland. In fact, I can't find any record of Henry Hartland senior in South Australia, apart from his name being on the younger Henry's birth registration.

What I did find was a newspaper article in the South Australian Register, on 19 October 1872, which described Jane Mason as an employee of Joseph John Hartland, who owned a hotel (the Prince Albert in Currie Street according to other news items);

Sophia Vicary, daughter of Thomas Vicary, was charged with stealing one tablcloth, value 8s., from Joseph John Hartland, licensed victualler, who recognised the article produced as being his. Jane Mason, in the employ of prosecutor, said she placed the cloth upon a line . about 5 . p.m. on Tuesday, and missed it between two and three hours later. Prisoner came to see her that night. Lewis Irving, pawnbroker, said the cloth was pawned by prisoner on Tuesday night. Sentenced to two months' hard labour.
So it seems likely that Henry senior was related in some way to Jane's employer. I'm still trying to unearth the link between Henry and Joseph John Hartland (usually described as John Joseph).

But how could I be certain that this was the Jane Mason from my family tree? (Once bitten, twice shy!) One clue came from searching through newspapers on Trove for the younger Henry. On 25 April 1884, Adelaide newspapers reported that a boy named Henry Hartland appeared in the police court and was sent to the Industrial School for being an "uncontrollable child". One report helpfully mentioned the name of his aunt, Mary Atkins.

The Express and Telegraph  Fri 25 Apr 1884, p 2

This seemed promising. Jane Mason on my tree had an older sister, Mary Ann, who was married to Henry Atkin (without an 's'). They lived in Currie Street in Adelaide. In fact, Mary Ann and Henry were listed as the next of kin when Susan Mason's daughter Harriet Whybrew was sent to the industrial school in 1882. They had a large family of their own, so if they were responsible for Jane's wayward child too, they would have had their hands full.

Still, there were other Mary Atkins living in Adelaide at this time. Without more evidence, I'm not quite ready to claim Henry Hartland as Jane's son. But I've recorded what I've found because it's an interesting story, and perhaps someone can shed some further light on it.

Poor Henry was only 11 years old when he was sent to the reformatory in Magill. Perhaps it's significant that Jane Mason was in hospital in June 1884, and died from cirrhosis of the liver less than two years later. She may have been too unwell to look after him.

Henry had several further brushes with the courts. He was re-admitted to the industrial school in 1887 for two years. Then in August 1890 he was charged, along with two other boys, with taking part in an assault on a Chinese man. He was sentenced to two months' prison, but was released on the Governors' orders on the grounds that he hadn't been involved.

South Australian Register Mon 22 Sep 1890 p 4

An Assault on a Chinaman. — On August 20 three youths named Bruan, Hartland, and Wynes were sentenced at the Adelaide Police Court to two months' imprisonment for assaulting Way Ching, a Chinaman, in Hindley Street. Efforts were subsequently made to secure the release of Henry Hartland on the ground that he had not taken part in the affray. Enquiries were made, and Mr. W.V. Smith, who acted for Hartland, has just received the following letter from the Under Secretary, dated September 19 : — ' Re assault on Chinese and Hartland. Sir— Referring to previous correspondence and to your letter of yesterday's date I have the honour by the Chief Secretary's direction to inform you that His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to order his release this afternoon.'

For most of his life, Henry worked as a labourer. He married a woman named Emma, and they had at least two children: Henry (1898) and Jean Clare (1920). Strangely, given his past history, in 1910 Henry was also listed in South Australian school admission records as the guardian of a child named Leno Ah Yee, born in 1905.*

In December 1916, at the age of 44, Henry (also known as Harry) enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. He was sent to France, where he was wounded in the leg in August 1918. After recuperating in England, he returned to France until the end of the war. When Henry died in 1935 he was buried in a soldier's grave in West Terrace Cemetery. 

If you know any more about Henry Hartland, or Jane Mason, I'd love to hear from you. I've removed the contact form from this blog for the time being because messages were not reaching me. Please use the contact form on my web site or leave a comment on this post.

* South Australian school admission records, Family Search. In 1916 Charles Ah Chow was listed as Leno Ah Yee's guardian.

No comments:

Post a Comment