|Philip Crart was born in
1828. He joined the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners. While he was
serving at the island of Corfu, he met and married
Elizabeth Herring. Her first
husband, Sapper George Herring, died while stationed on Corfu, leaving
Elizabeth with one son, Arthur.
the grandson of Arthur Herring.
(Thank you, Mr. Herring)
Mrs. Crart, an Army wife, appears to have
had children with another sapper, who also died. She continued to "marry
into" the Corps of Sappers and Miners in order to remain "On the
Strength" - obtaining rations and Quarters for herself and her children
in this manner.
Her children appear to be Sarah Sophia Smith,
Arthur Herring, and two unnamed
children she may have had with Sapper Crart.
Crart volunteered for service in British Columbia with his wife and child
and 2 stepchildren.
A description of the Crart Family on the
voyage in the Thames City.
is Gravesend, as the Detachment prepares to leave on the Thames
detachment marched out to the lively music of the band, a little
boy, dressed in a brown alpaca suit, having a diagonal band with
large white buttons across it, and wearing a straw hat, ran to
the side of a surly-looking man whose dark brows beetled over
his bilious-looking eyes, and handed him his gloves, clean and
nice to put on. He took them, looked sulkily at the little
fellow, and, as the officer's attention was engaged elsewhere,
slashed the child across the eyes with them. Some of the
onlookers called him ugly names, but the boy gulped back the
tears, and marched along beside the company, carrying a little
basket his mother had given him of handy comforts for the first
few days of sea-sickness. She was an experienced traveller,
having been born in the Bermudas, and since then generally out
on some foreign station. The man we noticed was her third
husband, the boy the son of her second. She was a neat little
body, evidently the senior of this man, and as evidently in
-- Pg. 3 - From Frances
"In the Pathless West."
The Thames City arrives
on the 12 April, 1859.
"My recollection of Esquimalt in 1859 was just a
small clearing in the pine-clad hill," recalls Mr. Herring (Stepson of
Sapper Crart). "The only thing to signify that it was a naval base was
the presence of a British naval gunboat riding at anchor in the harbor."
--12th April, 1939
The Daily Province
The Wives and children are sent to Derby to
the completed RE Barracks there until permanent Quarters could be
completed at Queenborough.
|As a Sapper,
Crart's Regimental Pay per Diem would have been 1s. 2 1/2d. plus Working Pay per Diem
Crart is the orderly to Lt. Lempriere. Whether
he was the lieutenant's orderly prior to 1858 in not known.
Friday 13th – Left Queenborough in the "Eliza Anderson” at 3 p.m. with
Corporal Sinnett, my servant Crart, and Cote an axe-man,
and arrived at Fort Langley at 5 p.m. I called upon Mr. Yale and
gave the Colonel’s letter and started about 6 p.m. in the steamer
“Maria”: she got aground about 12 p.m. on a sand bank.
19th Thursday – Gave Ogilvie a receipt for
130 dollars – I had all the mules packed and stared about 1 p.m.
on my expedition to Boston Bar on the proposed trail. We had
some difficulty in getting the mules across the Quoquehalla
which was very rapid (average rate 9 miles per hour) and had
risen very high. We unpacked them and then let them swim. They
were taken a long way down, but eventually got across though my
mule had rather an escape – In all my party consisted of
Corporal Sinnett, Sapper Crart, Cote a distinguished axeman, but
horribly drunk at starting, a muleteer and 5 mules and 4 Indians
– We went a short distance along the banks of the Quoquehalla
and encamped in a very pretty spot upon a lake – about 1 1/2
miles from the ferry – Up at 5:30 a.m. Breakfasted at 7 and had
mules packed and started down after 8. We ascended 2 steep
hills: The view from the East was beautiful looking down upon
the Quoquehalla Valley: We met several parties prospecting for
gold and camped at noon for dinner at the point where the
Hudson’s Bay trail to Thompson river crosses the Quoquehalla.
We went another 4 or 5 miles after dinner and then pitched our
tents. The weather was beautiful and I must say I quite enjoyed
it, rough work as it was. My bed made of small branches of
cedar and 2 or 3 blankets to wrap myself up in, clothes and all
except boots –
21st Saturday – Up at 5:30 a.m. and
stared about 8: We ascended a high hill from which there was a
beautiful view and I christened it “Belle Point” after Isabelle
Reid: Just below this point a “gold flat” and a little further
on where I camped for the day, I came upon some waterfalls which
I called “The Gypsie Falls”. I camped here about 11:30 a.m.
Being informed by Mr. Ladner who was superintending the trail
lately that I could not possibly get on further without cutting
my way through: so I sent my Muleteer back to Fort Hope to get
Ogilvie to purchase 6 falling axes and some barley etc. and to
go at it myself, as to turn back would never do for an Engineer
Officer – I prospected for gold and found a little – some people
who were trying at the “gold flats” were very successful – we
had a roaring fire at night of cedar wood, it quite lighted up
the dense forest all around us: There is something so solemn and
grand in all this, that it almost strikes one with awe at first;
the moaning of the trees and the rushing sounds of the water all
adds to the solemnity of the scene –
22nd Sunday – Remained camped in the
23rd Monday – Very wet so did not change
24th Tuesday – Moved our camp about 2 ½
miles on. 2 of my Indians deserted and the rest of my party sent
forward to cut the trail: we saw indications of bears.
25th Wednesday – Moved our camp about 1
26th Thursday – Moved our camp about 1 ¾
27th Friday – Moved our camp about 1 ¾
miles. I walked with Mr. Ladner up a creek to explore it and see
weather we could not make a short cut. It was tremendous
climbing an I got so worked up, I thought I would never get back
to my camp again. Had some grouse for dinner which one of the
Indians had shot, a great treat after living on bacon.
28th Saturday – Moved my camp on about a
mile – I sent the muleteer into Fort Hope for provisions and
wrote to Luard. The afternoon was very wet and miserable and
the snow about 2 feet deep around my tent. A wet day under
canvas is very unpleasant, particularly when one has nothing but
the bare ground to sit or lay on – however in the evening we
managed to get a good fire, cut down a large tree, strip the
bark off in pieces of 6’x 8’ and build a sort of shed to sit
under – and made ourselves tolerably comfortable. It is only in
the spring of the year when the sap is up that the bark will
peel off the trees in that way – It turned out a very wet night
29th Sunday – Very wet all day and
night. Began a letter to Belle.
30th Monday – Wet nearly all day. I
walked about 2 miles along the trail, got wet through and came
back. Turned into bed about 8 p.m. Afterwards the muleteer
arrived from Fort Hope: He brought a letter from Ogilvie with
some newspapers, potables etc.: A grand treat.
31st Tuesday – Wet all morning so that
we could not move our camp or send the trail cutting party out.
I continued my letter to Belle – In the afternoon I rode on a
short distance and could not get my mule on any further, the
snow being so rotten, he came down with me twice, so I tied him
up to a tree and walked on to the top of the mountain (sandy
hill): I was very tired when I got back.
back to top
1st Wednesday – Struck camp about 8 a.m.
and went on about 4 miles and camped close to some beautiful
falls, the gorge was so narrow that there was not sufficient
space to pitch my tent properly. The trail was very rough and
the ascent up the mountain very steep: one of my pack mules
rolled down a considerable distance, they did not get along at
much more than 1 mile per hour.
2nd Thursday – Moved my camp on about 2
miles: very rough traveling and snow very rotten: it was from 2
to 3 feet deep outside our tents and thawing rapidly –
9th Thursday – The steamer arrived with
a detachment of 1 NCO and 6 men. I received letter from Emma
which she had sent to Valparaiso and which was forwarded from
there. Sent my servant Crart back to Queenborough home
-- From the Journal of Lt. Lempriere.
A month later, in July of 1859, Crart accompanies Lempriere once again
as his orderly.
4th Monday – Started with Captain
Prevost, Cote, Sainsbury and my servant Crart and after a hard
day’s walk through the forest, there being no trail and climbing a
steep mountain we camped for the night at the top: the snow was
from 4 to 5 feet deep and we had no tents with us: However we
knocked up a little shelter with boughs of trees and making a bed
on the top of the snow of the same material, with a tremendous
fire at our feet we managed to make ourselves pretty comfortable:
a few biscuits, tea and preserved vegetables formed our repast –
5th Tuesday – breakfasted at 5 a.m. and
started immediately afterwards: we traveled about 8 miles on the
snow till we got clear of the mountains and about 10 more brought
us to a trail cutter’s camp: our provisions were nearly all out
and I don’t recollect ever being more thankful for a good meal
than I was that day: the party whom we had just reached were very
civil and kind gave us shelter under one of their tents for the
night and grub to take with us the following day –
6th Wednesday – We left the trail cutter’s
camp and walked along the banks of the Anderson River about 10 or
12 miles, there being no trail: My Indian caught us up bringing
down provisions with him, and a raccoon which though very tough we
made a hearty meal off. We slept as usual on the ground without
any tent –
7th Thursday – Started early and after a
very long hard day’s journey we reached Boston Bar, where I,
Captain Prevost and our men all got shelter under the same tent –
8th Friday – Left Boston Bar having
procured 4 horses the day before and in the evening reached the
Lake House situated on the top of a mountain. As it was very cold
our men being tired we rushed to stay there the night: There was
only one room in which we all slept with a lot of miners, Indians
etc., in all numbering about 14 or 15: Bunks were arranged in
three tiers all round the room, for the accommodation of
travelers. I cannot say it was particularly agreeable.
9th Saturday – We left the lake house and
descended the mountain till we struck the Fraser river at
Chapman’s Bar: We went along its banks for about 5 miles and then
reached the ferry at [?] where we crossed the river and after
leaving 2 more mountains arrived at Fort Yale. We started there
about half an hour and then took a canoe to Fort Hope a distance
of 15 miles: The river was very high and rapid and we went down in
less than 1 ½ hours.
10th Sunday – Arrived at Hope. In the
morning went to service in the Court House
11th Monday – I, Captain Prevost and my
servant Crart left for Fort Hope in a canoe with 2 Indians
at 8 am – ands arrived at Queensbourough at 9 pm a distance of 80
miles – The Fraser river was at its highest and we ran down at a
great pace: We stopped a minute at one or two places on the way
down but the mosquitos were so numerous that they regularly drove
-- from the Journal of Lt. Lempriere
Exploration, Lempriere dismisses Crart as his Orderly.
Meanwhile, Crart's step daughter Sarah has
caught the attention of Mrs. Moody.
"The only other girl, is one destined for the
School Mistress, but I did not see why I should not secure her (as a
Nursery maid), which I did, to the amazement of everyone. She is a canny
girl, but I have only had her for 2 days."
--22nd September, 1859
The Letters of Mary S. Moody
"I have got a nice girl of 17 in the Nursery, a Soldier's daughter,
and she really does very well, with look after and telling her little
--11th October, 1859
The Letters of Mary S. Moody
Two weeks later, a horrible tragedy strikes
October, 1859 – Mrs. Crart in a fit of temporary insanity cut the
throats of 3 of her children and then that of her own. She and
one of the children died, the other two were very seriously
injured. She was a [?] her husband was my servant till about 2 or
3 months ago.
-- From the Journal of Lt. Lempriere.
British Colonist -- On
Friday last, while the town was still in a great state of
excitement about the murder of the three Italians by the pirates
at the mouth of the Fraser, (consisting of Indians from
Cowichan, Tadka Tula, Tuashans, Sea Shells, Mousquims and
Squamish) news arrived that Mrs. Crote, the wife of one of the
Sappers and Miners, had murdered her family and cut her own
throat; and I am sorry to say it turned out too true.
By the evidence before the Coroner's inquest that was summoned
the same day, it appeared she had been in a desperate way for
some time about being out here. And when the news of the
murders below arrived, it turned her brain completely, and she
was heard to say that sooner than the Indians should kill her
children, she would kill them herself.
During the night she appeared uneasy, getting in and out of bed
many times: and when her husband left for his work, she locked
the door and attacked first her little son, about eight years of
age, who was putting on his shoes and stockings. She cut
him with a razor in the leg, side and back of the neck, and he
was so stunned by the attack that he lay still. She then
crossed the room, razor in hand, and cut the throat of her
little daughter, a pretty child of three years old, with long
flaxen hair, which lay dabbled in her life's blood when seen by
the Jury. She nearly cut her head from her body. She
then made a cut at her infant, but did not cut deep and perhaps
it will live. Last of all, she cut her own throat, and
unlocked the door, rushing on the balcony, wringing her hands
and gurgling "I have done it!" Assistance
immediately came, but she died in three-quarters of an hour,
presenting a horrid site. The Jury returned a verdict that
she murdered her daughter and wounded her other children, and
killed herself while under the effects of temporary insanity.
November 4th 1859
British Colonist, written by
Amor de Cosmos, in New Westminster
The following is the newly discovered Inquest on
the Crart Murder from the files of the Justice of the peace and
Coroner for New Westminster - Spaulding.
|Camp, New Westminster
28th October 1859
Proceedings of an Inquest held at the
Camp, New Westminster on the bodies of Elizabeth Crart and her
Infant. The said Elizabeth Crart having first Murdered her
Infant, and attempting the lives of her two other children and
then committed suicide.
A Jury having been summoned consisting of the following
Foreman - Henry Holbrook
A. J. Armstrong, E. Brown, John Ramage, W. Dewdney, John Scott,
Thomas Moloney, J. W. English, J. N. Herring, George Mayfield, J. H.
Sachett, William Foster, J. V. Seddall MD and Medical evidence.
The Jury having been duly sworn the following evidence was
1st Witness Maryanne Rowebottom being duly sworn states I
live in the same block as the accused lived in. Between 7 and 8
o'clock this morning I was in my room getting breakfast when I
heard screaming in Mrs. Crart's room. I went to her door and
found it locked inside. I stood for a few moments in the veranda
listening when Mrs. Crart came out with her throat cut. I
immediately ran away. I do not consider Mrs. Crart to have been
in a sound state of mind for some days past.
2nd Witness Anne Hall having been duly sworn states. I
have observed that Mrs. Crart's manner has been very strange for
a week past. About 7 o'clock this morning I was out hanging
clothes I heard a dreadful screaming and saw Mrs. Crart in the
veranda with her throat cut. She barred her hands and explained
"I have done it". I went into the room and took the baby off her
and found a cut on its throat. I also found the little girl
called Rosina dead on the Bed with her throat cut.
3rd Witness William Edwards being duly sworn states. I
heard a cry of murder this morning between the hours of 7 and 8. I ran over to where produced from and found Mrs. Crart walking
about the veranda with her throat cut. I caught hold of her and
tied a cloth round her throat to stop the bleeding. I made her
sit down in the room and I sent for her husband. Mrs. Crart
lived about 3/4 of an hour. I have not considered her in sound
state of mind for some days past. I found the Razor near the
door of the room covered with blood.
Dr. Seddall being duly sworn, in Medical evidence states. This morning between 7 and 8 o'clock I was called from my
Quarters by servant who stated that Mrs. Crart had cut her
throat. I hastened to the accused's house and found her sitting
in her room with deep cut in the throat which completely severed
the windpipe and large vessels of the neck. She bled profusely
and died about half an hour from suffocation by the intake of
blood into the lungs. I also found her little girl named Rosina
in her last moments with a severe cut in the throat. I also
found the youngest child seven months old with a superficial cut
in the throat, alive. I also found the boy Arthur Crart 6
years old bleeding from three severe wounds on the leg and
thigh, also with a deep cut on the back of the neck. The wounds
all apparently inflicted with a razor. I saw the razor
which had been picked up by Sapper Edwards covered with blood. The boy Arthur and the Infant are doing as well as can be
After mature deliberation we the undersigned have come to
the unanimous conclusion and return the following verdict that
Elizabeth Crart died by her own hand while in a fit of temporary
insanity, having previously killed the daughter Rosina and
inflicted the wounds above mentioned on her son Arthur Crart and
her Infant boy.
the murder/suicide, the surviving children appear to be under the care
of the eldest daughter, Sarah.
"The time goes by so quickly, I really do not
accomplish half I want to do. Unfortunately my little Nursery Maid
is a bad sewer, however I doubt my keeping her long for she has just lost her
Mother and her Father wants her at home to mind the Children."
--7th November, 1859
The letters of Mary S. Moody
a time, the surviving children, Sarah Sophia Hill and Arthur
Herring, appear to have been taken in by one of the Sergeant's of the
"...In addition to this
she enjoyed the privlege of living with her parents in the Camp,
her father being a Serjeant. This renumeration was deemed by me
sufficient without applying for Government aid..."
--19th March 1861
Sarah Sophia Hill
marries Sapper Henry Smith and they take in her brother, Arthur Herring
to live with them.
3rd October 1860
Married - On the 24th alt., by the Reverend Mr. Sheepshanks, at
the Temporary Church, Camp, New Westminster, Mr. Henry William
Smith, Lance Corporal RE, to Miss Sarah Sophia Hill.
Crart remains in the
Colony when the Columbia Detachment disbands in November of 1863.
According to Frances Woodward, Crart
applied for section 254, Group 1, New Westminster. This appears to have
been for a Military Land Grant.
Crart died the 5th March 1874, in New
Westminster, aged 46 years.